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World History Programs
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on ancient Chinese philosophers.

Date
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Blueprints of Empire: Ancient Rome and America

Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes, and historian and classicist John Prevas examine the connection between the final stages of the Roman Empire and the United States as a contemporary world power. Through an analysis of political and moral leadership, they compare these two versions of empires, their similarities and differences, and speculate on what that link holds for America’s future.

Date
Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Pick Your Poison, Royal Style

For centuries, Europe’s royals were frightened there might be poison in their pie, so servants were forced to lick the royal family’s spoons. Perilous potions and royal schemes are the subject of historian Eleanor Herman’s entertaining discussion about the eras when mercury ointment, dead birds, and arsenic and quicksilver were part of many a royal’s first-aid kit.

Date
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Flying Aces of WWI

Early in the last century, a group of young men from several nations took to the sky to do battle in World War I. They went on to achieve a status similar to modern-day rock stars. Learn about the exploits of these daring flying aces—many of whom didn’t survive the war.

Date
Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Caught in the Act!

The best operatives never get caught—but some spies and insurgents get stopped in their tracks. Learn about notable arrests, captures, and expulsions from the 1960s through today from experts familiar with the maneuvers behind each successful catch.

Date
Wednesday, September 26 to October 17, 2018 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
Richard III: The Search for the “Real” King

Richard III is one of the most famous—and possibly the most infamous—of all British monarchs. For more than 500 years, his true nature has been debated. Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger explores the various attempts to portray Richard III over the centuries, from the villain of Shakespeare to the hero of his followers.

Date
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on ancient China.

Date
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
White Canvas Over Blue Water: 500 Years of Sailing Adventure

Join transportation expert Scott Hercik in an immersive exploration into great sailing vessels, from those of the earliest explorers to today’s high-tech and high-performance speedsters. Highlights include the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, the Watermen’s Museum in historic Yorktown, and a 2-hour schooner sailing adventure. 

Date
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Fall Splendor at the Cloisters

Take in the blaze of autumn foliage and a stunning exhibition from the Met’s Costume Institute during a visit to the Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to medieval art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Saturday, October 6, 2018 - 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Chocolate! Cioccolato! Schokolade! Chocolat!

Chocolate has quite a history—and it’s delicious. Join food historian Francine Segan as she explores its evolution from ancient grainy bitter brew to the smooth and luscious treat we love today. And stay for a tasting of imported Italian chocolates paired with selected French red wine.

Date
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Vietnam: A Portrait of Tragedy

Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict. Drawing on his new book, Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975, journalist Max Hastings portrays extraordinary moments in this bitter conflict—and examines some of its lasting lessons for the 21st century.

Date
Monday, October 15, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Naval Warfare in WWII: A Global Battlefield

A central element of the Second World War was the presence of dozen navies on six oceans and a number of seas, including the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Maritime historian Craig L. Symonds offers a summary and analysis of how that naval conflict determined both the trajectory and the outcome of the war.

Date
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Future of U.S.-Russia Relations

For decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. and Russia established a mostly amicable relationship in order to avoid further conflict. Today, this relationship is beset by challenges. Explore the current tensions between the two key world powers, and where the relationship may be headed.

Date
Wednesday, October 17 to 31, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.
English Words: Etymologies and Curiosities

Over the past millennium and a half, the language we now call English has developed its deep, rich vocabulary by liberally adding words from other languages. This entertaining daylong program explores the origins of a range of English words and how words and phrases change meaning over time.

Date
Saturday, October 20, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Churchill's Secret Army: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

In 1940, Winston Churchill famously ordered his Special Operations Executive (SOE) to “set Europe ablaze.” His top-secret army of mavericks soon began a program of supporting resistance deep behind enemy lines. Learn how they not only influenced the war, but SOE’s legacy also shaped the peace in surprising—and sometimes dramatic—ways.

Date
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Beefeater and the Birds: Meet the Tower of London’s Ravenmaster

As Halloween draws near, spend an evening with Christopher Skaife, the ravenmaster at one of the world's eeriest monuments. He’s responsible for the care of the Tower of London’s remarkable ravens, and he has some fascinating stories to share about one of the world’s most unusual jobs.

Date
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Ancient Egypt's A-List: Power, Empire, and Propaganda

Egypt, one of the great superpowers of the ancient world, produced a culture and system of government that endured for more than 3,000 years. Egyptologist Jacquelyn Williamson draws from the most recent archaeological evidence to examine four of Egypt’s most influential rulers and the impact of their reigns.

Date
Saturday, October 27, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Putin Paradox: Popularity or Fear?

He has been criticized for restricting freedom in Russian and eradicating any real dissent and political opposition. But at home, Putin has exhibited remarkable staying power that few other democratically elected heads of state can rival. Historian George E. Munro, an expert in Russian history, explores various questions in an absorbing program that examines the case for Vladimir Putin as the leader of Russia.

Date
Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Magnificent Cities of Russia

Explore the history, culture, and signature sites of four great cities—Kiev (now Kyiv), Novgorod, Moscow, and St. Petersburg—with historian George E. Munro. He shows how they exercised power, celebrated religion, and fostered trade while pursuing a singular path into the present.

Date
Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Fortresses and Fantasies: The Châteaux of the Loire Valley

The splendid structures of the Loire Valley reflect lives of opulence and intrigue. Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton showcases these romantic and historic places, and sets them in the context of French history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on modern Chinese history.

Date
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Jews of Spain: 1000 Years of History

After almost a millennium of harmonious existence in Spain, what had been the most populous and prosperous Jewish community in Europe ceased to exist on the Iberian Peninsula by the end of the 15th century. Author Jeffrey Gorsky traces that history—which encompasses both power and the persecutions of the Inquisition—as well as the impact of this early racial and religious discrimination on later cultures.

Date
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on the Japanese Empire.

Date
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.