Fall 2015

Saudi Arabia’s Game of Thrones
Tuesday, September 29, 7:00 p.m.
Change at the top of the Saudi royal family has brought a younger generation into unprecedented positions of leadership. With fighting in Yemen, chaos in Iraq and Syria, ISIS-inspired terror attacks and an intensifying rivalry with Iran, where is Saudi Arabia headed? Author, professor and Middle East expert F. Gregory Gause III looks at Saudi Arabia’s changing foreign policy.

Words of War, Words of Loss
Tuesday, October 13, 7:00 p.m.
Poetry has always been central to Arabic cultural expression. Today it encompasses the whirlwind of events sweeping across the Middle East, serving to mourn tragedy and to articulate political fantasies. Robyn Creswell, co-author of the New Yorker article “Why Jihadists Write Poetry,” and Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail, who fled her country after being put on Saddam Hussein’s enemies list, discuss poetry as a way to understand contemporary Arab society. A book signing will follow the program. This program was co-sponsored by Poets House and City Lore.

ISIS Online
Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 p.m.
The Islamic State’s strategic use of the Internet, including social media, to instill fear and recruit supporters has spurred its rapid rise in the Middle East. Princeton University scholar Cole Bunzel and The Atlantic contributing editor Graeme Wood, who wrote “What ISIS Really Wants” for the magazine, discuss how jihadis use the Internet and what might be an appropriate response to their tactics.

Reporting from the Front Line: VICE and WSJ
Tuesday, December 1, 7:00 p.m.
What is it like to report from the Middle East today, where borders are fractured and civilians are targeted? VICE News correspondent Ben Anderson and The Wall Street Journal columnist and senior correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov talk about the risks and the importance of gathering the news in one of the most unstable corners of the world.

Vigilance: NYPD Before and After 9/11
Wednesday, October 7, 7:00 p.m.
Ray Kelly was the longest serving police commissioner in New York City history. As the first speaker in our New York: Then and Now series, Kelly will discuss how the NYPD evolved to confront the threat of terrorism after 9/11, which is also the subject of his new book “Vigilance.”

Building the 9/11 Memorial Museum
Tuesday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
The architects of Davis Brody Bond LLP, award-winning designers of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, describe the challenges they overcame and the leading design principles that guided them during the emotionally charged rebuilding at Ground Zero. This program was presented in association with Archtober, Architecture and Design Month New York City, October 2015.

War of the Encyclopaedists
Tuesday, November 17, 7:00 p.m.
“War of the Encyclopaedists” is the joint debut novel by poet Christopher Robinson and Army lawyer and veteran Gavin Kovite that has been described as “a brilliant portrait of America in the early years of the Iraq War.” Dr. Elizabeth Samet, author of “Soldier’s Heart” and professor of English at the United States Military Academy, talks to the authors about co-writing a novel, the disconnect between soldiers and civilians, and more. A book signing will follow the program.

On the Waterfront: 100 Years of the Lower Manhattan Coastline
Friday, December 11, 7:00 p.m.
Archival and modern film meet in this unique video sculpture created by artist Bob Bowen and accompanied by live music. The video sculpture transforms historic footage from 1903 into a 3D panorama of lower Manhattan’s changing waterfront up until the present day. 3D glasses will be provided.