What's New?
2001 at 50: An Anniversary Odyssey

Re-experience the groundbreaking film that influenced such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron in a special screening. Then join Michael Benson, author of Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece, for some insights into its creation.

Date
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.
Lidia Bastianich’s American Dream

When she was 12, cookbook author, television personality, and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich fled Europe with her family to escape persecution. Drawing on her new book, My American Dream, Bastianich shares the vivid story of the fulfillment of that dream, beginning with her new life in New York and the dedication and passion for food that helped to build a successful career.

Date
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Henry Stuart: The Best King England Never Had

Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales—once the great hope of early 17th-century Britain, educated to rule—died at the age of 18 and became all but forgotten. His biographer Sarah Fraser traces the political and religious turmoil that followed his death, and what was behind the suppression of his memory.

Date
Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The History of Judaism

How has Judaism preserved its distinctive identity over the course of more than three millennia? Learn how this great religion came to be, how it has evolved from one age to the next, and how various strains, sects, and traditions have related to each other, in this fascinating overview of one of the world’s oldest religions.

Date
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Spring Nature Walk on Theodore Roosevelt Island

Enjoy the magic of a spring morning as author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a scenic walk around Roosevelt Island, a 90-acre wooded oasis and national memorial in the middle of the tidal Potomac.

Date
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
She Persisted, and Resisted: Four Centuries of Women in America

Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leads a fast-paced 4-session lecture series that examines the history of women in America from the colonial period through second-wave feminism. This session focuses on women from 1600–1770.

Date
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Biological Mind: The Brain as a Responsive Organ

Alan Jasanoff, director of the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering, explores the bodily influences on our brain and psychology, and ways that the environment connects to our behavior.

Date
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson at 275: A Celebratory Dinner

Mark the eve of President Thomas Jefferson’s 275th birthday at an intimate 4-course celebratory dinner at Plume, the elegant Michelin-starred restaurant in the downtown Jefferson hotel. Between courses, an historian discusses Jefferson’s contributions to American cuisine, and a representative of Barboursville Vineyards (whose products are paired with the meal), shares insights into Jefferson’s passion for fine wine.

Date
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bridal Traditions and Wedding Feasts of India: A Regional Exploration

India’s rich beauty and diversity is especially evident in its wedding celebrations. Writer and cookbook author Monica Bhide showcases the distinctive traditions of 10 Indian states in a fascinating program that ends with a buffet featuring a variety of Indian dishes.

Date
Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Join the Emmy Award–winning filmmaker, educator, literary scholar, journalist, and cultural critic as he adds another distinction to the list: recipient of Smithsonian Associates’ 17th annual Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award.

Date
Friday, April 13, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
All-Day Tour

In May 1864, a series of conflicts near Virginia’s Spotsylvania Court House interrupted Grant’s advance on the Confederate capital. Civil War historians Greg Clemmer and Ed Bearss cover several of the area’s battle sites, including the aptly named Bloody Angle, which saw some the war’s most ferocious sustained combat.

Date
Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Glimpses of Old Arlington
All-Day Tour

The essence of Arlington County goes beyond highways and high-rises—and reaches deep into the past. From the Revolution to the Civil War to the Great Depression and the postwar boom, Arlington County has been a canvas for American history. Get a close look at sites that reflect that fascinating heritage on a bus tour led by historian Kathryn Holt Springston.

Date
Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
La Dolce Vita: Italy’s Desserts

Forget about milk and cookies: Join Francine Segan, author of Dolci: Italy’s Sweets, as she introduces you to la dolce vita—the sublime way the dessert course is enjoyed in Italy.

Date
Monday, April 16, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Writings That Shaped a Nation: Voices From the Revolutionary Era
4-Session Evening Course

The revolutionary era produced some of the most important political texts and autobiographies in American history. This four-evening book discussion series offers the chance to learn about, read, and informally discuss four classics of the period by Founding Fathers and one too-often-overlooked masterpiece by an ordinary American soldier.

