Seminars
The Rise of the Synagogue in Jewish Life

According to the New Testament, Jesus and Paul preached in synagogues. But two thousand years ago, the Jerusalem Temple was the focal point of the Jewish religion. Archaeologist Jodi Magness explores the origins of the synagogue and its evolving role in religious Jewish life in the centuries after the Temple’s destruction in 70 A.D.

Date
Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Opera: Inside the Music—An Unintimidating Guide to the Art

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop and pianist Ken Weiss examine the building blocks of opera in a fascinating day equally suited to those who want an introduction to the art and to fans looking to deepen their understanding of the form’s nuts and bolts. Performances by singers from the Potomac Vocal Institute enhance this exploration of opera’s musical and theatrical foundations.

Date
Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Enchanting Ireland: A Visual Journey

Christopher Griffin, a Smithsonian Journeys expert, highlights the history, culture, and beauty of Ireland, offering an intimate portrait of a fabled nation. At the conclusion of the day, raise a glass of “the water of life”—authentic Irish whiskey.

Date
Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Lessons From the Great Books of Science

In this all-day seminar, explore the works of the great scientist-writers—from those of Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle through 20th-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology—that moved scientific development forward over the centuries.

Date
Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The King James Bible: Its Background, Creation, and Influence

The King James Bible of 1611 is one of the most influential books in the English language. Learn about the creation of this landmark translation—the culmination of a long and often unquiet history of the Bible in English dating back as far as 1000 A.D.

Date
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Potomac: Rolling Through DC’s History and Heart

Spend a day with a variety of experts who examine the Potomac’s rich legacy, geology, and wildlife, following its course through hundreds of years of history from the region’s early inhabitants to the latest in conservation technology.

Date
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Vatican Collection: The Heart of Europe’s Artistic Legacy

The Church of Rome has been the single greatest patron of art and architecture in European history. Art historian Nigel McGilchrist looks at the Vatican’s magnificent collection of paintings and antiquities, which comprise an ensemble with an importance unique in the world. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Artistic Legacy of Byzantium

The interplay of imperial ambitions, luxury, and faith are reflected in the sumptuous art and architecture of the Eastern Roman Empire under Christian rule. Art historian Lawrence Butler explores Byzantium’s greatest contributions to world art and considers its legacy in today’s Orthodox Christian world. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend

The narwhal, with its unique spiral tusk, has inspired legend in Inuit society and fascinated people across cultures for centuries. During a day that includes a private tour of an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, join experts from a variety of fields to dive deep into the lore and the natural history of these striking animals.

Date
Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
What Does It Mean? Stories and Symbols in Art

Why have stories from Greek and Roman mythology and the Bible engaged, entertained, and even shocked us for centuries? Art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman offers an analysis of images, allegories, motifs, and context as she traces the iconography of these enduring tales from their ancient archetypes to contemporary interpretations. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The South: Exploring an American Idea

Something about the South won’t let go of the American imagination. We remain fascinated by the region, its people, its culture. Historian Stephen D. Engle explores the South both as place and idea, and why its complexities remain in our modern culture.

Date
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Romani Influence on European Music

In the distinctive musical language of the Romani people—developed from centuries of global influences—European composers found rich and passionate inspirations for their own works. Musical scholar Saul Lilienstein surveys its impact on classical works by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and others, as well as its echoes in flamenco and French jazz.

Date
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Archaeology of Judaism

The period of post-biblical Judaism is exceedingly rich in archaeological evidence, found both in Israel and in the lands of an ever-widening Diaspora. In an illustrated all-day program, biblical scholar Gary Rendsburg synthesizes archaeological findings and literary evidence to reveal a multifaceted portrait of Jewish life in late antiquity.

Date
Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Reigns of Queens: Women Who Independently Ruled Britannia

For most of English history, the possibility of a successful queen at the head of government was unthinkable. Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger surveys the women who shattered that royal glass ceiling to inherit the crown of Great Britain in their own right—a procession of monarchs that extends from the 12th century to today.

Date
Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Chapels That Defined the Renaissance

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Florence’s Brancacci Chapel, and the Sistine Chapel in Rome: each are home to works by artists who presented a revolutionary visual interpretation of Christian iconography. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.