Interior View of South Nave of Crystal Palace in its second year of exhibition, with statues, windows, stairs and other structural elements of building, 1854. Daguerreotype. New-York Historical Society, Cased photograph file, PR 5507.

During the nineteenth century, New York City rose to prominence as the center of American cultural and economic production, in large part due to the intermingling of diverse cultures. In conjunction with our Spring exhibition, New York Crystal Palace 1853, which explores the little-known history of the United States’ first world’s fair, the Bard Graduate Center will convene a panel of scholars whose work explores the histories of marginalized communities in New York. Moving beyond the nineteenth century to the present, panelists will explore how the cultural traditions and expertise of diverse communities have contributed to defining and revitalizing New York’s vibrant and dynamic character, often overcoming institutionalized discrimination and prejudice to do so.

Panelists Include

Lorrin Thomas, PhD, Professor of History at Rutgers University and author of Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in New York City (University of Chicago Press, 2010)

Tia Powell Harris
, President and Executive Director of the Weeksville Heritage Center

Sarah Schulman
, Novelist, Playwright, LGBTQ Activist and Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Empire State College (SUNY)

Todd Fine
, Preservationist, Historian, President of the Washington Street Historical Society, a nonprofit that advocates for the physical preservation of the “Little Syria” neighborhood of Downtown Manhattan, and PhD candidate at CUNY