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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Authors, Books, & Writing Programs

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 5:00 p.m. ET

Tom Stoppard is a towering and beloved literary figure known for his dizzying narrative inventiveness and intense attention to language. Hermione Lee discusses her new biography of one of our greatest living playwrights with longtime Stoppard collaborator Carey Perloff in a fascinating examination of his work and a riveting look at the life a remarkable man.

Course
Monday, March 22, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Memorable autobiographies are powerful evocations not just of a person, but a time and place, vividly transporting us inside the world of another to experience it as they did. In a 3-session series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at a remarkable life recounted by Andre Aciman in this session.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Are you someone who winces at the word irregardless? Do you find it hard to believe someone who tells you, “I was literally climbing the walls”? Do you wish everyone would use the Oxford comma in lists of three items? If so, this lively examination of language with linguist Anne Curzan is for you. (Hopefully, you’ll come.)

Course
Monday, April 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Memorable autobiographies are powerful evocations not just of a person, but a time and place, vividly transporting us inside the world of another to experience it as they did. In a 3-session series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at a remarkable life recounted by Vladmir Nabokov in this session.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Author Andrew Morton explores the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, from the idyll of their cloistered early life, through the divergent paths they took following their father's death, and Elizabeth's ascension to the throne.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Inspired by works of art by Vincent van Gogh and poetry by Mary Oliver, explore the lessons that spring offers when we slow down, observe closely, and look inward.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, April 17, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In the 1960s and ’70s, the Black Arts Movement permeated rural and urban cities and towns in the U.S., drawing on the blues, jazz, and Black folk culture and idiomatic expressions as its foundation. Michele L. Simms-Burton, scholar of African American and Africana studies, explores the cultural producers working in music, literature, art, theater, film, and the press who defined the movement.

Course
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Memorable autobiographies are powerful evocations not just of a person, but a time and place, vividly transporting us inside the world of another to experience it as they did. In a 3-session series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at a remarkable life recounted by Robert Graves in this session.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Ever since its appearance around the fifth century B.C., the philosophy of The Art of War has been embraced by leaders of nations, armies, and businesses as an ancient guide to success. Historian Christopher Hamner examines the delights and frustrations of untangling Sun Tzu’s sometimes-opaque aphorisms and explores some of the most famous passages in his masterwork.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Fairy tales are a profound force of storytelling, extending far beyond the nursery into film, advertising, novels, politics, propaganda, music, and more. Folklorists Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman explore these tales' two intertwining branches: traditional folkloric fairy tales and literary fairy tales.

Course
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Japanese-American artist Kenjiro Nomura’s The Farm.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Vergil’s Aeneid is an epic poem that tells the story of the Trojan Aeneas, whose adventures included the founding of Rome. Join Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, professor of classics and translator of the newest version of the Aeneid, as she defies the weight of the past and looks at the poem anew.

Course
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Antonio Martorell’s La Playa Negra I (Tar Beach I).

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

What keeps Dante’s Divine Comedy still meaningful today, even though it was written seven centuries ago? Explore Dante’s epic poem in all its cultural and historical richness—without the need of footnotes—and discover the ways his timeless wisdom and insights can enhance our everyday lives.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

CNN anchor Jake Tapper called on his inside knowledge of Washington’s workings to write his newest period political thriller The Devil May Dance, in which Congressman Charlie Marder and his wife Margaret find themselves launched into the dark side of 1960s Hollywood on a dangerous assignment from Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Join him as he discusses mixing politicos and the Rat Pack in his book, as well as his work covering the non-fictional Washington.

Course
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on 20th-century African American artist Alma Thomas’ colorful compositions.