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Humanities

Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Harry Belafonte In Conversation With Charlie Rose

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Harry Belafonte was at 92nd Street Y on December 4 with Charlie Rose for an engaging and inspiring discussion about his life and career. Talk covered his relationship with his parents, Obama, Occupy Wall Street, his activism and work in the Civil Rights movement, and much, much more.

Watch the full video on CharlieRose.com. If you enjoyed watching Harry Belafonte in conversation with Charlie Rose, let him know. Send him a message on Twitter at @HarryBelafonte!

[92Y Lectures & Conversations]

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 5:26pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Searching For Quiet

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Photo via Paper Sky

Novelist Pico Iyer wrote a fascinating piece in The New York Times‘ Sunday Review section this weekend, titled “The Joy of Quiet”. Noting how pervasively communications technology has engrossed our lives, he writes of a coming luxury of quiet.

The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

Searching for time away from being “connected”, friends of his, Iyer explained, “go on long walks every Sunday,” or forget their cellphones at home. Others “observe an ‘Internet sabbath’ every week, turning off their online connections” on the weekend. And speaking of his own quest for quiet and solitude, Iyer confides: “I’ve yet to use a cellphone and I’ve never Tweeted or entered Facebook. I try not to go online till my day’s writing is finished, and I moved from Manhattan to rural Japan in part so I could more easily survive for long stretches entirely on foot, and every trip to the movies would be an event.” Read the entire piece here.

Pico Iyer’s new book—on hauntedness, fathers and Graham Greene—is The Man Within My Head. Liesl Schillinger reviews it in The New York Times Sunday Book Review. The book demonstrates, she writes, “there’s fellowship to be found in the community of eloquent strangers, an eternal literary companionship.”

Hear more from Pico Iyer on February 9 at 92nd Street Y, when he appears at Unterberg Poetry Center with Rececca Solnit.

We’re curious, how do you find quiet and solitude in our wired life? Let us know in the comments.

Next up at 92Y Poetry: Words & Music: The Cornet Rilke with Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone / speaker and Shai Wosner, piano, on January 23. That’s followed by Péter Nádas on January 26.

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 10:49am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Friday, December 30, 2011
Actress Zdenka Fantlova On Cabaret In Terezín

In 1941, as the Nazis were rounding up Jews in occupied Bohemia* for deportation to the death camps, they established a “temporary holding camp” in Terezín, just north of Prague. Despite Nazi terror and the desperate conditions common to the ghetto, the Terezín internees produced for themselves a rich and creative cultural community, full of great music, art and educational activity.

92nd Street Y will explore the range of Terezín life in upcoming programming, Will to Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezín, drawing from 92Y’s myriad specialties.

This will include a panel discussion with Terezín survivors Zdenka Fantlová (seen in the video above) and Zuzana Justman on January 18. Along with Simon Broughton and Ruth Franklin, the panel will delve into one of the most moving and inspiring stories of the Holocaust era.

* Bohemia is the region now generally identified as the western part of the Czech Republic.

[Will To Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezín]

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 3:55pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Wednesday, December 28, 2011
From the Poetry Center Archive: Four Irish Poets: More Than A Bit Of Craic


Today’s guest post on poetry readings at 92nd Street Y is by poet Erica Wright, author of Instructions for Killing the Jackal, poetry editor at Guernica Magazine and writing instructor at 92YTribeca. Wright visited the Unterberg Poetry Center on Monday, October 31, for Four Irish Poets, an evening of readings by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Leontia Flynn, Caitriona O’Reilly and Rita Ann Higgins. Today’s featured recording is of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin. You can download the MP3 here.

Below are Wright’s thoughts on the program.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011
92Y Flashback: Newt Gingrich On Iran, North Korea, Israel And More

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Photo: Reuters

In a televised candidates’ debate late last month, The Wall Street Journal reported, “Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called for replacing the leadership of Iran and said that could be accomplished within a year, adopting a more aggressive posture toward the U.S. adversary than advocated by the rest of the Republican field or by President Barack Obama.”

The views expressed by Gingrich in that debate follow the same ideas he expressed at 92nd Street Y in 2007. During that appearance with Charlie Rose, Gingrich called the Iran dictatorship a “mortal threat” to The United States, and told Rose, “We have to be absolutely dedicated to replacing” the regime.

Watch the video clip below to hear those comments and more, including Gringrich’s comments on North Korea and the Israel/Palestinian relationship. 

More...



