Martha C. Nussbaum

September 28, 2016.

Martha C. Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, discusses her book Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice, just published by Oxford University Press.

"Written with her usual mix of grace, precision, passion, and breathtaking scope, Nussbaum probes two seemingly polar emotions underlying our notions of justice-anger and forgiveness. She finds them part of the same vindictive drama, and each problematic. Her call is to move beyond them to become 'strange sorts of people, part Stoic and part creatures of love.' The book offers an important and timely challenge, a most worthwhile and enlightening read for those interested in philosophy, psychology, law, politics, religion-or simply living in today's world." -- C. Daniel Batson, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Kansas

45:14 minutes.

Listen

Sally V. Keil

September 21, 2016 (SEASON OPENER).

Writer and Jungian psychological counselor Sally V. Keil (VC '68) talks about her book on Carl Jung's personality typology To Live in the World as Ourselves: Self-Discovery and Better Relationships Through Jung's Typology (Four Directions, 2014).

"What Quiet has done for introversion, To Live in the World as Ourselves does for the entire scheme of Jung's typology. Extraversion, introversion, thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensation, and the ongoing dynamics of psychological experience they represent, are all made clear in an accessible style that goes to the heart of Jung's pioneering concepts." - Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche


55:06 minutes.

Listen

Joseph Bertolozzi

May 11, 2016.

SEASON FINALE: Composer and sound sculptor Joseph Bertolozzi (VC '81) and photographer Franc Palaia talk about Bertolozzi's percussion compositions employing structures such as the Eiffel Tower and the Mid-Hudson Bridge as instruments.

"Tower Music is a 21st-century homage to the Eiffel Tower, to the Exposition Universelle of 1889 and to Paris itself.  Joseph Bertolozzi presents us with an acoustic version of a deck of old photographs, movie posters, and postcards related to Paris and the Tower.  Once again, as in Bridge Music (2008), the composer uses the substance and structure of an engineering marvel to create a unique sense of place.  This sound creation can only be realized through the resonances of the Eiffel Tower itself.  It is intrinsically of the Eiffel Tower."  -- Andrew Tomasello.


32:55 minutes.

Listen

Mary-Kay Lombino

May 4, 2016.

Mary-Kay Lombino, Emily Hargroves Fisher 1957 and Richard B. Fisher Curator of Collections at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, discusses the exhibition on view April 29 - August 21, 2016: "Touch the Sky: Art and Astronomy."

Astronomy can be traced back to antiquity with its origins in religious and mythological beliefs; its study has been closely linked to artistic endeavors since the Renaissance. Touch the Sky is a multi-media exhibition of images of the moon, sun, planets, and stars made by artists since the nineteenth century. Artistic observation of the skies was advanced by the dawn of photography in 1839, when Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre attempted to capture an image of the moon, and in 1865 when Lewis Rutherfurd, inventor of the first telescope designed for astrophotography, made top-quality spectroscopic images of the moon. Since then, artists’ enthusiasm for recording and interpreting the grandeur and mystery of the cosmos has not waned. The exhibition includes work by nineteen artists, including Vija Celmins, Chris McCaw, Sharon Harper, David Malin, Mungo Thomson, Lisa Oppenheim, and Nancy Graves.

44:12 minutes.

Listen

Maxine McClintock


April 27, 2016.

For our last discussion of the season in our series on the value of liberal arts education in contemporary society, historian Maxine McClintock, emeritus teacher at Trinity School in New York, talks about her book Letters of Recommendation (Collaboratory for Liberal Learning, 2014) and the role of the liberal arts in secondary education.

