Humanities Initiative at NYU
Upcoming Events
APRIL 2013 (4/3-11)


Wisdom of the Humanities:
Building Meaningful Lives and Successful Careers
Wednesday, April 3
PLEASE NOTE LOCATION:Wasserman Center, 133 E. 13th St. (between 3rd & 4th Avenues), 2nd Floor

This event brings renowned entertainment CEO Strauss Zelnick to speak and meet with NYU students and others about how his own professional success came about. While business school and law school have been instrumental to his career, Zelnick double-majored in English and psychology, and attributes much of his success in life to his grounding in the humanities. “In my view,” he says, “the most important driver of success is knowing what you want.” The President and co-founder of Zelnick Media, he was previously CEO and President of three major entertainment companies, including BMG Entertainment, Crystal Dynamics, and 20th Century Fox. He is the author of Success: A Concise Guide to Having the Life You Want (2011).

Sponsored by the Humanities Initiative at NYU, the Center for the Study of Transformative Lives, and the Wasserman Center for Career Development.

Please RSVP through NYU CareerNet (NYU undergraduates only), or through this link (all others):
Download the poster here.
A reception will follow the event.

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NYU_DH Lecture with Dan Cohen

The Digital Public Library of America: An Introduction
Thursday, April 4
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor (directions)

The Digital Public Library of America has just completed its planning process and is set to be unveiled on April 18, 2013. Founding Executive Director Dan Cohen will outline the three main elements of the DPLA: a portal that knits together the collections of America’s libraries, archives, and museums; a technical platform that will enable new, transformative uses of these collections and let others build upon them; and advocacy for a strong public option for reading and research in the twenty-first century, including an expansion of available open-access materials. Cohen will also discuss how the DPLA complements the roles of public and research libraries, and explore some unique ways that the DPLA will be used.

Daniel J. Cohen is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. He has recently been appointed as the founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America, which is launching in April 2013. At the Center, Cohen has overseen projects ranging from new publishing ventures (PressForward) to online collections (September 11 Digital Archive) to software for scholarship (the popular Zotero research tool). His books include Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (with Roy Rosenzweig) and Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith. Cohen was an inaugural recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship. In 2011 he received the Frederick G. Kilgour Award from the American Library Association for his work in digital humanities, and in 2012 he was named one of the top “tech innovators” in academia by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Cohen blogs at and tweets @dancohen.

Please RSVP:
Download the poster here.
Check out the Digital_Humanities blog:

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

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NYU_DH Workshop with Dan Cohen

New Methods in Digital Research
Friday, April 5
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor (directions)

Humanities scholars are increasingly using new methods and tools for exploring digital collections. Drawn from examples from the recently launched Journal of Digital Humanities, as well as research at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Dan Cohen will go over an array of software approaches, from text mining to digital maps to visualizations at this lunchtime workshop. He will also discuss critical behind-the-scenes elements such as the preparation of data and the necessity of project management and collaboration in digital projects.

Please RSVP:
Download the poster here.
Check out the Digital_Humanities blog:

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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Eugene Ostashevsky
‘An Invitation for Me to Think’
Thursday, April 11
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor (directions)

Eugene Ostashevsky (Master Teacher, LSP FAS; 2010-2011 HI Fellow) launches his translation of the book An Invitation for Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky, with Michael Kunichika (Assistant Professor, NYU Department of Russian and Slavic Studies; 2010-2011 HI Fellow) and Richard Sieburth (Professor, NYU Departments of French and Comparative Literature).

“Pussy Riot are Vvedensky’s disciples and his heirs. Katya, Masha, and I are in jail but I don’t consider that we’ve been defeated. According to the official report, Alexander Vvedensky died on December 20, 1941. We don’t know the cause, whether it was dysentery in the train after his arrest or a bullet from a guard. It was somewhere on the railway line between Voronezh and Kazan. His principle of “bad rhythm” is our own. He wrote: “It happens that two rhythms will come into your head, a good one and a bad one and I choose the bad one. It will be the right one.”  It is believed that the OBERIU dissidents are dead, but they live on. They are persecuted but they do not die.”
  – Pussy Riot [Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s closing statement at their trial in August 2012]

“I raise[d] my hand against concepts,” wrote Alexander Vvedensky, “I enacted a poetic critique of reason.” This weirdly and wonderfully philosophical poet was born in 1904, grew up in the midst of war and revolution, and reached his artistic maturity as Stalin was twisting the meaning of words in grotesque and lethal ways. Vvedensky (with Daniil Kharms the major figure in the short) lived underground avant-garde group OBERIU (a neologism for “the union for real art”) responded with a poetry that explodes stable meaning into shimmering streams of provocation and invention. A Vvedensky poem is like a crazy party full of theater, film, magic tricks, jugglery, and feasting. Curious characters appear and disappear, euphoria keeps company with despair, outrageous assertions lead to epic shouting matches, and perhaps it all breaks off with one lonely person singing a song.

A Vvedensky poem doesn’t make a statement. It is an event. Vvedensky’s poetry was unpublishable during his lifetime; he made a living as a writer for children before dying under arrest in 1942, and he remains the least known of the great twentieth-century Russian poets. This is his first book to appear in English. The translations by Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich, outstanding poets in their own right, are as astonishingly alert and alive as the originals.

Eugene Ostashevsky is the author of the poetry collections The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza and Iterature, both published by Ugly Duckling Presse. He is the editor of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism, the first collection of writings by Vvedensky and friends in English translation. Ostashevsky teaches in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University.

Please RSVP:
Download the poster here.

Part of the Great Books in the Humanities series.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

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