The Seminar Series, now in its twentieth year, is Bard Graduate Center’s venue for scholarly conversations with guest speakers in the form of seminars, lectures, and symposia organized by our faculty to broaden our curricular vision and further the institution’s goal of promoting research in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture—fields that comprise what we call the “cultural history of the material world.” Over the past two decades, BGC has hosted 740 events and welcomed 1,053 speakers to West 86th Street.

Seminars that repeat each year include Archaeological Encounters, Art and Material Culture of Africa and the African Diaspora, Epistemologies of Material Culture, the Global Middles Ages, Indigenous Arts in Transition, Modern Design History, Museum Conversations, Renaissance and Early Modern Material Culture, the Françoise and Georges Selz Lectures on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture, the Lee B. Anderson Memorial Lecture on the Gothic, the Leon Levy Foundation Lectures on Jewish Material Culture, the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation Seminar in New York and American Material Culture, the Paul and Irene Hollister Lectures on Glass.

Each seminar has at least one BGC faculty convener who selects the guests for the series and convenes the events, which often include a paper presented by the guest followed by a question and answer period and discussion. According to Dean Peter N. Miller, “The constant parade of new voices and new questions [represented in the Seminar Series ensures] that our in-house conversation neither stagnates nor grows self-satisfied.”

To see the complete line-up of Seminar Series events for the current academic year, visit