"This is a remarkable and rewarding book. In the best tradition of John Dewey's vision of education as a journey that makes for more fully formed, flourishing human beings as well as a more informed citizenry, Maxine McClintock has constructed an intricate and compelling account not just of the fictional student Emilia's winding "senior year odyssey" toward college (and beyond) but also of the mentor-mentee educative process by which both share insights, learn, and develop through intellectual exchanges. The erudition here is striking and subtle. William James, Randolph Bourne, Dewey, Thomas Jefferson, and scores of other major thinkers appear and serve to propel the narrative as well as the analysis, provoking much bigger questions and concerns than simply: where should Emilia go to school? This is a book that interrogates the proper and best role of intellectuals and educators in society. It ponders the city "as educator." It critiques and embraces the drawbacks as well as the opportunities provided by Emilia's elite private school. It investigates the history of ideas and the "purposes of a liberal arts education" in a democracy. And it challenges readers to consider how self-awareness is and might be enabled via education as the book probes how and why this is not happening more in the U.S. At the core of this book, then, lies the so-called "education crisis" and the "crisis of the humanities" as integral to the "dysfunctional meritocracy" endemic to the contemporary educational landscape." -- Christopher M. Nichols.

54:57 minutes.


Radha Pandey

April 20, 2016.

Book artist and papermaker Radha Pandey discusses her artist's books, traditional artisinal papermaking, and the history of papermaking on the Indian subcontinent.

32:52 minutes.

Listen

Eileen Leonard

April 13, 2016:

Eileen Leonard, Professor of Sociology at Vassar College, talks about her book Crime, Inequality, and Power published in 2015 by Routledge.

‘In Crime, Inequality and Power, Leonard offers a powerful critique of our current system of justice and the underlying socially constructed biases that continue to focus upon specific types of criminal behavior, while minimizing others. Central to her thesis is that "…power and persistent inequality in America has more to do with our understanding of crime and our punishment of it, rather than the harm that behavior inflicts". Crime, Inequality and Power is an important addition to the discipline of criminology and an essential read for students, policymakers and scholars interested in this complex topic.’
 -- David Polizzi, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Indiana State University, 


38:47 minutes.

Rebecca Rego Barry

April 6, 2016.

Rebecca Rego Barry, editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine, discusses her book Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places (Voyageur, 2015).


"Anyone who loves used and rare books has stories to tell about discovering gems in unlikely places. These tales become badges of honor for bibliophiles and no-one has more stories of literary discoveries than booksellers."   
-- Richard Davies,  Abebooks Reading Copy


57z;44 minutes

Listen

Mita Choudhury

March 30, 2016.

Mita Choudhury, Professor of History at Vassar College, discusses her book The Wanton Jesuit and the Wayward Saint: A Tale of Sex, Religion and Politics in Eighteenth-Century France, published by Pennsylvania University Press in 2015.

“Students of eighteenth-century France have long been aware of the importance of the Cadière affair. Fortunately, the case has now found its historian. Mita Choudhury, a leading expert on the politics of theological conflict in Old Regime France, has given us a rich account of the scandalous provincial encounter in the early 1730s that resounded all the way to the halls of Versailles and the Sorbonne.”

James Mundy

 Irving Ramsey Wiles, American, 1861-1948, Girl Writing, oil on canvas.. Gift of Ruth Scherm, VC class of 1945 

March 2, 2016. 

James Mundy (VC'74), Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, talks about the Exhibit "American Stories 1800-1950" on view at the Center January 29 - April 17, 2016.

"The founding strength of the art museum at Vassar College in 1864 was its American paintings. That collection has grown greatly over the years with the result that a number of the works by major American painters are seldom seen. This exhibition will explore some of the American riches found in storage and will feature key works of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries housed in the Art Center's vault. Among the artists featured are John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, Sanford Gifford, George Inness, William Merritt Chase, Maxfield Parrish, Arthur B. Davies, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Ben Shahn." 

39:23 minutes.


Mindell Dubansky



February 24, 2015.  

Mindell Dubansky
, Preservation Librarian at the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, talks about her collection of "blooks" -- objects disguised as books -- on view at the Grolier Club in New York through March 12 entitled "Blooks -- The Art of Books That Aren't."

58:26 minutes.




Elizabeth Eisenstein



February 17, 2016.

