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The Vault

Feb 6, 2019

The writer and pianist Charles Rosen combined musicianship and critical acuity to a degree of accomplishment matched by few figures in the twentieth century. In this episode, we revisit Rosen’s 1978 lecture at the institute, on stage and at the keyboard, titled “Memory in Romantic Song Cycles.”

Jan 22, 2019

In 2004, journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski gave a luncheon lecture about the Greek historian Herodotus. He described Herodotus as the “first reporter,” a globalist who traveled to the edges of the known world to learn about how people other than the Greeks lived. In Herodotus’s Histories Kapuscinski finds the origins...

Oct 22, 2018

In October of 1977, Susan Sontag delivered one of the institute’s five James Lectures for that year. Her topic was “Illness as Metaphor”. She explored the truth that it was no longer possible, as she wrote, “to take up one’s residence in the kingdom of the ill unprejudiced by the lurid metaphors with which it...

Oct 15, 2018

At a luncheon of institute fellows in May of 2010, Christopher Hitchens and James Fenton sat down for a conversation about Hitchens’s forthcoming memoir, Hitch 22.

Sep 25, 2018

The work of V.S. Naipaul, who died in August 2018 at age 85, provided an excoriating examination of what it means to be a colonial and postcolonial subject. In 1979, the novelist paid a visit to NYU in order to deliver the James Lectures at the New York Institute for the Humanities. In the second of two...