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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Lectures

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.

Pantry-Friendly Cooking

Live Streaming

Learn to optimize your pantry from food writers Charlotte Druckman and Joe Yonan, whose newly released cookbooks are perfect guides to quarantine cooking.

Date of event
Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 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 Disasters of Ancient Thebes

Live Streaming

In Greek mythology, a plague, a bloodthirsty monster, and inept rulers all tested the fortitude of the citizens of Thebes. Art historian Renee Gondek explores this convergence of calamities though the focus of Oedipus the King.

Date of event
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 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.

Wine and Cheese Parings with Cheesemonster Studio

Join experts from Cheesemonster Studio for a lively and educational evening that explores the art of combining cheese and wine. They guide curated pairings of five wines and cheeses, examining how their flavors work together to create some of the best duets in all of the food and beverage world.

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

A Curious Journey Through Wales

Though not a sovereign state, Wales can compete with Europe’s best in stunning landscapes, rich history, and picture-perfect villages. Christine van Blokland of PBS’sCurious Traveler” series offers an entertaining survey of its natural beauty, heritage and cuisine, and its decidedly curious language.

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

Pizza-Making in the Neapolitan Tradition

In a workshop at Pizza University, chef Felice Colucci guides you through the steps and secrets of making Neapolitan-style pizza from scratch. Graduate with tips on making the pie at home.

Date of event
Friday, June 12, 2020 - 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

A Decade of Disruption: America in the New Millennium

Live Streaming

The United States weathered a turbulent first decade of the 21st century, tumultuous years of economic crises, social and technological change, and war. Historian Garrett Peck examimes how the fallout from the Great Recession led to the hyper-polarized society of the years that followed and why timely re-examination of the period between 2000 and 2010 can reveal how we’ve arrived at our current era of cultural division.

Date of event
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Edgar Degas: The Independent Impressionist

Art historian Bonita Billman examines Degas in the context of the impressionist movement and colleagues including Monet, Pissarro, and Cassatt. She explores his work in a variety of media, analyzes his contributions to French art, and looks at his role as an art collector of merit. The program complements the exhibition Degas at the Opera at the National Gallery of Art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

A Bartender's Guide to Vermouth

It’s in the Martini, the Manhattan, the Rob Roy, and the Negroni, but what do you really know about vermouth? Katie Dandridge, one of the cocktail experts behind the bar at Quill, the elegant lounge at Washington’s Jefferson Hotel, discusses the history of vermouth and the variety of ways we enjoy it today.

Date of event
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Pizza-Making in the Neapolitan Tradition

In a workshop at Pizza University, chef Felice Colucci guides you through the steps and secrets of making Neapolitan-style pizza from scratch. Graduate with tips on making the pie at home.

Date of event
Friday, June 19, 2020 - 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Searching for Life in the Universe

Since the dawn of humankind, we have wondered if we are alone in the universe. Join a trio of professors of physics and astronomy at George Mason University to examine how science has progressed in furthering our understanding of this age-old question. The program is the first in a series of Space Sundays at George Mason University Observatory.

Date of event
Sunday, June 21, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

What To Tell Your Dog About Einstein

Albert Einstein is such an iconic figure that most people, and more than a few dogs, can instantly recognize him as a famous scientist. Author Chad Orzel—whose several popular-science books include How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog—describes how the core idea of Einstein’s theory of relativity forces us to re-think the nature of space and time, through scenarios that cats and dogs might find familiar.

Date of event
Monday, June 22, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Paratrooper Generals of D-Day

Generals during World War II usually stayed to the rear, but not Matthew Ridgway and Maxwell Taylor. During D-Day and the Normandy campaign, these commanders of the 82nd “All-American” and the 101st “Screaming Eagle” Airborne Divisions refused to remain behind the lines and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their paratroopers in the thick of combat. Military historian Mitchell Yokelson explores their unique style of leadership and how it played out in the most important American campaign of World War II.

Date of event
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Greening of Religion: Ethics and the Environment

Christian churches and other world religions are increasingly incorporating environmentalism into their teachings. Ethicist and author William Barbieri explores how and why these religious traditions are responding to ecological challenges, and what we can learn from this process regarding the role of religions in the modern world.

