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NYU Prague Hosts Talk on the Russian Revolution in American Feminism, 1905-1945

On 26 February, NYU Prague will host a talk by Julia Mickenberg on the Russian Revolution in American Feminism, 1905 – 1945.

Many of us have heard about the vogue of Paris and France after the First World War, but few know about the exodus to Moscow and the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s, or the particular appeal of revolutionary Russia to American women in revolt. In fact, by the early 1930s, so many “American girls” had come “barging into the Red capital” in search of jobs, adventures, or husbands, that news articles were being published on the subject. This talk will provide an overview of American women’s love affair with Russia from 1905 to 1945: from their admiration and empathy for the female revolutionaries who challenged the Czar; to their attempts to re-envision domestic life, romantic relationships, and work using Soviet models; to their efforts to embody and perform revolutionary selves in a context supposedly free of racism and anti-Semitism. A century after the Russian Revolution, what does the forgotten story of “American Girls in Red Russia” tell us about where we’ve been and who we are now?

NYU Sydney Writing Lecturer Tim Ferguson Stages First Art Exhibition

NYU Sydney Lecturer Tim Ferguson, who teaches Comedy Writing to Tisch students in the Spring semester is staging his first art exhibition on Sunday 18 February at the Campbell Project Space.

The is the first 2018 Sunday arvo art event, a a regular program in the space. It features the premiere of a suite of artwork by Tim Ferguson. Tim is a well known Australian comedian and member of the comedy trio Doug Anthony All-Stars. A screenwriter, filmmaker and teacher of comedy screenwriting at NYU Sydney, Tim’s first exhibition of artwork is entitled ‘Gatherings’.

Tim explains, “I’ve nicknamed this genre ‘Disruptive Art’. As Uber is to taxis, disruptive art serves some of art’s functions without adhering to its more common forms. Disruptive art doesn’t wait at the ranks. It’s had no instruction. It borrowed it’s license from it’s sister.

“I deliberately place the joyous alongside the dark, the melancholic by the tortured, the lofty beside the dumb-ass. Each character is a world unto themselves, with no obvious casual link. Such is life.

“I hope the pictures are fun to look at, with fresh discoveries in every viewing. Or at least, an endlessly repeating fresh discovery.”

NYU Florence Expores Museums, Memory and Politics: Educating about “Difficult Knowledge”

How do museums serve as sites of memory? What is at stake in the politics of representation and education? Our guests will discuss these issues looking specifically at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York; the Civil and Human Rights Center in Atlanta, Georgia; the Memorial to the 1968 My Lai Massacre in Vietnam; and the Museum of Deportation near Florence, Italy.

The NYU Florence La Pietra Dialogues. will explore these themes and more on 19 February. Program details below.

6:00 pm Introduction. ´Politics and Memory: Staging a Public History of the Civil Rights Movement: The Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia´. Joyce Apsel, Professor, Liberal Studies, New York University.

6.05 Museums, Memory and Politics: Educating about “Difficult Knowledge”

´Dialoguing with the Site of Oppression, From Practices of Mourning to the Politics of Reconciliation: The Twinning of Prato and Ebensee and the Museum of Deportation´Davide Lombardo, NYU Florence

´Memory Politics in the National September 11 Memorial Museum´. Amy Sodaro, Associate Professor of Sociology, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York

´Memorial to the 1968 My Lai Massacre in Vietnam: A Paradigm for Bearing Witness to the Inhuman´. Roy Tamashiro, Professor, Multidisciplinary Studies Department, Webster University (USA)

7:00 Q&A

Politics and Memory: Staging a Public History of the Civil Rights Movement: The Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

Joyce Apsel introduces the concept of politics of memory in the context of the last decades’ museum memory boom and its link to the politics of education. Her presentation focuses on how the U.S. civil rights movement is remembered in the Civil and Human Rights Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. Through interactive displays and staging, the Centre attempts to balance depiction of the sacrifice, struggle and martyrdom against segregation, lynching and other forms of racism with a message to inspire activism and hope today.

