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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Lectures

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, June 21, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Stopping the dissemination of fake news, misinformation, and disinformation campaigns continues to be a Herculean task. An expert discusses how to identify and combat fake news—and how to resist becoming a victim of misinformation.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Are you worried about your memory, or someone else’s? Understand more about how memory works and how you might optimize yours from Barry Gordon, a nationally recognized expert on memory and memory disorders. It is an evening you won’t forget.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

His role as Union Army quartermaster general is well known, but Montgomery Meigs was also an engineer, architect, inventor, and patron of the arts who left an indelible impression on the face of the capital city. Historian Bill Keene offers a virtual tour of sites in the Washington area associated with Meigs in his role of engineer and architect.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Part of CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America

In both film and popular media as well as farming and land ownership, Asian Americans have been historically underrepresented and repeatedly denied opportunities for advancement  A discussion inspired by the Oscar-nominated film Minari offers a unique opportunity to explore these themes as a panel of Asian American farmers and vintners examine the semi-autobiographical story of a Korean American farm family that embarks on a new kind of American dream.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

At the height of the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy saw outer space exploration as a race for survival—and America was losing to the Soviet Union. Author Jeff Shesol examines why John Glenn’s February 1962 mission into space had greater goals than circling the planet: It was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America’s sense of self-belief.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Looking for some refreshing cocktail ideas for warm summer evenings? Author and cocktail historian Philip Greene demonstrates how to make classics like the Tom Collins, Mojito, Southside, Daiquiri, and Jack Rose. He also mixes in the drinks’ histories and folklore. 

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Do you wish you knew more about those intriguing-looking birds you spot in your backyard or on your walks?  Matt Felperin, NOVA Parks’ roving naturalist, offers an essential guide on what you see and hear designed for both beginning birders and those who want to take their skills to the next level.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, June 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The artist Raphael arrived in Rome in 1508 and brought a subtle revolution in art and architecture to the Eternal City. Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo for a virtual visit to the papal apartments—Stanze—Raphael painted, and revel in his virtuosity. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, June 26, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Historian and scholar Michele L. Simms-Burton, a former professor of African-American studies at Howard University examines the creators and the works that came alive during one of the most creative and intellectually productive eras in African American history, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, June 28, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Art historian Aneta Georgevskia-Shine discusses ways of approaching Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516), a unique artist who continues to fascinate us with the fantastic imagery and densely symbolic messages of his compositions. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Borgias’ name has become synonymous with blind ambition, murder, rape, incest, and torture in Renaissance Italy. But there was something more to know about them, and art historian Elizabeth Lev provides a broader context to the powerful family’s story.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

From On the Road to Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, American writers have produced a wealth of books that chronicle journeys—a genre that extends back to Homer’s Odyssey. Historian and author Clay Jenkinson examines the nature of the literature of the road and how it reflects the restlessness in our national character.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Across America, the pure love and popularity of barbecue cookery has gone through the roof. Adrian Miller—admitted ’cuehead and longtime certified barbecue judge—asks why African Americans aren’t receiving the recognition they deserve in today’s barbecue culture. He reveals how Black barbecuers, pitmasters, and restaurateurs helped develop this cornerstone of American foodways and how they are coming into their own today.

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

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a critic suggested that the quest to capture the American experience in one book—“the Great American Novel”—was too great a challenge. But over the years, many authors have made remarkable attempts. Explore seven books that seem to have found a way to tell the American story.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Rock Creek Park, the forested gem running through the heart of Washington, D.C., has delighted residents long before it was declared a national park by an Act of Congress in 1890—and now more than ever offers a welcome destination for outdoor lovers. Join author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley as she  introduces the story and natural history of a national park landscape as old as Yosemite.

