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Government and Family Life: The Unintended Consequences of the English Poor Relief System, 1660–1780
Nov. 14, 2018

Naomi Tadmor, professor of history at the University of Lancaster and the Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow at The Huntington, discusses the sophisticated system of social welfare developed in 17th- and 18th-century England aimed to assist the poor and its impact on local government and the lives of families and communities.


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portland japanese
Portland Japanese Garden: The Journey Continues
Jan. 23, 2018

For more than 50 years, the Portland Japanese Garden has been a haven of serenity and an important center for Japanese culture. Join Sadafumi Uchiyama, Garden Curator of the Portland Japanese Garden, as he reflects on their recent expansion and newly founded institute for teaching garden history, design, construction, and maintenance. This talk is part of the East Asian Garden Lecture Series at The Huntington.

anton roman
Anton Roman: San Francisco's Pioneering Bookseller & Publisher
Jan. 17, 2018

John Crichton, proprietor of the Brick Row Book Shop in San Francisco, shares the story of pioneering entrepreneur Anton Roman (1828-1903), who came to California from Bavaria in 1849 to make his fortune in the gold fields, then converted his gold into books and became one of the most important booksellers in the West. This program is the Book Club of California's inaugural Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Lecture.

reformation conf
CONFERENCE | Globalizing the Protestant Reformations
Jan. 16, 2018

This conference investigates the nature and significance of the Protestant Reformation as a global phenomenon. Leading scholars from Europe and the United States offer fresh perspectives on the dynamics of religious change by examining the roles of institutions, interpretative communities, and communications media in advancing the globalization of the Protestant faith. The conference was held at The Huntington Dec. 8–9, 2017.

The Censorship of British Theatre, 1737-1843
Jan. 13, 2018

Leading experts on 18th and 19th-century theatre explore the implications of statutory theatre censorship as Britain grappled with issues of modernity, race, gender, and religion during a period of imperial expansion and conflict.

laurel urlich
A Mormon Diarist in California, 1850-1858
Jan. 10, 2018

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the 300th Anniversary University Professor of History at Harvard University, shares stories from the remarkable diary of Caroline Crosby. The wife of a Mormon missionary, Crosby reached California with her husband in 1850 en route to a posting in the South Pacific, and later lived among "saints and strangers" in San Jose, San Francisco, and San Bernardino. This talk is part of the Mormon History Lecture Series at The Huntington.

hp podcast
Conversation and Readings from the Podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
Dec. 21, 2017

Vanessa Zoltan (co-host) and Ariana Nedelman (producer) of the celebrated podcast, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, along with Huntington curator Vanessa Wilkie, discuss how media format shapes message. The podcast team discusses why they choose to do their program as a podcast (as opposed to a reading group, blog, or book), the opportunities of this media, as well as its limitations. This program was presented in conjunction with the exhibition "The Reformation: From the Word to the World."

Cochineal in the History of Art and Global Trade
Dec. 10, 2017

Alejandro de Ávila Blomberg of the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden and Oaxaca Textile Museum will explore the historical and cultural significance of this natural crimson dye. Used from antiquity, cochineal became Mexico's second-most valued export after silver during the Spanish colonial period.

anthony grafton
Christian Origins in Early Modern Europe: The Birth of a New Kind of History
Dec. 7, 2017

In the 16th century, the unified Latin Christianity of the Middle Ages broke apart. New Protestant churches and a reformed Catholic church created new theologies, new liturgies, and new ways of imagining what early Christian life and worship were like. Anthony Grafton, professor of history at Princeton University, discusses how the new histories were ideological in inspiration and controversial in style, but nonetheless represented a vital set of innovations in western ways of thinking about and representing the past. This talk is part of the Crotty Lecture Series at The Huntington.

florentine codex
The Florentine Codex and the Herbal Tradition: Unknown versus Known?
Dec. 5, 2017

The 16th-century ethnographic study known as the Florentine Codex included a richly detailed account of natural history of the New World. In this lecture, Alain Touwaide—historian of medicine, botany, and medicinal plants—compares the Codex and contemporary European herbal traditions. He suggests that they represent the opposition between unknown and known—a dynamic force that led to many discoveries in medicine through the centuries.

