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AMERICAN IMAGES An author and writer for the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik, discusses the state of American art as part of the American Federation of Arts’s ArtTalks series. Tonight, 6:30 p.m., American Federation of Arts, 41 E. 65th St., between Park and Madison avenues, 212-988-7700 ext. 10, $15 general, $10 students and members.
ARTY SPEAK The exhibition curator of the CUE Art Foundation, Eleanor Heartney,presents a reading of her book, “Defending Complexity: Art, Politics and the New World Order” (Hard Press), discussing the impact of art on major cultural events of the past decade. Thursday, 7 p.m., CUE Art Foundation, 511 W. 25th St., between Tenth and Eleventh avenues, 212-206-3583, free, reservations required.
LATIN AMERICAN ISSUES Writer and activist Rigoberta Menchu and Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon present a discussion as part of the series “Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Latin America.” The event is sponsored by NYU’s Center on Latin America and Caribbean Studies. Thursday, 7 p.m., New York Universi ty, King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, 53 Washington Square South, between Sullivan and Thompson streets, first floor, 212-998-3650, free.
PUERTO RICAN PICTURE The New York Public Library presents a discussion by a CUNY art professor, Nellie Escanlante-Dumberger, who talks about the history of Puerto Rican painters from the original inhabitants of the island to contemporary times. Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Seward Park Branch Library, 192 East Broadway at Jefferson Street, 212-869-8089, free.
SPINOZA’S THOUGHTS The author of “Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity” (Schocken), Rebecca Goldstein, presents a lecture on the philosopher who espoused the principles of the separation of church and state. The event is sponsored by the YIVO Jewish Institute for Research. Wednesday, May 24, 7 p.m., Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues, 917-606-8200, $15 general, $7 students.