Study Tours American History Science and Nature Sign up for eAlerts today! Download Smithsonian Folkways Recordings today!
World History

Subscribe to World History eAlerts and other topics on your My Account page.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Explore four of England’s most beloved cities, from York’s bustling medieval streets and Oxford’s beautiful colleges to the splendid vistas of Cambridge and the Georgian elegance of Bath, and discover the treasures and the history that have long made these cities unforgettable.

Monday, May 9, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Gino Fornaciari, a pioneer in the field of paleopathology, presents a remarkable genetic snapshot of a ruling family based on biomedical research on their remains in Florence’s Basilica of San Lorenzo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM

As part of a 4-Session Course, three celebrated novels and a play about World War I allow us to explore the suffering and tragedy at the heart of this deadly and destructive conflict more personally than any purely historical account. Susan Willens and Virginia Newmyer lead an examination of the era as depicted by authors whose disquieting stories reveal what war was really like. This session discusses the book, Regeneration.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 6:45 PM

The beauty and mystery of ancient obelisks captivated 19th-century Europe and America. Egyptologist Bob Brier reveals how “obelisk fever” also helped unlock the secrets of the hieroglyphs carved into these monuments.

Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 6:45 PM

On the cusp of a so-called paperless society, author Mark Kurlansky discusses the history of paper, the astonishing ways it has shaped today’s world, and why it’s here to stay.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Experts from Colorado’s Crow Canyon Research Institute offer insights into a question more than 700 years old: Why did inhabitants of a flourishing Pueblo civilization abandon their generations-old homeland in southwestern Colorado? The answers still resonate today.

Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Historian Charles Ingrao explores the exhilarating golden ages of discovery in Spain and Portugal, how their global empires expanded and diminished, and the challenges they faced in the process—many of which offer a caution to world powers today.

Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The world is still dealing with the troublesome remains of the Habsburgs’ 400-year-old empire, whose abrupt removal from the heart of Europe drove many of the catastrophes of the 20th century. Charles Ingrao examines the challenges that have been met and those that still confront us in coming to terms with that legacy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Music may be the food of love, but the sumptuous banquets of the Elizabethan era were well-loved by fanciers of more substantial feasts. Food historian Francine Segan serves up a rich and delicious look at the art of dining in Shakespeare’s day.

Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Eleanor of Aquitaine and Anne Boleyn each defied their eras’—and their husbands’—expectations of how a woman and a queen should behave. And each payed the price for it. Scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger examines why their lives continue to fascinate us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Lancelot “Capability” Brown defined the quintessential English landscape during his reign as the 18th century’s most influential garden designer. Landscape historian Mark Laird offers a guide to the artfully elegant and enduring visions of nature he crafted.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Maritime historian Andy Jampoler chronicles the centuries of navigation through Cape Horn’s infamous passage, and explores the role that rum played in these voyages. Afterward, whet your own whistle with rum and grog tastings provided by Lyon Distilling Company of St. Michaels, Maryland.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 9:30 AM

When armies of fervent European Christians first responded to the papal call to reclaim the Holy Land, they began to shape a new model of religious warfare—one that still finds echoes today. Historian Janna Bianchini re-examines common assumptions about the Crusades and their complicated legacies for the modern world.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Historian John Kelly analyzes how Churchill’s leadership was put to the test in meeting the “supreme question” facing England in the first year of WWII: whether to negotiate a compromised peace with Germany.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Why was Qin Shi Huangdi sent into the afterlife accompanied by an army of thousands of terra-cotta troops? Historian Robert DeCaroli explores the achievements—and the downfall—of a ruler who profoundly shaped the visible expression of Chinese imperial power for centuries to come.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Historian Richard Abels examines how the unlikely victory of Henry V and his “band of brothers” over massive numbers of French troops influenced the king’s image as a leader, his reign, and his place in British history.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 9:30 AM

We love them, yeah, yeah, yeah! Saul Lilienstein takes a joyful and serious look at the Beatles’ music, its roots and influences, and its relationship to the period of social change that provided a backdrop to their years at the top of the charts.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Archaeologist Robert Stieglitz chronicles how successive Greek migrations and conquests over the centuries—and their ensuing cultural, political, and intellectual interactions—transformed Asia Minor into an integral part of the Greek world.


Travel with Smithsonian