The Ecology of Eternity in a Song-Dynasty Buddhist Monastery
Nov. 21, 2017

In his inaugural Huntington lecture, Phillip Bloom, The Huntington's new director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies and curator of the Chinese Garden, examines the history of Shizhuanshan, a hilltop Buddhist sanctuary in southwestern China constructed in the late 11th century. Bloom argues that, at Shizhuanshan, architecture, image, and text work together to transform the natural environment itself into a site for the eternal performance of Buddhist ritual.

first light
CONFERENCE | First Light: The Astronomy Century in California, 1917–2017
Nov. 17, 2017

Jointly presented by The Huntington and Carnegie Observatories, this conference marks the centennial of the completion of the 100-inch Hooker telescope on Mount Wilson, which saw "first light" in November 1917 and heralded the dawn of modern astronomy. Historians, scientists, and others explore the influence of big telescopes, the significance of discoveries at Mount Wilson, the gendered nature of astronomy, and other related issues in the history of Southern California as an arena for space exploration.

thomas hobbes
Did Early-Modern Schoolmasters Foment Sedition?
Nov. 15, 2017

Markku Peltonen, professor of history at the University of Helsinki and the Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow, discusses why the famous philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) placed the blame for the English Civil War and Revolution of the 1640s at the door of schoolmasters. This talk is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series at The Huntington.

ralph cornell
The Landscape Designs of Ralph Cornell
Nov. 12, 2017

Among the first generation of landscape architects in Southern California, Ralph Cornell (1890–1972) is considered the most influential. His wide scope of projects included college campuses, city parks, and significant residential commissions. Noted architect Brian Tichenor discusses Cornell's life and milieu while examining three of his highly significant landscape designs. The lecture is presented in collaboration with the California Garden and Landscape History Society.

The Lords Proprietors: Land and Power in 17th-Century America
Nov. 8, 2017

If England's King Charles II and his courtiers had had their way, most of eastern North America would have been the personal property of about a dozen men who dreamed of wielding virtually absolute power over their vast domains. Daniel K. Richter, professor of history and director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert C. Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, explores this neglected chapter in American history and why it still matters.

Rediscovered Botanical Treasures from the Smithsonian and the Hunt Institute
Nov. 5, 2017

Lugene Bruno, curator of Carnegie Mellon's Hunt Institute, and Alice Tangerini, curator of botanical art at the Smithsonian Institution, present an illustrated lecture on recently rediscovered artworks long forgotten in their archives. These botanical illustrations represent significant historical and scientific findings of an earlier era.

paradise lost
The Originality of Milton’s “Paradise Lost”
Nov. 1, 2017

David Loewenstein, Erle Sparks Professor of English and Humanities at Penn State, discusses the daring originality of Milton's "Paradise Lost." This year marks the 350th anniversary of the great poem's first publication in 1667. This talk is part of the Ridge Lecture Series at The Huntington.

calder jed prearl
Calder: The Conquest of Time
Oct. 30, 2017

n his groundbreaking biography of American sculptor Alexander Calder (1898–1976), author Jed Perl shows us why Calder was—and remains—a barrier breaker, an avant-garde artist with mass appeal. Perl is joined in conversation by Alexander S. C. Rower, who is both the chairman and president of the Alexander Calder Foundation and Calder's grandson.

newspaper conference
CONFERENCE | The Rise of the Newspaper in Europe and America, 1600–1900
Oct. 16, 2017

The newspaper rose to centrality in modern societies by making information current, critical, legitimate, and public. Leading experts on the history of the newspaper consider its invention, its layout, its appeal to sensation, and its claim to objectivity. The conference explores our debt to the newspaper and our continued need for news sources that are not "fake." The conference was held at The Huntington Oct. 13–14, 2017.

