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Gotham Center Forums Archive, Spring 2005


The New Left Revisited in New York
February 3, 6:30 p.m. - Auditorium
Paul Buhle (Senior Lecturer, History and American Civilization, Brown University), John McMillian (History and Literature Program, Harvard University), and Jeremy Varon (Assistant Professor of History, Drew University), will speak about the recent book, The New Left Reconsidered (Temple University Press) and the ways in which the movements of the 1960s, their origins and consequences, have been re-evaluated by new and mostly young scholars during the last decade. Special emphasis will be placed upon the localization of the scholarly examination, to the cultural roots that precede "political" manifestations, to the subtle break with Liberal views and practices of the Cold War era, and the rapidity of the crisis that broke over the fragile New Left.


Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street
March 2, 6:30 p.m. - Recital Hall
Historian Steve Fraser will discuss his new book, Every Man A Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life (HarperCollins). Wall Street's famously volatile and unpredictable nature has left its mark on our political and business affairs, our religious life and our popular entertainment, our ideals of masculinity, and our dreams of freedom. The Street is a part of the American skyline and runs through the heart of the American imagination. Fraser is the author of Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor, and co-editor of The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The American Prospect, Raritan, and Dissent.


New York's Water Supply System: A Study in the Monumental
April 12, 6:30 p.m. - Auditorium
The New York City water supply system is a study in the monumental. Physical monuments like The High Bridge, carrying the Old Croton Aqueduct across the Harlem River, survive as reminders of the visionaries who conceived of and constructed this lifeline to the City's growing population. The Third Water Tunnel, though largely unseen by the general public but still being burrowed beneath city streets, represents a monumental feat of technology, engineering and construction. This forum celebrates the 100th anniversary of New York City's modern water supply system. Co-sponsored by the High Bridge Coalition, panelists will examine historic and contemporary aspects of New York's water supply infrastructure and its impact on our great city.

Moderator: Gerard Koeppel, author, Water for Gotham
Panelists: Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., Former Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Diane Galusha, author, Liquid Assets, Robert Kornfeld, Jr., AIA, Vice President, Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, Representative from NYC Department of Transportation, Bridge Division, Representative from Local 147 Tunnel Workers Union


The Reluctant Spiritualist: A Life of Maggie Fox
April 26, 6:30 p.m. - C201-203
Author Nancy Rubin Stuart will give a book talk and signing on her book, The Reluctant Spiritualist: A Life of Maggie Fox (Harcourt Books). The book tells the riveting true story of a beautiful Victorian teenager caught in a family web of greed and deception. Fox rose to celebrity status as one of the founders of American spiritualism. Young Maggie Fox's alleged ability to communicate with spirits in America's first séances of 1848 astounded the press, made her and her sisters the darlings of Broadway, inspired thousands of child imitators and fascinated the most prominent men and women of her era-among them Horace Greeley, Harriet Beecher
Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and William James. Her life took on a surprising series of twists and turns, culminating with her startling confession at the New York Academy of Music in 1888.


New York in the 1970's: The Pre-Gentrification Years
May 18, 6:30 p.m. - Recital Hall

This panel discussion will involve a number of 1970's iconic personalities and chroniclers of the era. We will screen Phil Hartman's "No Picnic", a 1987 drama of the Lower East Side and there will be readings from Mark Jacobson's Teenage Hipster in the Modern World (Grove Press).

Panelists include: Michael Daly, Daily News columnist Legs McNeil and John Holstrom, founders Punk Magazine Gillian McCain,. co-author,. Please Kill Me, oral history of punk, Fab 5 Freddy, graffiti artist, deejay, producer Wild Style, New Jack City Phil Hartman, and Mark Jacobson.


New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of the New York Times
June 16, 6:30 p.m. - Recital Hall
The forty essays collected in New York Stories reflect an intimate understanding of the city, one that goes beyond the headlines. The result is a passionate, well-written portrait of a legendary and ever-evolving place. Featuring writers Patricia Volk, Ed Morales, and Jim Dwyer , New York Stories profiles people like sixteen-year-old Barbara Ott, who surfs the waters off Rockaway in Queens, and Sonny Payne, the beloved panhandler of the F train. Other essays explore memorable places in the city, from the Greenwich Village townhouse blown up by radical activists in the 1970s to a basketball court that serves as the heart of its Downtown neighborhood.


A Screening of the film Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery (A Mixed Greens Production)
June 21, 6:30 p.m. - Recital Hall
Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery traces the rich, 200-year history of New York City¹s Bowery, examining the myriad ways in which the street and its denizens were instrumental in New York's evolution as an archetypal modern-day metropolis. Featuring interviews with historians and present-day residents, as well as archival images and motion pictures, the documentary juxtaposes today's Bowery with the characters, locations, and stories that, more than a century ago, formed the extraordinary fabric of this influential and infamous boulevard. Discussion follows with Director Scott Elliott and Historian Dan Czitrom, Mount Holyoke College

Co-sponsored by REEL NEW YORK, Thirteen/WNET's local independent showcase, which enters its 10th season this summer.

View Fall 2004 Forums



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