One of the world’s most popular and prolific historians, Simon Schama has delivered a towering achievement with Belonging: The Story of the Jews 1492-1900. Beginning with the Jews’ expulsion from Spain, he unfolds the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers, but of a poet in a Venetian ghetto, a general in Ming China, and an opera composer in 19th-century Germany, and many more besides. The hugely entertaining author speaks with revered interviewer Paul Holdengräber about his intellectually commanding yet instantly accessible history.

Events in Bay 17 at Carriageworks are closed-captioned.

Simon Schama (International)

Simon Schama

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. His award-winning books, translated into fifteen languages, include Citizens, Landscape and Memory, Rembrandt's Eyes, A History of Britain, The Power of Art, Rough Crossings, The American Future, The Face of Britain and The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE - 1492). His art columns for The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for criticism and his journalism has appeared regularly in The Guardian and the Financial Times where he is Contributing Editor. He has written and presented more than fifty films for the BBC on subjects as diverse as Tolstoy, American politics, and The Story of the Jews and is co-presenter of a new landmark series on the history of world art, Civilisations.

Paul Holdengräber (International)

Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber is the Founding Executive Director of the Onassis Foundation LA (OLA), an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens that began its work as a ‘center of dialogue’ earlier this year. Prior to working at OLA, he was the founder and director of New York Public Library (NYPL)’s Public Programming, and the host of LIVE from the NYPL. A seasoned interviewer, Holdengräber is known for encouraging his guests to step outside their areas of specialisation and into wider-reaching discussions. His conversational partners have included Patti Smith; Zadie Smith; Jay-Z, Wes Anderson; Salman Rushdie; Christopher Hitchens; RuPaul; David Remnick; Pete Townshend and Werner Herzog. Over the course of Holdengräber’s tenure at the Library, about 200,000 people attended interviews at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Holdengräber has written essays and articles for journals in France, Germany, Spain, and the United States. He also taught at various universities including Williams College and Claremont Graduate University. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, and the French government awarded him the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2003. In addition to his work at OLA, Holdengräber sits on The Sun Valley Writers Conference Board of Directors, The Onassis Foundation Board of Directors, and The Paul & Daisy Soros Board of Directors. He hosts the podcast A Phone Call from Paul on Literary Hub.