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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
92Y Video: From the Poetry Center Archive: Sapphire and Sherman Alexie

Caution: video contains profanity

“This feels like a beauty pageant… and I’m gonna lose!” joked Sherman Alexie as he approached the podium to address an audience question during the post-reading conversation between him and Sapphire on November 21 at 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center.

Today’s featured video is the entirety of that evening’s Q-and-A, in which both writers—and in tones both serious and not-so—talked about the relationship between vernacular and standard English, the bleakness of life as compared to fiction, the banning of their books in various communities across the country and, finally, what they would promote as recommended reading were they themselves high-school teachers.

Sapphire’s response to that last one: “I would have them read everything. From Shakespeare to Toni Morrison, from the slave narratives to Sherman Alexie, from the Brontës to Faulkner, from Ice-T to Motown...”

Watch the clip to find out what Sherman said.

Next up at 92Y Poetry: Words & Music: The Cornet Rilke with Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone / speaker and Shai Wosner, piano, on January 23. That’s followed by Péter Nádas on January 26.

In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Unterberg Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.

Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 9:00am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Monday, December 19, 2011
92Y Marlo Thomas Trivia Challenge

imageWant a chance to win two tickets to see Marlo Thomas and John Turturro with Budd Miskin? You got it! Time for the 92Y Marlo Thomas Trivia Challenge.

On Jan 16 at 92Y, Marlo Thomas and John Turturro sit down with Budd Mishkin to talk about their careers and Relatively Speaking, three one-act plays that explore different aspects of family life, written by Elaine May, Woody Allen and Ethan Coen, starring Thomas and directed by Turturro.

From 1966 to 1971, Marlo Thomas starred in what sitcom about an aspiring actress trying to make it big in New York City?

Submit your answer at 92Y.org/Trivia and one lucky winner chosen at random will win 2 tickets to the event in question!

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 1:05pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Friday, December 16, 2011
Remembering Our Friend Christopher Hitchens

Video: Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Debate God

Our friend Christopher Hitchens, ”...the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant,” passed away last night at the age of 62.

Video: Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan Debate: Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

Nicholas Jackson, writing in The Atlantic early this morning, reports he confirmed The New York Times halted the presses to make room for an announcement of his death. “That is,” wrote Jackson, “the most influential newspaper in the world has put its work and printing process on hold to make room on the front page for the obituary of a single man. If that isn’t a testament to his work, I don’t know what is.”

Video: Christopher Hitchens in Conversation with Salman Rushdie




Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 11:49am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Thursday, December 15, 2011
Fashion Icons: Donna Karan

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Donna Karan Pre-Fall 2012, wrote Bloginity, “reaffirmed Karan’s place among America’s most forward-thinking designers.”

“...a ’50s-inspired full skirt and cotton cross blouse,” remarked The New York Times’ T Magazine, “remind us how simple and sexy a cinched waist can be.”

There’s no question Donna Karan, chief designer of the international company that bears her name, is an iconic designer. “Everything I do is a matter of heart, body and soul,” she says. “For me, designing is an expression of who I am as a woman, with all the complications, feelings and emotions.”

Karan also founded the Urban Zen Foundation in 2007, the culmination of Karan’s philanthropic efforts. Explains Karan, “I have founded the Urban Zen initiative to create a working structure for advancing wellness, preserving culture and empowering children. These are causes that mean the world to me.”

Hear more from Donna Karan at 92nd Street Y on January 12 with fashion industry leader and award-winning creator of NY Fashion Week Fern Mallis, part of the Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis series. Do you have questions for Donna? Let us know here on our Facebook page, and we’ll be sure to pass them along during the Q&A!

Tommy Hifilger joins Fern Mallis on March 8, and Tom Ford stops by on May 8.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
92Y Flashback: Tavis Smiley and Cornel West

With many journalists and news organizations filing almost daily stories on Occupy Wall Street demonstrations or related labor actions, we wanted to look back at words from Dr. Corner West at 92nd Street Y in 2008.

“The situation of poor people and working people,” Dr. West told Tavis Smiley, “has been a state of emergency for 40 years. It’s just that it’s been hidden and concealed. Now that the catastrophe has hit Wall Street, we got a real crisis. No, the crisis was at work with our children already in these disgraceful school systems. In the dilapidated housing of poor people. Workers being pushed against the wall by greedy bosses.”

View the full clip above for further engaging and blunt commentary about President Obama and concepts of fairness and justice.

For current, related news, check out The New York Times today for their story on the recent West Coast port shutdowns: With Port Actions, Occupy Oakland Tests Labor Leaders.

Watch more videos from 92Y on our YouTube channel, or buy full programs on Amazon, Audible or FORA.tv.