To commemorate the passing of Elizabeth Eisenstein (VC'46) last month we will re-air our 2014 interview with her about her last book Divine Art, Infernal Machine: The Reception of Printing in the West (U Penn 2011)

"Eisenstein's research is impressive, reaching far and wide across languages and centuries. Her knowledge of the history of publication engages the wealth of recent scholarship and extends as far back as Roman copyists. . . . Her breadth enables her to identify topoi and their mutations; to observe long-term trends, diminishing ripples, and delayed reactions; and to distinguish what is new or newly dressed in authors' concerns and readers' complaints."— Journal of Scholarly Publishing

45:57 minutes.

Listen

C. Stephen Jaeger




February 10, 2016. 

Our series on the role and value of the liberal arts in contemporary society continues with a conversation with the cultural historian C. Stephen Jaeger, Gutsgell Professor Emeritus in Germanic Languages and Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois, about his research into the transcendental function of charisma in education and the arts and his book:  Enchantment: On Charisma and the Sublime in the Arts of the West (Univ. Pennsylvania Press, 2012).  

"What is the force in art, C. Stephen Jaeger asks, that can enter our consciousness, inspire admiration or imitation, and carry a reader or viewer from the world as it is to a world more sublime? We have long recognized the power of individuals to lead or enchant by the force of personal charisma—and indeed, in his award-winning Envy of Angels, Jaeger himself brilliantly parsed the ability of charismatic teachers to shape the world of medieval learning. In Enchantment, he turns his attention to a sweeping and multifaceted exploration of the charisma not of individuals but of art."



44:41 minutes.
Listen

Amitava Kumar

December 16, 2015 


Amitava Kumar, Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College, discusses his new book of essays Lunch With a Bigot: The Writer in the World published this year by Duke University Press.

"These are the very best sort of essays: the kind in which the pleasure of reading derives from the pleasure of following a writer's mind as it moves from subject to subject, making us see connections we might otherwise have been unawayre of.  Often a single paragraph contains such a story or detail so arresting that the reader must pause to appreciate it before moving on." -- Francine Prose, author of Reading Like a Writer

55:29 minutes.

Jennifer Church


December 2, 2015.


Jennifer Church, Professor of Philosophy at Vassar, talks about perception, imagination, and her book Possibilities of Perception, published in 2013 by Oxford University Press.

"Possibilities of Perception is a stimulating, wide-ranging treatment of perception in its many guises that should be of interest to a commensurately wide audience." --The Review of Metaphysics  

45:10 minutes.

Listen

Michael S. Roth

November 25, 2015. 

In the second edition of our series on the value and uses of liberal arts education in contemporary society, intellectual historian Michael S. Roth,  President of Wesleyan University, talks about his book Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, published in 2014 by Yale University Press.

"Conflicting streams of thought flow through American intellectual history: W. E. B. DuBois’s humanistic principles of pedagogy for newly emancipated slaves developed in opposition to Booker T. Washington’s educational utilitarianism, for example. Jane Addams’s emphasis on the cultivation of empathy and John Dewey’s calls for education as civic engagement were rejected as impractical by those who aimed to train students for particular economic tasks. Roth explores these arguments (and more), considers the state of higher education today, and concludes with a stirring plea for the kind of education that has, since the founding of the nation, cultivated individual freedom, promulgated civic virtue, and instilled hope for the future. "

41:50 minutes.

Listen

Arthur H. Groten




November 18, 2015.

Ephemerist/Philatelist Arthur H.Groton discusses the collection of poster stamps he assembled and recently gifted to Vassar College and the exhibit "Posters in Miniature: The Ephemeral Cinderella" on view in the Vassar College Art Library through December 16.

40:40 minutes.

Listen

Seaver Leslie



Artist Seaver Leslie discusses his work and the exhibition of magnificent glass sculptures on view in Thompson Library at Vassar College through November 22 entitled the Ulysses Cylinders by Dale Chihuly and Sever Leslie, with Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick.

