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2018 Winter & Spring Programs

Calendar of Programs

 DECEMBER
JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS TOURS

December

Book Talk: The Ghost Ship of BrooklynBook Talk: The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn
Wed, Dec 13, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Thousands of Americans suffered on the HMS Jersey, a British prison ship moored in Wallabout Bay off the coast of Brooklyn, during the Revolutionary War. In his new book, award-winning historian Robert Watson brings to life the stories of survivors and charts the ship’s ghastly effect on the city’s spirit, which eventually rallied public support for the war.


December Free Friday: Winter MythsFree Friday: Winter Myths
Fri, Dec 15, 5-9 pm
Free
See the Full Lineup>>

Join us for a journey into the underworld of holiday lore and celestial solstice diversions! Victoria Flexner of Edible History will unveil the pagan roots of today’s seasonal traditions, followed by an astrological forecast for 2018 with astrologer Alice Sparkly Kat. Grab a cup from the cauldron of mulled wine and join in an introductory lesson on cult card game Magic: The Gathering, or browse the richly illustrated 19th-century McLoughlin Brothers children’s tales on view from the BHS collection. It's the antidote to the holiday party circuit you’ve been waiting for, though tacky holiday sweaters are encouraged! 


Unlocking Public Space: Placemaking in BrownsvilleUnlocking Public Space: Placemaking in Brownsville
Mon, Dec 18, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Starting with Jane Jacobs's first campaign against Robert Moses, urbanists have argued that public space is a critical component of a healthy, vibrant city. But what if people fear for their safety on their own street? In Brownsville, through the work of the Brownsville Community Justice Center, residents have leveraged urban planning tools to transform neglected spaces into safe, vibrant public hubs. Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times, moderates a conversation with Erica Mateo and Deron Johnston from the Brownsville Community Justice Center, and David Burney, Director of Pratt's Urban Placemaking and Management program, exploring the successes and challenges of placemaking in Brownsville.

Center for Court Innovation
Offered in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation

January

45 Years After Roe V Wade45 Years after Roe v Wade
Tue, Jan 16, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
Reserve Tickets>> Members receive early access to this event! General Admission tickets will be available December 19.

On January 22, 1973 women in the United States won the right to seek a legal abortion, yet equal access remains elusive. Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large for New York magazine, and Katha Pollitt, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, discuss the legacy and future of this landmark case on the occasion of its forty-fifth anniversary.


Book Talk: Greater Than Ever: New York’s Big ComebackBook Talk: Greater Than Ever: New York’s Big Comeback
Mon, Jan 22, 7:00 pm

$10 / $5 for Members
Reserve Tickets>> Members receive early access to this event! General Admission tickets will be available December 19.

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11 New York City’s economy was almost as damaged as its morale. As deputy mayor during the Bloomberg administration, Daniel L. Doctoroff helped spearhead a period of economic development that advanced the city through job creation, housing initiatives, sustainability plans, and much more. Join him as he recounts the triumphs and pitfalls of one of New York’s defining eras.


Current / Bodies: Art and Action on the WaterfrontCurrent / Bodies: Art and Action on The Waterfront
Tue, Jan 23, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Brooklyn Historical Society and Underwater New York present six New York artists and writers whose works address the history and future of our waterways. Join photographer Chester Higgins, visual artists Barry Rosenthal, Nancy Nowacek, and Francis Estrada, and poets Cynthia Manick and Wo Chan as they consider New York’s waterfront as a site of continuity and a threshold for political, social, and environmental change.

Offered in connection with the new exhibition “Waterfront” at BHS DUMBO.

Book Talk: Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest OldBook Talk: Happiness Is a Choice You Make:
Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

Thu, Jan 25, 6:30 pm

$5 / Free for Members
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At a crossroads in his own life, New York Times journalist John Leland found himself connecting with some of New York City’s oldest residents in order to understand the experience of aging during the “twilight years.” What he learned was a joyful surprise, lending credence to why this stage of life is often called the “golden years.” Leland shares the wisdom, insights, and resilience of elders that inspired his latest book in a conversation with fellow journalist Julie Scelfo.

February

Book Talk: How Democracies DieBook Talk: How Democracies Die
Thu, Feb 1, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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“That could never happen here” is a saying all too familiar in countries that have seen their democratic systems undermined by the insidious influence of authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Harvard professor Daniel Ziblatt has spent years researching this subtle erosion as it occurs throughout history in countries around the world, including our own. He presents this latest co-authored work and explains some of the signs that warn of the deterioration of democratic institutions, and how it can be stopped. Moderated by New York Times contributing op-ed writer Thomas Edsall.


