The contributions of William and Henry James will be highlighted at a presentation entitled At the Gateway to Modernism: A Celebration of William and Henry James on Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University at Albany. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Standish Room of the Science Library on the uptown campus.
Renowned author Henry James and his brother William, a psychology professor and philosopher, had many ties to the Albany area, according to Associate Professor of English Mary Valentis, who organized the event as director of the Center for Humanities, Arts, and TechnoScience (CHATS). “Many of the James family relatives are buried in Albany Rural Cemetery,” she said. “The father graduated from the Albany Academy, and the grandfather made his fortune in Albany real estate.” Henry James even opened his story, Portrait of a Lady , in a brownstone on Albany’s State Street.
The significant works and pivotal thought of the two brothers helped shape the 20th Century and more particularly the intellectual, artistic, and philosophical moment now called modernism.
Henry and William James
Author Henry James and his brother William, a psychology professor and philosopher.
The panel of experts celebrating the James family will include:
• Professor Ronald A. Bosco, Distinguished Professor of English and American Literature at UAlbany,
• Professor Linda Simon of Skidmore College, and
• Dean of UAlbany’s College of Arts and Sciences Edelgard Wulfert, professor of psychology.
The celebration will extend to the spring semester, when on March 4, 2011, Henry James on the Stage will be featured at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center. From 3 to 5 p.m. on that day, Dr. Barbara Blatner, Yeshiva University Workshop, will do an adaptation of Henry James’s short stories for poetry and stage. From 7 to 10 p.m. that same evening, there will be a staged reading of Larry Lane’s new play inspired by Henry James’s Aspern Papers. Playwright and director Lane adapted Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener for stage. After the reading, theater goers will have an opportunity to talk with Lane.
Photo: Author Henry James and his brother William, a psychology professor and philosopher.