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History Lessons Coming up in New York

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The Long and Fascinating History of Toilets

at Brooklyn Brainery - Prospect Heights
190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Crapper did not invent the toilet. But who did? Better yet, when did people first start using toilets? And were they anything like the toilets we know today? This class will explore the long and fascinating history of toilets, from ancient Mesopotamia to today. We will walk through the not-so-short...

Wednesday May 3rd, 8:30pm


The Sumerians: History's Innovators

at Brooklyn Brainery - Prospect Heights
190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

This class seeks to shed some long-overdue light on these people whose legacy we are still surrounded by. Together, we will follow the Sumerians as they climb the heights of achievement in art, literature and government, from their mysterious origins around 3500 BCE to their disappearance circa 1200 BCE. We’ll hear Sumerian poetry and music, see...

Thursday May 18th, 8:30pm


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History Series: America as a Superpower

at Queensborough Community College - Bayside
222-05 56th Ave, Bayside, New York 11364

Today's world has many "hot spots": Syria, Palestine, Russia, North Korea, China, and Iran, to name a few. How will the new President deal with each of these problem areas? By looking at history, maybe we will able to see how America maintains its leadership in the modern world.  Suggested Readings: Kissinger: 1923-1968 - The Idealist by Niall...


2 sessions

Thursday May 11th, 7:30pm


Landscape Design History

at New York Botanical Garden - NYBG Bronx
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, New York 10458

Study theories and principles that have shaped the design of landscapes from antiquity to the 21st century. Explore Eastern and Western garden traditions. Survey all types of gardens and landscapes, including corporate and public spaces, through visual presentations, assigned readings, projects, and classroom discussion. Landscape designs will be considered...


9 sessions

Wednesday May 3rd, 10am


The Archaeology of Cats and Dogs

at Brooklyn Brainery - Prospect Heights
190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

While many animals today face the threat of extinction, the numbers of dogs and cats are only climbing. They’ve tagged along at humanity’s heels since the Ice Age, an important part of our quest for world domination. But how did they evolve from wild predators into pampered pets? This class will explore the long and fascinating...

Wednesday May 10th, 8:30pm


It's Funny Because It's True

at Think Olio - Union Square
828 Broadway, New York, New York 10003

It's Funny Because It's True: Buddhist Realism and the Dark Comedy of Louis CK Gautama Buddha is believed to have promulgated four basic truths about the nature of the human condition. In the first of these (the noble truth of “suffering”) he claims that stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction are endemic to life. This supposition is not exclusive...

Friday May 5th, 7pm


New Amsterdam: The Birthplace of New York Walking Tour

at Brooklyn Brainery - Financial District
Battery Park, New York, New York 10004

On this walking tour, we’ll discover the life of pirates and prostitutes living in the scrappy Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, long before New York was New York. Step into the wooden shoes of the early settlers and see what life was like being an employee rather than a colonist.  Based on exciting new research taking place over the...

Saturday May 6th, 1pm


On Decadence

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - Gramercy
30 Irving Pl, New York, New York 10003

Decadence has played a vital role in modern narratives of culture, history, and political economy, in part because narratives of progress, revitalization, and renovation often summon up the specters of entropy and degeneration. On one hand, decadence can indicate a sense of historical or cultural loss in the face of swift-moving technological progress....


4 sessions

Tuesday Jun 6th, 6:30pm


Revisiting New York's New Deal

at Museum of the City of New York - Public - East Harlem
1220 Fifth Ave At 103rd St, New York, New York 10029

The New Deal promised to lift Americans out of the Great Depression through an expansive federal public works program that offered a grand vision of what government could be. Recent scholarship offers new considerations of this period and illuminates New York City’s pivotal role. Presented in collaboration with The New York Society Library, join...

Thursday May 18th, 6:30pm


The History of Scotch Whisky

at Brooklyn Brainery - Prospect Heights
190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

In this class you will be able discover and explore the history of the most popular spirit in the world. Whisky is the national drink of Scotland, and the most popular spirit in the world: it is a multi-billion dollar industry employing thousands globally and one of the UK’s leading exports. Yet, it is more, much more than this; it’s a story...

Thursday May 25th, 6pm


Muslim in New York

at Museum of the City of New York - Public - East Harlem
1220 Fifth Ave At 103rd St, New York, New York 10029

Inspired by our new exhibition, Muslim in New York, join a panel of leading Muslim scholars, activists, and civic leaders to explore the rich, multifaceted histories of New York City's major Muslim communities, including those of African, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African-American heritage. Speakers: Zain Abdullah, Anthropologist and associate...


Monday May 15th, 6:30pm


More than a Hipster Touchstone

at Think Olio - Union Square
828 Broadway, New York, New York 10003

More than a Hipster Touchstone:  Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" When the skies crack open and Jehovah appears -- angry that we have destroyed the planet, waged war on one another, and supported Adam Sandler movies -- I will brave the storm and the screaming and climb the mount with a copy of Neutral Milk Hotel's seminal 1998...

Friday Jun 9th, 7pm


The Cuisine of Ancient Egypt

at Brooklyn Brainery - Prospect Heights
190 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

Full Course Name:  Black Earth, Red Earth, and Lumpy Beer: the Cuisine of Ancient Egypt The Greeks and Romans thrived on wine, but their contemporaries the Egyptians were all about beer. Living off the rich “black earth” of the Nile a stone’s throw from the lifeless “red earth” of the desert, the Ancient Egyptians developed...

Thursday May 25th, 8:30pm


The Politics of Infrastructure

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - East Harlem
1216 5th Ave, New York, New York 10029

What does it take to build an infrastructural system? What kind of norms do infrastructures enforce, and what kinds of people do they allow to thrive? What happens when infrastructure starts to break down, or prove inadequate in the face of disaster? What do infrastructures teach us? And what kind of world do they make possible? This four-week seminar...


4 sessions

Monday Jun 5th, 6:30pm


Music by Chopin

at 92nd Street Y - Upper East Side
1395 Lexington Ave, New York, New York 10128

We explore Chopin's work as well as his life and times, including his complicated relationships with Romantic figures such as George Sand and Franz Liszt.


6 sessions

Monday May 22nd, 7:15pm