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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

International Culture Programs

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
Monday, November 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz of Georgetown University in spirited lectures and informal discussions about novels that explore stories set in Spain, India, the Dominican Republic, and the world of classical Greek mythology. This session discusses The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

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.

Course
Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

A stone’s throw from tourist-magnet landmarks are the places that offer travelers a true taste of life in Europe’s most appealing neighborhoods. Fred Plotkin offers a guide to the lesser-known churches, theaters, specialty shops, cafes, and unusual museums that make three major cities well worth a visit.  This session focuses on Vienna.

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
Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

A stone’s throw from tourist-magnet landmarks are the places that offer travelers a true taste of life in Europe’s most appealing neighborhoods. Fred Plotkin offers a guide to the lesser-known churches, theaters, specialty shops, cafes, and unusual museums that make three major cities well worth a visit. This session focuses on Madrid.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, December 6, 2020 - 3:00 p.m. ET

In time for the holiday season, chef Danielle Renov, a Moroccan Jew born in New York and at home in Israel, shares the cultures and traditions that inform her recipes in a lively conversation with cookbook author and Jewish cuisine maven Joan Nathan.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 8, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo, direct from her home in Tuscany, for a close look at the history, art, and culture of one of Italy’s most treasured cities, one on which artists including Donatello, Mantegna, Titian, and Giotto left their dazzling marks. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 22, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Draped on three hills, Siena is the most beautiful city in Tuscany, a flamboyant medieval ensemble of palaces and towers cast in warm brown brick. From her home in Italy, art historian Elaine Ruffolo examines how art went hand in hand with fierce civic pride to make Siena a world of its own. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Florence is replete with frescoes, paintings, sculpture, and architecture created in an era in which art was the cornerstone of cultural activity. From her home in Tuscany, art historian Elaine Ruffolo traces the history of this jewel of a city from the dawn of the Renaissance to the era of the Medici dukes. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)