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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Popular Culture Programs

Live Streaming

With the delayed (and very different) 2020 Major League Baseball season scheduled to open on July 23, author, ethicist, and lifelong fan Jack Marshall offers the perfect warm-up. Join him in the virtual stands for an interactive, wide-ranging program that examines how baseball has both mirrored and shaped Americans’ ideas of their country and themselves.

Date of event
Monday, July 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

Historian Richard Bell examines this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show business. He investigates what the show gets right—and wrong—about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States, and why it all matters. 

Date of event
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

The Harry Potter novels may seem like a strange perspective from which to view economics, but a realm filled with magic also includes some financial realities that even the most powerful spell can’t make vanish. Economist Brian O’Roark entertainingly investigates how topics including monetary systems, black markets, utility theory, and more pervade the Potterverse.

Date of event
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

"The Good Place" combined philosophy and humor as it asked what it means to be a morally good human being. The show’s philosophical adviser Todd May discusses the variety of theories and moral dilemmas it addressed as each of its characters found their own way to redemption—philosophically speaking.

Date of event
Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

Will Rogers’ plainspoken humor and clear-eyed social commentary struck a chord with audiences around the world during the early decades of the 20th century and made him the voice of his nation. Author Daniel Stashower explores this true American original’s life and legacy and actor Scott Sedar performs some of his most celebrated monologues.

Date of event
Monday, August 10, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET