Austin Museum Day TOUR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, NOON–5 P.M.
Take part in Austin Museum Day, the city-wide celebration of the Austin museum community, with a visit to the Ransom Center. Enjoy the current exhibition, Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World, and view the Gutenberg Bible and First Photograph, both on permanent display in the lobby. Free docent-led tours of the exhibition begin at noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Poetry on the Plaza: Homer's Odyssey READING WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, NOON
Join Paul O'Mahony, on tour with Actors From The London Stage, for a selection of readings from Homer's Odyssey, along with modern poems about refugees, homecoming, and the sea. Light refreshments will be served.
Marlon James HARRY RANSOM LECTURE THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 6:30 P.M.
Novelist Marlon James, author of the Booker Prize–winning A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014), talks about why he writes. New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani described A Brief History of Seven Killings as "epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It's also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting." James's other novels include John Crow's Devil (2005) and The Book of Night Women (2010). Members receive priority seating and complimentary parking. Signed books will be available for purchase at the event.
Members of the Harry Ransom Center receive complimentary parking and priority entry at this program. Doors open at 5:50 p.m. for members and at 6 p.m. for the general public. Members must present their membership cards for priority entry; one seat per membership card. Members arriving after 6 p.m. will join the general queue. Complimentary parking for members is available at the University Co-op garage at 23rd and San Antonio streets.
Naomi Shihab Nye READING THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 7 P.M.
Award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye reads from her work for the Ransom Center's 2016 Burnshaw Lecture. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she has written over 30 books of poetry and prose, including Transfer (2011), You and Yours (2005), and Fuel (1998). Co-presented by the Michener Center for Writers, where Nye is a visiting professor. A reception follows.
The Grim Game (1919) FILM SCREENING TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 7 P.M.
Harry Houdini, the legendary stage illusionist, also made his mark in film. In the 1919 silent film The Grim Game, Houdini stars as a man who has been jailed for a murder he did not commit. He uses his talents to escape and find the real killers. Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts, introduces the film and the riches of the Center's Harry Houdini collection. Not rated, 71 minutes.
"Looking at Photographs: Visual Research in the Elliott Erwitt Photography Collection" CURATOR LECTURE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 7 P.M.
Jessica S. McDonald, Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, presents "Looking at Photographs: Visual Research in the Elliott Erwitt Photography Collection," a behind-the-scenes look at the visual detective work involved in researching photographs for the exhibition Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World. She recounts how various tools—from contact sheets to Google Earth—helped shed new light on some of Erwitt's best-known works. Following the talk, McDonald will be available for questions in the galleries. A pre-lecture reception is open to current members at the Alliance level and above; RSVP required for reception; limited capacity.
"Dining with Harry Houdini" COOKING CLASS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 11 A.M.
The Ransom Center and Central Market present "Dining with Harry Houdini," a cooking class inspired by the life of the legendary performer and stage illusionist. This October marks the 90th anniversary of Houdini's death (March 24, 1874–Oct. 31, 1926). The archive of Houdini is housed at the Ransom Center.
The menu, designed by Chef Louis Ortiz, draws inspiration from Houdini's Hungarian heritage. It features some of the performer's favorite dishes including chicken paprikash with fennel potatoes; Hungarian goulash with spatzel; and custard bread pudding with cherry sauce. Each course will be paired with wines of the region.
Pre-payment and registration required online or by calling 512-206-1014. Registration opens on Sept. 1. The cost of the class is $50. Ransom Center members receive a 10 percent discount from September 1–7. Class size is limited and for ages 21 and up.
View materials from the Houdini archive in the Ransom Center's lobby from October 1 through November 2.
John Pipkin on The Blind Astronomer's Daughter CONVERSATION TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 7 P.M.
Former Ransom Center research fellow John Pipkin, author of the critically-acclaimed Woodsburner, reads from his new novel The Blind Astronomer's Daughter and discusses how his research in the Center's Herschel family papers influenced the novel. Materials from the Herschel family papers will be on view during the reception and book signing that follow.
Member Book Club: Kazuo Ishiguro MEMBER EVENT SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 11 A.M.
Dive into the collections with our first-ever member book club! Join us for lunch and lively discussion of Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. Ishiguro's archive resides at the Ransom Center. Materials will be selected and shown to give insight into his writing process. Advance registration and payment is required. Parking is included. Limited capacity.
The Hidden Room PERFORMANCE MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 7 P.M.
Austin-based theater company The Hidden Room conjures an evening of magic and mystery with Harry Houdini on the 90th anniversary of his death.
Texas Book Festival SATURDAY–SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5–6
Look for Ransom Center co-sponsored events at the 2016 Texas Book Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country. Learn more about the festival and view a full schedule of events at texasbookfestival.org.
New Member Reception MEMBER EVENT WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 7 P.M.
Enjoy a night of special access to the Ransom Center at this Director's Reception and New Member Open House. Invitation only; RSVP required.
Behind-the-Scenes Building Tour MEMBER EVENT SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 11 A.M.
Cathy Henderson, Associate Director for Education and Exhibitions, leads an exclusive behind-the-scenes, top-to-bottom tour of the Ransom Center, discussing the past and future of collection development and stewardship. Open to members at the Guild level and above; RSVP required; limited capacity.
Films of Elliott Erwitt FILM SCREENING TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 7 P.M.
Join Jessica S. McDonald, the Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, for an evening of Elliott Erwitt films: Beauty Knows No Pain (1971; 26 minutes), Red, White and Bluegrass (1963; 26 minutes), and The World Renowned Incomparable Marching 100 (1981; 23 minutes).
Member Book Club: Don DeLillo MEMBER EVENT SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 11 A.M.
Dive into the collections with our member book club! Join us for lunch and a lively discussion of Don DeLillo's Libra. DeLillo's archive resides at the Ransom Center. Materials will be selected and shown to give insight into his writing process. Advance registration and payment is required. Parking is included. Limited capacity.
All programs and exhibitions are free unless otherwise noted.
View or download PDF version of the calendar.
Event Calendar (PDF)
All events take place at the Ransom Center unless otherwise noted and are subject to change.
Event times are noted in Central Standard Time.
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Please be aware that Ransom Center events may be photographed and/or filmed. Your attendance constitutes your authorization for the Center to use your photograph, voice, or other likeness for purposes related to the mission of the Ransom Center, including but not limited to marketing and promotion in print and electronic forms.
Please request ASL or ADA accommodation at least five business days in advance by contacting Danielle Sigler at 512-232-5170 or email.
The contents of these presentations reflect the opinions of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of the Harry Ransom Center and/or The University of Texas at Austin.
Please be aware that the Ransom Center's Charles Nelson Prothro Theater seats 125. Some events require Ransom Center membership; see event description for details. Line forms upon arrival of the first patron, and doors open 30 minutes in advance.