Skip to main content
World History Programs

Late 18th-century England is the backdrop for the British series “Poldark” on PBS. Ross Poldark is the dashing hero caught up in the social, political, and economic changes swirling around him. Find out what the series, set in rugged Cornwall, gets right about the period.

Event date
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, investigates the question that architectural historians are still trying to answer: How was Brunelleschi able to build his great cathedral dome when 14th-century technology should not have permitted its realization? He examines the epic story of the design and construction of one of the greatest engineering marvels in history and the innovations that made it possible. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

We’ve held them in our hands forever, but books have radically shifted their forms over the millennia. Steven Galbraith, curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, unfolds the pages of their history and previews their future.

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

The creativity of its artists and the pride and religious devotion of its citizens combined to make the civic landscape of Siena a true reflection of the city’s values. Early Renaissance specialist Rocky Ruggiero examines how art and architecture were also deployed as potent weapons in its rivalry with neighboring Florence as each city jostled for dominance in Tuscany. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

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

A path that Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed all walked finds a new incarnation in the 400-mile Jordan Trail. Explorer Andrew Evans, one of the first Americans to hike its complete length, narrates the experience of his 40-day journey, showcasing his encounters with the nature, people, history, and culture of Jordan.

Event date
Monday, May 13, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Considered by some to be the “First Brexit,” the 16th-century break with Rome and Catholic Europe would forever change England’s religion, culture, communication, and place in the world. Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger examines how the Reformation transformed England into a maritime nation, a global power, and the center of a new empire.

Event date
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The turn of the 20th century found Europe’s greatest cities entering defining eras in their historical and cultural development. In a richly illustrated full-day program, lecturer George Scheper explores how the alignment of creative forces shaped three highly distinctive urban milieus—each nourished by the energy and excitement of new ideas and each witnessing the birth of modernism in the new century. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The flowering of the visual arts in the Northern Renaissance was groundbreaking, with creators such as a van Eyck, Bosch, Bruegel, and Dürer producing work distinctly different from that of Italian masters of the period. Art historian Angelo Ho surveys the tremendous artistic and cultural innovations of northern Europe in the late 14th to 16th centuries. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Event date
Friday, May 31, 2019 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Saturday, June 1, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the revolution, Smithsonian magazine writer Tony Perrottet draws on his new book ¡Cuba Libre!: Che, Fidel, and the Improbable Revolution That Changed World History to offer a look at some of the lesser-known human drama that played out against the backdrop of political upheaval.

Event date
Monday, June 3, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Classical historian Barry Strauss surveys the Roman Empire across the 300-year reign of the Caesars, and examines how the period can offer lessons—both positive and cautionary—to the modern world.

Event date
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Centuries of myriad religious traditions are reflected in daily life on the Indian subcontinent. Graham Schweig, a professor of religion at Christopher Newport University, surveys the rich heritage of influences, practices, and philosophies that have shaped India’s spiritual history.

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

Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton surveys some of the most beautiful estates and lushest gardens of the Ile-de-France region—a favorite location for those aristocratic getaways—and the 19th-century artists who later found their own inspiration in its forests and towns. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The latest developments in imagining technology are uncovering centuries-old secrets hidden in fire- and water-damaged manuscripts, drawings, old books, and ephemera. Michael B. Toth, a specialist in the field, discusses recent projects, including ones that that provided insights into Shakespeare’s first folios and revelations about Ben Franklin found beneath an ink spill.

Event date
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

From the 17th through 19th centuries, Prussia and its capital Berlin came to dominate the political, intellectual, and cultural life of what eventually became the unified German state. Cultural historian Ursula Rehn Wolfman traces this fascinating historical evolution through the expression of Prussian influence in Berlin’s architecture and extraordinary museum collections, as well as in its role as a center for learning. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, June 24, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Arts journalist Richard Selden leads a visit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to experience Awaken, a unique exhibition that gathers spectacular objects of Buddhist art from across the centuries into a series of immersive spaces that trace a journey to spiritual enlightenment. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.