Dialoguing with the Site of Oppression, From Practices of Mourning to the Politics of Reconciliation: The Twinning of Prato and Ebensee and the Museum of Deportation

Davide Lombardo looks at the unexpected story of the twinning of the Italian city of Prato and the city of Ebensee in Austria and the result: the Museum of Deportation in Figline di Prato near the site of an execution of partisans. Italy is a country where there is a long history of the practice of top-down politics of memory, from the celebration of Risorgimento for Nation building purposes, to the Fascist appropriation of the First World War, The museum in Figline di Prato is Recon an example of recent politics of memory founded on grass root activism on the part of ex deportees at Mauthausen, Their early vision of the need of a politics of reconciliation resulted in 1987 in the twinning of the city of Prato with the town of Ebensee in Austria.

Memory Politics in the National September 11 Memorial Museum

Amy Sodaro, author of the recently published Exhibiting Atrocity: Memorial Museums and the Politics of Past Violence, provides a comparative global analysis of how politics influence the depiction of past violence. Her presentation discusses the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City situating the site within the broader “memorial landscape.”

Memorial to the 1968 My Lai Massacre in Vietnam: A Paradigm for Bearing Witness to the Inhuman

Dr. Roy Tamashiro explores how the Sơn Mỹ Memorial and Museum in Vietnam memorializes the 1968 Mỹ Lai Massacre. He describes how the museum provides space for reflection and bearing witness to the profound suffering in the Massacre. Facing the inhuman at the museum then provides the opportunity for transformative learning, for personal and societal healing, and for reclamation of human dignity.

Buildings Get Smart with New NYU Shanghai App

“Smart Building,” an interactive, user-friendly facility management platform developed by NYU Shanghai, was launched on January 18 and is expected to serve neighboring properties, including the Diamond Tower and the Fund Building, as part of cooperation with the Lujiazui Group.

Developed by Campus Facilities and IT Services, “Smart Building” uses a WeChat-based data processing system to connect users on mobile terminals with engineers and backstage management staff on the service end.

Under the new system, community members can report and send photos of failed equipment to an online maintenance request that immediately alerts engineers who then provide detailed repair solutions and services. Users can also rate these services on the interface, while managers oversee the smart system operations on the backend.

At the launch ceremony, NYU Shanghai Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman saluted the partnership as an example in experimenting with new approaches in classroom and campus design, university administration, worker relationships and facilities management.

“From the very beginning, the Lujiazui Group understood that NYU Shanghai’s mission is to be an experiment, boldly trying new approaches to being a university. We are delighted to share the Smart Building technology, so that the Lujiazui Group can also benefit from it,” Lehman said.

“Our Smart Building technology ensures that communication is seamless and friendly, while management is data-based and super-efficient. It treats the time and energy of our workers as precious commodities, and it enables us to recognize and celebrate our top performers,” Lehman added.

The launch, moderated by NYU Shanghai Chancellor Yu Lizhong, was also attended by senior leadership of Lujiazui Group, including Chairman Li Jinzhao and General Manager Wang Hui.

Wang Yihua, associate general manager of Lujiazui Logistics, said joint efforts to launch “Smart Building” will stimulate deeper cooperation in technology and management between NYU Shanghai and the Lujiazui Group.

“Our collaboration should take advantage of the Lujiazui Group’s experience and management expertise as an industry leader, and also tap into the intellectual and technological resources of NYU Shanghai.”

This post comes to us from NYU Shanghai and you can read the original here.

NYU London Students Support the City’s Homeless Youth

NYU London’s Richard Twiddle, who works in student life, tells us about a new initiative enabling students to give back just as they are arriving in their new city.
1. How long have you been at NYU London and what is your role? I have been with NYU since April 2017 and work as part of the Student Affairs Team as a Residential Life Assistant.
2. How did the NYU London Spring 2018 Pop-Up Donation Bookstore develop? I understand that a personal experience was a source of inspiration for you. Can you describe that for us?
A couple of months ago I was asked for money from a guy begging outside a local supermarket near to the NYU London Academic Centre and he had a similar accent to mine (I’m originally from near Manchester) and it made me look twice. I looked at him and could see he was pretty young so I got chatting to him and he told me that he needed money for a hostel. He then went on to tell me that he wasn’t looking to have a nights sleep as he found the hostels scary but just really wanted a shower. He had been sleeping rough for a couple of months and his leg had become infected and really needed to be seen by a doctor. He wanted to go to the local NHS walk-in clinic but as he hadn’t showered in 5 days, was too embarrassed to go to there smelling the way he did! As I listened to his story and also found out he was just 22, I became sad but also pretty angry that as a rich country we aren’t doing more to help young homeless people. All he wanted was a shower, something we all take for granted everyday!
I couldn’t really stop thinking about the conversation we had and realised that I had to something and as I had recently sorted all the books our incredibly generous previous students had left for the incoming students, I had an idea to organise them properly and charge a small donation through a start of semester sale. I fleshed out the idea a little a put together a proposal which I sent to my senior management. I was really pleased that they gave it the green light and it really started from there.
3. What was the goal of the Bookstore and how was it structured? How did students respond to the initiative?
The goal of the Bookstore was really to make as much as possible for Centrepoint which is a young persons homeless charity in London, through charging £1 per book to new and returning students in NYUL Spring ’18 orientation week.
I basically spent a couple of weekends sorting all the books, building ikea shelving units (which was possibly the hardest part), and then clearing, cleaning and rearranging a disused office into a bookstore. As my Dad works for Penguin books, I grew up with a passion for books and especially bookstores and the way they can become great spaces for learning and sharing ideas so I really loved creating the space.
In the end the books were divided general into key texts and course books, not quite as accurately as I hoped but time was pretty short and after sorting them all I pretty much knew each title we had, so I could direct students to where their books were located.
The student response was amazing and I was really touched by their interest in what the money was going to and many students gave much more than the suggested £1 per book price tag. I wasn’t sure anyone would come to be honest, so it was even more amazing when I opened the door 15 minutes before the official opening and there were students waiting outside. From there it went a little crazy for a couple of hours as the space is not the biggest, but it was a great way to see everyone interacting and chatting about the books they needed and the courses they were on.
4. How much did you raise and where was it donated?

Student customers browsing at the Bookstore.

On the day we raised £612 which was way beyond anything I had expected to raise. Since the opening day I have placed ‘honesty boxes’ in the room and students can go in anytime between 7am-11pm and take a book and leave their donation in the box. Since the opening day we have already raised another £100 and are now looking to hit the £1000 mark in the next few weeks.

All donations are going to Centrepoint London (centrepoint.org.uk) which provides a real home for young homeless people aged 18-25 and allows them to stay with them while attending school/courses or training for work and provides them with counselling and any additional support they may need.
5. Do you think this event will be repeated or a similar event organised?
Yes, I hope to repeat the sale every semester. We hope the students who bought books either from our store or from regular bookstores, will donate these back to us at the end of the semester, as they have generously done in the past. They will then be sorted and made ready for the next semester students and hopefully we will continue like that for years to come.
I have also been chatting to the guys at Centrepoint about how we could possibly help some of their residents out with things they need for when they move into their own homes. As we get a lot of items left by students who don’t want to pay for extra baggage on their flight homes, these items could be donated for the guys who leave Centrepoint and often don’t have a lot of money to set up home.
6. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
I have spoken to the guy who made me think of doing this several times since and he got to the doctors and is much better. He doesn’t want to move into a shelter but appears to be looking after himself much better. Hopefully one day he will benefit from Centrepoint’s amazing facilities, which NYU London students help to make happen. Students can now come to NYU London and give back to their new ‘home’ city within days of arriving so I’m pretty happy I was able to facilitate that. 
THANKS NYU London Spring ’18 students, you’re the BEST!

Talks Without Borders – NYU Berlin RA Adam Silow Reflects on Tutoring a Syrian Refugee

Today, NYU Berlin Resident Assistant Adam Silow reflects on his experiences as an English tutor for a young new Berliner from Syria and the power of “talks without borders.” His initiative is part of a long-term relationship between NYU Berlin and Unionhilfswerk, a German non-profit that supports refugees and other Berliners who find themselves in need of community and resources. Since 2015, staff and students have supported the work of Unionhilfswerk and similar institutions in a variety of ways. Initiatives include coaching workshops on “Teaching German as a Foreign Language” for voluntary helpers, a community garden project with families currently living in a welcome center operated by Unionhilfswerk, and regular English language tutoring.