visual voyage lillies
Seeing and Knowing: Visions of Latin American Nature, ca. 1492–1859
Oct. 16, 2017

Historian Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of the exhibition "Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin," discusses the surprising and little-known story of the pivotal role that Latin America played in the pursuit of science and art during the first global era. This talk is part of the Wark Lecture Series at The Huntington.

isherwood friends
Isherwood, Auden, and Spender Before the Second World War
Sep. 25, 2017

Author and sculptor Matthew Spender talks about the friendship between his father, Stephen Spender, and Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden, from the late 1920s until Auden and Isherwood emigrated to the United States in the late 1930s. He focuses on the intense relationships between these three British writers, their homeland, and Nazi Germany. This talk is part of the Isherwood-Bachardy Lecture Series at The Huntington.

collecting conference
CONFERENCE | Early Modern Collections in Use
Sep. 15, 2017

Early modern collections played a key role in the creation and transmission of knowledge, but they are usually studied in terms of the objects they contained or how they came to exist. This conference instead explores how they were actually used in the 16th and 17th centuries. The conference was held at The Huntington Sept. 15–16, 2017.

chinese cartogrophy
Cartographic Traditions in East Asian Maps
Sep. 5, 2017

Richard Pegg, Asian art curator of the private MacLean Collection in Chicago, discusses the similarities and differences in representations of space, both real and imagined, in early modern maps created in China, Korea, and Japan. He also examines the introduction of European map-making techniques into Asian cartographic traditions.

graphic kindered
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Jul. 24, 2017

Based on the acclaimed science fiction novel Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, a new graphic adaptation by Damian Duffy and illustrator John Jennings gives fresh form to Butler's powerful tale of slavery, time travel, and the inexorable pull of the past. Duffy and Jennings discuss the continuing relevance of Butler's writings and how it has influenced their own work.

octavia butler
CONFERENCE | Octavia E. Butler Studies: Convergence of an Expanding Field
Jun. 23, 2017

Inspired by the award-winning speculative fiction author Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006), leading experts in the field will explore the expansive ways Butler's writing, research, and life foster deeper understanding of the past, present, and possible futures.

Carnegie stars
Carnegie Lecture Series: How We See Inside a Star with Sound
May 15, 2017

Jennifer van Saders, Carnegie-Princeton Fellow, will discuss how the technique of astroseismology has revolutionized scientists' view of the internal workings of stars.

fictive histories
CONFERENCE | Fictive Histories/Historical Fictions
May 12, 2017

This interdisciplinary conference takes the recent popularity of the historical novel as a starting point to explore the relationship between history and fiction. The plenary speaker, Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel ("Wolf Hall"), will appear in conversation with Mary Robertson, former Huntington chief curator of British historical manuscripts.

Hilary Mantel
Hilary Mantel: 'I Met a Man Who Wasn't There.’
May 11, 2017

The Tudor statesman Thomas Cromwell was described by an eminent historian as 'not biographable.' Novelist Hilary Mantel describes her ten-year effort to pin her compelling and elusive subject to the page.

The Art of Farming: How a Farmer Sees the Future
May 7, 2017

David Mas Masumoto, organic farmer and acclaimed author of Epitaph for a Peach and Harvest Son, is joined by his wife, Marcy Masumoto, for a lively talk about life on their Central California farm. Through stories that offer a personal perspective on growing organic crops, the Masumotos share their reflections on the vision required of artisan farmers in today's food world.

Exoplanet Genetics
May 1, 2017

Johanna Teske, Carnegie Origins Postdoctoral Fellow, will highlight new discoveries about exoplanets including how their composition is "inherited" from their host star.

CONFERENCE | West of Walden: Thoreau in the 21st Century
Apr. 18, 2017

"The sun is but a morning star." Walden's famous last line points eastward to the sunrise; but Henry David Thoreau also wrote of the west, the sunset, and day's end. To mark Thoreau's bicentennial year, this conference poses the question: How can we read Thoreau from the sundown side, the far west of his imagination?