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

Photographer Dan Patterson and American historian Clinton Terry use historically accurate contemporary photos that restage the work of Virginia's first surveyor, George Washington, and his team to provide an interpretive look at the art and science of surveying in the 18th century—and how early America was initially divided and documented.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, July 9, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

As the capital of the western outpost of the Roman Empire in its last days, then of the occidental provinces of the Byzantine Empire, Ravenna offered a refuge of luxury and splendor rising above relentless seas of barbarism. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo explores the city’s extraordinary early Christian-era structures and what they reveal about an important period of European cultural history. (World Art History Certificate elective: ½ credit)

Members-Only Program
Friday, July 9, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

In this members-only series led by veteran arts educator Roberta Gasbarre, go behind the scenes and into the working lives of some of the most intriguing people from all across the Smithsonian and Washington’s worlds of culture, science, and education. This program features Richard Olsen, Director, US National Arboretum and Craven Rand, Director, Friends of the National Arboretum.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, July 11, 2021 - 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET

Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter on an exploration of the geology of Yellowstone, including the rocks and hydrothermal features that make this national park unique in the world.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, July 12, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi dives into the mysteries of the universe and how the universe we perceive is not the universe that actually exists.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, July 12, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Historian Marcia Chatelain explores how the social upheaval of the Great Migration, the mass movement of mostly rural Black Southerners to urban cores across the country between 1916 and 1970, continues to resonate in our lives today.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a summer morning discovering the joy and power of reflective writing inspired by visual art, guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface.

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

Neal Asbury and Jean-Pierre Isbouts trace the critical role that maps played in battles including those of the French and Indian War, and examine how British strategy during the Revolutionary War became entirely dependent on hastily engraved (and often flawed) charts of geographical features and enemy dispositions.

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

The Boston Tea Party was a response to the 1773 Tea Act, the latest of a series of parliamentary directives stretching back to the 1765 Stamp Act. Never intended to be so provocative, it triggered a reaction that marks the first major protest in America against corporate greed and the effects of globalization that set the stage for the American Revolution.

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

In an engaging dive into language, author Ralph Keyes explores the etymological underworld of terms and expressions and uncovers plenty of hidden gems.

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

In a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, Daniel Silva discusses his career as a best-selling author of 24 novels; the inspiration behind his thrilling storylines; and his writing process.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In The 3rd of May by Francisco Goya, the brutal scene of a mass execution still manages to shock, even more than 200 years after its creation. But what does it actually depict? What were the events that so outraged Goya to create this iconic work? 

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Join American music specialist and Gershwin scholar Robert Wyatt as he reviews the lives of the Gershwin brothers, from their simple roots, through their Tin Pan Alley apprenticeship, to the glory years that were too short.

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

Take a fascinating look at the vivid history of undercover reporters who exposed corruption and abuse in America—and in the process redefined what it means to be a woman and a journalist. (Part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, July 16, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Spend a fascinating Friday evening expanding your knowledge of the world of wine as you sip along with sommelier Erik Segelbaum in a series of delectable adventures. This immersive program focuses on wine favorites from the pros and includes a curated personal tasting kit to enhance the experience.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, July 18, 2021 - 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET

With more people spending time at home over the past year, interest in backyard birding has seen a significant spike. Adding a bird feeder to your yard is a great way to closely observe wild birds, as well as offset the loss of avian habitats in urban areas.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, July 19, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Many film directors disguise their bold artistic intentions, often burying something quite profound beneath a story’s glossy surface. Join Yale University film professor Marc Lapadula for a dive into some remarkable examples of cinematic mastery that reflect technical innovation and complex thematic construction.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Join Allen Pietrobon, an assistant professor of global affairs at Trinity Washington University and an award-winning historian, as he examines the role that alcohol played in American life leading up to Prohibition. And how, in its defiance, did American society and culture change so dramatically throughout the 1920s?

