EVENT: The Harry Ransom Center, located on The University of Texas at Austin campus, will host free programs throughout the fall, ranging from literature to film.
WHEN: Sept. 22 through Nov. 29.
WHERE: Harry Ransom Center and Jessen Auditorium, 21st and Guadalupe streets; Central Market, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd.
BACKGROUND: The Ransom Center offers programs that engage the community with its collections. They include:
Novelist Marlon James
Thursday, Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m. in Jessen Auditorium at The University of Texas at Austin
Novelist Marlon James, author of the Booker Prize–winning “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” talks about why he writes. New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani described “A Brief History of Seven Killings” as “epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting.” James’ other novels include “John Crow’s Devil” and “The Book of Night Women.” Signed books will be available for purchase at the event.
Poet Naomi Shihab Nye
Thursday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m., Harry Ransom Center
Award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye reads from her work. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she has written more than 30 books of poetry and prose including “Transfer” (2011), “You and Yours” (2005) and “Fuel” (1998). Co-presented by the Michener Center for Writers, where Nye is a visiting professor. A reception follows.
Film screening of “The Grim Game” (1919)
Tuesday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m., Harry Ransom Center
Harry Houdini, the legendary stage illusionist, also made his mark in film. In the 1919 silent film “The Grim Game,” Houdini stars as a man who has been jailed for a murder he did not commit. He uses his talents to escape and find the real killers. Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts, introduces the film and the riches of the Center’s Harry Houdini collection. Not rated, 71 minutes. This October marks the 90th anniversary of Houdini’s death. Materials from the Ransom Center’s Houdini holdings are on view in the Ransom Center’s lobby from Oct. 1 through Nov. 6.
Exhibition curator lecture
Thursday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m., Harry Ransom Center
Jessica S. McDonald, the Ransom Center’s Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, presents “Looking at Photographs: Visual Research in the Elliott Erwitt Photography Collection,” a behind-the-scenes look at the visual detective work involved in researching photographs for the exhibition “Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World.” She recounts how various tools — from contact sheets to Google Earth — helped shed new light on some of Erwitt’s best-known works. Following the talk, McDonald will be available for questions in the galleries.
Cooking Class: “Dining with Harry Houdini”
Sunday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m. at Central Market
Ransom Center and Central Market present “Dining with Harry Houdini,” a cooking class inspired by the life of the legendary performer and stage illusionist. The menu, designed by Chef Louis Ortiz, draws inspiration from Houdini’s Hungarian heritage. Pre-payment and registration required online or by calling 512-206-1014.
Author John Pipkin
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m., Harry Ransom Center
Former Ransom Center research fellow John Pipkin, author of the critically acclaimed “Woodsburner,” reads from his new novel “The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter” and discusses how his research in the Center’s Herschel family papers influenced the novel. Materials from the Herschel family papers will be on view during the reception and book signing that follow.
Performance of “Houdini Speaks to the Living”
Monday, Oct. 31, 7 p.m., Harry Ransom Center
Austin-based theater company The Hidden Room conjures an evening of magic and mystery with Harry Houdini on the 90th anniversary of his death. The company presents “Houdini Speaks to the Living,” an original production inspired by research in the Ransom Center’s Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle collections.
Film Screening of Elliott Erwitt’s films
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m., Harry Ransom Center
Join Jessica S. McDonald, the Ransom Center’s Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, for an evening of Elliott Erwitt films: “Beauty Knows No Pain” (1971; 26 minutes), “Red, White, and Bluegrass” (1963; 26 minutes) and “The World Renowned Incomparable Marching 100” (1981; 23 minutes).
High-resolution press images available.