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Lectures

Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting

No television show was more aptly named than Bob Ross’s long-running “Joy of Painting.” Join curator Eric Jentsch of the American History Museum and Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., as they examine the artist’s continuing legacy. This program includes a morning painting class to bring home a distinctive Ross-style landscape of your own as well as a lunch break.

Date of event
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting

No television show was more aptly named than Bob Ross’s long-running “Joy of Painting.” Join curator Eric Jentsch of the American History Museum and Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., as they examine the artist’s continuing legacy. This program includes a mid-afternoon painting class to bring home a distinctive Ross-style landscape of your own.

Date of event
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.

The Greek Gods: Myths and Worship

For the ancient Greeks, the gods were more than just powerful characters in exciting narratives: Their worship played a central role in shaping religious life. Classicist Katherine Wasdin examines this vital connection between mortals and their gods.

Date of event
Monday, March 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Coming Together on Abbey Road

Fifty years ago, the Beatles made their final album together, a farewell project that was their most innovative collection of songs. Beatles historian Kenneth Womack draws on rare clips and videos to show how the group and producer George Martin created Abbey Road’s unique sounds.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Constitution and Declaration of Independence: A Contrary View

Have we gotten the principles of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution all wrong? Constitutional law professor Kermit Roosevelt challenges the conventional view that these hallowed documents established our core values and tell us who we are.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Understanding the Celtic World

The ancient Celts terrified the Greeks and Romans, but the modern-day revival of Celtic music and art charms millions of people around the world. Historian Jennifer Paxton examines the complex and fascinating legacy of the Celtic world, revealing that its language, art, and customs may be rooted in some surprising sources.

Date of event
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Why We Love Crosswords: It's a Puzzle

Deb Amlen, the New York Times' crossword columnist and senior editor of “Wordplay,” presents an insider's look at how the crossword evolved through history, how you can get started as a puzzle solver or improve your skills, and ways to eventually crack the code behind even the trickiest of clues.

Date of event
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Sapporo-Style Ramen: A Regional Rage

Japanese foodies take their ramen—which boasts more than 30 regional variations—very seriously. The team behind D.C.’s popular Bantam King, Daikaya, and Haikan restaurants explores the essentials of Sapporo-style ramen, how they prepare it, and how best to enjoy it. Then, get a taste of your own when you sit down for lunch at Haikan.

Date of event
Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Re-examining Plato's Republic

Classicist Frederick Winter examines the continuing influence of Plato’s utopian vision of the state and how a re-examination of this key Western text provides important insights into our own era of political transformation.

Date of event
Monday, March 9, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Worlds of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s many accomplishments as a statesman, scientist, writer, and more are well known. Historian Richard Bell addresses the man’s many other faces and capacity for complexity—which rendered him both ordinary and extraordinary.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Charlemagne, Father of Europe

The greatest of the barbarian rulers who rose to power after the fall of the Roman Empire was both a warrior king marked by a lust for territory and plunder and a great patron of the arts, learning, and religion. Historian Richard Abels explores the defining facets of the man and the myth behind the so-called Father of Europe.

Date of event
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Bordeaux

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on the Bordeaux wine region.

Date of event
Friday, March 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Bordeaux

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on the Bordeaux wine region.

Date of event
Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Life Lessons with Judith Viorst: From Under 9 to Nearing 90

Judith Viorst’s sharp observations about adulting—reflected in her series of decade-focused poetry books—offer just as much fun and insights as her beloved children’s stories. Join her as she shares her wry wisdom on such matters as aging, love, marriage, friendship, and happiness drawn from her newest title, Nearing 90 and Other Comedies of Late Life.

Date of event
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Author Erik Larson on Churchill's Darkest Year

Drawing on his new book The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson offers a vivid portrait of London and Winston Churchill during the Blitz, detailing how the prime minister taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” Ticket includes a copy of The Splendid and the Vile.

