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April


Debora Spar and Julie ScelfoA Conversation with Julie Scelfo and Debora Spar
Mon, Apr 24, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Hear from two women who have, literally, written the book on women’s ongoing fight for equality and recognition in a landscape of contradictory expectations. Debora Spar is the new President of Lincoln Center, former Barnard College President, and the author of Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection. Julie Scelfo returns to BHS with The Women Who Made New York, her work which chronicles dozens of untold stories of women who made New York City the cultural hub we know it as today. They discuss glass ceilings, sexism, and getting older and wiser in their fight to redefine "a woman's place" in society. **Please note that this event features Debora Spar's rescheduled spring appearance**

If These Walls Could TalkIf These Walls Could Talk
Sun, Apr 30, 2 pm
$50 / $35 for Members
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Elizabeth Call returns to BHS for her immensely popular introduction to Brooklyn house research. In this intensive workshop, you’ll gain hands-on experience using archival images, records, and documents to uncover the secret history of your Brooklyn home.

May

Bike Month: A Conversation with Paul Steely White and Mark GortonBike Month: A Conversation with Paul Steely White and Mark Gorton
Mon, May 1, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Celebrate Bike Month with Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White and social entrepreneur Mark Gorton, two of NYC’s most influential advocates for cyclists. Transportation Alternatives is New York City's leading advocates for bicycling, walking, and traffic safety for all. Gorton is the founder and publisher of Streetsblog and Streetfilms, and he speaks nationally and internationally on the need to reduce automobile dependence and increase livability.

Bringing Truth Back: Reporting Facts in a Post-Truth EraBringing Truth Back: Reporting Facts in a Post-Truth Era
Tue, May 2, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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What does it mean to report the news in the age of “alternative facts”? In reflection on the first 100 days of a presidential administration with a strained relationship with the press, what is the future of modern journalism in a contentious media landscape? Explore these questions and others with a panel including Brian Stelter, Senior Media Correspondent for CNN and host of the network's media analysis series Reliable Sources; Laura McGann, deputy managing editor of the Politics and Policy desk at Vox; and Nicole Hemmer, political historian and author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. Moderated by Sopan Deb, culture writer for the New York Times and former embedded reporter on the 2016 Republican presidential campaign.

Book Talk: "City of Dreams"Book Talk: City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles
Wed, May 3,6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Dodgers’ move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. In his new book, City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles, author Jerald Podair challenges the narrative that owner Walter O’Malley happily abandoned Brooklyn and moved west. Learn about O’Malley’s clashes with Robert Moses and dream of what could have been had the team stayed in Brooklyn.

100 Clark Street: A Case Study in Navigating Building Codes, Gravity, and Landmark Preservation100 Clark Street: A Case Study in Navigating Building Codes, Gravity, and Landmark Preservation
Mon, May 8, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Join us for a behind-the-scenes discussion with Margaret Streicker Porres, owner of the long-abandoned mansion at 100 Clark Street, and architect Tom van den Bout, to hear how they are saving this landmarked, 150-year old building from certain demolishment. Notable preservation activist and Executive Director of Historic Districts Council Simeon Bankoff will lead the discussion and explore their long-winded path to restore what was once a stunning building just from a small selection of archival photos, unveil the challenges they faced along the way, and examine what made their efforts successful against all odds.

Talking Privilege with Hari Kondabolu and Jordan CarlosTalking Privilege with Hari Kondabolu and Jordan Carlos
Tue, May 9, 7:00 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Race... gender... social class... tackling the topic of privilege is no easy task, but it's often comedians who do it best. Hari Kondabolu (whose latest album is New Material Night, Volume 1) and Jordan Carlos (formerly of The Nightly Show) bring their observations to BHS is this unmoderated, one-on-one conversation.

Gowanus' Triple Bypass: Change Through Art, Design, and the EnvironmentGowanus' Triple Bypass: Change Through Art, Design, and the Environment
Wed, May 17, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Once an artery of commerce and industry, the Gowanus neighborhood has become emblematic of change and the forces impacting the Brooklyn experience: grassroots arts, environmental remediation, and real estate speculation. Join us for a fast-paced discussion with experts playing pivotal roles in these arenas, including Abby Subak, Jared della Valle, Owen Foote, David Briggs, and Philip Silva, and look at how shifting flows of creativity and capital are redefining this historic artery. Moderated by Joseph Alexiou, author of Gowanus: Brooklyn's Curious Canal.

