The Kenyon Review, in partnership with Kenyon College and the Graham Gund Gallery, will host “Art and Identity: The Holocaust and Cultural Ownership in the 21st Century,” a yearlong symposium on the restitution of cultural treasures after moments of historical trauma.
For centuries, the plunder of art objects, gold, and other riches accompanied wars. After the Nazis systematically killed millions of Jews, however, World War II’s victorious Allies created a new ethic: the recovery and return of stolen art. Challenging questions about identity, value, and ownership have emerged as the process of restitution has continued throughout the later half of the twentieth century, involving museums, private collectors, and rapidly expanding claims by other victims of war, conquest, and colonialism.
The “Art and Identity” Symposium will feature an interdisciplinary series of readings, exhibitions, lectures, films, and discussions. The project will bring together writers, scholars, legal experts, students, and community members to discuss the meaning of ownership and cultural identity throughout the world and in our backyards.
Events during the Fall semester will include:
Film: The Rape of Europa. Introduced by Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, professor of English.
4:30 p.m. Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery.
Lecture: The Opening Address of the Art and Identity Symposium by Stuart E. Eizenstat, former U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
8:00 p.m. Rosse Hall. Reception to follow in Fischman Lobby, Gund Gallery.
Book giveaway. Copies of Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love will be given away to community members.
9:00-11:00 a.m. Mount Vernon Farmers’ Market, Public Square, Mount Vernon.
Poetry reading and talk: “Who Owns the Stories?” by Heid Erdrich.
7:00 p.m. Cheever Room, Finn House.
Book discussion. David Lynn, editor of The Kenyon Review, will lead a community book discussion about The History of Love.
7:00 p.m. Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
Lecture and discussion: “The History of Love and the Art and Identity Symposium,” led by Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, professor of English.
11:45 a.m. Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
Panel discussion: “Translation, Authorship, and Ownership,” with poet Peter Cole, translator Katherine Hedeen of the Kenyon Spanish faculty, and writer Lewis Hyde of the Kenyon English faculty.
11:10 a.m. Cheever Room, Finn House.
Poetry reading by Peter Cole.
7:00 p.m. Cheever Room, Finn House.
Elie Wiesel receives the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.
8:00 p.m. The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City.
Empty Bowls Dinner, coordinated with the Kenyon College Craft Center and Mount Vernon Nazarene University, to raise money for Food for the Hungry.
5:00-7:00 p.m. Alumni Dining Room, Peirce Hall.
Lecture: “Nazi Art Looting: Culture, Barbarism, and the Quest for Identity among Perpetrators, Victims, and Their Heirs,” by Jonathan Petropoulos.
8:00 p.m. Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery. Reception to follow in Fischman Lobby.
The Kenyon Review Literary Festival. The day’s events will include writing workshops, art gallery tours, panel discussions, and seminars. Featured speakers: Claire Lyons, acting senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Joan Breton Connelly, professor of classics and art history at New York University. The Kenyon College Bookstore will feature a literary magazine and book sale in conjunction with the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. Most events will take place in the Gund Gallery classrooms and theater.
The Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture: An Evening with Nicole Krauss.
8:00 p.m. Rosse Hall.