Yong Chen, professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, discusses the historical forces that turned Chinese food, a cuisine once widely rejected by Americans, into one of the most popular ethnic foods in the U.S.
Martha Howell, professor of history at Columbia University and the R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellow, discusses the meaning attached to goods—both humble and luxurious—during the Renaissance. The era is considered by many to be the first age of commercial globalism.
Bill Sherman, director of the Warburg Institute in London, delivers the inaugural annual lecture honoring David Zeidberg, recently retired Avery Director of the Library. In his presentation, Sherman traces the modern field of cryptography back to the Renaissance and asks what role the invention of printing played in the keeping of secrets.
In the 16th century, the unified Latin Christianity of the Middle Ages broke apart. New Protestant churches and a reformed Catholic church created new theologies, new liturgies, and new ways of imagining what early Christian life and worship were like. Anthony Grafton, professor of history at Princeton University, discusses how the new histories were ideological in inspiration and controversial in style, but nonetheless represented a vital set of innovations in western ways of thinking about...
The 16th-century ethnographic study known as the Florentine Codex included a richly detailed account of natural history of the New World. In this lecture, Alain Touwaide—historian of medicine, botany, and medicinal plants—compares the Codex and contemporary European herbal traditions. He suggests that they represent the opposition between unknown and known—a dynamic force that led to many discoveries in medicine through the centuries.
Recorded Dec. 5, 2017.
Markku Peltonen, professor of history at the University of Helsinki and the Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow, discusses why the famous philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) placed the blame for the English Civil War and Revolution of the 1640s at the door of schoolmasters. This talk is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Recorded Nov. 15, 2017
If England’s King Charles II and his courtiers had had their way, most of eastern North America would have been the personal property of about a dozen men who dreamed of wielding virtually absolute power over their vast domains. Daniel K. Richter, professor of history and director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert C. Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, explores this neglected chapter in American history and why it still matters.
David Loewenstein, Erle Sparks Professor of English and Humanities at Penn State, discusses the daring originality of Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” This year marks the 350th anniversary of the great poem’s first publication in 1667. This talk is part of the Ridge Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Recorded Nov. 1, 2017.
Historian Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of the exhibition “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin,” discusses the surprising and little-known story of the pivotal role that Latin America played in the pursuit of science and art during the first global era. This talk is part of the Wark Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Recorded Oct. 16, 2017.
John Demos, Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University and the Ritchie Distinguished Fellow at The Huntington, presents an account of Potosí, the great South American silver mine and boomtown that galvanized imperial Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries, fueled the rise of capitalism, destroyed native peoples and cultures en masse, and changed history—for good or ill? This talk is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Recorded April 12, 2017.
Greg Walker, Regius Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, discusses Sir David Lyndsay’s remarkable play, “A Satire of the Three Estates”, probably the most dramatically and politically radical piece of theater produced in 16th-century Britain.
Recorded Mar. 1, 2017.
Mary Terrall, professor of the history of science at UCLA, discusses French botanist Michel Adanson, who spent almost five years in Senegal in the 1750s. Terrall reconstructs Adanson’s sojourn in a French trading post, where he studied African natural history with the help of local residents. This talk is part of the Dibner Lecture series at The Huntington.
Recorded Jan. 25, 2017
Margo Todd, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and the Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow, examines the campaign of the mostly lay judiciaries of the Calvinist Scottish kirk, or church, to impose a strict and highly invasive sexual discipline on their towns in the century following the Protestant Reformation. This talk is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Recorded Dec. 7, 2016.
Steve Hindle, W. M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at The Huntington, explains how one particular map might be used to reconstruct who did what for a living, and who lived next door to whom, in 17th-century rural society.
Recorded Nov. 9, 2016.
Carla Gardina Pestana delivers this Society of Fellows lecture at The Huntington. In 1685, after he supported the invasion of the Duke of Monmouth, who aimed to take the throne from his uncle, James II, the “Chyrurgion” (surgeon) Henry Pitman was transported to labor on the Caribbean island colony of Barbados as a convicted rebel. Four years later, Pitman returned to England to publish an account of his servitude, escape, encounters with privateers, and other “strange adventures”. "A Relation...
Norman Jones, professor of history at Utah State University, talks about his decades-long effort to understand how English men and women in the Elizabethan era perceived the structures, meanings, and purposes of life.
Carla Gardina Pestana, professor of history at UCLA, will argue for the importance of Cromwell's effort and its outcome. Oliver Cromwell got only to Jamaica despite sending a massive expeditionary force to conquer the Spanish West Indies. This is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Andrew O’Shaughnessy, vice president of Monticello and professor of history at the University of Virginia, dispels the incompetence myth surrounding the loss of the American colonies and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory. This talk was part of the Nevins Lecture series at The Huntington.
Dena Goodman, professor of history at the University of Michigan, discusses a group of young men whose passion for science guided them through the turmoil of the French Revolution and into leadership roles in the decades that followed.
Simon Winchester, author of The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology, tells the extraordinary story of British surveyor, William Smith.
Clive Holmes, emeritus fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, will provide a context for the 1692 determination by the Puritan clergymen of the Cambridge Association concerning spectral evidence in witchcraft trials. This talk is part of the Crotty Lecture series at The Huntington.
Felicity Heal, emeritus fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, discusses the importance of gifts and patronage in the lethally competitive court of Henry VIII. This talk is part of the Crotty Lecture series at The Huntington.
Thomas Cogswell, professor of history at UC Riverside reconstructs the polemical campaign waged in the early 1650s by John Milton and other republicans to destroy the personal and political reputation of Charles II. This is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell discusses one of the most exciting, controversial, and extravagant periods in the history of fashion: the reign of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in 18th-century France. She explores the exceptionally imaginative and uninhibited styles of the period leading up to the French Revolution, as well as fashion’s surprising influence on the course of the Revolution itself. This is part of the Wark Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Alain Touwaide explores some iconic sites in the Mediterranean world—Pompeii, Constantinople, Baghdad, Cordoba, Granada, and Padua, among others—and examines archaeological fields and early manuscripts that illustrate the relationship between humans and nature through time and space. Since ancient times, humans have recognized the therapeutic benefits of nature and have built gardens that helped restore health, both physical and spiritual.Touwaide is scientific director of the Institute for...