Presented in partnership with Van Alen Institute.

Paging Through History: Mark Kurlansky in Conversation with Ella MortonPaging Through History: Mark Kurlansky in Conversation with Ella Morton
Tue, May 23, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Paper: it's one of the most common materials in the world, yet its impact on society is anything but ordinary. In his book Paper: Paging Through History, author Mark Kurlansky weaves together the unconventional history of paper and the universal human need to document and create through writing. Editor at Atlas Obscura, Ella Morton, joins him in a conversation about how sometimes the most fascinating things are the ones right under our noses.

Daniel Sharfstein in Conversation with Brent Staples on Race, Reconstruction, and Forced RelocationDaniel Sharfstein in Conversation with Brent Staples on Race, Reconstruction, and Forced Relocation
Wed, May 24, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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As an abolitionist and Civil War hero, Gen. Oliver Otis Howard earned acclaim as a champion for racial equality. Despite this regard for civil rights, Howard waged a brutal military campaign against the Nez Perce tribe and their leader, Chief Joseph, an outspoken opponent of forced relocation. This history is recounted in Daniel Sharfstein’s new book Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War. Sharfstein discusses the story and its post-Civil War repercussions with New York Times editorial writer Brent Staples.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It: Masha Gessen Talks Autocracy with Timothy SnyderA Republic, If You Can Keep It: Masha Gessen Talks Autocracy with Timothy Snyder
Thu, May 25, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Government by the people is a powerful and beautiful system, but one that is not impervious to threats. Two political thought leaders, Russian-American journalist and author of the forthcoming The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Retook Russia, Masha Gessen, and esteemed academic and author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Timothy Snyder, sit down to discuss the global rise of nationalism and America's political future.

June

Tales from the Vault: Adopting Brooklyn as HomeTales from the Vault: Adopting Brooklyn as Home
Tue, Jun 6, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Told through the voices of Puerto Rican, West Indian, European, and African immigrants whose oral histories are part of the BHS archive, Brooklyn residents recall the challenges and joys of adapting to life in America. BHS archivist Brett Dion brings Brooklyn history to life through these immigrant stories, some even going back as far as a century.

KEEP OUT: Immigration, Discrimination, and National SecurityKEEP OUT: Immigration, Discrimination, and National Security
Wed, Jun 7, 6:30 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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As American policy takes a sharp turn right with travel bans, border walls, detentions, and arrests, immigration experts discuss our unprecedented times. Panelists include attorney Lee Gelernt of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project who presented the first challenge to the first executive order on immigration, and historian Libby Garland, author of After They Closed the Gates: Jewish Illegal Immigration to the United States, 1921-1965. Moderated by Lizzy Ratner, senior editor at The Nation.

The Queer Histories of Brooklyn's Working WaterfrontThe Queer Histories of Brooklyn's Working Waterfront
Thu, Jun 8, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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From the 1800s until post-WWII's industrial decline, Brooklyn's waterfront was a refuge for working class queer people. Journalist Hugh Ryan, founder of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, pulls back the curtain to tell this history, from the military factories that gave lesbians (and all women) economic freedom, to the transgender presence at Coney Island freak shows.

Listening Session and Discussion: Stories of Neighborhood ChangeListening Session and Discussion: Stories of Neighborhood Change
Mon, Jun 12, 6:30 pm
FREE
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Among the first casualties of gentrification are stories. Preserving these stories and encouraging "deep listening," the challenge of grappling with uncomfortable stories and diverse opinions, are vital components in preventing the erasure of history. Join us for an oral history listening session and discussion. Excerpts focus on community resilience and Crown Heights' economic, cultural, and spatial change.

Presented as part of the Voices of Crown Heights project, a multi-year oral history project that explores the history and future of Crown Heights, with partners Weeksville Heritage Center and Brooklyn Movement Center.

