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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Lectures

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, December 5, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Taliesin, the Wisconsin home and studio of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was witness to some of the greatest tragedies of his life, as well as some of his greatest triumphs. Join Taliesin historian Keiran Murphy as she tells the story of the iconic house and how it reflects decades of shifts in Wright's personal and professional life. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 6, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

More than simply the inspiration for the poem that later became our national anthem, the War of 1812 was a watershed moment in the history of a young republic. Historian Richard Bell examines this misunderstood conflict that established the credibility of the newly formed United States and cemented American citizens’ own sense of themselves as a nation apart, emerging from the crucible of war a proud and patriotic people.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 6, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Explore a spectacular land of fire and ice in a virtual field trip led by volcanologist Kirt Kempter, who spotlights the key features that make Iceland a bucket-list destination for all geologists.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Experience new ways to contemplate the gifts of winter inspired by the vibrant Winter Landscape by Wassily Kandinsky, an artist who embraced the transcendent power of color.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For centuries no one had been aware of the ancient Indus civilization. Today we know it was as ancient and extensive as those of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Historian and science writer Andrew Robinson introduces this tantalizing ‘lost’ civilization that uniquely combined artistic excellence, technological sophistication, and economic vigor with social egalitarianism, political freedom, and religious moderation.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Hear from representatives of the National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo about new and upcoming projects that offer insights into the world of trees and the birds that inhabit them. Get an overview of the latest Audubon field guides to North American birds and trees, preview the transformation of the zoo’s Bird House, and learn how you can help birds by creating and encouraging bird-friendly spaces in your own community.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

When Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, African Americans were optimistic that he would pursue aggressive federal policies for Black equality. However, author Robert S. Levine addresses the conflicts that led Frederick Douglass and the wider Black community to reject Johnson and reveals the lost promise and dire failure of Reconstruction.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Duccio di Buoninsegna and Giotto di Bondone revolutionized the field of Italian painting in the 14th century. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, compares Duccio’s and Giotto’s art and examines the characteristics that defined their respective schools of painting. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The sound of their music for Broadway, films, and television defined the spirit and mood of mid-century America—and continues to captivate us. In a lively evening, pianist, raconteur, and American music specialist Robert Wyatt celebrates the lives and works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, icons of the American musical whose songs elevated the human spirit.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

It was a startling, unheard-of idea: to remake Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy into a musical set in the streets of New York City. Filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at West Side Story’s creators who risked everything, broke all rules, reshaped the American theater, and gave us a contemporary masterpiece, as well as how new interpretations are re-making the show for our times.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Although the Barnes Foundation is widely known for its post-impressionist and early modern art, its extensive African collection has long been central to the museum’s educational mission. Using high-definition Deep Zoom technology, Barnes educator Penny Hansen guides a live virtual tour that surveys highlights of these distinctive holdings. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Joseph Luzzi, a professor of comparative literature at Bard College, explores the fascinating world of Shakespeare through Maggie O’Farrell’s celebrated 2020 novel Hamnet. He considers the links between her fictional reconstruction of the life and tragic death of William Shakespeare’s young son and the playwright’s actual works.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The tumultuous friendship between George Harrison and Eric Clapton shaped not only their lives and careers but the shifting face of rock music in the early 1970s. Beatles expert Ken Womack and music historian Jason Kruppa explore the rock legends’ musical and personal collaboration, friendship, and rivalry—and a love triangle for the ages, involving Clapton, Harrison, and Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Pati Jinich’s newest cookbook brings together the signature recipes that Mexican home cooks, market vendors, and chefs have shared with her as she crisscrossed her native country for the past decade. Join her as she examines how these dishes represent the historic culinary diversity of the nation—and offers tips on how to bring the iconic tastes of Mexico into your own kitchen.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

From the sunny fields of the Mediterranean to the misty meadows of England, the history of lavender spans civilizations, centuries, and continents. Speaker and food historian Christine Rai explores lavender's role in history, art, music, literature, religion, and folklore, and how it continues to compel us today.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, December 11, 2021 - 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

No home in America celebrates the holidays quite like the White House, and behind each annual celebration is a first lady who lends her distinctive style to the festivities. Historian Coleen Christian Burke, a former White House holiday design partner, surveys the signature holiday decorating style of modern residents from Jackie Kennedy to Jill Biden.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, December 11, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Expand your knowledge of the world of wine as you sip along with sommelier Erik Segelbaum in a tasting of wines from across the globe made under the oversight and collaboration of Château Lafite Rothschild’s head winemaker. This immersive program includes a curated personal tasting kit to enhance the experience.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, December 12, 2021 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