"Gorgeous, enigmatic, and provocative, Dale Chihuly's Ulysses Cylinders stand as some of the artists's most intellectually compelling and unique works.  Begun in 1975 and completed nearly forty years later in 2014, the Ulysses Cylinders--adapting drawings by Seaver Leslie to Glass--follow the course of James Joyce's Ulysses, in equal parts representation of the senses in the novel and insightful interpretation of Joyce's work and its place in the history of Irish culture and literary allusion."

43:52 minutes.



Mary-Kay Lombino

October 21, 2015.

Mary Kay Lombino, Emily Hargroves Fisher 1957 and Richard B. Fisher Curator of Collections at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, discusses the exhibition on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center September 25 - December 13, 2015 entitled Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument."

Gordon Parks was one of America’s most significant social photographers, filmmakers, and writers of the twentieth century, and the first African-American photographer to work for Life magazine. In 1948, he began a professional relationship with Life that would last twenty-two years when he proposed a series of pictures about the gang wars that were then plaguing Harlem. Parks gained the trust of one group of gang members and their leader Red Jackson, producing photographs of them that are artful, emotive, poignant, and sometimes shocking. From this larger body of work, twenty-one pictures were selected for a photo essay in Life. The exhibition comprises forty-five prints alongside contact sheets, issues of the original publication, and related ephemera that both contextualize the images chosen for the story and suggest the ways in which the editorial process shapes the narrative arc."

37:40 minutes.

Listen 

 

Grace G. Roosevelt

October 7, 2015. 

In the first of a series of episodes to be aired this season devoted to the value and uses of the liberal arts and liberal arts education in contemporary society, Grace G. Rooseveltintellectual historian and Associate Professor of History and Education at Metropolitan College of New York, returns to the show to talk about pragmatism, service learning, and the liberal arts and her book Creating a College That Works: Audrey Cohen and Metropolitan College of New York (SUNY, 2015).

 In 1964 educational activist Audrey Cohen and her colleagues developed a unique curricular structure that enables urban college students to integrate their academic studies with meaningful work in community settings.  Creating a College That Works  chronicles Cohen’s efforts to create an innovative educational model that began with the Women’s Talent Corps, evolved into the College for Human Services, and finally became, in 2002, what is now Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), a fully accredited institution of higher education that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees."

48:46 minutes.



Tobias Armborst

September 30, 2015.

Tobias Armborst, Associate Professor of Art and Urban Studies at Vassar College and principal of the award-winning architecture and urban planning firm Interboro Partners, talks about design thinking and the liberal arts, urban planning, and Interboro's project to reform areas of the Long Island shoreline to protect communities from rising sea levels and future hurricanes.

40:59 minutes.

Listen

Stephen F. Eisenman

September 23, 2015.

Stephen F. Eisenman, Professor of Art History at Northwestern University, discusses our relationship with other species and his book, Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights (Reaktion, 2013).

"Stephen F. Eisenman shows how artists from William Hogarth to Pablo Picasso and Sue Coe have represented the suffering, chastisement, and execution of animals. These artists, he demonstrates, illustrate the lessons of Montaigne, Rousseau, Darwin, Freud, and others—that humans and animals share an evolutionary heritage of sentience, intelligence, and empathy, and thus animals deserve equal access to the domain of moral right."

52 :00 minutes.

Listen

Marc Michael Epstein


 September 16, 2015. (SEASON OPENER)

Mark Michael Epstein,  Professor of Religion on the Mackie Paschall Davis & Norman H. Davis Chair at Vassar College, discusses his new book, co-edited with Eva Frojmovic: Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts (Princeton University Press, 2015).

The gorgeously illustrated volume ... should challenge almost all assumptions about Jewish identity, difference, or art. Its twelve instructive chapters and 287 full-color images survey a stunning array of illustrated books made for Jews from the twelfth to the twenty-first centuries."  -- Sara Lipton, New York Review of Books

46:26 minutes

Listen

Karen Lucic

May 6, 2015 (SEASON FINALE).