Book Talk: Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity PoliticsBook Talk: Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics
Tue, Jun 13, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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The October 30, 1975 edition of the New York Daily News led off with a startling headline: “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” This blunt declaration referenced a speech by then-President Gerald Ford denying any federal bailout money to the financially-troubled city of New York, notorious for poverty and crime throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Historian and New York University professor Kim Phillips-Fein dives into the crises of this turbulent period in New York’s history, surveying the fiscal policies that led the city to the brink of bankruptcy, the scare tactics used by the powerful to enforce austerity, and the lasting effects on the city and nation at large.

Book Talk: Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-createdBook Talk: Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created
Wed, Jun 14, 7:00 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Like a modern-day Indiana Jones, Patrick E. McGovern journeys into ancient history, except he searches to uncover and understand alcoholic recipes, which he uses to help develop the Ancient Ales and Spirits for brewer/distiller Dogfish Head. McGovern sits down with historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman, mixologist Eamon Rockey, and Chris Cuzme of Fuhmentaboudit! to discuss his brand new book and the exploding interest in resurrecting methods and tastes from a bygone era.

Inspired by the Water's EdgeInspired by the Water's Edge
Wed, Jun 21, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Author Jennifer Egan, whose forthcoming novel, Manhattan Beach, led her to years of research about communities on the water's edge, leads this panel in a conversation about Brooklyn's waterfronts, industrial and liminal, as an inspiration to artists. Panelists include Nicki Pombier Berger, co-founder of the digital journal, Underwater New York, Elizabeth Albert, author of Silent Beaches, Untold Stories: NYC's Forgotten Waterfront, and Marilyn Symmes, curator of the new BHS DUMBO exhibition, Shifting Perspectives: Photographs of Brooklyn's Waterfront.

Who is Muslim?Who is Muslim?
Wed, Jun 28, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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With immigration from Muslim-majority countries dominating U.S. news, the narrative of who is Muslim in America has become increasingly fraught. Led by NYU Chaplain Imam Khalid Latif, a panel of Muslim men and women living in America challenge stereotypes, highlight alternative narratives, and share their hopes for America's evolution. Hear from Bim Adewunmi, senior culture writer for Buzzfeed News, Moustafa Bayoumi, author of critically acclaimed How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, Ramzi Kassem, director of the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic at CUNY School of Law, and consultant to Homeland Season 6, and Nzinga Knight, award-winning designer of high end, modest clothing. 


Book Talk: The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City BackBook Talk: The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back
Thu, Jun 29, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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For decades Brooklyn was synonymous with grit and struggle, yet today the borough is a hub of hipsters, booming startups, and massive new developments across many neighborhoods. Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal, Kay Hymowitz, examines this seeming Renaissance of Brooklyn’s ever-changing landscape through seven neighborhoods: Park Slope, Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brownsville, Sunset Park, and Canarsie. In this exploration, Hymowitz looks at the successes of black and white middle classes, local policies, and small businesses, while assessing the challenges left for recent immigrants and other diverse communities trying to thrive.

July

Gone Fishin'Gone Fishin': Brooklyn's Favorite, Forgotten Pastime
Thu, Jul 6, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Join Jarrett Murphy, Executive Publisher of City Limits, as he talks to a panel of fishermen and experts about the realities of today's urban fishing landscape, a topic as murky as the water itself! Can you eat a New York City catch? Is fishing even legal? The luring topics abound!

 

Washington RoeblingBook Talk: Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge
Tue, Jul 11, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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After his father's tragic death, Washington Roebling stepped in to finish John Roebling's pièce de résistance: the Brooklyn Bridge. Biographer Erica Wagner chronicles this monumental accomplishment and reveals new archival material, including Roebling's personal memoir, thought to be lost to the historical record.

Paul ButlerBook Talk: Chokehold: Policing Black Men
Thu, Jul 13, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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July 17, 2017 marks three years since Eric Garner was killed in a taped altercation with the NYPD that stunned the nation. To mark this somber occasion, Georgetown University Law Center professor and former federal prosecutor Paul Butler presents his latest work, an uncompromising view on institutionalized racial discrimination in our criminal justice system.

