Event: The Harry Ransom Center hosts public programs.
When: Various dates throughout November and December.
Where: Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 21st and Guadalupe streets.
Background: Events are free and open to the public. The Ransom Center’s Charles Nelson Prothro Theater has limited seating. Line forms upon arrival of the first person, and doors open 30 minutes in advance.
Poetry on the Plaza: Poets from the Age of Mark Twain
Wednesday, Nov. 3, noon
The Ransom Center presents the Poetry on the Plaza event “Poets from the Age of Mark Twain.” Readers highlight works of Mark Twain’s contemporaries to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the American author and humorist. Refreshments will be served at this event.
“Early Inventors of Photography”
Thursday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Mark Osterman and France Scully Osterman, historians, artists and modern masters of the wet-plate collodion process, discuss the role of historical photographic processes in their work. They will also discuss and showcase the types of colorful prints produced by early inventors of photography, such as Hercules Florence, W. H. Fox Talbot, Sir John Herschel and Robert Hunt, and show the types of colorful prints they produced. This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition “Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection,” on display through Jan. 2.
“Proust, Paintings, and the Making of ‘À la recherche du temps perdu'”
Thursday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m.
Artist and writer Eric Karpeles delivers the biennial Amon Carter Lecture, “Proust, Paintings, and the Making of ‘À la recherche du temps perdu.‘” Karpeles uses projected images and passages of text read aloud to render more accessible a famously complex literary masterwork. By focusing on the wealth of visual imagery found in Proust’s novel of multiple volumes, Karpeles breaks through the intimidating aura surrounding the book to reveal the treasures hidden within. The talk offers audience members a window into a 20th-century icon and a better understanding of its prolonged creation. Karpeles is the author of “Paintings in Proust,” an illustrated guide to the visual references in “À la recherche du temps perdu,” and translator of “Proust’s Overcoat.”
Poetry on the Plaza: Harmonica Bob: The Poetry of Bob Dylan
Wednesday, Dec. 1, noon
The Ransom Center presents the Poetry on the Plaza event “Harmonica Bob: The Poetry of Bob Dylan.” Thomas G. Palaima, the Dickson Centennial Professor of Classics and director of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory at The University of Texas at Austin, is the featured reader.
“Winston Churchill’s Public Library”
Thursday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
Drew University historian Jonathan Rose delivers the inaugural Donald G. Davis Jr. Lecture, “Winston Churchill’s Public Library.” Rose explores the relationship between politicians and literature. Are politicians’ agendas molded by literature? How far are their policies and tactics shaped by poetry, prose and drama? Rose focuses on the career of Winston Churchill by examining the books he read by George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, John Galsworthy and Siegfried Sassoon. “The Red Badge of Courage,” “The Good Earth,” “Gone With The Wind” and “1984” — these and many other books and authors exerted a powerful influence on Churchill and his brilliant career. Rose is the William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University. He was the founding president for the Society of the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing. His publications include “A Companion to the History of the Book” (with Simon Eliot), “The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes” and “The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation.”
Curator’s Tour of “Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection”
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
David Coleman, the Ransom Center’s curator of photography, leads a free gallery tour of “Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection.” Drawn from the peerless collection of Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, the exhibition features masterpieces from photography’s first 150 years, alongside other images that, while lesser known, are integral to the medium’s history. Highlights include the first photograph (on permanent display at the Ransom Center); works by 19th-century masters such as Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry Peach Robinson; and iconic images by modern photographers such as Man Ray, Robert Capa, Edward Weston and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
High-resolution press images relating to all events are available.