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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Popular Culture Programs

Lecture/Seminar

Jim Thorpe: Outracing the Odds

Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport, but despite his colossal skills, his life was a struggle against the odds. Award-winning journalist and biographer David Maraniss discusses America’s greatest all-around athlete in conversation with Kevin Gover, the Smithsonian's undersecretary of museums and a former director of the National Museum of the American Indian. As a citizen of the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Gover's life includes parallel experiences to Thorpe's.

Lecture/Seminar

Jacques Pépin on the Art of the Chicken

Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Legendary chef Jacques Pépin celebrates his love of chickens as he reminisces on his life through the lens of the humble bird. Spend a delightful evening listening to the chef recall his childhood and career, and his celebrated paintings of chickens (of course!). He also shares recipes, along with poignant memories and the stories behind them.

Lecture/Seminar

Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan: A Novel Duo

Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is known for her compelling storytelling that thoughtfully tackles contemporary issues. For her latest novel, she teamed up with author Jennifer Finney Boylan to create the suspenseful Mad Honey. Join them as they discuss what it was like to work together and their inspiration behind the novel.

Lecture/Seminar

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In a career spanning 5 decades, film director Alfred Hitchcock made 54 films, including such classics as The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and Psycho. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at Hitchcock’s achievements as the Master of Suspense and through dozens of film clips, examines his extraordinary creativity as one of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers.

Lecture/Seminar

From Streaming TV to the Oscars: How Netflix Disrupted the Entertainment Industry

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its start as a DVD-by-mail rental service, Netflix has systematically changed the rules of the media business. Media expert Brian Rose explores how Netflix is primed to become the dominant source of leisure time entertainment throughout the world.

Course

The History and Future of the Shopping Mall

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Consumers flocked to modern shopping malls when they were introduced soon after World War II and this new way of shopping came to quickly dominate the retail scene. In later years, though, the mall’s demise was equally as rapid and dramatic. In a two-part series, Bill Keene, a lecturer on architecture and urban studies, looks at the social and economic reasons that drew us to the mall, why we left, and what its future might hold.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Chinatown and LA Confidential.

Lecture/Seminar

Misty Copeland: Honoring a Trailblazing Black Ballerina

Friday, November 18, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Misty Copeland made history as the first African American principal ballerina at American Ballet Theatre, an achievement in which another trailblazing Black ballerina—her mentor, the late Raven Wilkinson—played a key role. Drawing on her new book, The Wind at My Back, Copeland tells the story of two unapologetically Black ballerinas, their friendship, and how they changed each other—and the dance world—forever. online options.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Broadcast News and Network.

Course

Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Moonstruck and Notting Hill.

Lecture/Seminar

The Magic of Fred Astaire

Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Whether it was partnering with Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, or a hat rack, Fred Astaire on film made everything appear easy and elegant. In a delightful program illustrated with video clips, media expert Brian Rose surveys the sweep of Astaire’s remarkable career, looking at his work both as a soloist and as the most romantic dance partner in Hollywood history.

Lecture/Seminar

From Carson to Oprah to Stephen Colbert: A History of the TV Talk Show

Thursday, January 5, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its start in the early 1950s, the talk show has been one of television’s most versatile and durable formats. Media expert Brian Rose surveys its changing appeal from decade to decade and examines how the talk show—and its hosts—continue to provide viewers with a lively mix of entertainment, information, and compelling conversation.

Lecture/Seminar

Ian Fleming: The Creator of James Bond

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

You might call Ian Fleming—who introduced a British Secret Service agent named James Bond to the world with Casino Royale in 1952—The Man with the Golden Typewriter. The 14 Bond books he authored sparked a global sensation, sold tens of millions of copies, and became the source for the longest-running film franchise in history. In an evening in the dashing Bond spirit, author Daniel Stashower explores Ian Fleming’s life and legacy, while actor Scott Sedar, aka The Man with the Golden Voice, reads from Fleming’s most popular works.