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The History Forum is free. Seating is limited. Admittance will be on a first come, first served basis, no reservations.

Unless otherwise noted, all forums take place at the CUNY GRADUATE CENTER - 365 5th Avenue at 34th Street.



The Lights of Old Broadway: Theater in the Interwar Years
February 26th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Co-Sponsored by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.

Scholars will discuss various transformations in New York theater between the Wars. Please join Harriet Alonso (Professor of History, City College and the Graduate Center), Claudia Wilsch Case (Assistant Professor of Theater, Lehman College), Jackson Bryer (Professor Emeritus of English, University of Maryland), and Richard Davison (Professor Emeritus of English, University of Delaware) as they examine developments in theater companies such as The Theater Guild, genres such as American musical theater, and the lives and works of playwrights such as Pulitzer Prize–winning Robert E. Sherwood.



City of Water: A Short Documentary about the Future of New York’s Waterfront
March 3rd, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and The Municipal Arts Society.

Join us for a screening and panel about the future of New York City's waterfront. This short film features interviews with public officials, environmentalists, academics, community activists, recreational boaters, and everyday New Yorkers. They discuss the diverse, vibrant waterfront at a time when the shoreline is changing faster than at any other time in New York's history. Interviewees include Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, US Representative Nydia Velazquez, MacArthur Fellow Majora Carter, Sandy Hook Pilots Captain Andrew McGovern, and many others. The panel, following the screening, will feature William Kornblum, Professor of Sociology, the CUNY Graduate Center, Roland Lewis, President, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Kent Barwick, President, Municipal Art Society, and others.




Gotham History Blotter Reading and Book Signing
March 26th, 6:30 - Ninth Floor

The Gotham Center recently introduced a new section on our website, The Gotham History Blotter, inviting writers, historians, essayists, and others to contribute short non-fiction essays about New York City history. Our goal is for readers to learn something new about the city and its past. Recent submissions have addressed everything from changes in Harlem to an infamous nineteenth century murder trial.

Please join several contributors, including Morton Zachter, author of the award-winning Dough: A Memoir, Harold Schechter, author of The Devil’s Gentleman: Privilege, Poison and the Trial that Ushered in the Twentieth Century, and Benjamin Feldman, author of Butchery on Bond Street: Sexual Politics and the Burdell-Cunningham Case in Antebellum New York, for a talk and book signing.




From Rags to Riches: An Evening of Stories from Garment Industry Manufacturers
April 9th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Sponsored by the Leon Levy Foundation as part of its “Garment Industry History Initiative.”

Join historians Richard Greenwald, Drew University, and Suzanne Wasserman, Director, The Gotham Center/CUNY, as they interview veterans of the garment industry. This evening will focus on the Jewish manufacturers who worked and still work in every aspect of the industry, starting in 1945 from manufacturing custom-made doormen uniforms to marketing the first pair of women’s blue jeans. Please join our special guests including: Stuart and Jennifer Busch, Owners, I. Buss and Allan Uniforms; Gloria Gelfand, President, Gelfand Marketing Solutions; Richard Schwartz, ex-Chairman, NYSCA; Sarah Crean, Former Director, Garment Industry Development Corporation; and others.




Rediscovering Jacob Riis: Exposure Journalism and Photography in Turn- of-the-Century New York
May 13th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Bonnie Yochelson, curator and author of Berenice Abbott: Changing New York, and Daniel Czitrom, Professor of History, Mount Holyoke College, offer a fresh look at the Progressive era social reformer, journalist, and pioneer photographer who publicized the conditions of the desperately poor in turn-of-the-century New York. A deeply contradictory figure, Riis was a conservative activist and skillful entertainer, an ingenious publicist driven by moral passion, and a revolutionary photographer whose relationship to the camera was diffident at best. Book signing to follow.






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