The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University—known as Harvard Radcliffe Institute—is one of the world’s leading centers for interdisciplinary exploration. We bring students, scholars, artists, and practitioners together to pursue curiosity-driven research, expand human understanding, and grapple with questions that demand insight from across disciplines.
How Roe Got to Be Roe
Schlesinger Library holdings document long, pitched dispute over abortion in archival documents, photos, letters, voices of women. In October, the Schlesinger Library will host an exhibition titled The Age of Roe: The Past, Present, and Future of Abortion in America, with an eponymous conference to follow in the spring. Sign up for our events newsletter at the bottom of this page to learn more about these upcoming happenings as more information becomes available.
By the Numbers
Harvard Radcliffe Institute Announces 2022–2023 Fellows
The Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program offers scholars and practitioners in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and arts—as well as writers, journalists, and others—a rare opportunity to pursue their work in a vibrant interdisciplinary community. From robotic fish to a novel-in-progress inspired by Amelia Earhart, the 2022–2023 class of fellows will come from 14 countries to pursue an incredible range of important projects.
Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery
The report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery documents the University’s ties to slavery—direct, financial, and intellectual—and offers seven recommendations that will guide the work of reckoning and repair now beginning.
Highlights: Women, Gender, and Society
News & Ideas
Join us on Tuesday, August 9, for a Virtual Radcliffe Book Talk with Olivia Laing, the author of Everybody: A Book about Freedom. In the book, Laing explores the concept of bodily autonomy, along the way looking at such complicated historical figures as Sigmund Freud, Malcom X, and Andrea Dworkin (whose papers, incidentally, are housed in our Schlesinger Library). Click on our Linktree for details! IMAGE: Book talk information superimposed over a photo of the author, looking into the distance in an urban setting while resting her arm on a concrete balcony. 📷 Sophie Davidson
Did you know that 38 percent of women suffer from a chronic illness? In a Virtual Radcliffe Book Talk one Tuesday, July 26, the award-winning writer, poet, and editor Meghan O’Rourke RI ’15 will read from and discuss her most recent book, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness (Riverhead Books, 2022). She researched the book—born from her New Yorker article “What’s Wrong with Me?”—during her fellowship year, consulting medical historians and researchers on the topic of chronic illness, of which she herself is a sufferer. Click on the link in our profile to registerer the talk. IMAGE 1: A portrait of O'Rourke smiling. Photo by David Surowiecki IMAGE 2: The cover of The Invisible Kingdom, which features an illustration of a human body in lines that resemble the map of the nervous system.
Gala Porras-Kim’s most recent work gives new life to sacred objects held in museum collections. Precipitation for an Arid Landscape—which grew out of research Gala Porras-Kim conducted during her time at Radcliffe, when she was the 2019–2020 David and Roberta Logie Fellow—presents new work that explores how sacred objects continue to perform their original functions once they enter museum collections and are subject to institutional paradigms of classification, conservation, and display. Porras-Kim was drawn to Radcliffe because it enabled her research-focused approach to art making—and for its proximity to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, whose collections she was interested in, specifically items dredged from the Sacred Cenote of Chichén Itzá, a Maya site in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. With the help of Radcliffe’s curator of exhibitions, Meg Rotzel, Porras-Kim partnered with museum staff to develop the exhibition. This video, our magazine’s first-ever digital feature, serves as an introduction to art at the Institute as well as this body of work, which has been making art-world headlines since it began its multisite debut. Through the commentary of Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato—an MDiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School and summer 2022 fellow in pre-Columbian studies at Dumbarton Oaks who identifies as Chicana—we also learn more about the impact of Porras-Kim’s artwork, which manages to imbue these sacred objects with new life by once again recontextualizing them. In a special video feature on our website, learn more about how her wide-ranging and multisited exhibition came to be. Click the link in our bio to watch. IMAGE: In the foreground, a rough square slab resembling stone, slick with water, which pools in its nooks and crannies. It is made of recently harvested copal mixed with dust from the Peabody Museum’s collection of Mayan items dredged from the Sacred Cenote of Chichén Itzá and is sprinkled with Cambridge rainwater collected in Radcliffe Yard. Photo by Kevin Grady