The life, work, and legacy of the late film scholar Jay Leyda (1910-1988) will be celebrated at New York University with a one-day conference to be held on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, located at 53 Washington Square South (between Sullivan and Thompson Streets). The event is co-sponsored by NYU’s Tamiment Library and the Department of Cinema Studies and is free and open to the public. For information or to make a reservation, contact or call 212.998.2639. The conference program is also available online at

Leyda was a translator of and collaborator with Sergei Eisenstein, a founder of the MOMA film department, author of pioneering works on Chinese and Soviet cinema, and compiler of documentary chronologies that provided a foundation for scholarship relating to Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville. He also was a faculty member at NYU’s Department of Cinema Studies from 1973 to 1988. His papers are at the Tamiment Library.

The conference schedule follows:
9:00 - 9:30 Registration; Coffee & Bagels, etc.
9:30 - 9:45 Welcome: Michael Nash (Tamiment Library) Overview: Bill Simon (NYU Cinema Studies)
9:45 - 10:45 A Bronx Morning (Jay Leyda, 1931): A Screening of the National Film Foundation’s Digital Edition (Selected by the Library of Congress for Inclusion in its National Film Registry). Elena Simon. “Jay Leyda: Dayton/New York/Moscow.”
10:45 - 11:00 BREAK
11:00 - 12:00 Film Preservation: A Conversation Conference Celebrating Film Scholar Jay Leyda Scott Simmon (National Film Preservation Foundation) Howard Besser (NYU)
12:00 - 1:30 LUNCH
1:30 - 3:00 Historians Look at Leyda
Chair & Commentator: Alan Trachtenberg (Yale)
Ani Mukherji (Brown University). “Si-Lan Chen Leyda: Race, Radicalism, Gender, Internationalism.”
Dan Leab (Seton Hall). “The Man Unknown: A Personal View.”
David Stirk (Princeton). “Representing Leyda at the End of the Cold War”
3:00 - 3:15 BREAK

3:15 - 4:30 Reflections by Leyda’s Former Students
Chair & Commentator: Bill Simon (NYU)
Tom Gunning (Univ. of Chicago)
Steven Higgins (MOMA)
Charles Musser (Yale) - Invited

4:30 - 5:00 Concluding Remarks: Robert Sklar (NYU)
5:00 - 6:00 RECEPTION

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