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All upcoming Authors, Books, & Writing programs

All upcoming Authors, Books, & Writing programs

Showing programs 1 to 10 of 15
May 30, 2024

For historians like Megan Kate Nelson, the “archive,” usually a library, university, museum, or historical society collection, is a sacred place. But what happens when these sources don’t contain the answers they seek? Nelson unfolds three research adventures that led her to places beyond the traditional archives—including a mountain pass in New Mexico—during her preparation for The Three-Cornered War, a book about the Civil War in the desert Southwest.


June 3, 2024

The earliest known copy of work by Archimedes. Gutenberg and other early Bibles and Muslim manuscripts. Historical astronomical plates. All these historical objects have been digitized by Michael B. Toth, president of R. B. Toth Associates, and his colleagues in humanities and science. Toth discusses ongoing work on historic objects and offers examples of texts and objects that have been digitized using the latest advanced imaging systems.


June 4, 2024

Looking at the shared pasts of literature and computer science, former Microsoft engineer and professor of comparative literature Dennis Yi Tenen provides a context for recent developments in artificial intelligence. Rather than a magical genie capable of self-directed thought or action, Yi Tenen draws on labor history, technology, and philosophy to examine why he views AI as a reflection of the long-standing cooperation between authors and engineers.


June 8, 2024

John Milton’s Paradise Lost from 1667 is generally considered to be the greatest epic poem in the English language. Literature professor Joseph Luzzi explores Milton’s relation to ancient literature, rewriting of religious doctrine, and place in the political and social upheavals of his era. He also discusses Milton’s blindness and his role as a pamphleteer.


June 10, 2024

Throughout history, the creation of books involved a wide variety of materials from the natural world, including unusual ones such as wasps and seaweed. The “Nature of the Book” exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History, assembled by the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, shows what the use of these materials can tell us about books, touching on questions of purpose, process, global trade, and economy. Curators Katie Wagner and Vanessa Haight Smith discuss their process and research.


Session 1 of 3
June 12, 2024

A picture is not only worth a thousand words: It can sometimes inspire a whole invented world. Art historian Heidi Applegate explores the art, artists, and factual backgrounds behind three works of historical fiction­—Rules of Civility by Amor Towles; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; and The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It’s a “novel” way to explore the arts. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)


June 17, 2024

Few stories capture the imagination like “Beauty and the Beast,” the romantic tale of a beautiful girl who sees past appearances to fall in love with a hideous monster. Folklorists Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman discuss what the tale looks like around the world and what kinds of reactionary, rebellious, and revolutionary points it has allowed tellers to make. They also explain why so many people count it as their favorite fairy tale.


July 9, 2024

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for three online workshops that spotlight a diverse range of visual art chosen to inspire writers of all experience levels to deepen their process and practice. This writing session is inspired by 20th-century African American artist Romare Bearden’s Tomorrow I May Be Far Away.


Session 2 of 3
July 10, 2024

A picture is not only worth a thousand words: It can sometimes inspire a whole invented world. Art historian Heidi Applegate explores the art, artists, and factual backgrounds behind three works of historical fiction­—Rules of Civility by Amor Towles; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; and The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It’s a “novel” way to explore the arts. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)


July 16, 2024

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for three online workshops that spotlight a diverse range of visual art chosen to inspire writers of all experience levels to deepen their process and practice. This writing session is inspired by 20th-century American artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s shell paintings.