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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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Course
Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Cutting-edge ecotourism companies are  pioneering small-group safaris to new destinations that offer unique wildlife encounters for adventurous travelers. Join wilderness guide and wildlife photographer Russell Gammon for a series of virtual safaris to hidden corners of Africa, Asia, and South America in search of some of the rarest and most iconic creatures on the planet.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

A Conversation on Race, Activism, and Change

Drawing on themes from her new book State of Emergency: How We Win in the Country We Built (Atria/Black Privilege Publishing), activist and social justice leader Tamika D. Mallory is joined in a roundtable discussion about racial inequality by comedian, actress, and producer Tiffany Haddish; model and activist Emily Ratajkowski; community leader and advocate Tony Lewis Jr; and April Ryan, White House Correspondent, CNN Political Analyst, and D.C. Bureau Chief for TheGrio, who serves as moderator.

Part of the Smithsonian Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Part of CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America

Opening a Southeast Asian restaurant, bar, or food business was always an uphill battle. How can they keep their doors open during a global pandemic with the doubly stacked odds of anti-Asian racism at an all-time high? In a free program, learn how a panel of Southeast Asian chefs and restaurateurs from across the country are meeting the moment.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

CNN anchor Jake Tapper called on his inside knowledge of Washington’s workings to write his newest period political thriller The Devil May Dance, in which Congressman Charlie Marder and his wife Margaret find themselves launched into the dark side of 1960s Hollywood on a dangerous assignment from Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Join him as he discusses mixing politicos and the Rat Pack in his book, as well as his work covering the non-fictional Washington.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Samuel Francis Du Pont, an Admiral in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, was lauded for helping to win an early Union victory in South Carolina. But his career and reputation were destroyed after the failed ironclad attack on Charleston in April 1863. A professor with the U.S. Army War College exposes the historical misunderstanding that led to Du Pont’s undoing.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Part of CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America

While past Asian American generations may have seen fast food as simply a means for entry-level job opportunities, children of Asian immigrants are flourishing as entrepreneurs in both fast-casual and sophisticated fine-dining restaurants and food businesses. But the persistent myths that so-called “ethnic” food is supposed to be cheap and fast endure. A panel of Asian American food professionals examines the origins of those long-held assumptions and challenge us to grapple with how we might collectively move beyond them.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 7:00 p.m.  ET

Join historian, author, and public humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson as he clears a path for readers that leads to a full appreciation of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, one of the most beautiful, transcendent, and indeed revolutionary books in the American literary canon.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

In 1951, Peter F. Mack Jr., a 34-year-old U.S. congressman from rural Illinois, made an extraordinary journey for peace. He borrowed a single-engine airplane from the Smithsonian, rechristened it the Friendship Flame, and flew it around the world alone on a self-funded, self-directed goodwill mission.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 7:00 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. 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 and 14, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. ET

Impressionism is one of the most popular styles in the history of art. Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton presents intimate looks at four luminaries of the impressionist school.  (World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 6:30 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. 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. 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.

Tour
Friday, July 9, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a summer morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author  Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, July 9, 2021 - 12 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)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, July 12, 2021 - 6:30 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 - 6:30 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
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 6:45 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.

Tour
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a summer morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author  Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 6:30 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. 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)

Tour
Friday, July 16, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a summer morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author  Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, July 17, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET

Historian and self-styled Anglophile Gary A. Rendsburg draws on his  research in English museums and libraries to find out why, through the centuries, many venerable English personages were fascinated by Jewish history.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, July 19, 2021 - 6:30 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. 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
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 6:45 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. 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. 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 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
Saturday, July 24, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that concerns itself with what is fundamental or basic to reality. Prepare for a whirlwind tour of historical and contemporary controversies in search of the nature of the ultimate reality led by philosophy scholar Michael Gorman.

Course
Monday, July 26, August 23, and September 27, 2021 - 6:30 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
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - 6:45 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. 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
Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 6:30 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
Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  ET

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)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 6:30 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
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 6:30 p.m.
Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET

Their scandals became the stuff of legends, but this royal family also opened the New World and new worlds of English power. Scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger of the Folger Shakespeare Library leads a look behind the Tudors’ carefully contrived image of monarchy.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 - 6:30 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
Saturday, August 14, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The famous breaking of the Mayan code in the late 20th century revolutionized the study of these peoples and of ancient America. Humanities scholar George Scheper examines how interdisciplinary study of the Maya extends beyond the traditional archaeological focus to comprise political and social history, art, comparative religion, and ecology.