Urban Health, Urban Parks: The Salve of the CityUrban Health, Urban Parks: The Salve of the City
Mon, Feb 5, 6:30 pm

$5 / Free for Members
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Studies from across the world point to the positive impact of city parks on the health of urban dwellers. Join Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue, New York Times health columnist Jane Brody, and The Nature Fix author Florence Williams for a metaphoric walk in the woods as they explore the science behind nature’s restorative powers. Moderated by CityLab’s Laura Bliss.

Offered in connection with the exhibition “The Means of a Ready Escape: Brooklyn’s Prospect Park” at BHS Pierrepont.

Cheryl Wills: A Family Story of Slavery and FreedomCheryl Wills: A Family Story of Slavery and Freedom
Mon, Feb 12, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
Reserve Tickets>> Members receive early access to this event! General Admission tickets will be available December 19.

In her book, Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale, award-winning news anchor Cheryl Wills traces the powerful story of her enslaved great-great-great-grandfather, who ran away from a Tennessee plantation to join the fight for freedom. From the Civil War and Jim Crow to the Great Migration, Wills’s story is as sweeping as it is personal. Join us for this talk and book signing.


The Long Arc of Justice: Revisiting the Civil Rights MovementThe Long Arc of Justice: Revisiting the Civil Rights Movement
Thu, Feb 15, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis debunks contemporary imaginings of the civil rights movement in her forthcoming book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History. By showing how the movement was unpopular, disruptive, and courageously persevering in its time, Theoharis challenges exceptionalist narratives of American democracy and calls attention to the crucial work that remains to be done.


Black Writers in a Post-Obama AmericaBlack Writers in a Post-Obama America
Tue, Feb 27, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Does literature by black writers demand a response to the country’s racism? Especially today, is there an onus on writers of color to shine a spotlight on racial injustice? Hear from authors Kaitlyn Greenidge, Bernice McFadden, Garnette Cadogan, and Quincy Troupe in a panel discussion moderated by novelist and Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, Elizabeth Nunez.


March

Book Talk: Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016Book Talk: Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016
Thu, Mar 1, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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From Pulitzer-winning author of the bestselling Ghost Wars comes a tale of invisible warfare. Against the backdrop of the war in Afghanistan, a shadowy conflict between the United States military and a subgroup of Pakistan’s intelligence agency known as “Directorate S” threatened to further destabilize an already protracted and complex conflict. Author Steve Coll sheds light on this struggle in the shadows, and how it has fueled a seemingly endless war overseas.


The Future of FeminismThe Future of Feminism
Tue, Mar 6, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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What does feminism mean in twenty-first century America? Lenny Letter editor Jessica GroseJezebel editor-in-chief Koa Beck, and writer Ashley C. Ford come together to discuss the intersection of contemporary feminism with other social justice movements involving racial equality, transgender rights, and immigrant protection.


The World Only Spins Forward: Oral History & the Legacy of Angels in AmericaThe World Only Spins Forward: The Story & Legacy of Angels in America
Thu, Mar 8, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
Reserve Tickets>> Members receive early access to this event! General Admission tickets will be available December 19.

Angels in America, the Broadway phenomenon that won the Pulitzer Prize, earned multiple Tony Awards, and gave voice to gay culture during the height of the AIDS crisis, celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, writers Isaac Butler and Dan Kois have compiled an enthralling narrative of the play’s beginnings and legacy, featuring interviews with playwright Tony Kushner, actors stage and screen adaptations, directors, producers, and others. The authors are joined by actors from the original Broadway run Stephen Spinella, Kathleen Chalfant, and Ellen McLaughlin for a discussion of the book, as well as a spirited reading of related interviews featuring an all-star cast of actors and writers.


Book Talk: The Women’s Hour: The Last Furious Fight to Win the VoteBook Talk: The Women's Hour: The Last Furious Fight to Win the Vote
Tue, Mar 13, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Author Elaine Weiss discusses her new book, which tells the nail-biting tale of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.


A Socialist Revival?A Socialist Revival?
Tue, Mar 20, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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For the first time in a generation, socialism looks like a political ideology with a future in the United States. Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara and The Nation senior editor Sarah Leonard join Politically Re-Active host Hari Kondabolu to discuss socialism’s resurgent appeal in an age of rising inequality and its prospects for becoming a viable force in American politics.