Date of event
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Pizza-Making in the Neapolitan Tradition

In a workshop at Pizza University, chef Felice Colucci guides you through the steps and secrets of making Neapolitan-style pizza from scratch. Graduate with tips on making the pie at home.

Date of event
Friday, June 26, 2020 - 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 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
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Great American Road Trip

From classic chronicles of the settlement of the West to tales of the modern cross-country road trip, travel narratives have infused American history and popular culture. Allen Pietrobon of Trinity Washington University sets off on a literary journey that explores the nature and impact of these stories of adventure and self-discovery.

Date of event
Wednesday, July 8, 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, July 10, 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, July 11, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Greek Vase-Painting: Gods and Humans

The human and mythological activities depicted on the painted surfaces of Greek vases provide a richly detailed visual narrative of life in the ancient civilization. Art historian Renee Gondek explores the uses, stories, and artistry of these vessels. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, July 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Buccaneers, Privateers, and Empire

From the ages of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar onward, pirates have menaced the frontiers of empires—and their modern counterparts threaten the security of the global community. Maritime historian Donald Grady Shomette reveals how the sought-after treasures of piracy across the centuries extended far beyond plunder to encompass territory and revolution.

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

Bird Brains: How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think

Scientists are reevaluating the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, uncovering a remarkable intelligence that encompasses actions once considered uniquely human. From avian cheating and kidnapping to collaboration and altruism, author Jennifer Ackerman discusses her investigation into the bird way of being.

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

How Hamilton Remixes History and Show Biz

Historian Richard Bell examines this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show business. He investigates what the show gets right—and wrong—about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States, and why it all matters. 

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

Auroras: Nature's Light Show

Humans have watched the Northern Lights in awe for centuries, but only recently have scientists been able to fully understand how and why auroras exist. Kelly Beatty, senior editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, explores their origins of these dancing curtains of light, the fanciful explanations once given for them, and when and where you're most likely to see an auroral display.

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

"It's Baseball, Ray!": Baseball and America's Culture, Values, and Aspirations

Though football is called America's Game, no sport has had as strong an influence on our culture and mores than the National Pastime. Author, ethicist, and lifelong fan Jack Marshall examines how—from the game’s beginnings to this season—baseball has both mirrored and shaped Americans’ ideas of their country and themselves.

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

The Battle for America: The French and Indian War

Pre-revolutionary America took center stage in the world’s first truly global war in the mid-18th century. Historian Richard Bell examines how this bitter contest among the great empires of Britain, France, and Spain played out on American soil and how it sowed the seeds of the imperial crisis that would culminate in the new nation’s independence.

Date of event
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Detained Diplomats: A WWII Story

In the chaotic days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Roosevelt administration ordered more than a thousand Axis diplomats living in the nation’s capital and their dependents into detention at luxurious rural resorts including the Greenbrier and the Homestead. Author Harvey Solomon examines the public outrage, diplomatic machinations, and political calculations that stripped away the veneer of pre-war diplomatic bonhomie to reveal deep conflicts among captives and captors.

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

The Complicated, Controversial Lives of British Royal Consorts

What happens when there’s a power struggle within a power couple? Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger examines some of Britain’s most famous royal pairs and the challenges they faced in maintaining a happy marriage while one of them ruled the kingdom.

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

Behind the Scenes at Planet Word

How do you create the world’s first voice-activated museum dedicated to the power and fun of language? Get the inside word from senior leaders of the brand-new Planet Word in an after-hours event in which they share how the historic Franklin School in downtown Washington was transformed into a dazzling immersive learning environment for visitors of all ages.

Date of event
Thursday, July 23, 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, July 24, 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, July 25, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Dropping the Atomic Bomb: The Debate Continues

Seventy-five years after U.S. war planes dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the actions that helped bring WWII to a close remain highly contentious. Peter Kuznick, director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, examines the decisions behind these history-changing acts, their legacy, and why we’re still divided about the military and moral justifications that were used to usher in the nuclear age of warfare.

