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Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 6:45 PM

A new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel looks at the maritime tragedy in which nearly 2,000 lives were lost and that set the United States on the path to enter World War I. Join British historian Diana Preston, whose book Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy provided material for the documentary, for a discussion of the Lusitania’s legacy.

Friday, May 8, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Whether the joke is by Aristophanes or Woody Allen, we know when something tickles our funny bone. Television and film writer (and recovered stand-up comic) David Misch offers an appropriately irreverent history of comedy as he explores why it does.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Veneto, Sardinia, Emilia-Rogmagna, Campania, Le Marche, Piedmonte: The names conjure up vivid images of spectacular landscapes, stunning art and architecture, regional cuisines, and great Italian style in all things. Fred Plotkin provides a guide to the histories and the pleasures of these distinctive areas. This is session five of a six-session course.

Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Opera expert Fred Plotkin takes you behind the curtains at the fabled houses of Milan, Vienna, London, Paris, Barcelona, and New York, evoking the glamour and fascination that surround them, the cities that built them, and the legendary artists who performed on their stages. This is session five of a six-session course.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 6:45 PM

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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 6:45 PM

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.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 12:00 PM

The systematic seizure of countless art treasures during WWII was an unprecedented attack on Europe’s cultural heritage. Ori Z. Soltes of Georgetown University explores its political background, execution, and postwar and contemporary implications. (World Art History Certificate elective)

Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9:30 AM

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Veneto, Sardinia, Emilia-Rogmagna, Campania, Le Marche, Piedmonte: The names conjure up vivid images of spectacular landscapes, stunning art and architecture, regional cuisines, and great Italian style in all things. Fred Plotkin provides a guide to the histories and the pleasures of these distinctive areas. This is session six of a six-session course.

Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Opera expert Fred Plotkin takes you behind the curtains at the fabled houses of Milan, Vienna, London, Paris, Barcelona, and New York, evoking the glamour and fascination that surround them, the cities that built them, and the legendary artists who performed on their stages. This is session six of a six-session course.

Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 10:00 AM

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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 6:45 PM

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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 6:45 PM

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.

 

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