Date
Monday, April 16, May 7, May 21, and June 11, 2018 – 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
The Great Russian Operas: Glinka to Prokofiev
6-Session Daytime Course

Beginning in the 1830s, a century of unforgettable operatic masterpieces were created that helped to define a Russian musical identity distinct from predominant European styles. Learn about the composers–from Glinka to Prokofiev–who left us a thrilling musical repertoire.

Date
Tuesday, April 17 to May 22, 2018 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Cezanne Portraits

A new exhibition opening in March at the National Gallery of Art, Cezanne Portraits, brings together some 60 examples drawn from collections around the world. Join one of the exhibition’s curators as she discusses the exhibition, its creation, and the new perspectives it offers on the artist. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
John Eaton: From Broadway to Hollywood
4-Session Daytime Course

Acclaimed pianist, musicologist, and humorist John Eaton shares insights, fascinating observations, and performs selections from some of America’s legendary composers of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, in this engaging and entertaining series. And, of course, he always takes requests!

Date
Wednesday, April 18 to May 9, 2018 – 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Basic Instincts: The Wild Side of Wildlife

It’s easy to project human emotions onto animals. But have you ever considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants get lazy? They do. Lucy Cooke, an Oxford zoologist and award-winning documentary filmmaker, uncovers the unexpected stories of strange animal habits from her travels around the world.

Date
Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
What Does It Mean? Stories and Symbols in Art

Why have stories from Greek and Roman mythology and the Bible engaged, entertained, and even shocked us for centuries? Art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman offers an analysis of images, allegories, motifs, and context as she traces the iconography of these enduring tales from their ancient archetypes to contemporary interpretations. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Exploring Egypt at the Met
All-Day Tour

Gary Rendsburg, a professor of biblical studies at Rutgers University, guides participants through the Met’s Lila Acheson Wallace Galleries of Egyptian Art, interpreting how the artifacts on display reflect the creativity and significance of art in this civilization, as well how Egyptian art, literature, religion, and culture illuminate many of the best-known stories in the Bible. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Gardening for Mother Earth

This Earth Day, celebrate Mother Earth with Niraj Ray, founder of Cultivate the City, a D.C. organization of urban farmers dedicated to locally grown food. Take a tour of one of Cultivate the City’s community gardens as you gather tips on how to garden and leave the planet a better place.

Date
Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 2:00 p.m.
Digging Deeper: An Insider’s Look at Field Archaeology

They go out with their shovels and come back with priceless artifacts. If you think that sums up field archaeology, you’ve got another thing coming. From excavating lost cities to an army of Chinese Terracotta warriors, learn a few secrets from a seasoned pro.

Date
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Wrong Side of History: Loyalists in the American Revolution

Historian Richard Bell examines the American Revolution from the point of view of those colonists who remained staunchly loyal to Britain and the Crown. He traces why men and women—of a surprisingly wide range of types—opposed the fight for a new democratic nation, and how their lives changed once the patriots were victorious.

Date
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Spring at the National Arboretum
All-Day Tour

Enjoy a spring day at the Arboretum, during what is usually the peak blooming time for azaleas, dogwoods, and seasonal wildflowers. The day includes a combination walking and bus tour to visit popular collections on the Arboretum grounds, a picnic box lunch on site, and special guided tours of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum and the National Herb Garden.

Date
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

Massive technological innovations now allow scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA as never before. Geneticist David Reich examines how these developments have transformed our understanding of our lineage as modern humans.

Date
Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
A Day at the Delaware Art Museum
All-Day Tour

A guided tour of the Delaware Art Museum’s exhibition Eye on Nature: Andrew Wyeth and John Ruskin is the highlight of a day at the museum. The visit includes a private lunch and time to explore the galleries, sculpture garden, and store. Enjoy a splendid afternoon tea at the historic Hotel Dupont before the bus returns home. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The South: Exploring an American Idea

Something about the South won’t let go of the American imagination. We remain fascinated by the region, its people, its culture. Historian Stephen D. Engle explores the South both as place and idea, and why its complexities remain in our modern culture.

