What's New?
Creating the Visual World of Game of Thrones

Devoted followers of HBO’s Game of Thrones have production designer Deborah Riley to thank for the highly detailed environment against which the saga of power, family, revenge, and romance plays out. Riley talks about how she and a small army of craftsmen give the series its distinctive visual style, which draws on an imaginative mix of historical periods, styles, and cultural traditions.

Date
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Jazzy Nights in Shaw: A Stroll Through 1920s Washington
Evening Tour

Spend a summer evening with local historian Garrett Peck and step into the heyday of Washington’s “Black Broadway,” when jazz filled the clubs and theaters of U Street and the nightlife scene rivaled Harlem’s.

Date
Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Jeb Stuart's Ride to Gettysburg
All-Day Tour

Historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer follow the route of Jeb Stuart’s Confederate troops from Rowser’s Ford to Hanover during the Gettysburg campaign of the summer of 1863.

Date
Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Unpack the Secrets of Better Vacations

The essential ingredient for a memorable vacation may not be something you can pack in your carry-on: It’s your outlook on travel. Jamie Kurtz, an associate professor of psychology at James Madison University, draws on the growing research on happiness and decision-making to offer practical advice on crafting a more meaningful, fulfilling, and joyful travel experience.

Date
Monday, July 10, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Rise of Women in Science: 250 Years of Trailblazers

Marie Curie may have been the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, but women have made their mark in the sciences long before and after that 1903 accolade. Historian Marsha Richmond tells the stories of influential women celebrated as scientific innovators, as well as those whose opportunities and work were denied or repressed. (An optional tour of the Smithsonian Libraries’ Biodiversity Heritage Library is available to program participants.)

Date
Monday, July 10, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Undiscovered Italy: Emilia-Romagna Sights, Food, and Wine

Emilia-Romagna, in northern Italy, is filled with cities rich in art, culture, music, history, and world-renowned food and wine. Food historian Francine Segan leads a virtual walk along the ancient Roman byway, via Emilia, connecting some of Italy’s most amazing sights with unique gourmet experiences. The “walk” ends with a tasting of regional wines and foods.

Date
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Cleared for Takeoff: An Insider’s Day at Dulles
All-Day Tour

Here’s a trip to the airport for which you don’t need to pack a single bag. Transportation expert and pilot Scott Hercik leads a close-up exploration of what daily life is like at Washington Dulles International. Once you’ve gotten some aviation and architectural history, seen the view from a ramp control tower, and gone inside the cockpit of a British Airways Airbus 380-800, you’ll never see this familiar place in the same way.

Date
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Jazzy Nights in Shaw: A Stroll Through 1920s Washington
Evening Tour

Spend a summer evening with local historian Garrett Peck and step into the heyday of Washington’s “Black Broadway,” when jazz filled the clubs and theaters of U Street and the nightlife scene rivaled Harlem’s.

Date
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A Mingle With Marlene

Sip a cocktail in the presence of a Hollywood icon (in photos and film clips that is) during an evening in the stylish spirit of the Portrait Gallery’s exhibition Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image. In an after-hours gathering, historian and exhibit curator Kate Lemay discusses the star’s career and her trademark glamour, as well the making of the retrospective.

Date
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Mario Livio on What Makes Us Curious

The ability to ask “why?” makes us uniquely human. In a fascinating and entertaining evening, renowned astrophysicist and author Mario Livio surveys and interprets cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience that aims at exploring and understanding the origin and mechanisms of our curiosity.

Date
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Hello Girls: America’s First Female Soldiers in War Abroad—and at Home

Historian Elizabeth Cobbs tells the story of how a corps of 200 bilingual telephone operators braved the battlefields and helped win World War I—and later took on a 60-year battle of their own with the U.S. Army.

Date
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Mezcal: Small Batch, Big Flavor

Mezcal has a reputation as a bit of an outlaw in the spirits world—it’s been periodically banned and restricted—and its edgy flavor notes match its history. Miguel Lancha of José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup joins Joe Yonan of the Washington Post to explore the booming popularity of this Mexican import and the intriguing story behind tequila’s smoky sister.