Browse upcoming Politics & Current Event Talks at 92Y.

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 10:42am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Monday, December 12, 2011
92Y Video: John Heilemann With Tom Brokaw And Joe Scarborough: Election 2012

John Heilemann, National Affairs Editor for New York magazine, was here last week with Tom Brokaw and Joe Scarborough for a conversation about politics and the upcoming 2012 elections. In the context of Brokaw’s new book about America, Heilemann asked him: “Where is the country right now?”

“The country is walled off from Washington,” Brokaw responded. “It really has very little patience for what’s going on...” Watch the full clip above.

Upcoming Talk at 92Y include MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Jack Kennedy (TONIGHT); Our Movies Ourselves: Jews & Film with A.O. Scott, Daphne Merkin, J. Hoberman and Lel Leibovitz (Dec 13) and An Evening with Jimmy Webb (Dec 19).

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This Week At 92Y

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Clockwise from top left: Annie Leibovitz, Jaime Laredo, Michelle Yeoh, Kenneth Branagh

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Friday, December 09, 2011
[UPDATED] Elliott Carter Takes A Bow After His 103rd Birthday Concert

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Composer Elliott Carter takes a bow after his 103rd Birthday Concert at 92Y last night. Photo by Cory Weaver

In honor of Elliott Carter’s 103rd Birthday last night (featuring a song cycle set to poems by e.e. cummings), Boosey & Hawkes offered Carter fans the opportunity to personally wish him a happy birthday via Twitter. Visit the hashtag #Carter103 on Twitter to see all the wonderful things people had to say.

Then head over to 92Y Concerts on Facebook to see a few more photos from the concert.

Happy 103rd Birthday Mr. Elliott Carter! UPDATE: Here’s the birthday card Boosey & Hawkes presented Mr. Elliott Carter, featuring your tweeted birthday wishes!

Next up at 92Y Concerts is a performance by Peter Serkin on piano, December 10.

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 1:32pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Thursday, December 08, 2011
Applications Now Being Accepted For The 2013 Ford Motor Company International Fellowship

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An advocate for ten million Indian rickshaw operators. A concert producer who brings music into the lives of Venezuela’s impoverished youth. And three young Vietnamese entrepreneurs who have devised a plan to create environmentally-friendly fuel. Those were just some of the humanitarian leaders and community activists who participated in the eleventh annual Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of the 92nd Street Y. Read what past participants have said about the program, and check out the Ford Fellows playlist on our YouTube channel to learn more about the program.

The 2013 Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of 92nd Street Y is now accepting applications from community leaders who are citizens and residents of China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Israel, Lesotho, Nepal, Nicaragua, South Africa, and Swaziland. Applications must be postmarked, faxed, or emailed by June 30, 2012 to be considered.  For more information, please visit our website at 92Y.org/Ford. To download the application and brochure, visit the “2013 Application and Brochure”. 

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Posted in Humanities All topics of 92nd Street Y at 11:45am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Friday, December 02, 2011
92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: The Letters of Samuel Beckett

Upon the publication, in 2009, of the first volume of the Letters of Samuel Beckett, editors Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck visited 92Y to speak about the influence of music on his art. In anticipation of the editors’ return visit on December 18 (the second volume is just published), here is an audio recording of their earlier presentation.

Volume II covers the years 1941-1956, and in a preview of their upcoming talk, Fehsenfeld and Overbeck write: “After World War II, Beckett is a changed man: his work shifts from the parameters of self to the wider boundaries of all humanity. Watt is written in the early forties out of the absurd and often impossible situations imposed by the war. Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable are forged from isolation and loss. Waiting for Godot offers a stark reminder of the responsibility of survival—’was I sleeping when the others suffered?’

“From 1946, Beckett begins to write in French. He writes plays and becomes involved in their production. In letters to friends, publishers, actors, translators, interpreters and critics, we witness Beckett honing his aesthetic—particularly through the incomparably intense series of letters to George Duthuit. From 1941 to 1956, Beckett’s work emerges from virtual obscurity to achieve international recognition and Beckett must learn to protect his work and writing life from the encroachments of literary renown.”

To purchase tickets to the event, which takes place as part of the Unterberg Poetry Center’s Books and Bagels series, please click here.

In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.

You can also download the MP3.

Subscribe with iTunes

Subscribe with iTunes or add our podcast feed to your RSS news reader and have future 92nd Street Y podcasts delivered automatically.

Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

If you liked this podcast, click the Facebook “Like” button below and let us know!

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Posted in Humanities Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 3:29pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



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