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Biography & Autobiography Programs

The Wars of the Roses: Cousins, Conflicts, and the Crown

Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger traces the tumultuous history of the battles and power grabs that led to the establishment of the most powerful family of the 16th century, the Tudors.

Date of event
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Worlds of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s many accomplishments as a statesman, scientist, writer, and more are well known. Historian Richard Bell addresses the man’s many other faces and capacity for complexity—which rendered him both ordinary and extraordinary.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Charlemagne, Father of Europe

The greatest of the barbarian rulers who rose to power after the fall of the Roman Empire was both a warrior king marked by a lust for territory and plunder and a great patron of the arts, learning, and religion. Historian Richard Abels explores the defining facets of the man and the myth behind the so-called Father of Europe.

Date of event
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

A History of the British Royal Family

Plantagenets and Tudors and Windsors, oh my! Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger traces a path through the twists and turns of the royals and rebels who have ruled England for nearly a thousand years.

Date of event
Thursday, March 26 to April 23, 2020 - 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Forgotten No More: Rediscovering Remarkable Women

Women have been making strides in their fields that have often being overlooked, uncredited, or forgotten by time. Celebrate Women’s History Month by spending a fascinating day with four experts who bring to light an array of remarkable women who have lived in the shadows of history far too long.

Date of event
Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Alexander von Humboldt: His World of Nature

He has more species named after him than any other human being. Learn why from Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator at the American Art Museum, who examines the fascinating life of Prussian naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, one of the most influential intellectuals of the 19th century. 

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Celebrating Robert Frost: An American Poet

More than 50 years after his death, Robert Frost remains one of the most beloved and critically respected poets of all time. Author Daniel Stashower explores Frost’s life and legacy and actor Scott Sedar reads a selection of his most celebrated works.

Date of event
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Vermeer: In Praise of the Ordinary

Explore the legacy of painter Johannes Vermeer, a master of light and color whose paintings captured the beauty and meaning of everyday life, with art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, April 4, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Igor Stravinsky: The Masterworks

Opera and classical music expert Saul Lilienstein surveys Stravinsky’s major accomplishments, from his early ground-breaking music for the Ballets Russes, through the neoclassical masterworks that culminated with The Rake’s Progress, to the far-reaching modernism of his later years.

Date of event
Tuesday, April 14 to May 19, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Edward Hopper: American Modernist

Explore the life and career of Edward Hopper, one of the great American realists of modern art, with art historian Bonita Billman. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, April 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Five Giants of Romantic Music: Friends in Life, Rivals in Art

Popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines lecture and piano demonstrations to examine the lives and work of Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner.

Date of event
Friday, April 24, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Galileo: Lessons from a Great Scientist

For Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei was “the father of modern physics—indeed, of modern science altogether.” Astrophysicist Mario Livio examines Galileo’s monumental achievements in astronomy, mechanics, and the development of the scientific method.

Date of event
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.