Karen Lucic, Professor of Art at Vassar College, talks about her exhibition on view in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center May 3  - July 28, 2015, entitled "Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art: Image, Pilgrimage, Practice." 

Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art: Image, Pilgrimage and Practiceis the first transcultural exhibition in America solely devoted to the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who emerged in India two thousand years ago to become a venerated deity throughout Asia. Like all bodhisattvas, this figure selflessly leads others to enlightenment, but Avalokiteshvara’s special role is to exemplify limitless compassion, a fundamental ideal in Mahayana Buddhism. 

59:04 minutes.

Listen

Exhibition website

Nepal Earthquake Relief (Rubin Museum Site)

Mary-Kay Lombino

April 22, 2015.

Mary Kay Lombino, Emily Hargroves Fisher 1957 and Richard B. Fisher Curator of Collections at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, discusses the exhibition on view April 10 - June 14, 2015 entitled Through the Looking Glass: Daguerreotype Masterworks from the Dawn of Photography.

40:16 minutes.

Listen

Nicholas Adams

April 15, 2015.

Mary Conover Mellon Professor of Art Nicholas Adams discusses his new book: Gunnar Asplund's Gothenburg: The Transformation of Public Architecture in Interwar Europe (Penn State, 2014).


“This brilliant book offers a unique insight into one of the most cherished models of modern monumentality: the Gothenburg Courthouse extension, designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund and completed in 1936. Setting his subject in an international perspective, Nicholas Adams carefully addresses questions on modern law and modern architecture, reaching far beyond the actual case. Through his inclusively contextual approach, we learn that the introduction of modernism in public architecture was a difficult task, operating on different levels of a democratic society through the interplay of architect, commissioner, and—not least—public opinion.”   -- Anders Bergstöm, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

46:54 minutes.

Listen

Jerome McGann

April 8, 2015.

Jerome McGann, University Professor and John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia, discusses his new book, A New Republic of Letters: Memory and Scholarship in the Age of Digital Reproduction (Harvard, 2014).

"A manifesto for the humanities in the digital age, A New Republic of Letters argues that the history of texts, together with the methods by which they are preserved and made available for interpretation, are the overriding subjects of humanist study in the twenty-first century. Theory and philosophy, which have grounded the humanities for decades, no longer suffice as an intellectual framework. Jerome McGann proposes we look instead to philology—a discipline which has been out of fashion for many decades but which models the concerns of digital humanities with surprising fidelity."

43:44 minutes.

Listen

Mary-Kay Lombino



February 25, 2015.

Mary Kay Lombino, Emily Hargroves Fisher 1957 and Richard B. Fisher Curator of Collections at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, discusses the exhibition on view January 30 - March 29, 2015 entitled: XL: Large-Scale Works from the Permanent Collection.

43:30 minutes.

Listen

Alix Christie

February 18, 2015.  

Writer, journalist, and printer Alix Christie, (VC'80) talks about her historical novel, Gutenberg's Apprentice (Harper Collins, 2014).


"If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it. As we go through another information revolution, Christie’s novel takes us back in brilliantly-observed detail to the first – the invention of the printing press. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg’s hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever."


51:42 minutes

Listen

Peipei Qiu

February 11, 2015. 

Peipei Qiu, Professor of Chinese and Japanese on the Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred Lichtenstein Chair and Director of Asian Studies at Vassar, talks about her book Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves, published this year by Oxford University Press.

"Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan's Sex Slaves features the personal narratives of twelve women forced into sexual slavery when the Japanese military occupied their hometowns. Beginning with their prewar lives and continuing through their enslavement to their postwar struggles for justice, these interviews reveal that the prolonged suffering of the comfort station survivors was not contained to wartime atrocities but was rather a lifelong condition resulting from various social, political, and cultural factors. In addition, their stories bring to light several previously hidden aspects of the comfort women system: the ransoms the occupation army forced the victims' families to pay, the various types of improvised comfort stations set up by small military units throughout the battle zones and occupied regions, and the sheer scope of the military sexual slavery-much larger than previously assumed. The personal narratives of these survivors combined with the testimonies of witnesses, investigative reports, and local histories also reveal a correlation between the proliferation of the comfort stations and the progression of Japan's military offensive."


