Public Events

Throughout the academic year, the Institute offers a range of events that are open to the public, including lectures by Faculty from each of the four Schools and guest speakers, and concerts and talks as part of the Edward T. Cone Concert Series. Please check this site throughout the year for new events as they are announced. To receive updates on IAS events by email, sign up for IAS eNews, the Institute’s monthly electronic newsletter. Videos of previous events may be found at the Institute’s video page.

Public Lecture: Muslim Perceptions and Receptions of the Bible
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Sabine Schmidtke, Professor, School of Historical Studies
Wolfensohn Hall

The Qurʾān defines itself as the last, perfect link in a chain of progressive divine revelations. This determines the ambivalent attitude of the Qurʾān and the Muslim tradition towards the two earlier monotheistic religions: Judaism and Christianity, and their scriptures.

In this lecture, Sabine Schmidtke, Professor in the School of Historical Studies, will investigate, in a diachronic manner, the ways in which Muslim scholars perceived, used—or avoided—the earlier scriptures, and will discuss the most pressing desiderata in research and other challenges to scholarship in this field. Schmidtke will explain the commonly employed polemical tropes—abrogation and distortion of the earlier scriptures on the one hand, and the identification of (alleged) scriptural predictions of Muḥammad on the other. Moreover, Schmidtke will show the impact of historical events and internal discussions among Jewish and Christian intellectuals on the Muslim attitude towards the Bible. The much-debated issue of when and through which channels Muslim scholars became familiar with the Bible will be summarized, as well as the emergence of a so-called Muslim Bible scholarship from the 13th century onwards.

Public Lecture: The Parthenon Sculptures: Decoding Images of Ancient Myths
Friday, November 7, 2014 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Joan Breton Connelly, Professor of Classics
New York University

In this lecture, Joan Breton Connelly, former Member (2011–13) in the School of Historical Studies, will discuss how the Parthenon sculptures conveyed genealogical myths that answered for the Athenians the most basic human questions. Connelly will explore how the cosmic and epic narratives, and the great boundary catastrophes of war and deluge, established frameworks for understanding the distant past. Connelly will also demonstrate how the projection of these myths upon the great “billboards” of the Acropolis temples perpetuated a shared understanding of Athenian identity and educated young Athenians in the values upon which their democracy was based, chief among them, a willingness to sacrifice self-interest for the common good. 

This lecture is sponsored by the Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study (AMIAS).

Public Lecture: Finding Signs of Life on Earth-Like Exoplanets
Friday, November 7, 2014 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Hanno Rein, Assistant Professor
University of Toronto

One of the biggest discoveries of humankind is yet to come: Finding compelling evidence for life on another planet.

In this lecture, Hanno Rein, former Member (2010–13) in the School of Natural Sciences, will discuss the many places to look for biosignatures, both in the Solar System and beyond. Additionally, Rein will explain why chances are good for finding an Earth-twin planet around a Sun-like star within the next few years, as well as the challenges faced when that planet is discovered.

This lecture is sponsored by the Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study (AMIAS).

Edward T. Cone Concert Series: Amsterdam/New Amsterdam
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Wolfensohn Hall

For decades now, there has been a close association between the preeminent Dutch composer Louis Andreissen and a significant group of American minimalist and post-minimalist composers in the United States. Ralph van Raat, the young, vibrant, celebrated pianist from Amsterdam, will explore this connection, playing works of both American and Dutch composers, including Andreissen, David Lang, and John Adams. 

There will be a concert talk from the stage following the performance.

Tickets will be available to the public beginning October 23. 

Edward T. Cone Concert Series: Amsterdam/New Amsterdam
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Wolfensohn Hall

For decades now, there has been a close association between the preeminent Dutch composer Louis Andreissen and a significant group of American minimalist and post-minimalist composers in the United States. Ralph van Raat, the young, vibrant, celebrated pianist from Amsterdam, will explore this connection, playing works of both American and Dutch composers, including Andreissen, David Lang, and John Adams. 

Tickets will be available to the public beginning October 23.