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In 1940 Adolph Hitler had two choices when it came to the Mediterranean region: Stay out or commit sufficient forces to expel the British from the Middle East. Against his generals’ advice, the Fuhrer committed a major strategic blunder.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Winifred Gallagher draws on her book New Women in the Old West: From Settlers to Suffragists, An Untold American Story, to bring to life the little-known women who played monumental roles in one of the most vibrant and transformative periods in the history of the United States.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The Harry Potter novels may seem like a strange perspective from which to view economics. In a realm filled with magic, we might expect the economic problems that we muggles face to disappear in a puff of smoke. But, as economist Brian O’Roark explains, even the Boy Who Lived has to come to grips with fiscal reality.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The enormously popular Netflix series “Bridgerton” has brought Britain’s Queen Charlotte into the limelight, but how accurate are the show’s portrayals of this long-reigning queen consort? Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger explores the nonfictional Charlotte’s influence on social life, the arts, and politics during her 57 years on the throne, as well as her  lengthy and complicated relationship with her husband King George III.  

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, July 23, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

At its height, Renaissance Florence was a center of enormous wealth, power, and influence. Its often-violent political scene was dominated by rich mercantile families, the most famous being the Medici. Renaissance art historian Elaine Ruffolo traces the family’s influence on the city’s political, economic, and cultural history. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, July 24, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Saul Lilienstein takes a joyful and serious look at the Beatles’ music, its roots and influences, and its relationship to the period of social change that provided a backdrop to their years at the top of the charts.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, July 26, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

On February 23, 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy launched the most historic and celebrated redecoration of the White House in its history. James Archer Abbott and Elaine Rice Bachmann—co-authors of a new book that chronicles the undertaking—discuss the 60-year legacy of one of the most influential interior design projects in American history.

Course
Monday, July 26, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Join Author Michael Gorra  in an exploration of three works by William Faulkner, one of the greatest—and most problematic—figures in American literature. 

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, July 26, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Explore the tangible connections between baseball and Latino culinary traditions and how Latinos have created culinary fusions and experiences that reflect broader themes and trends in American history—the themes explored in the National Museum of American History’s new exhibition ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Award-winning journalist Alvin Hall and social justice trainer Janée Woods Weber share personal and powerful stories they collected during their 12-day, 2,021-mile road trip from Detroit to New Orleans inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, the historic guide African Americans relied on to travel safely at the height of segregation and the Jim Crow era.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The pandemic has upended the travel industry and changed the way we explore the world. What will smart travelers need to know once we can pack our bags again? Andrea Sachs, the Washington Post’s travel writer; Pauline Frommer, editorial director of Frommer’s Guidebooks; and Karin King, deputy assistant secretary of state for overseas citizen services share the best advice and resources for staying safe, healthy, and well-informed so you can relax on your long-overdue trip.  

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In his new book Rescuing the Planet, Tony Hiss sets out on a journey to take stock of the "superorganism" that is the Earth: its land, its elements, its plants and animals, its greatest threats—and what we can do to keep it, and ourselves, alive.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Few figures in history excite as passionately held and often-conflicting visions as Napoleon. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze discusses the many facets of Napoleon the man and his enormous influence on Europe and many parts of the world.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Media and communications expert Brian Rose surveys the extraordinary landscape of American TV comedy, examining how it has evolved since the 1950s. 

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The Valois dynasty, which rose to power in France in 1328, is largely overshadowed by their English rivals, the Tudors. Yet, the two centuries of the Valois reign were crucial in the establishment of France as a major European power. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze explores the dynasty’s rise—and fall.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Historian Sam Lebovic  traces the evolution of the Espionage Act to provide a new history of state secrecy today—and how it reveals American democracy’s struggles to balance security and liberty.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

When a freak accident on board the International Space Station results in an order to return to Earth, astronaut Walli Beckwith refuses to leave her post. Earth is in trouble and she feels she must do something. Join Jeffrey Kluger, author of Apollo 13, in a discussion of his new novel, Holdout, and his career as a science writer with former NASA astronaut Marsha Ivans.

