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World History Programs

The long relationship between the ancient world’s most profound philosopher and his student—that world’s most powerful conqueror—reveals a stark contrast: One dominated by the power of his mind, the other by the might of his sword. Author and classics professor John Prevas examines a fascinating saga of ideals, ego, brutality, and betrayal that played out against the backdrop of an empire.

Event date
Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The beloved, sumptuously produced “Downton Abbey” was always a feast for the eyes. In anticipation of the forthcoming movie based on the series, food historian Francine Segan invites you to vicariously take your seat at the Crawley family’s table (and also peek into the kitchen) to learn what went into planning, serving, and attending an Edwardian-era feast that only great houses like Downton could produce.

Event date
Sunday, September 8, 2019 - 2:00 p.m.

We know him as one of the world’s most prolific creators, but there’s an overlooked role that’s worth considering when we celebrate the genius of Leonardo da Vinci: Renaissance foodie. Food historian Francine Segan sets da Vinci in the context of the culinary culture and manners of the Italian Renaissance and explores his appetites for a life he richly savored.

Event date
Monday, September 9, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The Hundred Years War helped shape both England and France into powerful nation-states and changed the face of warfare forever. Historian Jennifer Paxton examines how an apparently minor trade dispute escalated into a seemingly endless war that forced all of Europe to take sides.

Event date
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Archaeologist Robert Stieglitz explores the history and cultural heritage of the civilization that brought urban life and literacy to the ancient western Mediterranean.

Event date
Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The dawn of aerial warfare in WWI introduced a new breed of military hero: the dashing flying ace in the skies over France. Aviation historian Mark Wilkins examines the unforeseen psychological toll suffered by these young pilots during and after the war, and how military medicine responded with the development of a new field of specialty, aviation psychiatry.

Event date
Monday, September 16, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Art historian Ünver Rüstem examines how mid-18th century Turkish architects adopted European forms to craft a new and politically charged image for the capital city of Istanbul. These surprising structures, a blend of Byzantine and Baroque design, forged a new international image for the Ottoman Empire as it staked its claim to power on the modern world stage. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines the sites and structures that made up the urban landscape of the Khmer Empire and traces the historical shifts, royal decisions, religious beliefs, and cultural processes that led to its development. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger leads a journey through the life and reign of Elizabeth I, following her from a child deemed a disappointment by her father to a tenacious and spirited young woman to a powerful monarch who changed the history of England and the world.

Event date
Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Karen S. Franklin, a consultant for the Museum of Jewish Heritage, guides you through the process of successfully exploring your family’s past or Holocaust-era history using a wealth of genealogical resources—many of them online.

Event date
Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Woodrow Wilson’s post-WWI idea of collective security became realized in the founding of the League of Nations in 1920—and collapsed 26 years later. Historian and author Garrett Peck examines how the league came to be, its successes and failures, and its resurrection through the United Nations after World War II.

Event date
Monday, September 23, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters houses some of the world’s most stunning medieval objects and architecture. Art historian Ursula Wolfman brings to life the era’s heart and soul as reflected in the masterpieces of this collection. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2019 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

Learn how Jane Austen’s novels provide a window into life in Regency England, creating a world of country retreats, London townhouses, balls, fashionable finery, and romantic (if sometimes-rocky) courtships. But the realities of war, poverty, and society’s ills rumble through the novels, threatening to disrupt family reputations and elegantly lived lives during that era.

Event date
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Historian Alexander Mikaberidze examines the revolutionary fervor sparked by the French Revolution that spread across Europe, and which continues to serve as an inspiration of the finest principles of modern democracy, as well as a warning of what can happen when idealism goes wrong.

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

How do professional historians work? In a unique workshop, Christopher Hamner, an associate professor of American history at George Mason University, demystifies this process by guiding you in how to think about and interpret the past.

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In the early 19th century, fortunes were made and lost importing luxury goods from China to the American marketplace, a trade hampered by the time it took for the ocean journey. Historian Steven Ujifusa tells the colorful story of a handful of cutthroat competitors who raced to create the fastest clipper ships to carry their cargo to American shores—and transformed the design and technology of shipbuilding in the process.

Event date
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Homer, the Bible, and the New Testament, are among the ancient texts that provide us knowledge of the ancient world. Explore the stories behind these and other sources, which still retain their narrative power into the 21st century.

Event date
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Though Jews have been part of British society since the 11th century, that long relationship was often a troubled one. Historian Virginia W. Newmyer surveys a cultural and religious history in which achievement and acceptance prevailed over suspicion and ignorance.

Event date
Monday, October 28, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

In a fascinating overview of ancient material culture, art historian Renee Gondek surveys the paintings, sculptures, and architectural wonders produced in ancient Egypt and the Greco-Roman world that served as inspiration for generations of creators to come. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Event date
Wednesday, October 30 to November 20, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The world was stunned when, in the spring of 1940, Germany invaded and quickly defeated France. Ronald C. Rosbottom, a scholar of French and European history, examines why knowing more about the impact of both occupation and resistance during WWII helps us understand aspects of France’s present political and diplomatic environment.

Event date
Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

In 1085, the king of England, William the Conqueror, ordered an inquest be made in every shire, in order to record the totality of resources of the realm. Explore how and why this document, the Domesday Book, came to be and what it reveals about the governance, society, and economy of late 11th-century England with medieval historian Richard Abels.

Event date
Monday, November 4, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Heroes of the Bible, of great empires of the past, and of legend are among those that preside today at the Met Cloisters, captured in an exceedingly rare, internationally renowned ensemble of tapestries. A Met Cloisters curator explores the singular historic and artistic importance of the Nine Heroes Tapestries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, November 8, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

When Victoria came to the throne, she was 18 years old, with no experience or training in governance, just as England was on the brink of enormous expansion and change. Learn how this young woman became one of the most iconic monarchs of all time.

Event date
Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.