REPLAY - Smithsonian Associates on C-SPAN Literature Courses Civil War
Biography & Autobiography Programs
Fred Astaire: Dancing with Genius

Film scholar and writer Christine Bamberger uses film clip montages, rare photographs, and original recordings to create a fuller portrait of the immortal Fred Astaire, challenging clichés that have grown up around him and exploring his work as an actor and vocalist, as well as a man who revolutionized dance on film.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
T.S. Eliot: Daring To Disturb the Universe

September is a time to celebrate the birth of perhaps the greatest 20th-century poet, Thomas Stearns Eliot. To pay tribute to the author of The Wasteland and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, author Daniel Stashower explores Eliot’s life and legacy, and actor Scott Sedar offers dramatic readings of his works. Afterward, we will raise a toast and perhaps even “dare to eat a peach.”

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Sally Quinn: On Life, Love and Spirituality

Celebrated journalist Sally Quinn's life is also the story of modern Washington during some of its most turbulent years. This evening, Quinn sits down for a wide-ranging interview with Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and journalist and author Elsa Walsh.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Wit, Works, and Woes of Oscar Wilde

On the anniversary of playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde’s birthday, explore the complex man who declared that he put his talent into his writings and his genius into his life. Afterward, enjoy a slice of birthday cake and a glass of sherry and raise a toast to the man who wrote, “I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”

Monday, October 16, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Puccini: A Deeper Look
6-Session Daytime Course

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) is the most popular of all the operatic masters. Through films and recordings, Saul Lilienstein delves beyond the familiar to examine fascinating aspects of the life, career, and creative genius of this most famed of opera composers.  

Tuesday, October 17 to November 21, 2017 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Untangling the Legend of Lionheart

Was Lionheart a brave warrior and a hero of the tales of Robin Hood or a vicious killer and failed monarch? The truth about King Richard I is plucked from the tangle of legends in this entertaining program.   

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Evolution of Alice Waters: How American Cuisine Found Its Way

When Alice Waters opened restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, in 1971, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape. Tonight, Waters talks about her evolution from follower to activist who effects change on a global level through the common bond of food.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Incomparable Ella: A 100th Birthday Tribute

John Edward Hasse, curator of the current Smithsonian exhibition Ella Fitzgerald at 100: First Lady of Song, draws on film and video clips, rare photographs, and original recordings  to provide insight into the extraordinary life and career of Ella Fitzgerald.

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Scott Kelly: A Year in Space

The veteran of four space flights, astronaut Scott Kelly discusses the dangers, achievements, and physical and emotional challenges he encountered during his record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station.

Friday, November 3, 2017 - 7:00 p.m.
Thomas Paine: Revolutions of a Founding Father

He was admired for helping to ignite the fight for independence in the Colonies, but when Thomas Paine died in June 1809 only a dozen people came to his funeral. Historian Richard Bell examines the reasons behind Paine’s meteoric rise to celebrity status during the American Revolution and his equally dramatic fall from grace in the decades afterward.

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Spell of Vermeer

A master of light and color, Vermeer created a timeless world in which the smallest actions took on a beauty beyond their commonplace settings. Explore his artistry and legacy with art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Secret Selves: Charlotte and Emily Brontë

Charlotte and Emily Brontë lived a small, isolated family home in an English village, far from literary circles. Author John Pfordresher examines the forces of creative imagination and personality that nonetheless allowed them to cast a critical eye on the issues of their time through passionate female characters—who often resembled their creators.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Dickens Without the Humbug

Follow the life and career of Charles Dickens through the best of times and the worst of times with author Daniel Stashower and actor Scott Sedar, reading from selected works. Then, have a piece of cake and raise a toast to the premier storyteller of the Victorian age. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.