Alexander Nemerov

Lecture 12: Summoning Pearl Harbor   


How do words make the past appear? In what way does the historian summon bygone events? What is this kind of remembering, and for whom do we recall the dead, or the past? Does the past even want to be remembered? In this talk, Alexander Nemerov meditates on these questions as they relate to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.


Alexander Nemerov writes and teaches about the otherness of the past and the glow of the present. He is the author of many books, including Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine, short-listed for the 2016 Marfield Prize for arts writing; Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov; and Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s. In 2017 Nemerov delivered the 66th annual Andrew W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery. He appears in the current HBO documentary The Price of Everything, about the contemporary art world. He teaches at Stanford University, where he is the chair of the Art and Art History Department and the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities.

Diana Clarke