Lectures & Seminars

Month

  

Programs listed below are in chronological order.



Behind the Science with Joe Palca: Insights from Scientific Innovators

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

NPR’s Joe Palca returns to the Smithsonian to sit down with stellar scientists for some engaging and entertaining conversations about the exciting work they do and how it connects to our lives. Tonight's program features Anthony Fauci and global health. Part of a 5-Session Lecture Series.

Birchbark, Brush, and Brick: The Cultural Life of Medieval Novgorod

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

The mud of Novgorod preserved more than a thousand birchbark scrolls whose messages provide a vivid picture of the everyday lives led by the residents of this once-powerful center of ancient Rus. Harvard’s Michael F. Flier puts the people and their remarkable city into cultural and historical context.

A Culinary Tour of Mexico with Pati Jinich

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Join the chef and author as she focuses on food traditions that reflect the spirit and culture of her native country’s diverse regions. Then sample some of those distinctive tastes in three regional variations on the tamale.

Scott and Amundsen: The Race to the South Pole

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Author and curator Ross MacPhee of the American Museum of Natural History looks at the rival expeditions led by a pair of “ideal antagonists” that resulted in grand heroism, bitter tragedy, and myths that have lingered for generations.

A Day at the Prado

Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Art historian Nancy G. Heller explores some of the Prado’s most important treasures, placing them in their aesthetic and sociopolitical contexts. The day includes a Spanish-themed lunch. (World Art History Certificate elective)

Preserving with Mrs. Wheelbarrow: Fruit Jams and Set Tricks

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Imagine your pantry shelves filled with jars of home-made delights made from fresh seasonal produce. Cathy Barrow, author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, is ready to teach you all the canning and preserving tricks you need to make that a reality. This is the first session of a 4-session program.

Making Math a Piece of Cake: Eugenia Cheng on Cooking Up a Cutting-Edge Theory

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Mathematician Eugenia Cheng, scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, provides an accessible introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics, powered, unexpectedly, by insights from the kitchen.

A Civil Evening with Steven Petrow

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Navigating with civility (and common sense) in our rapidly changing social and digital lives can be bewildering. The Washington Post and USA Today columnist and author of five books on modern etiquette is ready to politely take on your manners quandaries.

How To Plan a Murder in Washington, D.C.: It’s a Literary Crime!

Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Here’s one mystery that many writers fail to solve: coming up with the correct procedural and atmospheric details when DC is a setting for crime stories. Meet one local who knows her stuff when it comes to tales about crime, Allison Leotta, a former federal prosecutor.

Jeff Shaara on Sherman’s March to the Sea

Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 7 p.m.

The best-selling author examines key actions and decisions of commanders on both sides of Sherman's legendary campaign, a sweep across Georgia that led to the final stroke of the Civil War.

The Phoenicians and Their Colonies

Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Archaeologist Robert Stieglitz explores the history and cultural heritage of the civilization that brought urban life and literacy to the ancient western Mediterranean.

Drama Most Splendid: Baroque Art and Architecture from Bernini to Rembrandt

Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Art historian Karin Alexis places baroque art in its artistic and historical contexts, tracing its evolution and examining its richness and breadth through masterworks in many forms. (World Art History Certificate elective)

Surrealism: The Canvas of Dreams

Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Artist and art historian Joseph Cassar leads a fascinating journey through the landscape of the imagination as reflected in the distinctive work of artists including Ernst, Arp, Miro, Magritte, and Dali. (World Art History Certificate elective)

King Tut Revisited

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Noted author and curator David P. Silverman discusses the latest findings on Tutankhamun and how they add to our fascination with an ancient monarch whose afterlife is one that he never could have imagined.

Boost Your Creative Intelligence: Proven Tips and Strategies

Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Our creative muscles, like physical ones, need training in order to perform at their peak. Gerard Puccio of the International Center for Studies in Creativity offers practical tools to bring enhanced creative thinking and problem-solving skills into your everyday life.

A Day with the Tudors

Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 10 a.m.

Their scandals and shenanigans became the stuff of legends, but this royal family also opened the New World and new worlds of English power. Scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger of the Folger Shakespeare Library leads a look behind the Tudors’ carefully contrived image of monarchy.

Inside the World of Scrabble: In Quest of the “X” Factor

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

John D. Williams, former executive director of the National Scrabble Association, knows the score (and all the right words) when it comes describing the colorful, fascinating, and often downright odd subculture of the competitive Scrabble scene.

Mount Everest: Five Breakthrough Expeditions

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

As part of the series Uncharted Territory: Great Expeditions and the Trailblazers Who Led Them, high-altitude mountaineer and author David Roberts looks at the notable climbers who faced the challenge of the world’s highest peak—and triumphed.

Dinner with David Guas: A Grilling Experience

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Nothing’s more satisfying than something hot off the grill on a summer evening. Join the co-host of Travel Channel’s American Grilled for a program, cookbook signing, and a seasonally inspired dinner at the Hill Center, site of his second Bayou Bakery location.

Smithsonian NewsFlash

Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Join us in a new innovative series that will look behind headlines and amplify sound bites. The newsworthy topic and featured speaker(s) will be announced the Monday before the program's date.

The Battle for Guadalcanal

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Marcus Jones, history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, tells the story of the ambitious Allied offensive in which nearly 26,000 lives were lost, but that turned the tide against Japan in the South Pacific.