Date of event
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Ireland's Fight for Freedom

Ireland’s bitter war with the British Empire from 1919 to 1921 created the template for other independence struggles in the 20th century. Historian Kevin Matthews examines its development and tactics—and the price that Ireland paid for freedom.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Decoding the Royal Wardrobe: From the Tudors to Today

There's more to the gowns, crowns, uniforms, and regalia of British royalty than meets the eye. Join Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger for a glimpse into the palace closet that reveals how monarchs used their wardrobes to project power, influence, politics, and personality.

Date of event
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Forensic Anthropologist Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs is known for her crime-fiction novels chronicling the adventures of Temperance (Bones) Brennan, a forensic anthropologist at the fictional Jeffersonian Institute. Join her as she uncovers the challenges of translating real-life drama into the stuff of fiction, discusses her dual careers, and shares stories behind her newest novel, A Conspiracy of Bones.

Date of event
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Africa in the African American Artistic Imagination

The impact of African art on African Americans artists has been long debated. Art historian Kevin Tervala examines the ways in which African American artists have—or have not—engaged with the art of the African continent as reflected in works from early 20th-century pioneers and more contemporary artists. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

European Microstates: Survival of the Smallest

In an age of nation-states, Europe contains the world’s largest collection of a dozen countries that are literally too small to appear on most maps of the continent. Historian Charles Ingrao delves into the remarkable resilience of these microstates by examining the historical forces that shaped them.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Creativity in Dark Times: Artists and Writers of the New Deal

Author David Taylor looks at some of the artists and writers for whom the Federal Writers’ Project and the Federal Arts Project gave them a new purpose: recording American life. Their works—some of which remain controversial—provide a vivid portrait of a nation struggling for recovery and identity during the Great Depression.

Date of event
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Democracy Today: A Promise in Peril

Historian Charles Ingrao compares democracy with competing forms of government, examines the attributes of healthy democracies, and considers how to strengthen modern democratic institutions in danger of retreat.

Date of event
Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Northern Italy

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on wine regions of Northern Italy.

Date of event
Friday, March 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Northern Italy

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on wine regions of Northern Italy.

Date of event
Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Bagel and Lox: An Edible Icon

What’s better than the perfect shmear? Jewish historian Ted Merwin bites into the cultural history of the beloved breakfast sandwich of bagels and cured fish. Afterward, enjoy a classic combo with ingredients from local purveyors.

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Alexander von Humboldt: His World of Nature

He has more species named after him than any other human being. Learn why from Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator at the American Art Museum, who examines the fascinating life of Prussian naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, one of the most influential intellectuals of the 19th century. 

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Leadership in Crisis: Defining Moments of Modern Presidencies

Leaders from Franklin Roosevelt to Donald Trump dealt with their defining moments in a variety of ways that forever changed our perceptions of them. As he surveys these responses, journalist Ken Walsh identifies what we have learned about presidential attributes and skills that matter most in trying times, and also takes a fresh look at President Trump through the prism of his crisis-filled administration.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Extreme Weather and Climate: Adaptation in a Changing World

Meeting the shock and awe of extreme floods, droughts, storms, and fires calls for plans and action—and authoritative scientific information. Roger S. Pulwarty, the senior scientist in the physical sciences division at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, examines the significance and sources of that information as countries, communities, and businesses make critical decisions in response to changing weather and extreme climate trends.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Celebrating Robert Frost: An American Poet

More than 50 years after his death, Robert Frost remains one of the most beloved and critically respected poets of all time. Author Daniel Stashower explores Frost’s life and legacy and actor Scott Sedar reads a selection of his most celebrated works.

Date of event
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Unearthing History at Armageddon

Discoveries made at the ancient mound at Megiddo transformed our understanding of the ancient world. Eric Cline, a professor of classics and anthropology and director of George Washington University’s Capitol Archaeological Institute—who also dug at Megiddo in more recent times—draws on archival records left by the participants to present a portrait of a bygone age of archaeology.

Date of event
Monday, April 6, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Forensic Science: Investigating the Real Profession

Victor Weedn, a leading expert on forensic science, offers a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating history of forensic science and its basic methods, current controversies, and future.

