Night of Ideas 2023

Join us for Night of Ideas, a nocturnal marathon of intellectual debates, performances, discussions, and readings taking place at four historic Upper East Side institutions on March 3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Villa Albertine headquarters, The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and the Ukrainian Institute of America will open their doors for eclectic and lively programming exploring the great challenges of our time through the central question, How Much More? 

As part of this year’s edition, Villa Albertine and Columbia University’s Maison Française and Department of French will be hosting a collective public reading of Happening by Annie Ernaux, French author and winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature. Happening recounts the abortion Ernaux had at age 23, in 1963, at a time when the procedure was still illegal in France. Her story, told with unsparing honesty, resonates strongly in post-Roe America, where the right to a safe and legal abortion has been curtailed in many states. Happening will be read in English in its entirety with brief passages performed by more than 25 diverse voices—writers, artists, doctors, teachers, students, activists—in a collective expression of appreciation for Annie Ernaux’s bold work and solidarity for reproductive rights.

If you are unable to join us in person, the live reading will be streamed on YouTube.