Date
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Romani Influence on European Music

In the distinctive musical language of the Romani people—developed from centuries of global influences—European composers found rich and passionate inspirations for their own works. Musical scholar Saul Lilienstein surveys its impact on classical works by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and others, as well as its echoes in flamenco and French jazz.

Date
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Heart of a Comet

Jim Zimbelman, a planetary geologist at the Air and Space Museum, examines how a new explosion of insights expanded and deepened our earlier knowledge of comets, now seen as frozen remnants from the formation of the solar system.

Date
Monday, April 30, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Borromini’s Rome: The Baroque at Its Best

Independent scholar and Rome expert George Sullivan examines the work of one architect, Francesco Borromini, who employed the classical vocabulary of the High Renaissance to create a new Baroque architectural language that was uniquely inventive and incomparably beautiful. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Perspectives on a Presidency

From 1953 to 1961 no one dominated the world stage as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Learn about Eisenhower’s enormous influence on modern America, the Cold War, and his extraordinary accomplishments, including ending the Korean War, avoiding a war in Vietnam, and soothing relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death.

Date
Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Archaeology of Judaism

The period of post-biblical Judaism is exceedingly rich in archaeological evidence, found both in Israel and in the lands of an ever-widening Diaspora. In an illustrated all-day program, biblical scholar Gary Rendsburg synthesizes archaeological findings and literary evidence to reveal a multifaceted portrait of Jewish life in late antiquity.

Date
Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Reigns of Queens: Women Who Independently Ruled Britannia

For most of English history, the possibility of a successful queen at the head of government was unthinkable. Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger surveys the women who shattered that royal glass ceiling to inherit the crown of Great Britain in their own right—a procession of monarchs that extends from the 12th century to today.

Date
Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Sears Houses of Arlington
Weekend Tour

Join historian Kathryn Holt Springston on a bus tour through historic Virginia neighborhoods to view the distinctive exteriors of Sears homes. Sold as kits during the first half of the 20th century, these affordable prefabricated dwellings allowed many Americans a chance to become homeowners.

Date
Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Chapels That Defined the Renaissance

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Florence’s Brancacci Chapel, and the Sistine Chapel in Rome: each are home to works by artists who presented a revolutionary visual interpretation of Christian iconography. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Giants of the Sea: Norfolk’s Naval Heritage
All-Day Tour

Transportation expert Scott Hercik guides an immersive day at the Port of Norfolk focused on some of the world’s greatest ships and the men and women who sail them.

Date
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
She Persisted, and Resisted: Four Centuries of Women in America

Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leads a fast-paced 4-session lecture series that examines the history of women in America from the colonial period through second-wave feminism. This session focuses on women from 1776–1850.

Date
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Gettysburg 101
All-Day Tour

Join historian Gregg Clemmer as he explores and interprets the most iconic battle of the Civil War in a full-day excursion.

Date
Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Adventures on the C&O Canal
Overnight Tour

Explore the man-made wonders of the C&O Canal, as well as natural beauty of spring along the Potomac River, guided by writer and local historian Garrett Peck. Highlights include the Monocacy Aqueduct, the canal town of Williamsport, the Paw Paw Tunnel, and an overnight stay in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, site of America’s first spa.

Date
Depart: Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Saunday, May 20, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Potomac Eagle: A Rail Ride Through the Trough
All-Day Tour

Join rail historian Joe Nevin for a 3 1/2-hour excursion on the diesel-powered Potomac Eagle along the route of the South Branch Valley Railroad, from Petersburg to Romney, West Virginia. The panorama from the train features natural wonders such as the river’s crystal-clear water, home to some of the largest fish caught yearly in the state, and eagles, deer, and other wildlife.

Date
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
She Persisted, and Resisted: Four Centuries of Women in America

Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leads a fast-paced 4-session lecture series that examines the history of women in America from the colonial period through second-wave feminism. This session focuses on women from 1850–1920.

Date
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
She Persisted, and Resisted: Four Centuries of Women in America

Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leads a fast-paced 4-session lecture series that examines the history of women in America from the colonial period through second-wave feminism. This session focuses on women from 1920–1970.

Date
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.