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

Will Rogers: Oklahoma's Favorite Son

Will Rogers’ plainspoken humor and clear-eyed social commentary struck a chord with audiences around the world during the early decades of the 20th century and made him the voice of his nation. Author Daniel Stashower explores this true American original’s life and legacy and actor Scott Sedar performs some of his most celebrated monologues.

Date of event
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity

As our DNA becomes as readable, writable, and hackable as our information technology, the choices made today could be the difference between advances in human well-being or a genetic arms race. Jamie Metzl, a technology and healthcare futurist and geopolitical expert, explores the many ways genetic engineering is shaking the core foundations of our lives: sex, war, love, and death.

Date of event
Thursday, July 30, 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, July 31, 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, August 1, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

"A Momentous Victory": The Decisive Battle of Midway

Six months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Imperial Navy suffered a stunning and lopsided defeat at the hands of the American Pacific fleet near Midway atoll. Historian Chris Hamner of George Mason University examines why the encounter was not just the most decisive naval battle of the Pacific War, but one of the most consequential in all of history.

Date of event
Monday, August 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Economics + Harry Potter

The Harry Potter novels may seem like a strange perspective from which to view economics, but a realm filled with magic also includes some financial realities that even the most powerful spell can’t make vanish. Economist Brian O’Roark entertainingly investigates how topics including monetary systems, black markets, utility theory, and more pervade the Potterverse.

Date of event
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

China's Lost Treasures: Plundered or Bartered?

From the 1790s until World War I, Western museums filled their shelves with art and antiquities from around the world that are now widely seen as stolen or plundered. Historian Justin M. Jacobs examines an exodus of cultural treasures from northwestern China that reveals a path shaped by factors more complex—and surprising—than coercion, corruption, and deceit.

Date of event
Thursday, August 6, 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, August 7, 2020 - 6:30 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, August 7, 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, August 8, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Pounding those 88s: Keyboards and Rock 'n' Roll

From Little Richard to the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen, many of the greatest songs in rock are filled with keyboard elements that make them so memorable. Former classic-band keyboardist Dave Price explores why pianos, organs, Mellotrons, and Moogs are the essential instruments behind some of rock’s most iconic songs.

Date of event
Monday, August 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Milky Way and Our Neighbors

Humankind has long looked to the skies to understand our place in the vast expanse of stars and planets. Astronomer Carrie Fitzgerald surveys the breakthrough observations that revealed many of the secrets of our home galaxy, as well as the Milky Way’s tantalizing puzzles whose keys remain hidden from view.

Date of event
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Into the Planet: The Science and Exploration of Underwater Caves

Join cave diver Jill Heinerth, as she recounts her journeys to remote water-filled caves from Antarctica and Siberia to Bermuda and the Bahamas. She offers images and videos about tiny venomous cave inhabitants, archaeological remains of the Mayan people, and ancient lofty stalagmites that tell the story of earth before humans.

Date of event
Wednesday, August 12, 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
Tuesday, September 1, 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, September 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Bakari Sellers: My Vanishing Country

Bakari Sellers, a CNN analyst and one of the youngest state representatives in South Carolina history, examines the plight of the South's dwindling rural population of black working-class men and women. Drawing on his new book My Vanishing Country, he surveys the struggles that shape their lives: gaining access to healthcare, making ends meet as factories shut down, holding on to traditions as towns erode, and forging a path forward without succumbing to despair.

Date of event
Friday, September 11, 2020 - 6:45 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, September 13, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 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
Monday, September 14, 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
Wednesday, September 16, 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
Thursday, September 17, 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.

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, September 24, 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, September 25, 2020 - 7:00 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
Tuesday, September 29, 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, September 30, 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
Thursday, October 1, 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
Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 6:45 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, October 4, 2020 - 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 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
Wednesday, October 7, 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
Thursday, October 8, 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
Thursday, October 15, 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
Monday, October 19, 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
Wednesday, October 21, 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, October 21, 2020 - 6:45 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
Monday, October 26, 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
Monday, October 26, 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
Wednesday, October 28, 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
Thursday, October 29, 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
Monday, November 2, 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
Thursday, November 5, 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
Tuesday, November 17, 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, November 18, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.