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Gotham Center Forums Archive, Fall 2006




SACCO and VANZETTI: A Film Screening
September 26th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

The subjects of this documentary are Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian immigrants, anarchists, and passionate writers who were accused of a murder in 1920 and executed in Boston in 1927 after a notoriously prejudiced trial. The story of Sacco and Vanzetti is a New York story almost as much as it is a Boston story. The case was protested all around the world, but nowhere were the protests as big as in New York. The ordeal of Sacco and Vanzetti came to symbolize the bigotry and intolerance directed at immigrants and dissenters in America, and millions of people in the United States and around the world protested on their behalf. The film uses interviews, music, poetry, and interweaves readings of Sacco and Vanzetti's powerful prison writings read by actors John Turturro and Tony Shalhoub.

Join the director, Peter Miller, and Mary Anne Trasciatti of Hostra University for a Q and A after the screening





THE BIG OYSTER: History on the Half Shell
October 4, 6:30
**At the Museum of the City of New York**
Call 212.534.1672, ext. 3395 for more information.

Co-sponsored by the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Food Museum

Before New York City was the Big Apple, it could have been called the Big Oyster. Now award-winning author Mark Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of New York by following the trajectory of one of its most fascinating inhabitants–the oyster, whose influence on the great metropolis remains unparalleled.



How Stands the Debate Today?

October 11th, 6:30 - Auditorium
Listen to the entire forum (Mp3 format - 1 hour 56 minutes)

Jane Jacobs’s death in 2006 triggered many conversations around town about her legacy to New York. In particular, people have been mulling the question of whose urban vision – hers, or that of her arch opponent, Robert Moses – dominates Gotham’s approaches to city building today. A conversation among historians, architects, planners, politicians, community activists, and developers will explore the issue. Panelists include: Hilary Ballon, (Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University), Amanda Burden (Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning), Richard Kahan (President and Founder, Urban Assembly; former President, New York State Urban Development Corporation and former Chairman, Battery Park City Authority), Brad Lander (Director of PICCED, Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute), Nicolai Ouroussoff (Architectural Critic, The New York Times), Michael Sorkin (Director, the Graduate Urban Design Program, City College of New York and Principal, Michael Sorkin Studio), and Samuel Zipp (Visiting Assistant Professor of History, University of California-Irvine).



GOTHAM’S NEWEST NEWCOMERS: The Impact of Post-1965 Immigrants on New York City – And Vice Versa
October 25th, 6:30 -
Listen to the entire forum
(Mp3 format - 2 hours 10 minutes)

We are in the middle of one of Gotham's greatest immigration waves, triggered by the 1965 immigration law. Our distinguished panelists will analyze how the newcomers have experienced, and transformed, the city.

First experts with a general and comparative focus – Nancy Foner (Hunter College), John Mollenkopf (CUNY Graduate Center), and Joseph Salvo (New York City Department of Planning) – will provide overview perspectives.

Then specialists on particular immigrant populations – Vilna Bashi on West Indians, Ramona Hernandez on Domincans, Madhulika Khandelwal on South Asians,  Peter Kwong on Chinese, and Robert Smith on Mexicans – will discuss their group's unique experience.

Finally, an interactive conversation between all the participants will be moderated by Maria Hinojosa, Anchor, Latino USA on NPR and Senior Correspondent, NOW on PBS.



The Photographs of Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950

November 14th, 6:30 - Segal

Authors Suzanne Wasserman and Peter Dans talk about their new book, Life on the Lower East Side: The Photographs of Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950 (Princeton Architectural Press). In 1945, Lepkoff joined the Photo League, created in 1936 in New York City. The League believed that photographers should record the communities in which they lived. Open to amateurs and professionals alike, league members included Helen Levitt, Rudy Burckhardt, Walter Rosenblum, Morris Engel, Arthur Leipzig, and Aaron Siskind. 2006 marks the 70th anniversary of the League.




The Spanish-Speaking Literary Tradition in Nueva York

November 30th, 6:30 - Segal
Listen to the entire forum
(Mp3 format - 1 hour 58 minutes)

A diverse array of Spanish-speaking novelists and poets have lived in or visited New York, and written about the city, but only a very few of them – like Marti and Lorca – are widely known. Some of today’s leading Spanish-speaking novelists and poets, who are now living in and writing about New York, will pay homage to their forerunners - Julia de Burgos, Octavio Paz, and Carlos Pellicer among others - by recalling their experiences here and reading brief excerpts from their works. By way of contrast, they will also read some passages from their own contemporary takes on the city. This evening will be in Spanish and in English.

Authors include: Carmen Boullosa (Mexican novelist, poet, and playwright, Distinguished Lecturer, City College, author of Salto de mantarraya y otros dos and La novela perfecta); Eduardo Lago (Spanish novelist and winner of the Nadal Prize for Llámame Brooklyn [Call Me Brooklyn], Director of the Instituto Cervantes of New York); Eduardo Mitre (Bolivian poet, Associate Professor, Department of Languages and Literature, St John's University); Jose Manuel Prieto (Cuban novelist and author of El tartamudo y la rusa and Treinta días en Moscú, Director of the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute at Seton Hall University); and Sylvia Molloy (Argentinian writer, novelist, and leading literary critic, Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities, NYU, author of En breve cárcel and El común olvido). The panel will be moderated by Naief Yehya, Mexican novelist, journalist and essayist, and author of Obras sanitarias.

Co-sponsored by the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages Program




SCENES FROM THE CITY: Filmmaking in New York 1966-2006
December 5th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

New York in the last four decades has provided some of the most iconic moments in film history. Beginning with Breakfast at Tiffany's and Sixties cinema verite, James Sanders will survey the body of work produced here, exploring in particular the emergence here of a street-style school of filmmaking that includes directors as diverse as Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee. He will also sign copies of his new book, Scenes from the City: Filmmaking in NY 1966-2006 (Rizzoli).

James Sanders, an architect, co‑wrote the Emmy Award-winning PBS series New York: A Documentary Film and its companion volume, New York: An Illustrated History, as well as Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies. Mr. Sanders will be introduced by Commissioner Katherine Oliver of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.




View Spring 2006 Forums



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