Spend an afternoon with professional decorator and author Coleen Christian Burke as she covers the traditions of White House holiday decorating. She brings you behind the scenes as the seasonal transformation takes place, and shares how modern first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Melania Trump have lent their distinctive styles and creativity to guiding the annual themes.
Paige Williams, a staff writer at the New Yorker, delves into the sometimes-perilous world of the illicit international fossil trade as she tells the story of an American dealer’s dangerous obsession with a rare dinosaur skeleton.
For nearly 50 years, “Doonesbury” has been more than a comic strip: It’s a satirical, hilarious, and often unsettling examination of American political and cultural life through the eyes of Garry Trudeau. He takes a look at the world he invented—and the wider one today—in a conversation with Michael Cavna of the Washington Post’s Comic Riffs blog.
The author of The Catcher in the Rye and other seminal works of midcentury fiction led a life of self-imposed seclusion from the public, preferring to let his writing speak for him. He’s in the spotlight as author Daniel Stashower explores Salinger’s life and legacy and actor Scott Sedar reads a selection of his most celebrated works.
Baltimore-based chef John Shields guides home cooks in preparing dishes in the Chesapeake tradition that are tasty and healthy—and support the regional food industry’s efforts to protect the Bay.
Every election cycle, American evangelicals play a significant demographic role, but who exactly makes up this complex group that spans multiple denominations, regions, and ethnicities? Historian Joseph Slaughter, covers 400 years of history to highlight key doctrines, figures, and events that shaped and transformed what it has meant to be an evangelical in America.
By 1972, support for the conflict in Vietnam was rapidly waning among Americans, and many of the troops fighting that war had begun to question the meaning of their own service. Author Stephen Talty examines why the dramatic and dangerous mission to rescue an Air Force navigator behind enemy lines provided a galvanizing moment for both the public and the military.
The extraordinary world that J.K. Rowling created in the first Harry Potter book in 1997 has expanded into a universe that millions of readers and moviegoers have embraced. Curator Cristian Petru Panaite reveals the roots of that world, which reach far deeper in time to cultural traditions of magic and folklore that have captivated imaginations for centuries.
Brandon Terry of Harvard University examines the ethical and political thought of arguably the greatest public intellectual and activist that the United States ever produced. He contends that King’s body of philosophy offers indispensable resources for addressing many of our current political crises.
Author and cocktail expert Philip Green and author Noah Rothbaum celebrate the spirit—and the favorite spirits—of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and other members of the swingin’, high-living clan who came to symbolize ’60s-style cool onstage and off.
Art historian Laura McCloskey examines how the monk-artists who produced sumptuous illuminated books such as the The Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels created sacred texts that were also remarkable and innovative works of art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
The co-founder of the Carlyle Group has a new business plan: to give away his money. Join David Rubenstein and award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts for a fascinating evening that covers personal stories, philanthropy, economics, and the importance of preserving and interpreting American history.
One of the latest cooking crazes has its roots in French culinary history. Author and travel writer Ann Mah traces how the traditional pressure cooker morphed into the Instant Pot, and how dishes that French home cooks make in their beloved cocotte-minute can deliciously translate into versions that take advantage of the multifunctional electric pressure cooker.
Situated at a geographical intersection of empires, Croatia was coveted by various foreign powers for centuries, with Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans all leaving their mark. Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine examines the artistic legacy of this long and tangled history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
Since the Romans gave him the title of “Great” two thousand years ago, Alexander has come to be the embodiment of the ancient heroic ideal. But extensive research by historian and classics scholar John Prevas has led him to question just how great Alexander really was.
For centuries in Africa, mud and earthen materials have been used to build monumental and aesthetically innovative structures. Curator Kevin Tervala explores the history behind these buildings, as well as how their architecture expresses the social and religious beliefs of the societies that created them. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
In 1943, the people of Denmark—led by their king—dared to stand up for their Jewish countrymen in collective resistance to Nazi occupation. Historian Ralph Nurnberger recounts this extraordinary act of courage on the part of an entire nation under duress.
As the awards race approaches its conclusion, join Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell for an evening that focuses on all things Oscar, from Academy Awards history and trivia to discussions of this year’s nominations and behind-the-scenes stories.
For many of us, achieving restful, restorative sleep is often just a dream. Neurologist Helene Emsellem of the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders offers practical tips on improving sleep habits that can benefit our bodies, brains, health, and productivity.
The key to delicious Italian cooking isn’t a generations-old family secret: It’s simply starting with the highest-quality ingredients you can find. After an informative afternoon with a pair of experts in Italian specialty foods, you’ll be ready to step away from generic offerings on supermarket shelves to fill your basket with cheese, pasta, vinegar, and preserves that reflect the rich heritage of centuries of artisans.
Art historian Renée Ater draws focus to several monuments to the slave past recently added to the landscape in Virginia, Maryland, and the District as she considers the ways that visualizing, remembering, and engaging with the past may help transform the future. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
How did the name of a Continental Army general become a synonym for treason? Historian Richard Bell reconstructs the life and times of Benedict Arnold, the reasons he turned on his country, and the larger problems of betrayal and desertion that dogged George Washington’s army.
Art historian Nigel McGilchrist considers two Italian Renaissance painters whose approach to creating visual images couldn’t have been more dissimilar: Botticelli, with his fluidity, movement, and elegance of drawing; and della Francesca, with his stillness, thoughtfulness, and reassuring solidity of form. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
Art historian Bonita Billman discusses the life and career of Edouard Manet, a premier painter of modern life and a trailblazer of the impressionist movement. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)