Gotham Logo Gotham Logo  
About The Gotham Center
Main |  Upcoming Forums | Podcasts | Archives | Video Archive
Gotham Center Forums Archive, Spring 2006

The War at Home over the War Abroad

February 1, 6:30 - Auditorium

Lecture by Mike Wallace, Director of the Gotham Center for NYC

Battles in New York City between Germans and Jews, Blacks and Italians, Catholics and Protestants, Communists and Liberals, Wall Streeters and New Dealers in the Decade before Pearl Harbor.

Thomas Paine Memorial Lecture co-sponsored with the Center for Inquiry-Metro New York



The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A True Story of Crime and Celebrity in
1920s New York

February 27, 6:30 - Rooms 9204-9207

Book Talk and signing with authors Stephen Duncombe and Andrew Mattson

Ripped straight from the headlines of the Jazz Age, The Bobbed Haired Bandit (NYU Press) is a tale of flappers and fast cars, of sex and morality. In the spring of 1924, a poor, 19-year-old laundress from Brooklyn robbed a string of New York grocery stores with a "baby automatic," a fur coat, and a fashionable bobbed hairdo. Celia Cooney's crimes made national news. The Bobbed Haired Bandit brings to life a world of great wealth and poverty, of Prohibition and class conflict. With her husband Ed at her side, Celia raised herself from a life of drudgery to become a celebrity in her own pulp-fiction novel, a role she consciously cultivated. She also launched the largest manhunt in New York City's history.


The Subway on Film
March 8, 6:30 - Recital Hall

An evening of short films starring the New York City transit system, including One Track Mind (2005, 30 minutes)--Jeremy Workman; Daybreak Express (1953, 5 minutes)--D.A. Pennebaker; Brooklyn: Among the Ruins (2005, 14 minutes)--Suzanne Wasserman; Wonder Ring (1955, 4 minutes)--Stan Brakhage; and Gnir Rednow (1955, 6 minutes)--Joseph Cornell.

Q and A afterwards with Directors Suzanne Wasserman and Jeremy Workman. The subjects of their films, Phil Copp and Paul Kronenberg, will join them.



Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America's Most Powerful Mafia Empires
March 14, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Book talk and signing with author Selwyn Raab

The Mafia. Cosa Nostra. Wise Guys. Goodfellas. Often romanticized, the Mafia families are one of the most powerful-and ruthless-organizations in the world. Names like Luciano, Bonanno, Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Gotti, and others are legendary, as are their crimes, and their secrets are deep, spanning over a century on two continents.

Selwyn Raab has covered the Mafia for nearly forty years for The New York Times and other newspapers and TV. He is an expert on the inner workings of the vast criminal empire that is Cosa Nostra.



On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square

April 3, 6:30 - Rooms 9204-9205

Book talk with Marshall Berman

On the Town (Random House) is a unique look through the lens of the ideas and works of art that inspired-or were inspired by-Times Square's allure. Interleafing his own recollections with astute social commentary, Marshall Berman reveals how movies, graphic arts, literature, popular music, television, and of course, the Broadway theater have reflected Times Square's voluminous light to illuminate a vast spectrum of themes and vignettes.

Marshall Berman is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at City College of New York. He is the author of The Politics of Authenticity: Radical Individualism and the Emergence of Modern Society and All That Is Sold Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity.


The New York Fiscal Crisis and Its Legacies
April 19, 6:30 - Rooms 9204-9207

A panel discussion focusing on new perspectives on the Fiscal Crisis

Speakers include:
Julian Brash, "Invoking Fiscal Crisis: Its Uses and Misuses in Contemporary New York City Politics" Brash is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York;
Miriam Greenberg, "Fiscal Crisis, Image Crisis, and the Branding of Neo-liberal New York in the 1970's and Today" Greenberg is Assistant Professor of Media and Urban Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY;
Michael Spear, "An Obstacle to the Development of an Urban Progressive Political Agenda? The New York City Municipal Unions and the 1970s Fiscal Crisis" Spear is currently a visiting assistant professor in history at the State University of New York - Oswego;
David Harvey, "Situating the New York City Fiscal Crisis in the History of Neoliberalism." Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center.


Gotham Poetry and History
May 4, 6:30 - Auditorium

The kick-off for the People's Poetry Gathering, which will take place at CUNY over the following weekend.

This forum will highlight some of the relationships between the work of New York City-based poets who expressed a personal and collective vision of the City, the period they wrote about, and the social history unfolding at the time, featuring poets reading poems from different eras in New York and scholars commenting on the poetry.

Scholars and poets include: Bob Holman, Philip Lopate, Carmen Boullosa, Elisa New, Al Filreis, and David Levering Lewis.

Co-sponsored with City Lore


Does Place Matter on the Lower East Side?
June 15, 6:30 - Auditorium

Always in a class by itself, today's Lower East Side is beginning to look just like any other place, on the surface at least. Join four scholars of the Lower East Side as they dig deep into the neighborhood's history. Does the Lower East Side have a special makeup that New Yorkers should protect? Its fascinating places may hold some clues.

Speakers include:
Harriet Cohen, Lower East Side housing activist and Director of Programs for the Lantern Group, Former Policy Analyst for Housing and Homeless for the Manhattan Borough President's Office and current Chair of SPARC (Seward Park Area Redevelopment Coalition);
Orlando Plaza, community activist, doctoral candidate at NYU and owner of Camaradas Restaurant in el barrio, "a worker's public house where camaraderie is built";
John Kuo Wei Tchen, historian and Director of the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at NYU, author of New York Before Chinatown, co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in the Americas;
Suzanne Wasserman, historian, documentary film maker, and Associate Director of the Gotham Center for NYC History.

Co-sponsored with Place Matters (a project of City Lore and the Municipal Art Society) and the Vernacular Architecture Forum


Familiar Haunts: Reel New York Film Screening
June 22, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Join us for a special sneak preview of REEL NEW YORK, Thirteen's annual summer independent film and video festival. Now in its 11th season, REEL NEW YORK continues to explore the many facets of New York and the New York experience through the lens of local makers. As varied and compelling as the city itself, this year's line-up include narratives about urban gardens, street art, subway stations, elevators, and the nostalgia of lost luncheonettes and roller coasters. Tune-in Thursdays, beginning June 29th through August 24th. Tonight we will screen a series called "Familiar Haunts" including the following films: Ghosts of Grey Gardens (Director Liliana Greenfield-Sanders); Under the Roller Coaster (Director: Lila Place); and Grand Luncheonette (Director: Peter Sillen).

Co-sponsored by REEL NEW YORK, Thirteen/WNET's local independent showcase


View Fall 2005 Forums



Like us on Facebook!

Donate Now!
Help support the Gotham Center.

Mailing List
Sign up for the Gotham Center's mailing list so we can keep you informed about upcoming events.

Gotham History Festival 2001
Read all about it.

Gotham Center in the News

All photography courtesy of the Old York Library

© Gotham Center for New York City History. All Rights Reserved.

The Gotham Center for New York City History
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, Room 6103
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
Telephone: 212-817-8460
FAX: 212-817-1541