Date
Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Monarchs for the Ages: Elizabeth I and Victoria

Between them, Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria ruled England for more than a century and their names define two historically and culturally significant eras. Sabrina Baron, an assistant research professor in the department of history at the University of Maryland, illuminates the lives and legacies of these two extraordinary women.

Date
Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
James Stewart: The Many Faces of a Prolific Actor

He peered through a rear window for Hitchcock, took a midnight swim with Hepburn, filibustered the Senate, and saved Bedford Falls. James Stewart was a versatile and meticulous actor whose dramatic range and emotional vulnerability were unmatched by his contemporaries in Hollywood’s big-studio heyday. Stewart biographer Donald Dewey offers a portrait of his rich—and yes, wonderful—life.

Date
Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Discovering Glass in Philadelphia
All-Day Tour

See Philadelphia in a new light as museum education consultant Sheila Pinsker guides a tour to four special sites: a museum, a spectacular Tiffany mosaic mural, a university glass studio, and a unique exhibit of glass art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Friday, July 14, 2017 - 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Reflections on an Extraordinary Life and Career

Bill Keene, a lecturer in architecture and urban studies, examines the personal and public Frank Lloyd Wright, whose life encompassed acclaim and triumph as well as scandal and tragedy—and the creation of some of the most influential buildings of the 20th century. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Cultures of the Ancient World: An Evolutionary Exploration from the Sumerians to the Greeks

Between them, Sumer and Egypt, two early civilization centers at opposite ends of the Fertile Crescent, invented writing, accounting, and astronomy, and diffused and disseminated a variety of cultural arts to peoples of the Near East. Join archaeologist Robert Stieglitz for a fascinating exploration of achievements that still resonate with us today.

Date
Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Andrew Wyeth: An Appreciation at 100

Andrew Wyeth’s vision of the landscape and the people of rural Pennsylvania and costal Maine has a stark, deeply emotional beauty that has made his paintings among the most iconic of the 20th century. Art historian Bonita Billman highlights works from his extraordinary output, placing them in the context of his career and his life (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
George Orwell in the 21st Century

The publisher of Nineteen Eighty-Four is rushing to print enough copies to keep up with fresh demand for the 1948 classic. Learn why Orwell scholar Andrew Rubin is not at all surprised that everything Orwellian seems new again.

Date
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Jazzy Nights in Shaw: A Stroll Through 1920s Washington
Evening Tour

Spend a summer evening with local historian Garrett Peck and step into the heyday of Washington’s “Black Broadway,” when jazz filled the clubs and theaters of U Street and the nightlife scene rivaled Harlem’s.

Date
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Kennedy and King

Drawing on his new book, journalist and author Steven Levingston traces the emergence of two of the 20th century's greatest leaders and their powerful impact on each other and the shape of the Civil Rights movement during its tumultuous early years.

Date
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Interpreting the Great War: Exhibitions Explore a World-Changing Conflict
All-Day Tour

In observance of the centennial of America’s formal entry into the conflict in 1917, many Washington-area museums are presenting exhibitions on a variety of aspects of the war. Robert A. Enholm, a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, leads a day-long tour to view several of them at the American History Musuem, Postal Museum, and the President Woodrow Wilson House.

Date
Friday, July 21, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cultural Heritage Sites of India

From India’s elaborately decorated Ajanta Caves to the splendor of the Taj Mahal, UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites offers a spectacular window into South Asia’s past. Art historian Robert DeCaroli highlights historic palaces, grand temples, royal mausoleums, and more that showcase the subcontinent’s abundant historically and culturally significant destinations. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 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
Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Imagining Infinity

Eugenia Cheng, author of Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics, investigates the universe’s largest possible topic, demonstrating how one little symbol can hold the biggest idea of all.

Date
Monday, July 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Breath of History: How Gases Connect Us to Our Planet and Past

For science writer Sam Kean, every inhale and exhale we take directly links us to our planet’s atmosphere—and to humanity’s past itself. On a journey through the periodic table, he takes a closer look at the gases we breathe and their origins, significance, and context in history.