Preserving with Mrs. Wheelbarrow: Briny, Tart Pickles

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Imagine your pantry shelves filled with jars of home-made delights made from fresh seasonal produce. Cathy Barrow, author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, is ready to teach you all the canning and preserving tricks you need to make that a reality. This is the second session of a 4-session program.

Say Cheese!

Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Conan O’Sullivan of DC’s Sona Creamery explores the long global history of cheese-making, cheese production globally and locally, and what turns a good cheese into a great one.

Say Cheese!

Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Includes Cheese-Making Workshop: Conan O’Sullivan of DC’s Sona Creamery explores the long global history of cheese-making, cheese production globally and locally, and what turns a good cheese into a great one. Later, observe the craft of cheesemaking at a lively workshop.

Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for All the Notes

Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Was there anything in the musical world that Leonard Bernstein couldn’t do? Saul Lilienstein, who studied conducting and frequently performed with him, explores his achievements from Broadway hits to symphonic works and offers a personal perspective on the larger-than-life maestro.

Dumplings: A Global Wrap and Savory Culinary History

Monday, July 13, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

From North and South America to Europe, Africa, and Asia, the dumpling has become synonymous with comfort food. Find out from food expert Barbara Gallani how this simple dish has inspired songs, poems, and even monuments. And then, sample dumplings from around the world.

Wacky Health Claims: Can We Believe Them?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

John Whyte, a physician, author, and former chief medical expert at Discovery Channel, helps you learn how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the latest outrageous health claims—and decide whether they are true or just plain wacky.

Dr. Seuss, American Icon: The Legacy of Theodor Seuss Geisel

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

As the beloved Dr. Seuss, writer and illustrator Theodor Geisel taught generations of children to read—as well as to think. With a recently rediscovered book set to be published this summer, it’s the perfect time to join Seuss scholar Philip Nel for a look at Geisel’s life and work.

The Secret to the French Joy of Living? It Begins in the Home Kitchen

Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

After living in France for 25 years, author and cooking teacher Susan Herrmann Loomis knows the traditions and techniques that home cooks depend on to produce the simple but delicious everyday meals that make French kitchens (and dining rooms) the envy of the world.

Art Nouveau: New Style for a New Century

Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Though it flowered only briefly in the early years of the last century, art nouveau has had a long-lasting influence and popularity. Art historian Bonita Billman explores the movement’s organic, sinuous, and seductive styles. (World Art History Certificate elective)

Revisiting To Kill a Mockingbird

Monday, July 20, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has become an iconic novel since it was published in 1960, yet its author, by her own choice, has remained out of the spotlight. Her biographer Charles J. Shields revisits the classic book and takes a closer look at the mysterious writer behind it.

A Fiddler on the Roof Sing-Along

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

It takes a village like Anatevka (or perhaps DC) to bring the songs from the beloved Broadway show to life. L’chaim!

Turkish Delights: In Search of Unique Destinations

Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

The map of Turkey is studded with secret places to discover, and Serif Yenen, a tour guide, guidebook author, and filmmaker, can get you ready to set off on some fascinating paths.

Anatolia: A Turkish Odyssey

Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

Anatolia’s ancient ruins, ornate Byzantine churches, supremely elegant mosques, and splendid Ottoman palaces are witnesses to a colorful history. Serif Yenen, a Turkish tour guide, guidebook author, and filmmaker, leads a cultural journey that spans the centuries.

Bringing the Etruscans Into View

Monday, July 27, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Since no written Etruscan literature, history, or philosophy survives, what we know about this enigmatic ancient civilization comes from its art. Art historian Renee Gondek traces the clues to a lost world found in its stunning visual achievements. (World Art History Certificate elective)

Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Whether seen in rain or sunshine, the Paris depicted in Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings is a place full of vibrant and alluring urban life. Mary Morton, curator of a new National Gallery exhibition of Caillebotte’s works, explores some of his most powerful and surprising images. (World Art History Certificate elective)

Sir Richard Burton, Victorian Rebel Explorer

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

The description swashbuckler seems tailor-made for this Victorian-era explorer, whose expeditions to the African continent opened up not only new geographic realms, but cultural inquiries into religion, race, and sexuality. His biographer Dane Kennedy introduces the colorful—and sometimes controversial—adventurer.

Herodotus: Father of History

Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Historian, prescient political analyst, and insightful proto-anthropologist, Herodotus chronicled a vivid depiction of ancient civilization. Classicist Frederick Winter examines Herodotus’ writings and what they reveal about the man and his world.

Voices in the Ocean: The Nature of Dolphins

Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Author Susan Casey dives into our fascination with the beautiful and intelligent creatures of the sea that provide the focus of her latest book.

Preserving with Mrs. Wheelbarrow: Putting Up Tomatoes

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Imagine your pantry shelves filled with jars of home-made delights made from fresh seasonal produce. Cathy Barrow, author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, is ready to teach you all the canning and preserving tricks you need to make that a reality. This is the third session of a 4-session program.

Preserving with Mrs. Wheelbarrow: Sweet, Hot, and Abundant Chiles

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 6:45 p.m.

Imagine your pantry shelves filled with jars of home-made delights made from fresh seasonal produce. Cathy Barrow, author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, is ready to teach you all the canning and preserving tricks you need to make that a reality. This is the final session of a 4-session program.

Back to the top

Share/Save