Tuesday 25 September 2012

Rupert Edis
Afghanistan: a Personal and Literary Exploration

Rupert Edis has reviewed books on Afghanistan for the UK's Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, and Daily Mail newspapers since 1998. Afghanistan's inhospitable frontierland has inspired writers and been the play and battleground of superpowers for almost two hundred years. Now, as the US considers its endgame, Cambridge-educated Edis reviews some aspects of the country's past and future via his favourite books and on-the-ground encounters.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Florence Williams
Breasts: a Natural and Unnatural History

Florence Williams has won enormous acclaim for her witty and well-informed writing on science, health and the environment. With her new book, Breasts: a Natural and Unnatural History, she has surprised mothers, mammologists and policy-makers alike. At her Wide Angle Lunch, Williams will present her entertaining, emotional and important history of the organs that sustain human life, but may be under more threat than we realise.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Timothy Birendra Marthand
Bringing Bach to India: a New Home for Western Classical Music

Coming to Charleston straight from South India, Timothy Birenda Marthand is a pianist and educator of rare insight and passion. The product of a musical household in the city of Hyderabad, he trained at the prestigious International Piano Foundation in Italy. His mission now is to use western classical music to open up new opportunities to the youth of Hyderabad and beyond.

Thursday 15 November 2012

John Adamson
A Carolina Connoisseur: King Charles I as Art Collector

A namesake of our state and city, perhaps best known for his beheading, King Charles I was also a hugely influential patron of the arts. Professor John Adamson, a Fellow of Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, leads our exploration of the king's spectacular collection and its dispersal after the English Civil War.

Adamson's book, The Noble Revolt: the Overthrow of Charles I (2007), was names by The Economist as one of its Books of the Year and described by the London Review of Books as the most important work on the period for more than half a century.

A frequent commentator in Britain's major newspapers, Professor Adamson is also Academic Advisor to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based think tank, and Academic Director of the Weidenfeld Scholarships Programme at the University of Oxford. In the United States, he has been a Visiting Fellow at Yale University and at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Visiting Scholar and Seminar Moderator at the Aspen Institute (Colorado).

Thursday 6 December 2012

Joe Perry
Christmas in Germany: Family, Faith, and Fatherland

As Charleston's Christmas trees begin to go up, Dr. Joe Perry, Associate Professor of Modern German and European History at Georgia State University and author of Christmas in Germany: A Cultural History (2010) explores the cultural importance of the festive season.

The German Christmas is famously a cosy—gemuetlich—celebration of faith and family, supposedly rooted in pre-Christian ritual but also celebrating enduring national values. Perry reveals the extent to which the German Christmas was in fact used as a political, commercial and religious tool in the battles for the German people's mind and soul throughout the twentieth century.

Charleston Library Society: The South's oldest cultural institution, founded 1748