39:01 minutes.

Listen 

Jeffrey T. Schnapp


February 4, 2015.

Harvard cultural historian and media theorist Jeffrey T. Schnapp (VC'75), Co-director of the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society and founding Faculty Director of the Harvard Graduate School of Design's knowledge design studio metaLAB, talks about his new book, co-authored with Matthew Battles, entitled The Library Beyond the Book (Harvard, 2014), as well as about the Library Test Kitchen and experiments in library interfaces for the digital age.  


"With textbook readers and digital downloads proliferating, it is easy to imagine a time when printed books will vanish. Such forecasts miss the mark, argue Jeffrey Schnapp and Matthew Battles. Future bookshelves will not be wholly virtual, and libraries will thrive, although in a variety of new social, cultural, and architectural forms. Schnapp and Battles combine deep study of the library's history with a record of institutional and technical innovation at metaLAB, a research group at the forefront of the digital humanities. They gather these currents in The Library Beyond the Book, exploring what libraries have been in the past to speculate on what they will become: hybrid places that intermingle books and ebooks, analog and digital formats, paper and pixels."

56.34 minutes.

Listen 

Charles Henry

 Charles HenryDecember 3, 2014.

Charles Henry, President of the Council on Library and Information Resources, former CIO and University Librarian at Rice University, and a former Director of Libraries at Vassar College, talks about CLIR, its history, mission, and programs, as well as the role of liberal arts college libraries in the implementation of a coherent information infrastructure for higher education.

44:19 minutes.

Listen

Patricia Phagan

November 5, 2014.

Patricia Phagan, Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar, will discuss the exhibition currently on view at the Center through December 14, 2014 entitled: Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings, 1475-1540.

"Like Albrecht Dürer’s Nuremberg, the city of Augsburg was vital to the flowering of the Renaissance in Germany. The exhibition features prints, drawings, illustrated books, medals, and armor from Augsburg and addresses the themes of Christian devotion and the Reformation, moral conduct and everyday life, and art made for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I."

34:41 minutes.

Johanna Drucker

October 29, 2014.

Scholar, artist, printer, and visual theorist Johanna Drucker, Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses her book Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Harvard 2014).

"Information graphics bear tell-tale signs of the disciplines in which they originated: statistics, business, and the empirical sciences. Drucker makes the case for studying visuality from a humanistic perspective, exploring how graphic languages can serve fields where qualitative judgments take priority over quantitative statements of fact. Graphesis offers a new epistemology of the ways we process information, embracing the full potential of visual forms and formats of knowledge production."


48:20  minutes

Listen 

Lydia Murdoch


October 8, 2014.

 Lydia Murdoch (VC'92), Associate Professor of History at Vassar College, talks about her book Daily Life of Victorian Women (Greenwood, 2014).

"Contrary to popular misconception, many Victorian women performed manual labor for wages directly alongside men, had political voice before women's suffrage, and otherwise contributed significantly to society outside of the domestic sphere. Daily Life of Victorian Women documents the varied realities of the lives of Victorian women; provides in-depth comparative analysis of the experiences of women from all classes, especially the working class; and addresses changes in their lives and society over time. The book covers key social, intellectual, and geographical aspects of women's lives, with main chapters on gender and ideals of womanhood, the state, religion, home and family, the body, childhood and youth, paid labor and professional work, urban life, and imperialism."

58:55 minutes

Listen

Barbara A. Olsen

 October 1, 2014.

Barbara A. Olsen, Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Studies at Vassar College, talks about her book Women in Mycenaean Greece: The Linear B Tablets from Pylos and Knossos (Routledge 2014).

