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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Harvard Squared


Events on and off campus during November and December

From left: Tower Hill holiday lights; a scene from William Wellman's Wings, screening at the Harvard Film Archive; a performance of the ancient South indian art form Kudiyattam Sanskirt Theater, presented by the Harvard Department of Music.

Credits from left: Courtesy of Tower Hill Botanical Garden; courtesy of Harvard Film Archive; courtesy of Harvard Department of Music

| Film | Theater | Nature and Science | Lectures | MusicExhibitionsPoetry


The Game
The annual competition takes place in New Haven. (November 18)

Winter Reimagined
Tower Hill Botanical Garden, in Boylston, Massachusetts, puts on a festival of lights outside, among its formal gardens and sculptures. Inside are nature-inspired gifts, an igloo made of recycled goods, and two conservatories filled with subtropical plants that offer hope of spring’s eventual return. (November 24-January 7)

Ceramics Program Holiday Show and Sale
Works by more than 50 artists—from mugs to jewelry to garden ornaments—are on display in this annual show. (December 7-10)

Christmas Revels
“A Venetian Celebration of the Winter Solstice” explores the Italian Renaissance through music, dance, and ornate garb. Sanders Theatre. (December 8-27)

The 108th Annua Christmas Carol Services
The Harvard University Choir helps ring in the holiday season. Memorial Church. (December 10 and 12)


Harvard Film Archive
The Legends of William Wellman celebrates the versatile early Hollywood director. The line-up include Wings (1927), Public Enemy (1931), A Star is Born (1937), and Good-bye, My Lady (1956), which offers one of the top canine performers ever to grace the screen. (Through November 26)
Shuji Terayama, Emperor of the Underground. The writer, photographer, sports critic, cultural agent provocateur, and film director hugely influenced postwar Japanese avant-garde cinema. The archive calls Terayama’s best-known film, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, “a mesmerizing fever dream that follows the strange adventures of a child king wandering through his anarchic kingdom.” (November 3-27)


American Repertory Theater
Sense and Sensibility. Eric Tucker’s innovative production of Jane Austen’s novel explores the age-old question: at what price do we follow our hearts? Loeb Drama Center. (December 10-January 14)
A.R.T. Institute alumnus Dmitry Troyanovsky directs a cast of its current students in E.B. White’s timeless tale, Charlotte’s Web. Loeb Drama Center. (December 17-January 7)

Nature and Science

The Arnold Arboretum
Forest therapy guide Tam Willey, who is completing her practicum at the arboretum, takes a group on a “Forest Bathing” excursion to practice (and explain) Shinrin-yoku, an essential aspect of wellness and preventive health care in Japan. (November 18)


Photograph by Mark Dion/ICA

“Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist,” at The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), is the first U.S survey of the conceptual artist’s oeuvre. More than 20 sculptures and installations feature several hundred objects—from plant and animal specimens to books, vintage photographs, and trash—that he’s collected from around the world. Evoking curiosity cabinets for modern times, the works merge art and scientific inquiry to explore how humans perceive, interact with, and control the natural world. (They also offer prime “I spy” treasure hunting for younger museum-goers.)

Institute of Contemporary Art
Through December 31


Radcliffe Institute
“Hidden in Plain Sight: Family Secrets and American History,” with panelists/writers Gail Lumet Buckley, Susan Faludi ’81, RI ’09, and Alex Wagner, is moderated by Harvard Law School’s Warren professor of American history, Annette Gordon-Reed. Knafel Center. (November 16)

Mahindra Humanities Center
Prasenjit Duara, professor of history and East Asian studies at Duke, addresses “Spiritual Ecologies: Sustainability and Transcendence in Contemporary Asia” in The Environment Forum. Tsai Auditorium. (November 16)
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values series features lawyer Bryan Stevenson, J.D.-M.P.A. ’85, Sc.D. ’15, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy; a panel discussion will follow. First Parish in Cambridge. (December 6)


Kudiyattam Sanskrit Theater
The Harvard Department of Music presents a rare chance to experience the traditional music and dance art form, performed by the South Indian troupe Nepathya. Agassiz Theatre. (November 9)

Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus
J.S. Bach’s cantata “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” and Mass in G Major top the program. Sanders Theatre. (November 17)

Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra
The Winter Concert includes works by Leonard Bernstein, Claude Debussy, and Dmitri Shostakovich. Sanders Theatre. (December 2)

An Evening with Chris Thile
The premier mandolin-player (and host of National Public Radio’s Prairie Home Companion) performs classic and original compositions. Sanders Theatre. (November 21)

Capitol Steps
Orange Ain’t the New Barack. The veteran satirical songsters lampoon the latest events in American politics. Sanders Theatre. (November 25)


Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery of Byerly Hall
Feminist Archaeology, an interdisciplinary project by New York City-based artist Jennifer Bornstein, RI ’15, explores historic and diverse strains of feminism that are not always aligned. (November 15-January 20)

Harvard Semitic Museum
New fabricated casts by museum curators and Harvard students reveal how ancient kings commemorated military and civic triumphs in From Stone to Silicone: Recasting Mesopotamian Wall Carvings. (Opens December 16)

Ethelbert Cooper Gallery at the Hutchins Center
Wole Soyinka: Antiquities Across Times and Place highlights ancient African artifacts collected by the Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian playwright, activist, and author. (Through December 21)

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
We Just Fit, You and I uses video, sculpture, and scent to “redefine what constitutes bodily presence.” (Through January 7)

Harvard Art Museums
The Art of Drawing in the Early Dutch Golden Age, 1590-1630: Selected Works from the Abrams Collection highlights groundbreaking approaches to rendering landscapes and nudes, among other subjects. (Through January 14)

Addison Gallery of American Art
Wole Soyinka: Antiquities Across Times and Place highlights ancient African artifacts collected by the Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian playwright, activist, and author. (Through December 21)


Woodberry Poetry Room
A Provocation: Poetry in the Age of Mass Incarceration features Joshua Bennett, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Jill McDonough, Christopher Soto, and Jackie Wang. (November 8)
The Artifactual Consciousness. Authors (and siblings) Alexandra Zapruder, Ed.M. ’95 (Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film) and Matthew Zapruder (Why Poetry?) discuss what differentiates knowledge from information, and how each is dispersed. (December 5)