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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful


Saturday, January 22, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Humans are obviously part of the animal kingdom in many important ways, and yet they exhibit features and activities that set them apart from other species. Philosophy professor Michael Gorman leads a fascinating exploration into the nature of what makes us uniquely human, touching on topics including consciousness, free will, morality, and the duality of body and soul.

Saturday, January 29, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Historian Alexander Mikaberidze examines four historical moments crucial in the emergence of France, a country with a uniquely lengthy, dramatic, and varied history. Accept his virtual invitation to the coronation of the greatest of medieval European rulers, to fight alongside King Philippe Auguste as he confronted an English-led coalition of monarchs, to look behind the intrigues at the French royal court, and to follow Parisians as they stormed the parapets of the Bastille.

Saturday, February 5, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The English painters, poets, and critics who gave birth to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 wanted to reform art by rejecting what they called the melodramatic style of High Renaissance artists like Raphael. Art historian Bonita Billman traces this fascinating movement from its origins to flowering conclusion. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Saturday, February 26, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Biblical scholar and historian Gary Rendsburg presents a fascinating survey of aspects of the Jewish diaspora from the ancient and medieval periods, tracing the histories of communities in Egypt, Babylonia, Russia, Arabia, Italy, and Spain.

Saturday, March 12, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In the midst of writing The Ring of the Nibelung, the most monumental artistic work of the 19th century, Richard Wagner took a breather. His intention was to write works that were smaller in scale and easier to perform. Using excerpts from the finest representations on video, opera and classical music, scholar Saul Lilienstein unearths the treasures this great composer created beyond the Ring.

Saturday, March 19, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Historian Kevin Matthews discusses Winston Churchill’s tempestuous career as an army officer, war correspondent, member of Parliament, and minister in both Liberal and Conservative governments to reveal a man too often hidden by the post-World War II legends that surround him.