Upcoming Events

We’re now able to welcome community members who are fully vaccinated and boosted to attend our in-person events. To all Yale affiliates and to our friends in the New Haven public: we look forward to seeing you in the Humanities Quadrangle (HQ) at 320 York Street. All Whitney Humanities Center events in HQ are free and open to the public. Please join us!

Along with in-person events, we will continue to make some of our events available to a Zoom audience. If a registration link appears with a listing, the event will be accessible via Zoom.

Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29

Franke Program in Science & the Humanities

Alexander Paseau, University of Oxford

Understanding the Nature of Inference Colloquium Talk: Inference: A Logical-Philosophical Perspective

In this talk, Professor Paseau will describe some of his work on inference both within mathematics and more generally. Inferences can be usefully divided into deductive or non-deductive. Formal logic studies deductive inference, with the obvious question here being: which formal logic correctly captures it? His view, defended in his recent monograph One True Logic (Oxford UP, coauthored with Owen Griffiths), is that any such logic must be highly infinite. In this Inference Project event, he shall explain what this means and sketch some arguments for it.

The other side of the coin is non-deductive inference. This is much harder to capture precisely, but many interesting and important things can still be said about it. Professor Paseau will present some of his ideas about non-deductive reasoning in mathematics and explain why, contrary to current and traditional thinking, it can be a source not just of justified belief but also knowledge. 

What links the two halves of the talk? The idea that inference, both deductive and non-deductive, is more permissive than often imagined.

Alexander Paseau read Mathematics (BA,1996) followed by a year of Philosophy (Part II) at Trinity College, Cambridge. After taking the BPhil in Philosophy at Oxford (1999), he returned to Cambridge for his PhD, supervised by Alex Oliver. He spent 2001 as a visiting graduate student at Princeton, working with Paul Benacerraf and David Lewis. After three years of a Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge, he came to Oxford in 2005, where he is now a professor and a fellow of Wadham College. Paseau has been an associate editor of the journal Mind and has held research fellowships from the Mind Association and the Leverhulme Trust, as well as visiting appointments at the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, King’s College London, and the Institut d’histoire et de philosophie des sciences et des techniques in Paris.

Register in advance for this webinar
Poster

3:00pm, Zoom

Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29

Franke Program in Science & the Humanities

Alexander Paseau, University of Oxford

Understanding the Nature of Inference Colloquium Talk: Inference: A Logical-Philosophical Perspective

In this talk, Professor Paseau will describe some of his work on inference both within mathematics and more generally. Inferences can be usefully divided into deductive or non-deductive. Formal logic studies deductive inference, with the obvious question here being: which formal logic correctly captures it? His view, defended in his recent monograph One True Logic (Oxford UP, coauthored with Owen Griffiths), is that any such logic must be highly infinite. In this Inference Project event, he shall explain what this means and sketch some arguments for it.

The other side of the coin is non-deductive inference. This is much harder to capture precisely, but many interesting and important things can still be said about it. Professor Paseau will present some of his ideas about non-deductive reasoning in mathematics and explain why, contrary to current and traditional thinking, it can be a source not just of justified belief but also knowledge. 

What links the two halves of the talk? The idea that inference, both deductive and non-deductive, is more permissive than often imagined.

Alexander Paseau read Mathematics (BA,1996) followed by a year of Philosophy (Part II) at Trinity College, Cambridge. After taking the BPhil in Philosophy at Oxford (1999), he returned to Cambridge for his PhD, supervised by Alex Oliver. He spent 2001 as a visiting graduate student at Princeton, working with Paul Benacerraf and David Lewis. After three years of a Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge, he came to Oxford in 2005, where he is now a professor and a fellow of Wadham College. Paseau has been an associate editor of the journal Mind and has held research fellowships from the Mind Association and the Leverhulme Trust, as well as visiting appointments at the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, King’s College London, and the Institut d’histoire et de philosophie des sciences et des techniques in Paris.

Register in advance for this webinar
Poster

3:00pm, Zoom

Thursday, September 29

Films at the Whitney

Nigerian Cinema, Fall 2022

Join us for a three-part film series celebrating Nigerian cinema in honor of the special exhibition of sculptures by Nigerian artist Moshood Olúṣọmọ Bámigbóyè on view this fall in the Yale University Art Gallery. To commemorate Bámigbóyè’s 50-year career, the films focus on themes of migration, identity, and the legacy of historic artworks and tradition in Nigerian society.

