Conferences & Symposia

University As Collector

University As Collector

Universities gather knowledge and specialists, as well as historical artifacts. Using Harvard University’s extensive collections as a starting point, this conference will assemble its own group of specialists to explore the history and mission of universities through “university objects.” Each presenter will examine one exemplary holding at Harvard to consider the insights its presence offers into the world of knowledge. Speakers from a variety of Harvard communities will also address larger questions about universities as unique collecting institutions.

The conference has been organized by Julie A. Buckler and Yukio Lippit and the Academic Ventures program at the Radcliffe Institute:

  • Julie A. Buckler, Director of the Humanities Program, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study;  Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • Yukio Lippit, Johnson-Kulukundis Family Faculty Director of the Arts, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is closed. Walk-ins welcome.

Join the conversation on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RadInstitute #universitycollector 

Videos will be available approximately 2 weeks after the event on this site and on Harvard's YouTube channel.


CONFERENCE PROGRAM: 

8:30 a.m.         Registration opens

9:00 a.m.          Welcoming Remarks by Yukio Lippit

9:15 a.m.          Panel: Libraries

  • "Advertising Insert, December 1849" 
    Leah Price, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English Literature, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • "A Record of Teaching from Circa 1700" 
    Ann Blair, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • "Collecting Words" 
    Stephanie Sandler, Ernest E. Monrad Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • "'Leaving All to Younger Hands': How an Inscription in The History of Woman Suffrage Foretold the Future of Women's History" 
    Susan Ware, Senior Advisor, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
  • Moderator Julie A. Buckler will lead the discussion, which will be followed by audience Q&A.

10:30 a.m.        Break

10:45 a.m.        Panel: The Collected Campus 

  • "Harvard's Trees"
    Michael Van Valkenburgh
    , Charles Eliot Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Design School
  • "The Collected Campus"
    Joseph Connors
    , Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • "University Portraits"
    Stephen Coit
    , Painter
  • Moderator Yukio Lippit will lead the discussion, which will be followed by audience Q&A.

11:45 a.m.        Keynote Address

  • "Harvard's 118-Year-Old Tortilla"
    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
    , 300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University
  • Introduced by Julie A. Buckler and followed by audience Q&A

12:30 p.m.        Lunch Break 

Boxed lunches for all attendees (outside seating available, weather permitting)

1:30 p.m.         Panel: Art and Artifact 

  • "From the Margins of Paper Territories: Henry Popple's Map of the British Empire in America, 1733"
    Jennifer Roberts
    , Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities; Harvard College Professor; and Chair of the Committee on Degrees in American Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • "Max Beckmann in Tuxedo"
    Joseph Koerner, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
  • "In the Interest of Science: 21st-Century Considerations of the Peabody Museum's 19th-Century Archaeological Collections through the Lens of an 8th-Century Maya Statue"
    Barbara Fash
    , Director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Program, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
  • "From the Philosophy Chamber: Harvard's Lost Collection, 1766–1831"
    Ethan Lasser
    , Margaret S. Winthrop Associate Curator, Harvard Art Museums
  • Moderator Yukio Lippit will lead the discussion, which will be followed by audience Q&A.

3:00 p.m.          Break

3:15 p.m.          Panel: Objects and Collections: Remarkable Case Studies

  • "The Past, Present, and Future of Scientific Instruments Collecting"
    Peter Galison
    , Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University
  • "Treasures from the Long Road in China"
    Francesca Bewer
    , Research Curator for Conservation and Technical Study Programs, Harvard Art Museums
  • "Collecting (Total) Theaters"
    Jeffrey Schnapp
    , Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Faculty Director, metaLAB at Harvard
  • "Linking Collections Globally for Research and Education: The Digital Worm"
    James Hanken
    , Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Curator in Herpetology, and Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology; Professor of Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • Moderator Julie A. Buckler will lead the discussion, which will be followed by audience Q&A.

4:30 p.m.          Closing Remarks from Julie A. Buckler

4:45 p.m.          Reception