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Baseball’s First Golden Age

During the sports-crazed ’20s, baseball established itself as the true national pastime—and a modern game entering a golden age. Join John McMurray of the Society for American Baseball Research for an examination of how that came about and an evaluation of this remarkable decade of change in baseball history.

Date
Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Peruvian Cooking: The Ultimate Melting Pot

Peruvian cuisine—which reflects Chinese, Japanese, African, Spanish, and traditional South American influences—offers some of the most deliciously eclectic dishes you’ll ever taste. Carlos Delgado, head chef at China Chilcano, sheds light on its history and flavors in a conversation with Joe Yonan, the Washington Post’s food and dining editor.

Date
Monday, August 7, 2017 - 6:45 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.

Date
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Cooking Gene: Southern Food’s Deepest Roots

Traditional Southern food is an integral part of our national culinary heritage, yet the question of who "owns" it is linked to wider issues of race, politics, and history. Culinary historian and cook Michael Twitty, a descendant of both African and European ancestors, discusses how he traced the roots of soul food, barbecue, and other staples of Southern cooking—as well as those of his own family.

Date
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Stengel and Durocher: Home Runs and Spitballs

Midcentury baseball was dominated by a pair of brilliant managers whose contrasting styles and personalities made them natural adversaries. Biographers Paul Dickson and Marty Appel join veteran sportscaster Phil Hochberg for a colorful conversation about the good guy/bad guy dynamics between Casey Stengel and Leo Durocher.

Date
Monday, August 14, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Great Migration

From World War I up through the Civil Rights era, more than 6 million African Americans left the Jim Crow agrarian south for the industrial urban North in a movement known as the Great Migration. Spencer Crew, the former director of the American History Museum and a professor of history at George Mason University, takes an in-depth look at this pivotal movement in America’s history.

Date
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
How Virtual Reality Is Changing Medicine

Although virtual reality can seem like something out of science fiction, the possibilities are virtually limitless in its applications to medicine and health care. Susan Persky of the National Institutes of Health explores how new technologies are opening new worlds—sometimes literally— for doctors, researchers, clinicians, and patients.

Date
Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Patrick Henry: The Forgotten Founding Father

Though he was enormously influential in his time, Patrick Henry’s accomplishments—other than his one great line “Give me liberty or give me death”—were subsequently all but forgotten. Historian Jon Kukla, author of a new biography of Henry, discusses why he finds that obscurity is less then deserved, and why his contributions to the nation’s early years merit more attention.

Date
Tuesday, August 22, 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.

Date
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
A DC Theatre Season Preview

With more than 80 professional theaters in the area, how can you tell which companies, directors, and performers should be on your radar for next season? Lorraine Treanor, editor of DC Theatre Scene website, offers plenty of tips and picks to help you fill your theatre-going calendar.

Date
Thursday, August 24, 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.

Date
Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
An Artful Weekend in New York: MoMA, the Whitney, and the New York Botanical Garden
Overnight Tour

Explore the work of three widely differing creators—Robert Rauschenberg, Alexander Calder, and Dale Chihuly—during an art-filled weekend in Manhattan. The overnight getaway gives you plenty of time to take in several of the most intriguing exhibits at three cultural powerhouses—and enjoy a night at one of the city’s legendary hotels. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Depart: Sunday, August 27, 2017 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Monday, August 28, 2017 - 10:30 p.m.
Smithsonian Rock ’n’ Roll Chorus
10-Session Evening Course

Is the soundtrack to your life filled with the music of the Beatles, Byrds, Beach Boys, and other classic groups? Bring those songs alive again as music director and conductor Cheryl Branham leads an ensemble for singers 55 and older.

Date
Tuesday, September 5 to November 7, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Contemporary Art: The Constancy of Change
4-Session Evening Course

Contemporary visual arts reflect today’s world—one that’s both liberating in its freedoms and disorienting in its uncertainty. Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine provides insights into understanding and navigating the changing global art world by examining the trends and ideas that have shaped it in recent decades. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date
Tuesday, September 5 to 26, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Luciano Pavarotti: King of the High C’s

Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti (1935–2007) was a global superstar who expanded the musical genre’s audience to include millions of people who had never set foot in an opera house. On the tenth anniversary of Pavarotti’s death, opera expert Fred Plotkin provides an intimate portrait of the great Italian tenor.

Date
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Christianity’s Triumph: How Faith Conquered an Empire

How did a movement that began within a small group of illiterate day-laborers in a remote corner of the Roman Empire evolve into the dominant faith of the Western world? Bart Ehrman, a leading authority on early Christianity, the New Testament, and the life of Jesus, explores the religion’s amazing trajectory.

Date
Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Historic Chestertown and a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana
All-Day Tour

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this lovely Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Date
Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
A Day at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In this richly illustrated day-long program, art historian and Dutch art scholar Aneta Georgievska-Shine presents an overview of the museum’s magnificent collection, focusing on some of its greatest masterpieces. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Mary, Queen of Scots: Villain or Victim?

On Feb. 8, 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was executed for treason on the orders of her English cousin, Elizabeth I. It was a tragic end to a turbulent life. Historian Jennifer Paxton explores Mary’s life for an answer to one of history’s enduring questions: Was the queen a martyr or a failed conspirator? 

Date
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Sing Out: The Smithsonian Chorale
12-Session Daytime Course

Spend Thursday mornings in song and in good company with the Smithsonian Chorale. Singers over 55 meet for weekly rehearsals under the direction of conductor Cheryl Branham, culminating into a concert performance.

Date
Thursday, September 14 to December 7, 2017 - 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (no class Nov. 23)
The Golden Age of Steam: Strasburg Rail Excursion and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
All-Day Tour

Climb on board with railroad historian Joseph Nevin for a steam train excursion through the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside and an afternoon at one of America's finest rail museums.

Date
Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Second City’s Cure for the Common Comedy

This fall, as the temperatures drop, the days get shorter, and holiday pressures and head colds come on, The Second City has the fix! Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater presents “The Cure for The Common Comedy.” You’ll be laughing your way into the New Year!

Date
Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
The Second City’s Cure for the Common Comedy

This fall, as the temperatures drop, the days get shorter, and holiday pressures and head colds come on, The Second City has the fix! Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater presents “The Cure for The Common Comedy.” You’ll be laughing your way into the New Year!

Date
Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 9:00 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia
All-Day Tour

Matisses, Modiglianis, and Monets are among the treasures found in the downtown home of the Barnes collection. Join art historian Bonita Billman to view the museum’s stunning post-impressionist and early-modern works. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.