Entitled (2018, 5 min), directed by Adeyemi Michael, followed by Eyimofe (This Is My Desire), directed by Arie Esiri and Chuko Esiri (2020, 1hr 56m).
These two films focus on the dreams and realities of migration. In the five-minute short Entitled, director Adeyemi Michael portrays his mother, Abosede Afolashade. She takes to the streets of Peckham, London, astride a horse and dressed in splendid traditional Yorùbá ceremonial clothing. This short film provides a framework for Eyimofe (This Is My Desire), the revelatory and award-winning debut feature from co-directors (and twin brothers) Arie Esiri and Chuko Esri. Eyimofe follows the stories of Mofe and Rosa who hustle to survive desperate conditions as they seek a better life promised by foreign shores.

Sponsored by Yale University Art Gallery and Whitney Humanities Center
Poster

7:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Friday, October 07

Films at the Whitney

Days of Heaven

To celebrate the great Brooke Adams (Vengeance is Mine), her career, and her upcoming appearance on Yale’s campus for the Vengeance is Mine Q&A, Films at the Whitney is thrilled to present Brooke’s most iconic lead performance, in Terrence Malick’s woozy, lyrical American idyll Days of Heaven. In 1910, a Chicago steel worker (Richard Gere) accidentally kills his supervisor and flees to the Texas panhandle with his girlfriend (Adams) and little sister (the haunting and mysterious Linda Manz) to work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer (Pulitzer-winning playwright Sam Shepard). A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fire—Malick captures it all with awestruck, dreamy authenticity and a lived-in feel for the lives of turn-of-the-century US laborers. 35mm print courtesy of the Harvard Film Archive. 94 minutes.

Poster

7:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Saturday, October 08

Films at the Whitney

Vengeance Is Mine

Unsuccessfully trying to close old family wounds on a trip back to the Rhode Island home of her miserable childhood, a troubled young woman (Brooke Adams) finds that her new friendship with a neighbor (Trish Van Devere) has her stuck in another family drama. Hailed as one of the best films of 2022 by New York Magazine, this recently rediscovered slow-burn melodrama (1984) from Yale Emeritus Professor and director Michael Roemer has received nothing but high acclaim since its splashy run at New York’s Film Forum earlier this year. A.S. Hamrah writes: “Michael Roemer is known for only two films, both masterpieces: Nothing But a Man (1964) and The Plot Against Harry (1971) …The rediscovery of a third Roemer feature as good as the others is a cause for celebration, and something of a miracle.” Films at the Whitney is very excited not only to co-present Vengeance is Mine with Treasures from the Yale Film Archive in a new 35mm print struck especially for the YFA, but to also host a post-film Q&A with its writer-director Roemer and star Brooke Adams! A night of historic proportions. 119 minutes.

Poster

1:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Saturday, October 08

Films at the Whitney

The Plot Against Harry

To celebrate Michael Roemer’s career, Films at the Whitney and Treasures from the Yale Film Archive are teaming up to present a new 35mm print of Michael’s lesser-known, but no-less-masterful feature film The Plot Against Harry. Jonathan Rosenbaum, who listed it among his 1,000 Personal Favorite Films, writes: “Shot in black and white in 1969, but neither completed nor shown until 1989, this delightful, offbeat comedy about a sad-eyed, small-time New York numbers racketeer named Harry Plotnick (Martin Priest) who has just emerged from prison after many years, was written and directed by Michael Roemer, whose only well-known previous feature was the skillful Nothing but a Man (1964), about the experiences of a black couple living in Alabama. Finding that life has passed him by, Harry gamely tries to buy his way into middle-class respectability, even though his wife despises him and he’s a total stranger to his kids. In the course of conducting business, he passes through a picaresque succession of locations and noisy events — bar mitzvah, fashion show, dog-training session, and an endless stream of parties — yet the movie’s pace is leisurely, the humor quiet and affectionate in striking contrast to the brassy world he moves through. Beautifully shot (by coproducer Robert M. Young, a director in his own right) and cast with a wonderful bunch of unknowns (who include Ben Lang, Maxine Woods, Henry Nemo, Jacques Taylor, Jean Leslie, Ellen Herbert, and Sandra Kazan), this is both a lovely piece of filmmaking and an exquisitely detailed portrait of a milieu and period, sealed as if in a time capsule.” 81 minutes.

