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Historical Times: The Capacities of an Art Museum and How it Comes to Terms with the World Today

On December 8th, 2011, Charles Esche, Director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, will be speaking at the Graduate Center, CUNY on the contemporary art museum’s experimental approach towards art’s role in society. Below are some fascinating clips of Charles Esche responding to questions about art and its relationship to society, politics, and human engagement with the world from the Play Van Abbe Research Project on the museum in the 21st century at the Van Abbemuseum:

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Is There Anything More to See? Civil War Photography and History

How do photographs from the Civil War function as historical documents that continue to shape our vision of the past in distinct ways? How do they continue to inform our imagination of Civil War history in the present?  What is the link between imaging and imagining? These were just some of the questions provoked by what was an incredibly stimulating panel on Civil War photography and history last week. The talk, sponsored by the American Social History Project as a part of their, “Still Hazy After All These Years” series, featured a panel of noted art and American historians that included, Martha Sandweiss, Anthony Lee, Mary Niall Mitchell and Deborah Willis, “to address the persistence of photography’s influence over the vision of the Civil War and what remains to be learned from the war’s visual record.”

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Art, History, and Popular Culture with Deborah Kass

As a part of out Artists and Writers series here at the Center for the Humanities, Deborah Kass will be in conversation with Nancy K. Miller, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, this coming week. For those not familiar with her work, Kass’ paintings examine the intersections of art, history and popular culture. Check out this interview with her from a few years back courtesy of Velvetpark. Enjoy!

What is Conservatism? Probably not what you think.

This past Thursday, Chris Hayes, Editor-at-Large at The Nation and MSNBC host, sat down with Corey Robin, professor of political science at the CUNY Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, to discuss his new book, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. The fact that it was standing room only should come as no surprise given the topic of Robin’s latest work and the discussions it has already provoked since its release (see the compilation of early reviews and interviews here). The exchange was as productive as it was entertaining. The relaxed format and the ease with which Hayes and Robin played off one another allowed for a clear and thoughtful exposition of the ideas in Robin’s book. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights:

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