The landscape of Florida is unlike any other in the United States. Deciduous forests give way to subtropical wetlands, savannahs, and emerald palm-lined beaches. Join interpretive naturalist and popular tour leader Keith Tomlinson on a journey around the best of the peninsula that highlights some of the best places to hike, swim, and camp.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Virtually join art historian and culinary expert Elaine Trigiani in her 15th-century Tuscan farmhouse for a look at Venice through its artistic and culinary heritage. Learn how Giambattista Tiepolo became the 18th-century master of the Venetian school of painting. Then, watch her demonstrate the preparation of cicchetti, a favorite snack of today’s Venetian cocktail hour scene. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 13, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Dylan Thomas is among the 20th century’s most romantic and tragic figures, famous not only for his lyrical, soul-stirring poetry, but also his turbulent, hard-drinking lifestyle. Join us as we “burn and rave at close of day” in a celebration of this incandescent spirit. Author Daniel Stashower explores Thomas’s life and legacy, and actor Scott Sedar offers dramatic readings of some of his most celebrated poems.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 13, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Tapped by his one-time political rival Abraham Lincoln to become secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase proved essential to the Civil War effort and pressed the president to emancipate the country’s slaves and recognize Black rights. Biographer Walter Stahr sheds new light on a complex and fascinating political figure, as well as on the pivotal events of the Civil War and its aftermath.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Experience new ways to contemplate the gifts of winter inspired by the vibrant Winter Landscape by Wassily Kandinsky, an artist who embraced the transcendent power of color.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

At the start of the First World War, a handful of volunteers created an all-American fighter squadron in the French Air Service, the legendary Lafayette Escadrille. Join filmmakers Paul Glenshaw and Darroch Greer, creators of a new documentary on the squadron, as they trace its beginnings, the colorful characters in it, and their motivations—some noble, some opportunistic—to risk their lives for America’s oldest ally.

Program
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

From the speakeasy era to the mid-1960s, “black-and-tan clubs” were a unique entertainment phenomenon: nightclubs that brought together artists and audiences of all races to celebrate the joys of jazz. Loren Schoenberg, Senior Scholar/Founding Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, joins artistic director and conductor Charlie Young to provide historical context as Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra’s Small Band captures the vibrant spirit and style of the early black-and-tan clubs in song.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

The festivals, special foods, and spectacular customs of the holiday season last a glorious three weeks in Italy! Join food historian Francine Segan for a lively presentation on the many splendors of Christmas and New Year in Italy.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines the sites and structures that made up the urban landscape of the Khmer Empire and traces the historical shifts, royal decisions, religious beliefs, and cultural processes that led to its development. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 17, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

As a young man, Leonardo da Vinci wrote about finding the skeleton of a great “fish” while roaming in the hills of Tuscany. What followed was decades of interest in fossils and informed speculation about the planet’s history. Biologist Kay Etheridge examines how this fascination with fossils is reflected in his artworks.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 20, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Everyone loves a holiday visit to Bedford Falls. But it took years for Frank Capra’s now-beloved film—a flop in its 1946 release—to become a Christmas classic. Lecturer Brian Rose examines the fascinating story of It’s a Wonderful Life, looking at the challenges of how it was made, its surprisingly dark portrait of small-town life, and how it evolved into the ultimate portrayal of holiday goodwill and cheer.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Join Christine Rai to explore how Dutch history, geography, and climate shaped its distinct cheese styles and how cheese has played a role in the wider culture of the Netherlands. In addition to the fascinating history, she surveys how today’s Dutch cheese makers are innovating beyond their roots and shares tips and suggestions for savoring a range of delicious Dutch cheeses.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 7, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Rivalries can be dangerous and frustrating, but they can also fuel the creation of great works of art—as was the case among the Renaissance masters. Renaissance art historian Elaine Ruffolo brings into sharp focus the artistic rivalry among these painters and the often-overwhelming emotional and professional pressures that compelled them to create. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, January 9, 2022 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

One of the world’s most striking natural wonders, Yosemite National Park is much more than “the valley.” Keith Tomlinson, an interpretive naturalist and popular tour leader, examines the area’s glacial history, plant life, emerging climate issues, and distinctive topography.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, January 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