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

Artists, activists, and radio DJs transformed music into a political weapon and unifying force in the Civil Rights Movement, delivering powerful messages of hope to the Black community and beyond. Historian Leon Burnette explores how the music that grew out of a seminal era became an indelible part of America’s social and cultural heritage.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Lena Richard, a Black chef and entrepreneur in New Orleans, built a dynamic culinary career in the segregated South, defying harmful stereotypes of Black women that severely diminished their role in the creation and development of American food culture and its economy.

This program is hosted in collaboration with the Southern Food and Beverage Museum where Lavigne is the Director of Culinary Programming.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, August 6, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The golden period of the Serenissima Republic is reflected in the glorious art generated for its churches, confraternities, and palaces, including works by Bellini, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, and other masters. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo traces the history of this fabled city and the art and architecture created there. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Over more than a century, three generations of Wyeths have created a collective portrait of America. Art historian Bonita Billman traces the family tradition reflected in their disparate subjects and styles. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, August 12, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger explores how London served as a backdrop and inspiration for William Shakespeare. She reveals how he was inspired by the humanity he observed in the city to create the unforgettable worlds of his plays.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, August 16, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

During the harsh winter of 1777 when the Continental Army was camped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Gen. George Washington initiated a new set of drills and regimental regulations that helped to turn a rag-tag collection of enlistees into a professional fighting force. Historian Richard Bell tells the Valley Forge story through the perspective of Baron Friedrich von Steuben, an immigrant who trained the troops as he dealt with anti-German sentiments and rumors about his sexuality.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. ET

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” With these words, Elizabeth Barrett Browning has come down to us as a romantic heroine, a recluse controlled by a domineering father and often overshadowed by her husband, Robert Browning. But she defied cultural constraints—a modern figure whose life is a study in self-invention. Writer and poet Fiona Sampson presents a nuanced, comprehensive portrait of Britain’s most famous female poet.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Today’s advanced digital technologies can provide insights into artworks, offering researchers and curators new perspectives on their elements, creation, and history.  Michael B. Toth, ‎president of R. B. Toth Associates, discusses high-tech imaging projects that revealed previously hidden aspects of artworks dating from the Renaissance to today—and the surprises encountered during investigations into a Rubens painting.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, August 27, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, examines the style, iconography, and history of The Last Judgment and the influence that it had on later artists. 

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

How did American transform from a country that relied on a relatively wholesome and nourishing food system to one in which the daily diet is laden with fats, sugar, and ultra-processed unhealthy foods? Historian Allen Pietrobon traces the changes in American cuisine since the end of WWII, highlighting key events that radically changed how and what Americans eat.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For more than seven decades, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks made America laugh—either through their remarkable solo careers or their legendary partnership. Discover the extraordinary comic talents of these giants of American comedy who conquered every medium they took on: television, films, Broadway, recordings.

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

The House of Bourbon remains one of the most historically important European royal houses. The Bourbons came to prominence in the 16th century when they first became the rulers of Navarre, in Spain, and later of France proper. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze explores their rise to power—and the root causes of their fall.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Historian Richard Bell examines Paine’s meteoric rise to celebrity status during the American Revolution and his equally dramatic fall from grace. Once lionized as our most relatable and revolutionary founding father, according to Bell, Paine died a pariah, too radical for the cautious new country he had helped call into being.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, September 13, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Join Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger on a journey to Regency England as seen through the eyes of Jane Austen and her novels.  She provides fans of Austen added insight into the characters and their lives, and aficionados of history with the details and dramas that made this one of the most fascinating eras in English history.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, culinary historian and award-winning cookbook author Grace Young writes of how for centuries the Chinese carried their woks and stir-frying techniques around the globe. In America, beginning around the late-19th century, Chinese immigrants struggled to establish themselves in cities and small towns—from San Francisco to the Mississippi Delta—while contending as well with poverty, discrimination, and to this day, anti-Asian bias.