Maps hold the power to organize and explain the world beyond what we can observe with our own eyes, making them extremely powerful political tools. Maps that express a geopolitical vision of how the world works (or should work) have been hugely influential in shaping military strategy, international relations, and public opinion. In this virtual program, our resident political geographer and cartographer Andrew Gustafson will give a crash course on the history of geopolitics as a discipline, using examples of these influential geopolitical imaginings from the past 150 years, from Halford Mackinder’s Heartland to Ronald Reagan’s Chokepoints; Karl Haushofer’s Pan-Regions to George W. Bush’s Axis of Evil.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with our team as we share the history, traditions, and foods of one of the world’s most widely-celebrated holidays. While the actual New Year falls on February 12 this year, the celebrations stretch on for more than three weeks around the holiday. Our staff member Gina Gao will teach us about the mythology of the holiday, how people prepare for the New Year, and the origins of traditions like the red envelopes (hóngbāo) and the Lantern Festival (Yuánxiāo jié). We will also learn about New Year traditions unique to Gina’s hometown of Wuhan, and look at the evolution of celebrations in New York City’s Chinese communities. Though public celebrations are subdued due to the pandemic, we will also go live to Flushing, Queens to see how the community is marking the holiday.
Ever since she was a little girl growing up in China’s Hubei Province, Gina Gao has been collecting medicinal herbs, inspired by family traditions and by growing up in the same small town as Li Shizhen, a renowned 16th-century physician and botanist. Each month, she will host a virtual program to show some of the herbs that might be growing in your backyard right here in NYC, share how to dry and prepare them, and discuss their histories and uses in traditional Chinese medicine. In this first program, Gina will tell us about the medicinal properties, preparation and use of mugwort, a valuable and cultivated plant in China that is considered a troublesome invasive plant in New York.
Join us for this special virtual program that will share a different side of the historic city of Wuhan through the lens of our staff member Gina Gao, a Queens resident who grew up in this Chinese city most Americans had never heard of six months ago. She will provide an introduction to Wuhan and what this city of 11 million people is most known for, but will focus on sharing her own childhood memories and the things she misses most about living there, from street entertainers and storytelling on hot summer nights, to the city’s famous 100 varieties of breakfast foods