The Founders—and their true intentions for our young nation—are often the subject of heated debates. But what do we really know about how their ideas evolved? Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis explores how the complexities of the struggle helped the Founders find a way to form a new nation.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, January 10, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The romantic feminine lines and chic textured suits that emerged in Paris after the austerity of WWII are admired even today. Christian Dior’s luxurious bounty of expansive skirts with tiny wasp waists and Coco Chanel’s impeccably tailored signature suits defined the arc of fashion in the 1950s. Join design historian Elizabeth Lay as she looks at the seeds of each style, the customers who bought these marvelous designs, and the minute details of haute couture that set these fashions apart from the ordinary.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Historian Allen Pietrobon takes us back to the Eisenhower era, a time before the “celebrity president.” He reveals how Sen. John F. Kennedy’s domination of the medium during the first-ever televised debate was key in his winning the presidency. Pietrobon also uses the 1960 presidential election as a lens to explore American politics and culture in this pivotal era in history.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

PBS television host Darley Newman shares insights into the Alabama Civil Rights Trail, which traces the footsteps of civil rights legends such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, whose stories are told in the museums, churches, and other landmarks lining the trail. Darley suggests area guides and experts who can enhance your experience.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

The Barnes holds 59 of Henri Matisse’s works, including his fauvist masterpiece Le Bonheur de Vivre, and the The Dance, commissioned by collector Albert Barnes in 1930. The collection’s 46 works by Pablo Picasso range from The Peasants, which greets visitors in the main room, evolving to his Head of a Woman (Tête de femme). Barnes educator Penny Hansen uses high-definition Deep Zoom technology to explore the artists’ work and influence on 20th-century modernism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From the late 1920s through the end of World War II, Hollywood studios dominated film production both in America and throughout the world, producing some of the best-loved and most significant movies ever made. Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, examines the forces that shaped this giant of global filmmaking and the special nature of its achievements during its golden age—as well as the factors that brought this short-lived period to a final fadeout.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Baltimore's Federal Hill holds a prominent place in the city's history and lent its name to a distinctive and appealing South Baltimore neighborhood.  Arts journalist and Baltimore resident Richard Selden leads an illustrated virtual tour of both the hill itself, with its storied monuments and stunning views, and the urban village that surrounds it.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The saga of our home planet is far more spectacular than any Hollywood blockbuster (Boiling seas of lava! Meteor strikes! Towering sheets of ice!). But only recently have we begun to piece together the whole mystery into a coherent narrative. Andrew H. Knoll, a geologist and professor at Harvard University, offers a short biography of Earth, charting its epic 4.6-billion-year story and placing 21st-century climate change in deep context.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The story of Jerusalem is the tale of how science, politics, and religion meet in its shadowy subterranean spaces. Journalist Andrew Lawler traces that buried history as he discusses the early explorers who navigated sewage-filled passages; follows the European, American, and Israeli archaeologists who made stunning discoveries beneath the city; and explores how these finds became essential elements in the battle to control the Holy City.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Biographer Bob Spitz tells the story of how Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, and John Bonham came together to form the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin—one of the most successful (and certainly one of the most notorious) bands of all time.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the travel industry and the criteria that guides travelers in planning their trips. Television host, writer, and producer Darley Newman shares insider’s tips and recommendations on where to travel in 2022—places that combine culture, cuisine, history, and a healthy dose of wellness and nature.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 21, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Tiber River flows around the famous hills of Rome. Nourishing Rome for centuries, for the ancient Romans the river personified a majestic old man, crowned with laurel and holding a cornucopia. Some of Rome’s greatest monuments are found along its banks. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo leads an art-historical adventure along the Tiber River. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 21, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Expand your knowledge of the world of wine as you sip along with sommelier Erik Segelbaum in an exploration of South African wines. Part of a 3-session winter series, this immersive program includes a curated personal tasting kit to enhance the experience. 

