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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

World History Programs

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

Historian Jennifer Paxton explores the complex history of Ireland’s interactions with the outside world that led to the transformation of the island over a thousand years from a relatively isolated island to a colony of its far more powerful neighbor, England.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Drawing on insights she gathered while unearthing a little-known global Holocaust history, author Mikhal Dekel traces how identity can be shaped by politics and place for migrants, refugees, immigrants, and other displaced people.

Course
Tuesday, October 6 to 27, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Explore the art and architecture of the Middle Ages through four transformational moments in history. Art historian Judy Scott Feldman examines the art of the thousand-year period between classical antiquity and the Renaissance and its relationship to a diverse society infused with faith and spirituality. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw examines the iconic painting The Railway by Edouard Manet, exploring its historical context, delving into the era of its artist, the present he inhabited, and what shaped his vision and creations. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Nathan Raab, the preeminent American dealer in rare documents, tells the fascinating story of how he learned to tell the difference between real and forged artifacts, and of many amazing finds that were nearly lost to the ages.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Seen through American eyes, July 4, 1776 marked a triumphant moment. To the British, the American Revolution looked quite different. Drawing on the latest scholarship, historian Richard Bell explores the birth of the new nation through a variety of contemporary British perspectives, arguing that it was an equally defining moment for its people and the future of the British empire.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw examines the iconic painting Gassed by John Singer Sargent, exploring its historical context, delving into the era of its artist, the present he inhabited, and what shaped his vision and creations. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

Biblical scholar and historian Gary Rendsburg leads a virtual tour across 2,000 years of known Jewish history to explore fascinating stories of less-known Jewish communities.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 26, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

What kind of nature drove Thomas Cromwell, chief courtier of Henry VIII and architect of the English Protestant Reformation, to carry out his political agenda in the face of enemies of all stripes? Historian Jennifer Paxton explores the real story behind the intrigues of a court where religion, politics, bureaucracy, and sex were entangled in a dangerous mix that led Cromwell to follow his adversary Sir Thomas More to the scaffold.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Naval historian David Rosenberg and three retired U.S. Navy officers examine the tensions and strategies that grew out of the face-off between America and the Soviet Union over Russia’s decision to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. They reveal how the USS Sam Houston, a Polaris submarine deployed in the Mediterranean, played a significant but little-known role in assuring European security against potential Soviet aggression.

Course
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, his examination of prehistoric cave art painted on the walls and ceilings of the Altamira in Spain and Lascaux and Chauvet in France reveals tantalizing clues about the origins of humankind and the development of abstract thought.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

From “Game of Thrones” to video games, festivals to theme restaurants, the Middle Ages are popping up everywhere in pop culture. Medievalist and sociologist Paul B. Sturtevant takes a look at what these rehashes of history tell us about the past—and what our re-imaginings of the medieval era reveal about how we see ourselves today.

Course
Monday, November 16 to December 7, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its origins in the ancient civilization to the present, the complex culture of South Asia has given rise to some of the world’s most remarkable art. Art historian Robert DeCaroli highlights the artistic traditions and historical changes within the Indian subcontinent from the earliest archaeological evidence to the onset of colonialism. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Course
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, he offers the fascinating history of the accidental discovery of what was once thought to be “dragon bones,” revealing a new picture of Chinese civilization at the dawn of history—one filled with human sacrifice, communion with the supernatural world, and powerful women on the battlefield.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

Austerlitz, Borodino, and Waterloo are among the places most closely associated with the era of the Napoleonic Wars. But this period of nearly continuous Franco-British conflict affected nations far beyond Europe. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze analyzes the immediate and extended consequences of the political tremors that spread as far as the Americas, Africa, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as across the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.

Course
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, he examines the iconic moai statues of Easter Island and draws on the latest scholarship and theories to explain how these giant statues came to dominate the most remotely inhabited islands in the world.

Course
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, he explores the world of the Inca empire and analyzes Machu Picchu’s original function as a royal estate, its abandonment, rediscovery, and popularization in the 20th century.