Date
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Dining in Early Federal Washington: Making Meals—and History

Washington has always been a place where much happens at dinner parties, particularly in the era in which both the city and the Republic were coming into their own. Food historian Leni Sorensen brings together stories of a hostess, a cookbook writer, and an emancipated black caterer to examine how culinary and social history was made over the city’s most fashionable dining tables.

Date
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Where Harry Met Sally: The Cuisine and Culture of the New York Jewish Deli

Has there ever been a tastier or more beloved institution than the New York Jewish deli? Ted Merwin, associate professor of religion and Judaic studies at Dickinson College, discusses the past, present, and future of the deli and its quintessential role in urban Jewish and American life. And of course, there’s a lunch!

Date
Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 12:00 p.m.
Bootleggers, Bathtubs, and Speakeasies: Tales From Prohibition

Get a taste of the 1920s as you sip some iconic period cocktails (Orange Blossom, anyone?) and hear from Philip Greene, co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail, and historian and author Garrett Peck how determined drinkers thumbed their noses at the killjoys who tried to turn America dry.

Date
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
D-Day: Success Against the Odds

Christopher Hamner, an associate professor in the department of history and art history at George Mason University, explores the experiences of the rank-and-file GIs on D-Day as they endured the chaos and terror of what was, for many, their first experience under fire.

Date
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Boost Your Nutritional IQ

Is coffee healthful this week, or evil? What’s the difference between good fat and bad? Should we all go gluten-free? Physician John Whyte offers some sensible and solid guidance to counter the confusion when every meal can feels like a nutritional mine field.

Date
Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Urban Vision: New York City
Overnight Tour

Mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright with a unique overnight visit to Manhattan led by urban historian Bill Keene. Get insights into the architect’s creative relationship to the city as you explore a major exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, experience a tour of the Guggenheim Museum, and view holdings in the Wright archives at Columbia University. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Depart: Friday, August 4, 2017 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Saturday, August 5, 2017 - 10:00 p.m.
Art, Power, and Pleasure in Italy’s Renaissance Courts

Art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman explores Italy’s four northern Renaissance court cities—Ferrara, Urbino, Mantua, and Milan—where artists as famous as Da Vinci and Mantegna, and patrons as notorious as the fearsome Federico da Montefeltro and the elegant Isabella d’Este lived and worked. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, August 5, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Adrenaline Rush: How To Write Suspense Fiction

Nothing quickens the pulse like a good thriller. Award-winning author John Gilstrap presents an informative, entertaining day-long program on the crafting of intelligent suspense fiction. Through lively lectures and writing exercises, students get a peek at the skeleton that gives structure to the stories that keep us reading long into the night.

Date
Saturday, August 5, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
African Art and the Slave Trade

Art historian Kevin Tervala discusses the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades, with a focus on how African artists—and the societies that they were a part of—reacted to the sudden and brutal disruption and transformation of the world’s second-largest continent. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
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.

Date
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Wyeth, Wine, and the Brandywine River Valley
All-Day Tour

The landscape and people of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, had a profound personal and artistic influence on Andrew Wyeth. Art historian Bonita Billman leads a tour to Wyeth’s beloved Brandywine County that includes a visit to his Chadds Ford studio, a retrospective exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, and a visit to a local winery.

Date
Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Evolution of Architectural Styles: Ancient Temples to Modern Skyscrapers
2-Session Course

Explore the traditions, styles, and masterpieces of European and American architecture during this in-depth 2-day program led by art historian Karen Alexis. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date
Friday, Augist 18, 2017 – 6:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and Saturday, August 19, 2017 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
1922—A Literary Watershed

In the opening days of 1922, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, and E.M. Forster were caught off-balance as the emergence of modernism—and a new kind of expression exemplified by James Joyce’s Ulysses—caused the literary ground to shift. Author Bill Goldstein draws on his new book, The World Broke in Two, to tell how these literary luminaries found their voice again.

Date
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo
4-Day Tour

Buffalo was the location of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s career-making commissions, and his several works there have become vital parts of the city’s architectural and cultural history. To mark the 150th anniversary of the architect’s birth, Bill Keene leads a 4-day tour, highlighting significant structures by Wright and his contemporaries that make Buffalo a must-see destination for aficionados of architectural masterworks. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Depart: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, September 11, 2017 - 9:30 p.m.