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, January 24, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The popular 2017 film Dunkirk presented a vivid look at the famous evacuation of British forces from France in the spring of 1940. But as he examines the planning and execution of the desperate boatlift and analyzes its overall strategic impact on the continuing war effort, Kevin J. Weddle, a professor of military theory and strategy at the U.S. Army War College, reveals why there’s much more to Dunkirk, and why its lead-up and aftermath are just as exciting as the evacuation itself.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. ET

Veggies are usually the supporting culinary players in a meal, but the new Milk Street: Vegetables moves them center of the plate. Christopher Kimball shares tips on how to roast, braise, steam, and stir-fry everyday vegetables into simple but appealing dishes, and demonstrates a recipe or two from the book’s globally influenced collection.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

There’s no writer quite like Charles Dickens. Author and humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson uses three of his beloved novels as the basis for the serious but playful look at Dickens you’ve always wanted—an exploration of the fabulous and fantastic creativity of a timeless author who could write English prose as if it were iambic pentameter poetry.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, January 31, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless, and speaks to us across time, culture, and space. Yet great works come from real people living real lives. Paul Glenshaw examines Albert Bierstadt’s 1868 work Among the Sierra Nevada, California—a majestic depiction of the natural beauty of the American West that also served as part of a brazen self-marketing scheme, a lure to immigrants and settlers, and a reflection of the complex legacy of Manifest Destiny. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Virtual reality technology is advancing fast. Many predict that a "Metaverse" of virtual worlds will be the next stage of the Internet. Drawing on his new book Reality+, philosopher David Chalmers examines this technology, the nature of reality, and our place within it.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Why are William Shakespeare’s plays still considered essential reading? How can lessons from his Elizabethan theatrical universe help us to better understand social and political conflicts we confront today? Explore three of the Bard’s great tragedies to discover why Shakespeare remains vital and relevant.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Checkers, backgammon, Go, and chess. Poker, Scrabble, and bridge. These seven games, ancient and modern, fascinate millions of people worldwide. Join journalist and author Oliver Roeder as he charts their origins and historical importance, the delightful arcana of their rules, and the ways their design makes them pleasurable.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

General Black Jack Pershing’s 1916 “Punitive Expedition” into Mexico was intended to capture Pancho Villa in retribution for an attack on a small New Mexico town carried out by his revolutionary forces. Although it failed in its objective, historian Dakota Springston examines how the expedition changed American warfare and why the United States’ first truly mechanized conflict served as a testing ground for the country’s entry into WWI.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 4, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From the late Middle Ages to the early Renaissance, the Book of Hours, filled with groups of prayers designed for use by lay people, was more in demand than the Bible itself. Roger S. Wieck, Melvin R. Seiden curator and department head of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum, explores the textual and pictorial riches to be found within the pages of these fascinating books. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, February 7, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Though the guarantee of equality, liberty, and justice for all is enshrined in the Constitution, Black Americans have long confronted the gap between that promise and the realities of their lives. Join author Farah Jasmine Griffin as she examines how thinkers and leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, and Barack Obama vividly reflect in their works how these Americans have grappled with the founding ideals of the United States.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Join one of the most famous art detectives in the world to hear tales from a long FBI career solving art crimes. Drawing on the headline-making cases he worked on, Robert Wittman explores notorious art heists and daring recovery operations.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, examines how advertising evolved during television’s first two decades and the important role it played in convincing viewers that the key to happiness quite literally lay in buying their way into the American dream.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Vertebrate zoologist and author Bill Schutt traces the evolution of hearts and circulatory systems in the animal kingdom, as well as our understanding of the anatomy, physiology and symbolic significance of human hearts throughout history.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Nick Charles, NPR’s new chief culture editor, leads a panel discussion that examines how inequality has been propagated throughout history, the many attempts to counteract these inequalities, and necessary next steps to move forward.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

The Barnes Foundation holds the world’s largest collection of works by Paul Cézanne, some 69 pieces including his masterworks The Large Bathers and The Card Players. Barnes educator Penny Hansen uses high-definition Deep Zoom technology to explore Cézanne’s career, his reclusive life, his style, his characteristic brushstrokes, and his deep influence on 20th-century art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Thomas Eakins spent a lifetime on a quest to create the most accurate portrayal of the human figure. Art critic and author Judy Pomeranz examines the life of this exceptional American painter and his impact on the course of art history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Why and how do living languages change? The answer, in a word, is fascinating. Linguist and English language historian Anne Curzan leads a lively tour across the language’s shifting landscape, from Beowulf to blogging.