Talks Without Borders

By Adam Silow

The dark roast of Syrian coffee wafts between our “Denglish” conversations as we swap stories, cultural idiosyncrasies, and language tips. Since this summer, myself and a young Kurdish man have met typically once a week for an hour-long tutoring session to improve his English language skills. Both of us are new Berliners, yet our paths to this sprawling German metropolis could not have been more different. In 2015, I was wrapping up my penultimate year of university, studying economics and global studies at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. Two years ago, he was attending middle school in northeastern Iraq. Rather than return home to California after graduation, I decided to explore my European roots by using my German citizenship to move across the Atlantic and take a job as an NYU Berlin Resident Assistant. At the same time thousands of miles across the globe, a middle schooler and his family in Iraq faced an increasingly dangerous environment of instability and violence. They soon joined thousands in an extraordinary journey to escape war in their homeland for uncertain future in Europe.

Our disparate paths crossed in August 2017 in Berlin when the volunteering coordinator at Unionhilfswerk, a German non-profit that supports refugees and partners with NYU Berlin on a variety of initiatives, contacted our team to ask for assistance on behalf of a young man who was eager to find an English tutor. I had been looking for a way to more concretely engage with my newly adopted community and jumped at the chance to meet this young man. After our initial session, we agreed to meet weekly for an hour and set new topics of discussion each week. Although shy at first, his immense appetite for learning languages quickly became apparent; before arriving in Europe, he spoke numerous regional dialects of both Kurdish and Arabic as well as being almost fluent in German after barely two years in Berlin. Next on his list was English. I tried to hide my embarrassment as I realized at his age my language skills extended only to English, German, and a halting level of high school French. Yet, I was more than happy to help him continue his linguistic mastery.

His school year was starting soon and I did not want to make him sit through our sessions simply as another required course with tedious grammar lessons, which I would not have been fully qualified to teach either. Over his mother’s strong Syrian coffee, we let each session develop as a relaxed exchange of stories from our hometowns, our family and friends, recent trips, and similarities and differences between our experiences as newcomers to this quirky, graffiti-filled, “multi-kulti” community we now found ourselves in. He was skeptical during one session when I shared with him “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strips from my childhood. I translated the panels and tried to explain how the mischievous adventures of a young boy and his imaginary toy tiger were silly, yet dotted with meaningful parables (I doubt that I convinced him, but he was always kind enough to indulge my attempts). Other days, we joked about the Doc Martens-wearing hipsters who seemed to fill Berlin to its artisan-coffee-roasted brim all the while sheepishly admitting that a part of ourselves was slowly assimilating into Berlin’s

alternative culture. At other times, we discussed the reality that even among the seemingly open and inclusive community in Berlin and other parts of Europe, dark and xenophobic factions not only remain entrenched, but have gained traction in certain political wings. Whether light or serious, these conversations flowed between English, German, and a sprinkling of Arabic and Kurdish. It soon became a highlight of my weekly life in this new community.

When I first landed in Berlin, I was fully aware that I was one of countless newcomers to this city. I knew, though, that many had arrived here not by choice and privilege as I had, but by necessity and loss. There were moments when the political turmoil and divisive discourse that splashed across newsfeeds and headlines made me feel overwhelmed and uncertain as to how I could find space to engage with my new community and fellow newcomers in a way that was humble, constructive, and human–stepping beyond digital echo chambers. For me, these English sessions were a refreshing opportunity to do just that. And what began as a simple request for an English tutor soon blossomed into a warm friendship.

Today, my phone continues to buzz with news alerts and social media notifications about the ongoing challenges that rack my adopted and native homes on both sides of the Atlantic as well as in places further abroad. Violence, instability, social and economic inequality, myopic policies, and fear-based politics are but a few of the immense challenges that are dividing communities, cities, and countries. Our weekly sessions have certainly made no material impact on these events. Yet, even when things seemed too out of reach to change, I found that I can still dream big while learning and building bridges within my reach. From that vantage point, stumbling together through new languages to have a conversation–one that stretches across differences, cultures, and borders–seems like a pretty good place to start.

