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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Seminars

The History of Ireland: Four Turning Points

Historian Jennifer Paxton explores the complex history of Ireland’s interactions with the outside world that led to the transformation of the island over a thousand years from a relatively isolated island to a colony of its far more powerful neighbor, England.

Date of event
Saturday, June 13, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

How To Write Children's Books

Whether you aspire to write professionally or want to learn how to craft captivating stories for the young readers in your life, this seminar led by author and scholar Lisa Rowe Fraustino starts you on the journey of creating a children’s book—and provides the tools to finish it when you go home.

Date of event
Saturday, June 13, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Excavations at Tell el-Amarna: A Window Into Ancient Egypt

Excavations at the extraordinarily preserved desert city at Tell el-Amarna provide unmatched evidence of the daily life and religious practices of ancient Egyptians. Egyptologist Jacquelyn Williamson, a senior member of the Tell el-Amarna archaeological team, examines the latest discoveries at the site and what they reveal about the city founded as a center for Pharaoh Akhenaten’s monotheistic cult of the sun god Aten. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Orchestral Music of J.S. Bach

Musicologist and pianist Daniel Freeman pays tribute to this iconic composer and some of his greatest orchestral compositions in a day highlighted by music and video recordings and live piano performance.

Date of event
Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Travel Writing: A Roadmap and Practical Guide

Ready to combine your love of travel and of writing? In a daylong workshop, travel writer Michael Luongo offers the practical information you need to begin creating compelling travel articles that make readers want to know more about your favorite destinations and editors want to know more about you.

Date of event
Saturday, July 11, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Yoga for Healthy Living: Embracing Change and Transition 

Spend an absorbing day with Linda Lang, a certified yoga therapist, as she weaves together yogic practices and shares the keys for using them to face change with wisdom, grace, strength, and resilience. In addition, meet local members of the medical community who endorse and use yoga as a tool for prevention and healing.

Date of event
Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Waltz: Music, Sex, and Politics in Three-Quarter Time

Blossoming in Vienna and spreading like a mania through Europe, the waltz proclaimed a new freedom of sexual expression and individual liberties in the early 19th century. Classical music and opera expert Saul Lilienstein traces the development of a musical form and a dance that changed history.

Date of event
Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Seductive Paris: American Painters in the City of Light

In the late 19th century, Paris was the only place to be for any self-respecting aspiring American artist. Art historian Bonita Billman highlights the city’s ascension as the center of the art world and how it transformed the young painters who in turn transformed American art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, July 25, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Michelangelo, Pope Julius, and the Sistine Chapel

When Michelangelo signed the contract with Pope Julius II in 1508 to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling, little did he know the turmoil that awaited him. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, examines the artistic importance of the ceiling and the human drama behind its creation, as well as the chapel’s history and its exquisite art produced before Michelangelo. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, August 8, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Heaven and Hell: Perspectives on the Afterlife

Bart Ehrman, a leading authority on early Christianity, examines ancient Near East, Greek, and Roman cultures, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and other sources to trace how the nature of the afterlife became a central focus in Western religion.

Date of event
Saturday, September 12, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Five Giants of Romantic Music: Friends in Life, Rivals in Art

Popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines lecture and piano demonstrations to examine the lives and work of Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner.

Date of event
Monday, September 21, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Vermeer: In Praise of the Ordinary

Explore the legacy of painter Johannes Vermeer, a master of light and color whose paintings captured the beauty and meaning of everyday life, with art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, September 26, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Tracing Jewish History: From Yemen to Yorkshire

Biblical scholar and historian Gary Rendsburg leads a virtual tour across 2,000 years of known Jewish history to explore fascinating stories of less-known Jewish communities.

Date of event
Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Visual Literacy: The Art of Seeing

Like any language, art has its own vocabulary—one in which you discover more meaning and gratification as your fluency increases. Spend a day with art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman expanding your understanding of how art communicates, how to analyze and interpret it, and how to see it in a cultural context. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Napoleonic Wars: A Global Conflict

Austerlitz, Borodino, and Waterloo are among the places most closely associated with the era of the Napoleonic Wars. But this period of nearly continuous Franco-British conflict affected nations far beyond Europe. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze analyzes the immediate and extended consequences of the political tremors that spread as far as the Americas, Africa, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as across the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.

Date of event
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Writing a Successful Screenplay

You've got a brilliant idea for a terrific film. Your next move is to master the steps in turning it into a reality on the screen. Spend a valuable two days with Marc Lapadula, a screenwriting professor at Yale University, as he analyzes the key ingredients of a successful script.

Date of event
Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.