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Highlights from the Kluge Center’s 2023 Events

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In 2023, the John W. Kluge Center continued its work bringing scholars, writers, and lawmakers to the Library of Congress for public programming that informs, entertains, and shines a spotlight on the collections of the Library.

With 2023 behind us, we’ve collected some of our favorite events we’ve hosted in the last year, all available to watch now.


Through History to Equality

The Kluge Center worked with 2022 Kluge Prize recipient George Chauncey on a series of three public programs titled “Through History to Equality,” looking at LGBTQ+ life during the 20th and 21st centuries.

In “From Sexual Regulation to Antigay Discrimination,” Library Chief Communications Officer Roswell Encina interviewed Chauncey on the evolution of the ways that governments in the United States have treated LGBTQ+ people.


For “Why Marriage Equality Became a Goal,” Chauncey interviewed civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto on her history working on marriage equality cases.


In “AIDS: A Tragedy and a Turning Point,” Chauncey led a panel discussion on the legacy of the AIDS crisis. In it, Chauncey was joined by Deborah Gould, Duane Cramer, and Jafari Allen to revisit the early history of AIDS and discuss the fear and loss as well as the action and assertiveness that came from that dark time.


Democracy and “Common Sense”: A Conversation with Sophie Rosenfeld

In an interview with Kluge Center Director Kevin Butterfield, Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North Sophie Rosenfeld discussed the ways that knowledge, expertise, and conspiracy theories interact with democratic governance and political equality, sometimes resulting in volatility and uncertainty.


Aynne Kokas on “Trafficking Data: How China is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty”

Kluge Fellow Aynne Kokas was interviewed by the Kluge Center’s Andrew Breiner on the ways that data exploitation and privacy issues affect social media, gaming, and other technology services that play major roles in millions of lives, and the ways that China has taken a leading role in controlling data.


Writing Gaia: The Scientific Correspondence of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis

Conversation with Deepak Nayyar

Deepak Nayyar, economist and Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South, was interviewed by the Kluge Center’s Dan Turello on his insights from decades at the highest levels of academia and government, both inside India and internationally.


Enslaved Women, Capital Crime, & Clemency in Early Virginia

Tamika Y. Nunley, social historian and Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History, was interviewed by the Kluge Center’s Andrew Breiner on her book “The Demands of Justice: Enslaved Women, Capital Crime, & Clemency in Early Virginia,” looking at cases in which enslaved women were accused of capital crime, and the ways that clemency for those crimes was used to reinforce the system of chattel slavery.


The Ambiguities of Robert Purvis

Robert Purvis is relatively unknown today, but in his time he was a leading abolitionist and significant post-Civil War figure in the Black community. Staff Fellow and historian AJ Aiseirithe was joined by historian Julie Winch for a discussion of Robert Purvis’ life, and the question of how to research his life when so few of his papers have survived.


The Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs: Illuminating a Graphic Communication System

Stephanie Wood, historian and Jay I. Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas, discussed the ongoing effort to catalog the Mesoamerican language Nahuatl and its hieroglyphic writing system in a free, online, annotated database.


Transatlantic Conversations: Lawmaking and Representation in the US and the UK

In partnership with the American Trust for the British Library, the Kluge Center convened a panel discussion with US Members of Congress and Members of the UK Parliament to compare their experiences and discuss the workings of democratic governance.


The Last Crusade: Copyright Records, the Emergence of Cinema, and the Stories We Tell

Kluge Fellow Claudy Op den Kamp was interviewed by the Kluge Center’s Andrew Breiner on her discovery of the first motion pictures submitted for Copyright protection in the United States, and the early cinema industry from which it emerged.


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