NYU and Tel Aviv University Sponsor a Symposium – New Horizons in Chemistry: From Fundamentals to Applications

On February 4 -6, 2017, Tel Aviv will be buzzing with energy as an accomplished collection of scholars will explore new horizons in chemistry. This symposium is jointly convened by NYU and Tel Aviv University and speakers will include professors from NYU, Tel Aviv University, NYU Tel Aviv, and other institutions. NYU President Andy Hamilton will also speak. It promises to be an exciting program.

The symposium is also sponsored by NYU Global Research Initiatives, the Office of the Provost, the Department of Chemistry, NYU Tel Aviv, and NYU MRSEC.

NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery’s Spring Show to Examine Impermanence and Displacement

Opening on February 24th, NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery’s spring 2018 exhibition will be Permanent Temporariness, a mid-career retrospective of the renowned, award-winning artist duo Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti. The duo are co-directors of DAAR, an architectural studio and artistic residency program that combines conceptual speculations and architectural interventions, and founders of Campus in Camps, an experimental educational program in Palestinian refugee Camps.  Their practice moves between art, architecture and pedagogy., often operating outside the typical art exhibition venue format. This is the first survey of their work in a museum/gallery context.

Petti and Hilal’s body of work explores how our experience is shaped by our understanding of “permanence” or “impermanence” in our environment. Their installations bridge architecture and art, examine the social, economic and political consequence of exile and displacement, and delve into public and private impermanent spaces. Visitors can look forward to large-scale installations and other works of different mediums displayed both inside the Art Gallery and outdoors around the NYU Abu Dhabi campus.

Petti and Hilal’s projects have been exhibited at multiple biennials, include Venice, Istanbul, São Paulo, and Marrakesh, and at several museums around the world including the Centre Pompidou and Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. Their artistic practice has received multiple awards and grants, including the most recent Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism Award from the Center for Curatorial Studies and the Human Rights Project at Bard,  the Loeb Fellowship Harvard University, the Prince Claus Prize for Architecture, Foundation for Art Initiatives grant, and shortlisted for the Visible Award, the Curry Stone Design Prize, the New School’s Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, the Anni and Heinrich Sussmann Artist Award, and the Chrnikov Prize.

Permanent Temporariness is guest-curated by NYUAD Associate Professor Salwa Mikdadi, who is among the foremost historians of modern art from the Arab world. It is co-curated by Bana Kattan, NYUAD Art Gallery Curator, who recently co-curated the popular Invisible Threads exhibition (NYUAD).

Two of the artworks to be featured are completely new, conceived for this show. “Living Room” is a performance piece which lays bare the uncertainties that arise when navigating the customs of another culture. “Refugee Heritage” is an installation of a series of lightbox-mounted photographs taken by an official UNESCO photographer at the world’s oldest refugee camp, Dheisheh camp in Bethlehem. “Refugee Heritage” explores the dichotomy of a place that was meant to be temporary, eventually demolished and forgotten, but instead has remained for decades and has become the only home that generations of some families have ever known.

Previously shown works include “The Concrete Tent”, which also deals with this paradox of permanent temporariness. Solidifying the shape of a mobile tent into a concrete house, the resultant structure is a hybrid representation of this temporariness and permanence, softness and hardness, movement and stillness.

Co-Curator Bana Kattan, Curator at the NYUAD Art Gallery said, “After years of ongoing research and preparation, we are thrilled to have Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti with us for their first ever large-scale, meditative retrospective. Permanent Temporariness connects our physical world (geographically and architecturally) to both historical and current events, as Petti and Hilal’s works embrace such topics as modern geopolitics and the plight of refugees. The Art Gallery strives to present shows that are both locally relevant and internationally significant, and this subject matter is particularly resonant now.”

Salwa Mikdadi, Co-Curator and NYUAD Associate Professor of Art History, commented, “In Permanent Temporariness, Hilal and Petti present conceptual speculations that examine the state of impermanence and ‘refugee-ness’ beyond victimhood and beyond charitable gestures, offering the audience new ways of engaging with this critical and timely topic. I am delighted to be working with them again having presented their artwork at the Venice Biennial almost a decade ago.”

There will also be a full public program of events and talks for all ages, taking place throughout the exhibition. More information will be available closer to the time of opening.