"Women in Mycenaean Greece is the first book-length study of women in the Linear B tablets from Mycenaean Greece and the only to collect and compile all the references to women in the documents of the two best attested sites of Late Bronze Age Greece - Pylos on the Greek mainland and Knossos on the island of Crete. The book offers a systematic analysis of women’s tasks, holdings, and social and economic status in the Linear B tablets dating from the 14th and 13th centuries BCE, identifying how Mycenaean women functioned in the economic institutions where they were best attested - production, property control, land tenure, and cult. Analysing all references to women in the Mycenaean documents, the book focuses on the ways in which the economic institutions of these Bronze Age palace states were gendered and effectively extends the framework for the study of women in Greek antiquity back more than 400 years."

1:01:08

Listen

Laurence McGilvery

September 24, 2014. SPECIAL PROGRAM FOR BANNED BOOKS WEEK :

La Jolla Bookseller Laurence McGilvery talks about his role in one of the Twentieth Century's most important literary censorship battles, the attempt on the part of a coalition of conservative groups to censor Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, and McGilvery's own arrest and trial (People v. McGilvery, No. M-11466 San Diego Municipal Court, 1962) for selling a copy of the novel to an undercover San Diego police officer. His acquittal preceded by two years the U.S. Supreme court decision (Grove Press vs. Gerstein, 1964) that effectively put an end to the censorship of literary works on obscenity grounds.

This is a Twainesque story of epic strife, rife with humor and a remarkable cast of characters. For reasons that become clear in the telling, it may also be "the most remarkable censorship case that has ever been tried," as McGilvery and his lawyer turn the courtroom into a classroom and make close readers and discerning critics of the jury.


1:11:23 minutes.

Listen

Lisa Gitelman


September 17, 2014. (SEASON OPENER):

Lisa Gitelman, Professor of English and of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, will discuss her book Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (Duke University Press, 2014).

"Paper Knowledge is a remarkable book about the mundane: the library card, the promissory note, the movie ticket, the PDF (Portable Document Format). It is a media history of the document. Drawing examples from the 1870s, the 1930s, the 1960s, and today, Lisa Gitelman thinks across the media that the document form has come to inhabit over the last 150 years, including letterpress printing, typing and carbon paper, mimeograph, microfilm, offset printing, photocopying, and scanning. Whether examining late nineteenth century commercial, or "job" printing, or the Xerox machine and the role of reproduction in our understanding of the document, Gitelman reveals a keen eye for vernacular uses of technology. She tells nuanced, anecdote-filled stories of the waning of old technologies and the emergence of new. Along the way, she discusses documentary matters such as the relation between twentieth-century technological innovation and the management of paper, and the interdependence of computer programming and documentation. Paper Knowledge is destined to set a new agenda for media studies."

42:10 minutes.

Listen 

Elizabeth Eisenstein

May 28, 2014. (SEASON FINALE):

Elizabeth Eisenstein (VC'45), author of the massively influential history on the impact of the introduction of printing on Western society, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change (2 vols., Cambridge 1979), will discuss her book Divine Art, Infernal Machine: The Reception of Printing in the West (U Penn, 2011).

"Eisenstein's research is impressive, reaching far and wide across languages and centuries. Her knowledge of the history of publication engages the wealth of recent scholarship and extends as far back as Roman copyists. . . . Her breadth enables her to identify topoi and their mutations; to observe long-term trends, diminishing ripples, and delayed reactions; and to distinguish what is new or newly dressed in authors' concerns and readers' complaints."— Journal of Scholarly Publishing

45:57 minutes.

Listen

Matthew Israel

May 21, 2014.

Matthew Israel (VC'00), Director of the Art Genome Project, talks about the Project, Artsy, and taxonomies of the history of art.

"The Art Genome Project's search technology is the product of an ongoing art-historical study—undertaken by a team of contributors with art-historical backgrounds—seeking to define the characteristics which distinguish and connect works of art, architecture, ancient artifacts and design."

30:30 minutes.

Listen