Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Harvard Squared


Events on and off campus during March and April

From left: A photograph of Albina Visilova, at the Naftalan Sanatorium, Azerbaijan (2010), at the Peabody Museum; from the Argentine film Zama, at the Harvard Film Archive; and Dragon Mama, starring Sara Porkalob, at the American Repertory Theater
From Left: Courtesy Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. © Chloe Dewe Mathews; Harvard Film Archive; American Repertory Theater


Seasonal | Nature & ScienceTheater  | Music | Lectures | Exhibitions & EventsFilm 



Arts First Festival
The annual arts celebration in and around Harvard Square offers live performances of dance, music, comedy, circus acts, and theater, along with art exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages. The 2019 Harvard Arts Medalist is Tracy K. Smith ’94, poet laureate of the United States. (May 2-5)


Nature and Science

The Arnold Arboretum
Gavin Van Horn, director of cultures and conversations at Chicago’s Center for Humans and Nature, hosts a talk, “Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds,” and a walk: Cultivating Wildness Where You Are. (April 3 and April 4)

An Introduction to Medicinal Plants is a five-part series that explains the scientific principles and anthropological underpinnings of plant-based drugs found around the world, with John de la Parra, an associate of the Harvard University Herbaria, and Ernest Anemone, lecturer at the Tufts University Experimental College. (April 17-May 11)



Lyric Stage Company of Boston
The Little Foxes, Lillian Hellman’s tale of a family’s lust for power and money in the post-Civil War American South, plays as well today as it did in 1939. Remo Airaldi ’85, Harvard lecturer on theater, dance, and media, plays steely schemer Benjamin Hubbard, who timelessly asserts: “The country is turning, the world is open...there are hundreds of Hubbards...and they will own this country some day.” (Through March 17)

Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players
The Gondoliers; or, The King of Barataria. Confusion reigns when a king dies and two brothers learn that one of them is heir to the throne; meanwhile, the new young would-be queen is in love with someone else. Agassiz Theater. (March 29-April 7)

American Repertory Theater
In Dragon Mama, Seattle-based performer, singer, writer, and producer Sara Porkalob delves into the next chapter of her autobiographical Dragon Cycle series, which began with Dragon Lady, a work based on her grandmother, an unflappable Filipina immigrant to the United States. Oberon. (March 20-April 6)

The concert-party-performance Clairvoyance features its creator, Diane Oh, and her “original soul, pop, rock, and punk music.” Oberon. (April 24-28)



Shawn Colvin
The enduring Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and author performs her signature “slow-release works of craft and catharsis.” Sanders Theatre. (March 22)

America/We Need to Talk
Coro Allegro, Boston’s LGBTQ+ and allied classical chorus, presents a concert that calls for national dialogue and social justice. Program includes the world premiere of “A Triptych of American Voices: A Cantata of the People,” by award-winning composer Fred Onovwerosuoke. Sanders Theatre. (March 24)

Holden Choruses
The Radcliffe Choral Society hosts the Rising Voices Treble Chorus Festival, featuring the Boston-based Lorelei Ensemble. Sanders Theatre. (April 5-6)

Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra
The Visitas Weekend Concert includes “Four Ragtime Dances,” by Charles Ives, and the “Dance of the Seven Veils,” from Salome, by Richard Strauss, among other works. Sanders Theatre. (April 27)



Mahindra Humanities Center
This year’s Tanner lecturer, Masha Gessen, the Russian-born journalist and activist, New Yorker staff writer, and author of the National Book Award-winning The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, addresses: “How Do We Talk About Migration?” Paine Hall. (April 3-4)

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Vision and Justice conference—with keynote address by New York University law professor Bryan Stevenson, J.D.-M.P.A. ’85, LL.D. ’15, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (see,) and short presentations by dozens of scholars, artists, writers, and businesspeople—explores the role of arts in understanding the nexus of art, race, and justice. Events include performances by Carrie Mae Weems and Wynton Marsalis. (April 25-26)


Exhibitions & Events

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Willie Cole’s Beauties are full-scale prints made using crushed and hammered ironing boards, each honoring a woman significant to his personal and cultural history. Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery. (Cole gives a talk during the opening reception on March 26; exhibit opens on March 27)

Harvard Art Museums
Scholars, including Laura Muir, curator of The Bauhaus and Harvard exhibit, present new research on artworks and on the seismic design movement during the daylong Bauhaus 100: Object Lessons from a Historic Collection Symposium. (March 29)

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews spent five years documenting people, nature, and landscapes along the Caspian Sea. Caspian: The Elements (also the title of her new book) elucidates her journey, and the roles that materials like rock, oil, and uranium play in daily life. Mathews, recipient of the museum’s 2014 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography, talks about her work during a reception on April 25. (Opens April 27)

Houghton Library
Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Apollo 11 at 50 pairs items from the library’s history of science collection with rarely seen objects from a private spaceflight collection, including artifacts used during the mission by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

A reception on April 30, at Lamont Library's Forum Room, features a lecture by Matthew H. Hersch, assistant professor of the history of science, followed by an exhibit viewing at Houghton. (Opens April 29) 


Currier Museum of Art
Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence highlights colorful, meticulously beaded textiles—a single panel takes up to 10 months to complete—that were created by a community of women living and working together in rural South Africa. (Opens March 23)



The Independent Film Festival Boston offers documentaries and narrative features, short films, and animated and experimental works not readily available elsewhere. New and established filmmakers, along with a host of regional practitioners, are featured through screenings at the Brattle, Somerville, and Coolidge Corner Theatres, among other venues. (April 24-May 1)

Harvard Film Archive
Thai filmmaker and VES visiting lecturer Anocha Suwichakornpong, creator of the Cannes-honored film short Graceland, curates a survey of New Thai Cinema, including Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s Manta Ray and Jakrawal Nilthamrong’s Vanishing Point. (March 8-April 13)

The Films of Lucrecia Martel explores the sensual and perceptive works by this founding member of the New Argentine Cinema, a prominent figure in contemporary world cinema. Martel appears for showings of both Zama (2017), based on the book by Antonio di Benedetto, about a Spanish imperial functionary toiling in South America, and La Niña Santa (2004), in which an adolescent girl struggles to reconcile her nascent sexuality with her Catholic faith. (March 10-April 7).