Bard Graduate Center Logo
  Event Banner Image

The Iris Foundation Awards Lecture

Sanchita Balachandran (Johns Hopkins University) will give a talk entitled “Marked in Clay: Interdisciplinary Methods to Re-imagine Ancient Greek Potters at Work.” This talk will look at ancient black-figure and red-figure Greek ceramics made in ancient Athens between 625 and 325 BCE. While a primary interest of scholars has been in the painting of images on these ancient objects, this talk argues that other moments in the ceramics production process, specifically the drawing of preparatory images on unfired vessels prior to painting and the firing of clay vessels into colorful ceramics offer us a more intimate understanding of these makers’ lived experience.

April 27, 6–7:30 pm

Register Button

Archaeological Encounters Seminar

Join us for the Archaeological Encounters Seminar. Ruth Tringham (University of California, Berkeley) will give a paper entitled “Do Baskets Speak? Creating Afterlives of an Archaeological Project at Neolithic Çatalhöyük.” Brian Boyd (Columbia University) will give a paper entitled “Remains, Not ‘Ruins’: Archival Afterlives in Palestine.” The papers will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session.

April 28, 5–6:30 pm

Register Button

Book Talk: Le musée, une histoire mondiale

Krzysztof Pomian (Centre de recherches historiques, EHESS/CNRS, Paris) and Peter N. Miller (Bard Graduate Center) will be in conversation about Pomian’s book Le musée, une histoire mondiale (Gallimard, 2020). From the accumulations of Egyptian or Chinese tombs and royal treasures to our present-day Louvre, among other places, it took time for the museum to find its form and its function of conservation, study, and exhibition of objects. Yet a world history of museums—political, social, and cultural—has never been written, until now. Here it is: The Museum, A World History, in three volumes which will appear over two years.

April 29, 12:15–1:15 pm

Register Button

Curators on Curating

Curators on Curating goes behind the scenes of upcoming BGC exhibitions to give a window into the curatorial process. We invite you to think with us about exhibition making, material histories, and storytelling.

April 30, 12–1:30 pm
Conserving Active Matter
Soon Kai Poh and Peter N. Miller

Register Button

May 13, 12–1:30 pm
“A Map is Not the Territory”: Unsettling the Curatorial Voice in Shaped by The Loom
Hadley Jensen, Rapheal Begay, and Juliana Fagua-Arias

Register Button

June 10, 12–1:30 pm
Threads of Power
Emma Cormack, Ilona Kos, and Michele Majer

Register Button

From Trauma to Tenderness: Following a “Middle Path” for Conservation Work at Memorial Sites

In this talk Julia M. Brennan (Caring for Textiles) will discuss her work conserving the clothing of genocide victims in Rwanda and Cambodia. Brennan said of her work, “Preserving materials that embody the traumatic experiences of individual victims heightens the emotional, cultural, and preservation challenges of our profession. It reminds us that conservation is first and foremost about people. As such, we are called to safeguard material culture that memorializes the victims of atrocities, to honor and embrace the shared humanity that is at the heart of our work. This ‘middle path’ represents a difficult confluence of technical objectivity and personal subjectivity.”

May 3, 12:15–1:15 pm

Register Button

Joe the Pressman: Ethnicity, Labor, Literacy, and Resistance in Eighteenth-Century Quebec Slavery

Charmaine A. Nelson (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, Canada; BGC Research Fellow) will give a Brown Bag Lunch talk. Fugitive slave advertisements are today “the most detailed descriptions of the bodies of enslaved African Americans available” (White and White, 1995, p. 49). The fugitive slave archive which the co-founder of the Quebec Gazette William Brown and Quebec City Sheriff James Shepherd produced for the enslaved African-born man named Joe, reveals the complex physical, cultural, and political dimensions of Canadian slavery which have yet to be fully explored. This talk will explore Joe’s life as an enslaved male in Quebec through the complex intersecting lenses of his ethnicity, labor, literacy, and resistance.

May 4, 12:15–1:15 pm

Register Button

The Leon Levy Foundation Lectures in Jewish Material Culture

Seth Schwartz (Columbia University) will deliver three lectures in a series entitled “Materiality and Politics: How Integrated were Diaspora Jews in the Roman Empire?” A dominant trend in ancient Jewish scholarship regards the Jews of the high Roman imperial diaspora as having reached a successful and sustainable balance between friendly integration and the separation necessary for the maintenance of a particular religious identity. The archaeological remains of the Jewish communities of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) provide the bulk of the evidence for this characterization. (Evidence from other provinces, primarily Egypt and Cyrenaica—modern Libya—has drastically more disturbing implications). In the course of three lectures Schwartz will challenge the rosy picture of stable and successful Jewish corporate life under Rome through skeptically minimalistic analysis of Asian Jewish materiality and the ways in which it has been deployed in modern historiography.

Additional support provided by The David Berg Foundation.

May 4, 11 & 19, 6–7:30 pm

Register Button

The Global Middle Ages Seminar

Join us for the the Global Middle Ages Seminar. Valerie Hansen (Yale University) will give a paper entitled “The World’s Most Active Sea Route Before 1492: From the Chinese ports of Quanzhou and Guangzhou to Basra (in Modern Iraq) and Sofala (in Modern Mozambique).” Morris Rossabi (City University of New York and Columbia) will give a paper entitled “The Golden Horde: Recent Discoveries in Russia.” The papers will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session.

May 5, 1–2:30 pm

Register Button


Join digital artist and printmaker Darby Raymond-Overstreet and BGC MA student Juliana Fagua-Arias for a conversation entitled “Reclaiming and Celebrating Diné Aesthetics: Darby Raymond-Overstreet on her Cultural Portraits.” A homage to weavers and their practice as well as an exploration of modern day Diné identity, Raymond-Overstreet’s portraits combine the artistry of traditional woven rugs with the format and medium of digital art. They also represent the duality of Indigenous tradition and the adaptation to western society that characterizes much of the contemporary Diné experience.

May 6, 12:15–1:15 pm

Register Button

Jonathan Michael Square (Harvard University) will give a Brown Bag Lunch talk. Square will present his research on Brooks Brothers’ connections to slavery. Brooks Brothers was founded in 1818 and, in the first few decades of its operation, provided merchandise to elite gentlemen as well as livery for their domestics. Some of those domestics were enslaved people. In this talk, Square will use two Brooks Brothers coats worn by enslaved men as a point of departure to explore the history of this “heritage” brand.

May 11, 12:15–1:15 pm

Register Button

All events will be held via Zoom. A link will be circulated to registrants on the day of the event. All events will be live with automatic captions.