Date of event
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

A Ganges River Excursion: Exploring India from the Sacred River

Join explorer and author Andrew Evans for a vivid visual journey along the Ganges, one of the greatest river systems in the world. This astonishing waterway connects the lives of nearly 400 million humans and some of the oldest traditions on earth.

Date of event
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Ayn Rand: The Controversy Continues

Writer and philosopher Ayn Rand continues to be controversial years after the publication of her books The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Prepare for a deep dive into Rand’s complicated worldview with Onkar Ghate, a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

Date of event
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Remembering Apollo 13

The 1970 Apollo 13 mission almost ended in tragedy when an explosion occurred on its way to a moon landing. Learn how a possible disaster was turned into a global rescue mission.

Date of event
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

A Man and His Ship: Building the S.S. United States

In 1952, naval architect William Francis Gibbs completed the finest, fastest, and most beautiful ocean liner of his time, the S.S. United States, hailed as a technological masterpiece in period when “made in America” meant the best. Historian Steven Ujifusa tells a tale of ingenuity and enterprise as he examines how Gibbs and his vision transformed an industry.

Date of event
Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Sustainable Eating: Conscious Choices for Eating More Plants

How do we make informed food choices that are right for us and the planet—and are still delicious? Health and nutrition expert Sophie Egan leads a panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and a fellow food writer to explore how an emphasis on plant-based eating might offer one of the major answers.

Date of event
Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Edward Hopper: American Modernist

Explore the life and career of Edward Hopper, one of the great American realists of modern art, with art historian Bonita Billman. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, April 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

An Expert's Hunt for History

Nathan Raab, the preeminent American dealer in rare documents, tells the fascinating story of how he learned to tell the difference between real and forged artifacts, and of many amazing finds that were nearly lost to the ages.

Date of event
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Inside the Cuban Missile Crisis

Naval historian David Rosenberg and three retired U.S. Navy officers examine the tensions and strategies that grew out of the face-off between America and the Soviet Union over Russia’s decision to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. They reveal how the USS Sam Houston, a Polaris submarine deployed in the Mediterranean, played a significant but little-known role in assuring European security against potential Soviet aggression.

Date of event
Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Central and Southern Italy

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on wine regions of Central and Southern Italy.

Date of event
Friday, April 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Central and Southern Italy

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on wine regions of Central and Southern Italy.

Date of event
Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Composting 101

Composting can help to reduce waste, enrich soil, and limit the use of harmful fertilizers. Spend an afternoon with Niraj Ray, founder of Cultivate the City rooftop farm, and get tips on how you can start composting at home.

Date of event
Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Ancient Sparta: A Template for Modern Dictatorships

Among the ancient city-states, Sparta was the most feared, for good reason. Historian John Prevas provides an analysis of ancient Sparta’s approach to governing, drawing parallels to the modern dictatorships that echo it.  

Date of event
Monday, April 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Global Climate Justice: What Does It Mean?

The question of how to meet the challenges of climate change continues to take on an increasingly larger role in the worldwide debate about the future of our planet. Olúfémi O. Táíwò, an assistant professor of political philosophy and ethics at Georgetown University, provides an overview of these issues as he examines the range of pathways that are under discussion by communities, countries, and policymakers.

Date of event
Monday, April 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Panama Canal: A Complicated Backstory

Building the Panama Canal was either a bold, decisive diplomatic stroke that claimed America’s rightful place on the world stage or a crude display of arrogance and corruption. Historian Ralph Nurnberger examines the sweep of the canal saga, with elements that include intrigue in the halls of Congress, a revolution, and Teddy Roosevelt’s vision of American global power.

Date of event
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Burgundy

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on the Burgundy wine region.

Date of event
Friday, May 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Wine Regions of France and Italy: Burgundy

Join Food and Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year Erik Segelbaum in an enjoyable interactive workshop series designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados. He dives into the worlds of French and Italian wine, covering four regions whose output is world-renowned. This workshop focuses on the Burgundy wine region.