Studio Arts Workshop
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Celebrate Valentine’s Day and learn the fundamentals of floral design with designer Sarah von Pollaro. Modern-day romantics create a one-of-a-kind arrangement to gift to a loved one (or keep for themselves) as they enjoy champagne, strawberries, and chocolates.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The emergence of genomic science in the last quarter century has revolutionized medicine, the justice system, and our understanding of who we are. Harvard University professor Jennifer Hochschild examines its politically charged and hotly contested issues.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, February 12, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. ET

The state of Oaxaca in Mexico, and its eponymous Spanish colonial capital city, have been important cultural crossroads from pre-Columbian times to the present day. Learn about its rich cultural history, from the domestication of maize corn more than 10,000 years ago to Oaxaca’s emergence as a contemporary international cultural center.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, February 14, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Nearly 50 years have passed since the publication of her final book, but Dame Agatha Christie remains the best-selling novelist of all time. Author Daniel Stashower explores Agatha Christie’s life and career while actors Scott Sedar and Bari Bern give voice to her most beloved characters. It would be a crime to miss it.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Inspired by paintings of the visionary Belorussian-born French artist Marc Chagall and by poetry across time, look outward at paintings and poetry and look inward through writing.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

His unique voice and passionate style made Ray Charles one of the most beloved and influential musicians of our time. Music curator John Edward Hasse of the American History Museum celebrates the music, the man, and his place in our country’s cultural history.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Military historians try to identify “decisive” battles or campaigns that either lead directly to the end of a war or shift the momentum to the ultimate victor. In the American Civil War, the consensus is that the two most decisive battles or campaigns were Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Military historian Kevin Weddle examines another viewpoint: that the 1862 Antietam campaign should be considered equally significant as those encounters.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Willa Cather’s visits to Santa Fe in the 1920s with her partner, book editor Edith Lewis, inspired her to research and write the enduring novel she referred to as her best book. Author and historian Garrett Peck examines how the setting and spirit of Death Comes for the Archbishop is rooted in those travels and in their relationship.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Seventy years on, the global cataclysm known as World War II, as well as its withering aftermath, continues to capture the attention and imaginations of filmmakers around the world. Drawing on a variety of clips, film expert Marc Lapadula explores how several films portray historical figures and real-life incidents that profoundly impacted and devastated lives.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

The debate in recent years about the politicization of sports may seem like a new topic, but in fact, these two arenas of American life have been connected for a long time. Drawing on fascinating historical anecdotes, historian Kenneth Cohen explores that link and offers a new perspective on the great game of American political hardball.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Vatican Museums in Vatican City comprise 26 public art museums housing about 70,000 world-famous paintings and sculpture. Art historian Elizabeth Lev explores the origins of the world's first truly modern museum through the lives and times of three remarkable popes: Julius II, a visionary; Pius VI, a financier; and Pius XI, a savvy communicator. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 18, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Expand your knowledge of the world of wine as you sip along with sommelier Erik Segelbaum in an exploration of wineries with high levels of social, community, or environmental consciousness. Part of a 3-session winter series, this immersive program includes a curated personal tasting kit to enhance the experience. 

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

No presidential election in American history carried stakes as high as the contest in November 1864. Historian Christopher Hamner examines the months leading up to the critical contest, held while the Civil War, in its third year, had already left hundreds of thousands of dead Americans strewn across battlefields from Mississippi to Virginia.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Geologist and cosmochemist Natalie Starkey reveals how exploring these enigmatic celestial objects will help scientists understand a crucial time in our history: The origins of the solar system and everything contained within it.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

On February 8, 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was executed for treason on the orders of her English cousin, Elizabeth I. It was a tragic end to a turbulent life. But was she the victim of misogyny and anti-Catholic prejudice, or did she bring her troubles on herself by her own miscalculations? Historian Jennifer Paxton explores her life for the answer to one of history’s enduring questions.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day, painted in 1760 by Canaletto, the grand master of scenes of the city, portrays the glory of Venice’s early history. Popular Smithsonian Associates speaker Paul Glenshaw places the work in historical context and explores what shaped Caneletto and his era—one that overlapped the time of Vivaldi and Tiepolo. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 24, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Some of the most significant American losses and victories of the Revolutionary War took place in South Carolina, where the state’s brand-new Liberty Trail invites travelers to uncover lesser-known sites and fascinating figures related to the period. Emmy Award–nominated PBS television host Darley Newman shares how to get the most out of your exploration of the Liberty Trail, as well as tips about nearby attractions and great local food, drink, lodging, and hotspots along the way.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, February 28, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Historian Janna Bianchini explores the roots of the Spanish Inquisition: fears of heresy, the drive to crusade, and the political strategems of Spain’s rulers, Ferdinand and Isabella.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