 

Trapped screeningScreening and Discussion: Trapped
Mon, Jul 17, 6:30 pm
Free
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In this award-winning documentary, follow the clinic workers and lawyer who were on the front lines of the battle to fight state TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) laws in the landmark 2016 U.S. Supreme Court case. Producer Marilyn Ness joins us for a talkback.

 

Voices of Crown HeightsThe New Crown Heights? A Neighborhood and Its Future
Tue, Jul 18, 6:30 pm
Free
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What historical connections exist between the Crown Heights of today and of its past? What is the future of Crown Heights? This conversation, moderated by MSNBC host and author Joy-Ann Reid, will feature people living and working in Crown Heights and their varied views on neighborhood change and transformation.

The Circus Comeback: Brooklyn's Nouveau Sideshows
Wed, Jul 19, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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From sideshows to burlesque, Brooklyn’s underground circus arts are making a comeback. Join founder of the Mermaid Parade and unofficial “Mayor of Coney Island” Dick Zigun, as he moderates a discussion with circus arts leaders from across the borough.

OlmstedScreening and Discussion: Olmsted and America's Urban Parks
Mon, Jul 24, 6:30 pm
Free
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Join filmmaker Rebecca Messner for a screening and discussion of her documentary tribute to the visionary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted who, with Calvert Vaux, designed both Central and Prospect Parks. Offered in connection with BHS’ new exhibition celebrating Prospect Park’s 150th anniversary.

Brooklyn AnimationThe Amazing and Incredible History and Future of Brooklyn Animation
Mon, Jul 25, 6:30 pm
$5 / Free for Members
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Long before Pixar, The Simpsons, WB Looney Tunes, and Walt Disney became synonymous with cartoons, American animation was born and bred in Brooklyn. Join animators John Canemaker and Jennifer Oxley, collector Tommy Stathes, and archivist David Kay for a panel exploring the past, present, and future of Brooklyn animation, featuring clips from Winsor McCay (Gertie the Dinosaur, Fleischer Studios (Ko-ko the Clown, Betty Boop), 100 Chickens (PEG + CAT), and more.

Bill & Ted'sHollywood Does History... Poorly Part 1: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Mon, Jul 31, 6:30 pm
Free
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From biopics to period dramas, Hollywood has always been fascinated with historical events, but that does not mean accuracy is the priority! In this series we look at films that play fast and loose with history, often to absurd effect. Join us as we kick things off with Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a classic tale of 1980s slackers sent back in time by a futuristic George Carlin. Rafer Guzman, film critic at Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer of Slate introduce the film.

August

PocahontasHollywood Does History... Poorly Part 2: Pocahontas
Mon, Aug 7, 6:30 pm
Free
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Our summer film series continues with this Disney classic that rewrites the harsh story of colonialism as a tale of love, and even casts the wrong Englishman along the way! Kristen Meinzer of Slate and Rafer Guzman, film critic at Newsday, provide the context and some real history.

The Original Celebrity Chef: The King of Curry
Thu, Aug 10, 7:00 pm
$10 / $5 for Members
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Long before NYC had Danny Meyer, the charismatic chef J. Ranji Smile took the city by storm. Arriving in NYC
in 1899, Smile introduced Indian cuisine to the well-to-do, ushering curry into America’s foodie lexicon. Historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman and MIT’s Vivek Bald, scholar, filmmaker, and writer focusing on the South Asian subcontinent, discuss Smile’s sometimes scandalous rise to fame and his lasting impact on American cuisine.

Forrest GumpHollywood Does History... Poorly Part 3: Forrest Gump
Mon, Aug 14, 6:30 pm
Free
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The final installment of our film series looks at the life of one of American history’s most iconic figures: Forrest Gump! While a work of fiction, Gump’s bizarre “right place, right time” journey through time would make him our most important historical lynchpin… if it were true, of course. Slate’s Kristen Meinzer introduces the film.

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.

Bank of AmericaPublic Programs are made possible, in part, by a generous grant from Bank of America. 



Additonal funding provided by The Agnes Varis Trust.