Date of event
Saturday, May 2, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, erected in 1961, divided a people and marked the tense epicenter of the Cold War. It came down in 1989, but the scars it has left have not fully gone away. Hope M. Harrison, associate professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University, examines these issues.

Date of event
Monday, May 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

How can you tell a downy woodpecker from a hairy one? A Cooper’s hawk from a sharp-shinned hawk? Liana Vitali, naturalist and educator at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, shares tips, facts, and resources for dedicated birders and birding beginners alike.

Date of event
Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Coal and Capitalism: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Strike That Changed Labor History

In early 1902, a potentially devastating strike by anthracite coal miners in Pennsylvania escalated a legal and personal clash between President Theodore Roosevelt and financier J.P. Morgan over the government’s role in regulating big business. Author Susan Berfield recounts the story of a banker and a president thrown together in the crucible of national emergency, and discusses why the lessons of Roosevelt and Morgan’s time have taken on a renewed urgency today.

Date of event
Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

How Advanced Technology Reveals Hidden Histories

Mummy masks, maps, bibles, manuscripts, journals, and even old walls can have important undiscovered stories to tell. Michael B. Toth discusses how his pioneering work in imaging technology has brought once-lost corners of history to light.

Date of event
Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Ninth Street Women: Abstract Expressionists Who Made Their Own Mark

In the 1950s, the spotlight on New York City’s abstract expressionist movement nearly always fell on male painters. Art critic Judy Pomeranz takes an in-depth look at five gutsy but overlooked women whose work in the groundbreaking Ninth Street Art Exhibition of 1951 boldly claimed their places in the postwar avant garde. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, May 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Very Secret, Very Cool: The Mysteries of Area 51

The clandestine nature of the CIA’s southern Nevada flight-test site for the development of up-to-the-minute reconnaissance craft was essential to its work in the 1950s. CIA historian Brent Geary tells the story behind the mythology of Area 51, including how some of the Air Force’s official cover stories deliberately fed one of the period’s hottest conspiracy theories: the existence of alien life.

Date of event
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

All You Can Eat: A Culinary History of America

Historian Allen Pietrobon explores American food culture since 1850 and how, throughout American history, food has been a battleground where culture, ethnicity, race, and identity clash.

Date of event
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Galileo: Lessons from a Great Scientist

For Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei was “the father of modern physics—indeed, of modern science altogether.” Astrophysicist Mario Livio examines Galileo’s monumental achievements in astronomy, mechanics, and the development of the scientific method.

Date of event
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Sparkling Mosaics of Ravenna

No medium better embodies the glory and mystery of both Byzantine culture and Early Christian iconography than mosaics. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, surveys the fascinating history of Ravenna that shaped the city’s most recognizable artistic marvels. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Friday, May 15, 2020 - 6:30 p.m.

Why Brexit?

As she traces Brexit’s complicated past, present, and future, historian Jennifer Paxton examines issues that reveal the tensions at the heart of a nation that may reshape the United Kingdom more profoundly than any political event in the past 300 years.

Date of event
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Are Humans Naturally Good or Bad?

For centuries, philosophers have attempted to answer the question of whether humans are naturally good or evil without any definitive results. Evolutionary biologist Rui Diogo turns instead to the sciences, anthropology, history, sociology, and other fields to examine at what empirical data says about our basic nature—and offers some surprising insights into this age-old inquiry.

Date of event
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Traveling Smarter: Travel Scams and How To Avoid Them

Many seemingly harmless scenarios can be set-ups for common scams and security risks. Join a panel of experts who reveal some of the most pervasive scams and how to avoid them, the growing threats to online identity, and the legal but unethical practices often perpetuated by the travel industry.