It's easy to think of fairy tales as something distinctly European or antiquated. But folklorists Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman discuss the fairy-tale traditions and stories that can be found around the United States, including the Jack Tales of Appalachia, Black folk and fairy tales from the South, and the rise of the Disney fairy-tale empire.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Toward the end of his prolific career, French impressionist Claude Monet created his enchanting Water Lilies series, inspired by the water-lily ponds he installed at his beloved home, Giverny. Join author Ross King in an exploration of these iconic paintings as he brings to life the extraordinary accomplishment of Monet’s later years. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Mark Twain's 1884 masterpiece The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been widely regarded as America's greatest novel. But its frequent use of a vile racial epithet has made it toxic as assigned reading material at any level of the American educational system. Hear the arguments surrounding the fate of a work of literature—and what is lost if it disappears. 

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Based on the latest archaeological evidence, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, examines how, why, and when Polynesian navigators ventured out into the forbidding seas to find new lands.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 4, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo as she explores the influence of the powerful Medici family, from their humble beginnings to their role as great patrons of the arts in Florence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, March 7, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For more than a century, Hollywood has relied on star power as the most reliable way to draw an audience. From the early days of silent movies, the film studios have recognized the crucial role stars played at the box office. Trace the history of movie stardom, how the star system was changed by television, and how actors have redefined what it means to be a star today with Brian Rose.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, March 7, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Contemporary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is among the most famous American artists we know today. But before his untimely death in 1988, critics were divided about whether or not his work would leave a lasting impression. Explore this artist's legacy with art history professor Jordana Moore Saggese. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Richard III is one of the most famous—and possibly the most infamous—of all British monarchs. In an absorbing program, Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger explores the various attempts to portray Richard III over the centuries, from the villain of Shakespeare to the heroic English king killed on the battlefield.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Despite prejudice, prosecution, and political setbacks, nothing could force out the Jews of Kazimierz—a district of Krakow in Poland established in the 14th century. For centuries, they built their lives here, gaining religious and other freedoms along the way—until the Holocaust. Author and tour guide Christopher Skutela surveys the district’s rich history, its sites, and its significance.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In mid-19th-century France, as political, social, and cultural changes swept through Europe, many painters rejected idealized classicism and romanticism, and began painting what they saw around them. The style became known as realism. Art historian Nancy G. Heller examines its evolution, significance, and later influence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, March 14, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In 1775, the British Empire’s most valuable colonies in the New World were in the Caribbean. Historian Richard Bell discusses how fearful imperial officials struggled to insulate the British West Indies from the contagion of revolution that was overtaking its colonies on the mainland—and how those attempts ultimately failed.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, March 14, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

What is it about Jane Austen that has made her one of the most instantly recognizable names in all of literature? Joseph Luzzi, professor of comparative literature at Bard College, explores Austen’s remarkable career and her novels’ astonishing staying power over the centuries.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Opera and classical music scholar Saul Lilienstein explores sublime examples of the great synthesis of the arts, from the Schubert songs inspired by Goethe’s poetry; to Igor Stravinsky, finding a modern voice within Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex; and more.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo as she explores the influence of the powerful Medici family, especially their golden age and legacy in Florence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 18, 2022 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Expand your knowledge of the world of wine as you sip along with sommelier Erik Segelbaum in an exploration of some of the world's most interesting wines. Part of a 3-session winter series, this immersive program includes a curated personal tasting kit to enhance the experience.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The two great academic centers of England—Oxford and Cambridge—are steeped in history reaching back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Scholar and historian Gary Rendsburg brings the verve and culture of these great university towns to life, sharing history flavored with a pleasant dose of Anglophilia.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Walk the virtual red carpet with Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell in an evening that focuses on all things Oscar, from Academy Awards history and trivia to discussions of this unusual year's nominations and behind-the-scenes stories.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

No English king’s exploits are as well-known as those of Henry VIII. He is famous for six marriages, for breaking with the Pope and creating the Church of England, and for his ruthless elimination of any obstacles. But Historic Royal Palaces lecturer Siobhan Clarke reveals the king as an enthusiastic patron of the arts whose commissions began the Royal Collection. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Up until the 1960s, recurring epidemics were simply a normal fact of daily life, always lurking in the background. Historian Allen Pietrobon highlights some of the lesser-known pandemics and epidemics, revealing how people throughout history dealt with such sudden disease outbreaks.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Though a generally familiar historical event, how much do we really know about what happened on this ill-fated 1789 voyage to Tahiti? Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a fresh perspective on the mutiny by placing it in historical context and more.