The 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world offer a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, presents in-depth overviews of three particularly intriguing sites: the Forbidden City in Beijing, Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, and Redwood National and State Parks. Each lavishly illustrated program goes far beyond the typical tourist experience by incorporating the insights of the latest scholarship and research.
Please Note: Individual sessions are available for individual purchase.
NOV. 29 The Forbidden City
For just over six hundred years, from 1420 to 1924, the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties regarded the vermillion walls, grey cobblestones, and golden tiles of the Forbidden City in Beijing as their home. Jacobs charts a path through the vast courtyards, narrow passageways, and imposing gates of the Forbidden City, treating its art, architecture, and residents as windows into the history and culture of late imperial China.
DEC. 6 Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
Seven parks comprise the Canadian Rocky Mountains, renowned for their scenic splendor and fruitful fossil excavations. They have attracted explorers, scholars, and businessmen for hundreds of years. Explore the geologic and human drama of one of the premier natural wonderlands of North America, approaching these parks from multiple perspectives, including native prehistory, the imperial fur trade, the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the creation of a Canadian nation, and groundbreaking scientific discoveries.
DEC. 13 Redwood National and State Parks
The tallest trees in the world grow only in a narrow strip of land along the coast of northern California. Delve into the unique biology of the last surviving coastal redwoods, reflected in part through Jacobs’ own personal stories and experiences growing up among these majestic giants of the forest. A virtual journey through the redwoods highlights the 19th-century logging industry, the creation of state and national parks, and new and exciting discoveries high up in the vertigo-inducing canopies.
Photo caption (upper right): Clockwise: The Forbidden City, Beijing, China; Redwood National Park, northern California; Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
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