Poster

4:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Friday, October 14

Incarceration and Imagination

A symposium at Yale University

Prison has become the punitive shadow to all the major institutions of modernity. How has contemporary mass incarceration shaped inner life, public spectacle, moral possibilities? How does writing from inside and outside prison walls help us imagine a future beyond the carceral state. This day-long symposium in the Humanities Quadrangle at Yale—featuring scholars, prison education advocates, writers, and more—is free and open to all.
The Symposium starts from the fact of mass incarceration in the US today and attempts to understand how mind reacts to imprisonment—both the image and the reality. For over two centuries, Western societies have built a penal system founded principally on incarceration. How has this fact shaped inner life, public spectacle, moral possibilities? How might artistic creation about incarceration help us bring about a more humane future?

Sponsored by Whitney Humanities Center, the Arthur Liman Center at Yale Law, and Freedom Reads. The organizers thank Richard Weisberg and the Law and Humanities Institute for additional support for the symposium

Learn more
Poster

9:00am, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Wednesday, October 26

Tanner Lectures

Fei-Fei Li, Stanford University

What We See and What We Value: AI with a Human Perspective

2022 Tanner Lecture on Artificial Intelligence and Human Values

Fei-Fei Li of Stanford University will deliver the 2022 Tanner Lecture on Human Values and Artificial Intelligence this fall at the Whitney Humanities Center. The lecture, “What We See and What We Value: AI with a Human Perspective,” presents a series of AI projects—from work on ambient intelligence in healthcare to household robots—to examine the relationship between visual and artificial intelligence. Visual intelligence has been a cornerstone of animal intelligence; enabling machines to see is hence a critical step toward building intelligent machines. Yet developing algorithms that allow computers to see what humans see—¬and what ¬they don’t see—raises important social and ethical questions.

Dr. Fei-Fei Li is the Sequoia Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and Denning Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI). During her 2017–2018 sabbatical, Dr. Li was a vice president at Google and chief scientist of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning at Google Cloud. She co-founded the national nonprofit AI4ALL, which trains K-12 students from underprivileged communities to become future leaders in AI. Dr. Li also serves on the National AI Research Resource Task Force commissioned by Congress and the White House and is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Fei-Fei Li’s talk is one of seven Tanner Lectures on Artificial Intelligence and Human Values, which is a special series of the Tanner Lectures on Human Values. The Tanner Lectures on Human Values are funded by an endowment received by the University of Utah from Obert Clark Tanner and Grace Adams Tanner. Established in 1976, the Tanner Lectures seek to advance and reflect upon scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values. The lectures, which are permanently sponsored at nine institutions, including Yale, are free and open to the public.

Poster

5:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L02

Thursday, October 27

Films at the Whitney

Nigerian Cinema, Fall 2022

Join us for a three-part film series celebrating Nigerian cinema in honor of the special exhibition of sculptures by Nigerian artist Moshood Olúṣọmọ Bámigbóyè on view this fall in the Yale University Art Gallery. To commemorate Bámigbóyè’s 50-year career, the films focus on themes of migration, identity, and the legacy of historic artworks and tradition in Nigerian society.

Half of a Yellow Sun (2013, 111 min.)
Director: Biyi Bandele, based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Based on the eponymous novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Biyi Bandele’s film negotiates romantic, political, and ethnic fidelities and allegiances. Set in the 1960s against the backdrop of newly independent Nigeria, twin sisters from a wealthy family return to Lagos from their education abroad. While one plans to teach sociology in Nsukka, in the company of a revolutionary professor who she loves, the other takes over family business and falls unexpectedly for an English writer. The lives of these two sisters are intertwined with the Nigerian Civil War, which the film represents through archival footage.

