About the Hofstra Cultural Center
The Hofstra Cultural Center was founded in 1976 by the late Joseph G. Astman, Professor of Comparative Literature and Languages at Hofstra University, and has evolved into a dynamic instrument for fostering scholarly exchange and intellectual debate. In its 35-year history as an integral part of Hofstra University, it has sponsored more than 130 international conferences that have brought together thousands of scholars from throughout the United States and all over the world. The Cultural Center has solidified its role as a forum for the interdisciplinary exploration of a wide range of topics. Its conferences range from highly specialized inquires (e.g., The Trotsky-Stalin Conflict in the 1920s and Inscription as Art in the World of Islam) to subjects of general cultural interest (Chocolate: Food of the Gods and Baseball and the 'Sultan of Swat': Commemorating the 100th Birthday of Babe Ruth; and Frank Sinatra: The Man, The Music, The Legend), from matters of local and regional concern (Long Island Studies Conferences, Robert Moses and Long Island Women: Activists and Innovators) to issues of international and global significance (New Directions in Worker/Management Relations: US/USSR; The United Nations at Fifty; Africa 2000).
The Hofstra Cultural Center operates primarily through the medium of the international scholarly conference, traditionally enriched by exhibitions, performances, and various supplemental events, but it also sponsors other cultural activities. Its conference activities fall under three headings: conferences dedicated to monographic study of world historical figures (Einstein, James Joyce, Trotsky, Stalin, Goethe, George Sand, Van Gogh, C. G. Jung, Tchaikovsky and Sarah Bernhardt); conferences dedicated to historical, cultural, political, or artistic problematics (Heritage: An Appraisal of the Harlem Renaissance; Bamboo and Oak: The Impact of East Asia on American Society and Culture; and Avant-Garde Art and Literature); and a series of conferences dedicated to the Presidents of the United States. The "presidential series," inaugurated in 1982, has so far examined the presidencies of Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Clinton. Employing a pioneering format, these conferences have examined the presidencies in a critical way by inviting former members of the administrations and White House staffs to enter into discussion with political scientists, historians, biographers, economists and media representatives.
"Since the Hofstra Cultural Center presented its first scholarly conference more than a quarter of a century ago, the world's most distinguished scholars, scientists, government leaders, artists, musicians, authors, journalists and news makers have shared their expertise and talents with our students, faculty and guests. A university should provide a forum to share ideas and increase knowledge. With each new event presented by the Cultural Center our universe of ideas and knowledge grows," said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz.
Professor of Comparative LIterature and Languages