Friday, November 28, 2008

Valerie Tutson

Fri 11/28/2008, 5-7pm:

SALON - Storyteller Valerie Tutson on Once and Future Storytelling. In Senegal they say, "When an old person dies, a library is buried." Tutson explores storytelling, the work of Rhode Island Black Storytellers and its annual FUNDA FEST in January, and the relevance of this ancient oral art form in today's image-driven technical age; as she slyly puts it, storytelling is not a spectator sport! Co-presented with the RI Foundation. For Athenaeum members and their guests.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Karl Jacoby

Fri 11/21/2008, 5-7pm:
SALON - Karl Jacoby on the History of the Frontier and the Frontiers of History. Brown History Professor Jacoby's new book Shadows at Dawn: A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of History details an 1871 massacre of Tucson-area Apaches by Anglos, Mexicans, and native tribes. In a nod to our last year's series on 1838 and this year's on the future of the library, his talk will trace 1830s policies and philosophies that led to increasing conflicts and violent resolutions as the frontier expanded lawlessly westward in the decades that followed, and he'll reflect on the changing role of the 21st century author in an increasingly on-line world. Do questions of ownership, citizenship, and nativism raised by 19th century geographical expansion connect to the idea of the borderless global world seemingly promised by today's electronic expansion of information? Books for sale and signing thanks to Borders! For Athenaeum members and their guests. (Sponsor: Studio Hop, 810 Hope Street, 401-621-2262)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

James Wood

Tues 11/18, 7pm:
Series: The Once and Future Library, part 3: The New Yorker's literary critic James Wood on Reading and Writing on Reading. A world of libraries presupposes a world of readers; what is the future of that world? Wood gives a brief history of the notion of the common reader, describing how critics and writers have tried over centuries to engage a large, public readership; defends the idea of the common reader against attacks from both populism and faux-populist elitism; and distinguishes between current academic writing and his brand of literary journalism. Wood's new How Fiction Works available for sale and signing thanks to Borders. Free and open to the public! (Series Sponsor: Dan Siegel, M&S Rare Books)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Sunday, November 16, 2008, 4 to 6pm at the Music Mansion, 88 Meeting Street in Providence
Proustfest: Music and Wine from the World of Marcel Proust!
Proceeds to benefit the Providence Athenaeum

The Aurea Ensemble performing works by Ravel, Faure, Franck and other composers Proust knew and loved, plus reading passages from his writing
A Champagne and sparkling wine tasting with Campus Fine Wines
Fabulous French hors d'oeuvres by Blackstone Caterers

Friday, November 14, 2008

Anka Muhlstein

Fri 11/14, 5-7pm:
SALON - Proustfest! Celebrating the 95th anniversary of the publication of Proust's Swann's Way, first in his series In Search of Lost Time. Part 1: Literary historian Anka Muhlstein on Proust and His Publishers. Full publication (7 books in 15 volumes) of Proust's epic took 15 years; he did not live to see completion. Publication was interrupted by WWI and complicated by constant textual reworkings plus the author's illness, failing eyesight, and impossible schedule - he slept all day, worked at night. At his death, with 6 volumes to go and no reliable manuscript available, things looked dire. But miracles happen - the novel got published in full and the publisher did not go mad. Free and open to the public! (Sponsor: Kas DeCarvalho Business Law,

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Legendary Pub Quiz!

Fri 11/7, 7:30pm: The Legendary Pub Quiz! Call 421-6970 to reserve a spot. $5 for Athenaeum members; $10 for non-members.

Paul Polak

Fri 11/7, 5-7pm:
SALON - Paul Polak on his book Out of Poverty. For 25 years Polak has helped poor farmers develop practical ways to increase their income, moving 17 million people out of poverty. In 2006 his organization received $14 million from the Gates Foundation. How does he succeed when mainstream poverty programs consistently fail? More: Books for sale and signing thanks to Borders!

For Athenaeum members and their guests. (Sponsor: Kas DeCarvalho Business Law,

Read about Paul Polak's business theories in the NYTimes from Nov 1:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rick Ring

Thurs 11/6, 7pm:
Series: The Once and Future Library, part 2: "To Promote the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge": The Formation of the Providence Public Library as an Ark of the Arts and Sciences in Providence. Rick Ring, Special Collections Librarian of the Providence Public Library, revisits the creation of the PPL from its first glimmers in the 1870s by a group of cultural institutions, to the construction of the Italian Renaissance revival-style building in 1900.

Free and open to the public! (Series Sponsor: Dan Siegel, M&S Rare Books,