News, Politics, & Media
Inside the World of Diplomacy

Take a rare opportunity to hear first-person stories from men and women whose careers are spent in diplomatic Washington when you spend a day at the American Foreign Service Association and the U.S. Department of State.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Orange Is the New Black: Why We Love Going Behind Bars

The Netflix series set in fictional Litchfield Penitentiary has become a pop-culture phenomenon as it takes on issues like race, class, sexuality, identity, and the criminal justice system. Stef Woods of American University examines the impact of OITNB and why after five seasons viewers are still making time for the women serving time at Litchfield.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Plastics: Separating the Good from the Bad

We have a complicated relationship with plastics: We depend on the material’s convenience and affordability every day, but the overabundance of waste it produces harms the environment. Smithsonian scientists Odile Madden and Pierre Comizzoli discuss how their own work—in museum conservation and research biology, respectively—approaches plastics’ potential and its problems.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Tiki Time! Exotic Cocktails and the Cult of the Tiki Bar

In countless restaurants and bars, rum drinks topped with paper umbrellas, “exotic” foods, and fantasy Polynesian décor offered mid-century America’s favorite tropical escape. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, lead a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki culture and its modern revival, and offer samples of their bar’s original cocktail recipes.

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
How YouTube Remade Media

Over the past 10 years, the internet video platform YouTube has changed media and entertainment profoundly. Find out how an upstart company became a modern pop culture juggernaut—and how the new rules of entertainment are being written as the media landscape undergoes radical change.

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Science in Our Lives

With discoveries in topics from the origins of the universe to the human microbiome rapidly unfolding, science is more important now than ever. Smithsonian Associates’ innovative new Science Literacy Program meets that challenge with an exciting new series of expert-led programming, as well as the opportunity to participate in a lively online learning community.

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Athens and the Roots of Democracy

Kelcy Sagstetter, assistant professor of history at the United States Naval Academy, explores the fascinating origins of Western democracy and their link to its current iterations.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Poachers and Piano Keys: Cristian Samper on Elephants and the Ivory Trade

President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society Cristian Samper explains the nuanced issues of elephant poaching, the ivory trade, and the role museums and conservationists play in the protection of elephants and other ivory-producing species.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Supreme Court: A Preview of the New Term

Spend a morning getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court—including the courtroom where cases are argued. Then, a panel of top legal experts previews the issues that will come before the court when the new session begins in October.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Supreme Court: A Preview of the New Term (Afternoon Panel Only)

Spend the afternoon with a panel of top legal experts who will preview the issues that will come before the Supreme Court when the new session begins in October.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Great Escapes: How Spies, Hostages, and Assets Survive and Get Out Alive
4-Session Daytime Course

Escape-room challenges are popular among fans of spy thrillers, but what if your life actually depended on the result? Be regaled by experts familiar with life-or-death operations conducted in such places as Iran and Moscow in this series exploring memorable escapes, rescues, and evasions from the 1970s through today.

Wednesday, September 27 to October 18, 2017 – 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
American Women in Politics: Did Suffrage Matter?

Nearly a century after the 19th Amendment was ratified, it is worth asking whether having the women’s vote has made a significant difference in American politics. Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, reviews women’s political engagement from marching for the vote to campaigning for (or against) a woman for president.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.