This seminar explores the interplay of the arts, popular culture, and civic life. Our goal is to provide a vibrant, international forum for the exchange of ideas and ongoing projects. The seminar includes artists, academics, architects, writers, photographers, urban planners, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, visiting scholars, and fellows from Harvard and surrounding universities, and leaders of art, civic, and educational organizations in greater Boston. Among the topics we have discussed are: “The Power of Art: Contending with Censorship Hard and Soft,” “Religion and the Artistic Imagination,” and “Shaping a Common Life: Architecture and Public Space.”


Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming seminars.

Past Events 2016 - 17

Roundtable Discussion
What the Presidential Campaign Says About America
Roundtable Discussion
The Birkini and Beyond: Pious Dress and the Religious-Secular Divide
Roundtable Discussion
The Deeper Story: New Approaches to Visual Journalism
Roundtable Discussion
Art, Violence, and Mourning
Roundtable Discussion
Democracy and Education: Do Universities Practice What They Preach?
Roundtable Discussion
Vengeance in Philosophy, Politics, and Popular Culture
Roundtable Discussion
Faith, Politics, and Social Transformation

Past Events 2015 - 16

Roundtable Discussion
Trump's Appeal: Is Populism Democracy's Dark Twin?
Roundtable Discussion
The Art of Suffering: Dilemmas of Ethics and Aesthetics
Roundtable Discussion
Art in the Public Square: Murals, Posters, Graffiti, and Installations
Roundtable Discussion
Movies and Memory: The Art of Remaking the Past
Roundtable Discussion
The Art of the Political Cartoon
Roundtable Discussion
The Artist as Visionary and Social Critic: Ai Wei-Wei and Contemporary Indigenous Australian Artists
Roundtable Discussion
The Bullfight and the Theology of Sacrifice
Roundtable Discussion
Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Politics: The Art of Dissent

Past Events 2014 - 15

Roundtable Discussion
Commodifying Culture: Has Market Thinking Invaded the Arts?
Roundtable Discussion
Occupy: Public Space and Political Protest
Roundtable Discussion
Songs and Social Transformation
Roundtable Discussion
Why Indian Movies Sing
Roundtable Discussion
Sites of Deliberation: Why Democracy Needs Architecture
Roundtable Discussion
Ethics, Manipulation, and Photojournalism
Roundtable Discussion
Apologies Public and Private

Past Events 2013 - 14

Roundtable Discussion
The Power of Art: Contending with Censorship Hard and Soft
Roundtable Discussion
Contested Memories: Monuments and Memorials
Roundtable Discussion
Photography, Iconic Images, and Civic Discourse
Roundtable Discussion
Do the Arts Make Us Better?
Roundtable Discussion
Averting Our Gaze: Contending with Images of Poverty, Suffering, and Political Violence
Roundtable Discussion
Religion and the Artistic Imagination
Roundtable Discussion
Shaping a Common Life: Architecture and Public Spaces