Freedom of Expression: The Never-Ending FightFreedom of Expression: The Never-Ending Fight
Wed, Mar 21, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo wrote, “Freedom of expression is…the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom.” Two titans in this fight, Ira Glasser, head of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1978 to 2001, and Norman Siegel, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union from 1985 to 2000, reflect on the history and ongoing struggle, and reminisce about their shared Brooklyn roots. Moderated by Jarrett Murphy, executive editor and publisher of City Limits.

Presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative.


Screening and Talkback: Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class with Bob HerbertScreening and Talkback: Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class with Bob Herbert
Thu, Mar 22, 6:30 pm
Free
Reserve Your Spot>>

Bob Herbert has written extensively about racism and politics for The New York Times and other media. Join him for a screening of this documentary where in both poignant and personal terms, he describes the uphill struggle of black families reaching for economic equality in the face of redlining, employment discrimination and other historical inequalities. Talkback follows.


The Rise of AntifaThe Rise of Antifa
Mon, Mar 26, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Is political violence ever justified? Antifa (short for “anti-fascist”), a loose affiliation of groups united in their opposition to authoritarianism, rampant capitalism, and white supremacy, has come under fire for its counter-protest methods in the past year. Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, discusses the controversial movement and its rising prominence in Trump-era America.

April

Taking a Knee: Sports and ActivismTaking a Knee: Sports and Activism
Tue, Apr 10, 7:00 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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When Colin Kaepernick made a stand during the national anthem he joined a long line of sports figures that have protested racism through their gestures and actions. Join Bleacher Report contributor Rembert Browne and The Nation’s Dave Zirin for a conversation about the platform these athletes have, and the swirling debate around their actions.

Offered in connection with the exhibition “Until Everyone Has It Made: Jackie Robinson’s Legacy” at BHS Pierrepont.


Book Talk: Abraham & Straus: It’s Worth a Trip from AnywhereBook Talk: Abraham & Straus: It's Worth a Trip from Anywhere
Mon, Apr 16, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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The shrinking Macy’s on Fulton Street was once home to an icon of Brooklyn’s Gilded Age prosperity: the Abraham & Straus department store. Author Michael Lisicky’s latest book brings this emporium’s history to life, from its 1865 founding through its postwar demise. Revel in historical trivia about secret jail cells and cheesecake contests, and hear how the company impacted its home borough with support for the Prospect Park Children’s Zoo, translation services for immigrant customers and more.

Offered in connection with a new exhibition about the history of business in Brooklyn at BHS Pierrepont.


Invisible Water, Invisible Watersheds: The Gowanus Canal as a Case StudyInvisible Water, Invisible Watersheds: The Gowanus Canal as a Case Study
Wed, Apr 18, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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As city dwellers walk paved streets, below their feet run streams and water. While invisible, this water is hardly benign. Join us as we use the Gowanus Canal as a case study for a discussion of urban ecology, stressed city ecosystems, and innovative design solutions. Eric Sanderson, senior conservation ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and director of the Manahatta Project; Kate Orff, MacArthur Award-winning landscape architect whose firm, SCAPE, has designed a visionary plan for the Gowanus Canal; and Andrea Parker, executive director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy are moderated by Jarrett Murphy of City Limits.

Offered in connection with the exhibition “Waterfront” at BHS DUMBO.


Roasted: The History of Coffee in NYCRoasted: The History of Coffee in NYC
Mon, Apr 30, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
Reserve Tickets>> Members receive early access to this event! General Admission tickets will be available December 19.

From Arbuckle Coffee to Brooklyn Roasting Company, coffee has been at the center of Brooklyn life for well over a century. Join historian Steven Jaffe; coffee impresario and owner of Gillies Coffee Company (which was founded in 1840) Donald Schoenholt; Brooklyn Roasting Company’s Jim Munson; and Erin Meister, author of New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History, for a conversation about the love affair that wakes us up every morning

Offered in connection with the exhibition “Waterfront” at BHS DUMBO.




Brooklyn Heights Tours

Big Onion Brooklyn Heights TourHistoric Brooklyn Heights Walking Tour

Explore New York City’s first Landmark District on a special tour co-sponsored by Big Onion and BHS! End your excursion at BHS, where you'll receive free admission and a behind-the-scenes look at our magnificent 1881 building. Check out the schedule of upcoming tours HERE and start planning your next Brooklyn adventure!Big Onion






PUBLIC PROGRAM REFUND POLICY

Brooklyn Historical Society requires 24 hours notice before the date of the event to refund a ticket. No refunds are provided after that point. This means no refunds are provided on the day of the event and all subsequent days.





Additonal funding provided by The Agnes Varis Trust.