Sponsored by Yale University Art Gallery and Whitney Humanities Center
Poster

7:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Saturday, October 29

Films at the Whitney

My Neighbor Totoro

The international breakthrough film (1988) of anime director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke). It solidified Studio Ghibli’s position as the top animation studio in the world and served as the distilled quintessence of the Ghibli house style, which commands millions of ardent fans around the world. Two sisters move to the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother, where they discover that the surrounding trees are inhabited by Totoros, magical spirits of the forest. Whether you’re seeing it for the first or the hundredth time, Totoro is a lush, vibrant, and gorgeous coming-of-age-in-the-times-of-fantasia film that begs to be experienced on the big screen. It was hailed as one of the greatest films of all time by no less an authority than Akira Kurosawa, for whom it was a favorite. Presented on a double bill with Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday. 86 minutes.

Poster

1:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Saturday, October 29

Films at the Whitney

Only Yesterday

It’s 1982, and Taeko is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her family in the countryside; as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger self in 5th grade, 1966: the rock-craze sparked by the Beatles in Tokyo, the first immature stirrings of romance in the form of crushes, the onset of menstruation, the frustrations of math and boys, the desire to act and be somebody else. Even though Only Yesterday was the top-grossing box-office hit of Japan in 1991, it was never released by Disney for theatrical distribution in North America due to its focus on menstruation as a key sub-plot; it was only in 2016 that GKids finally distributed this rarely seen Studio Ghibli masterwork from the brilliant Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Tale of the Princess Kaguya). Unsentimental and sparse, Only Yesterday is a deeply moving portrait of girlhood that dares to pose the haunting question: Have I been faithful to my dreams? To myself? Presented on a double bill with Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. 119 minutes.

Poster

3:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Thursday, November 10

Films at the Whitney

Nigerian Cinema, Fall 2022

Join us for a three-part film series celebrating Nigerian cinema in honor of the special exhibition of sculptures by Nigerian artist Moshood Olúṣọmọ Bámigbóyè on view this fall in the Yale University Art Gallery. To commemorate Bámigbóyè’s 50-year career, the films focus on themes of migration, identity, and the legacy of historic artworks and tradition in Nigerian society.

The Figurine: Araromire (2009, 2 hours), directed by Kunle Afolayan
Kunle Afolayan directs and stars in this psychological thriller, which draws on his own Igbomina-Yorùbá heritage to examine the enduring power of traditional religious objects in Nigeria today. In a shrine that seems to be abandoned, two friends discover a wooden sculpture and decide to take it home. They soon learn that the shrine is dedicated to the orisa Araomire who bestows seven years of good luck on the thieves with dark consequences for the seven years that follow.

Sponsored by Yale University Art Gallery and Whitney Humanities Center
Poster

7:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Saturday, November 12

Films at the Whitney

Housekeeping

In the Pacific Northwest of the 1950s, two young sisters whose mother has abandoned them wind up living with their eccentric Aunt Sylvie (Christine Lahti), whose views of the world and its ways don’t quite live up to most people’s expectations. Scottish director Bill Forsyth’s mesmerizing adaptation (1987) of the now-classic Marilynne Robinson novel (1980), his first American film, is more than just “a commercial for the book,” as Forsyth himself modestly put it. With every shot, in every beat of Lahti’s performance, the line between the normal and the mystic grows gradually thinner, until (by its unforgettable finale) the normal has become the mystic, and the mystic normal. 116 minutes.

Poster

1:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01

Saturday, December 03

Films at the Whitney

Peppermint Soda

In the fall of 1963, Anne is becoming a teenager. She lives in Paris with her mother and her older sister, Frédérique. They’re just back from summer at the beach with their father. School starts. A turbulent year awaits them both. Writer-director Diane Kurys had worked as an actress for Fellini and others before growing sick of being told what to do by male directors uninterested in the inner lives of women and deciding to become a director herself. When Kurys wrote Peppermint Soda, her debut feature, she said that she had “never held a camera or even taken a still photograph before.” Yet her command of the camera here is that of a life-long natural: swift, precise, graceful. Kurys drew on her own experiences as a young girl, setting the film at the same lycée she attended and partially basing the characters on her real-life sister and herself. Kurys explains, “I wanted to show that it’s difficult to be a 13-year-old girl, to want something desperately even if it’s only a pair of pantyhose and to have nobody understand you.” A favorite film of Wes Anderson. 97 minutes.

Poster

1:00pm, Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01