Date of event
Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Raphael and His Circle

To mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, the National Gallery of Art has assembled 25 prints and drawings in an intimate installation, Raphael and His Circle. Join curator Jonathan Bober as he discusses how he brought together the works and the combination of artistic traditions, wide range, and immediate influence of Raphael’s art that shaped the standard of aesthetic excellence for later artists, connoisseurs, and scholars. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Artisan Bread Making: Tradition and Innovation

Why are boules, baguettes, and brioches among the hottest things in bread making today? Find out when a batch of top artisan bakers mix it up in a conversation led by the Washington Post’s Mary Beth Albright that spans traditional and new methods of sourcing ingredients, trends in the baking process, and tips to give your home-made bread that artisan touch. And of course, sample some of the panelists’ fresh-from-the-oven products.

Date of event
Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Celebrating 50 Years: Smithsonian Magazine and Earth Day

Smithsonian magazine was launched in the spring of 1970—as was the first Earth Day—and from the start it has been the trusted go-to source on the natural world and environmental issues. Mark these anniversaries by revisiting some of the magazine’s first articles about how we understand our planet with the journalists, photographers, and other experts who brought these stories to life.

Date of event
Friday, May 29, 2020 - 7:00 p.m.

Fake News: How To Spot and Discredit Disinformation

How can a society awash in misinformation combat the powerful impact of fake news? Helen Lee Bouygues, president of the Reboot Foundation, offers some practical strategies that news consumers can use to fight back, and examines the prevalence of fake news within the context of broader problems in public discourse today.

Date of event
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Beyond Stonewall: How DC Shifted the Nature of Pride

Although New York City’s first Gay Pride parade in June 1971 was a key marker in the progress of LGBT+ organizing, a lesser-known pivotal moment took place in Washington, D.C., 20 years later. Nikki Lane of American University examines how the city’s home-grown Black Pride event grew into a national and international model for celebrations of community, inclusion, and diversity.

Date of event
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Language of Butterflies: A Message of Hope

The fragile beauty and astounding endurance of butterflies have long fascinated us. Science journalist Wendy Williams looks at how scientists, gardeners, naturalists, and citizen scientists joined together to decipher the secrets of butterflies in order to protect them—and to learn what they might tell us about meeting the challenges of climate change.

Date of event
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Tehran Children: Rediscovering Iran’s Role in a Holocaust Rescue

While many Iranians know that their country sheltered Polish refugees during World War II, fewer are aware that many of these refugees were Jewish. Author Mikhal Dekel, whose father and aunt were among the nearly 1,000 Jewish children in the rescue mission, joins journalist Arash Azizi to explore why some aspects of this wartime history might be obscured.

Date of event
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 7:00 p.m.

The Arts and World War I

The awesome power of war to unleash death and destruction has often ironically led to remarkable creative breakthroughs from artists, poets, and composers. David Gariff, a senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, explores the responses of artists and writers to the trauma of the Great War, which transcended national boundaries.

Date of event
Monday, June 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Contemporary Art as a Commodity

Ellen Gorman of Georgetown University offers a survey of the American art market from the 1950s to the present, introducing the cast of players and corporate entities behind the transformation of artworks into commodities for sale to the highest bidder. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Civility's Role in Social Justice

As civility seems to decline due to political polarization and the increasingly unfettered climate of social media, does remaining civil in social and political discourse still have value? Olúfémi O. Táíwò of Georgetown University unpacks the role of civility in today’s world and how its potential benefits—and hazzards—relate to the search for social justice.

Date of event
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The 1920s: Welcome to the New World

The end of the Great War ushered in a decade of economic prosperity and cultural dynamism unprecedented in America. Stef Woods, a popular speaker on cultural topics, looks at the explosion of new directions in the 1920s, and considers what comparisons may be drawn between that still-resonant era and today, as our ’20s begins. 

Date of event
Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Women Who Ruled the East End: Remarkable Tales of Wartime London

Women in aprons and button-up boots were the beating heart of the tenement neighborhoods that serve as the backdrop for the PBS series “Call the Midwife.” These no-nonsense matriarchs who ruled London’s sooty cobblestone streets responded with astonishing ingenuity, resilience, and strength as they faced the horrors of WWII just beyond their own front doors. Join author Kate Thompson and historian Alan Capps as they delve deep into the social history of some truly remarkable women.

Date of event
Monday, September 21, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.