Lectures & Seminars

Month

  

Programs listed below are in chronological order.



Costume Designer Daniel Lawson on Dressing The Good Wife

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

The enviably stylish power dressing on The Good Wife generates almost as much buzz among fans as the show’s storylines. The Emmy-nominated costume designer of the series reveals how he uses clothing to define character, and the real-life fashion lessons we can learn from the fictional but well-put-together staff of Lockhart/Gardner.

Clarence Darrow: Courtroom Drama

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 9 a.m.

Complex and controversial, the towering figure of Clarence Darrow helped shape the legal landscape of early-20th-century America. Lawyer and author Jack Marshall examines his career and his legacy, and actor Paul Morella brings Darrow’s spell-binding courtroom oratory to life.

A Day at the Uffizi

Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Art historian Elaine Ruffolo serves as guide for a journey through this beloved museum, covering its history, architecture, collections, and ties to both its Medici founders and the city of Florence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Inside the World of Diplomacy

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 10 a.m.

Take a rare opportunity to hear first-person stories from men and women whose careers are spent in diplomatic Washington when you spend a day at the American Foreign Service Association and the U.S. Department of State.

The Devil’s Diary: Recovering a Nazi Henchman’s Chilling Account of the Third Reich

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Alfred Rosenberg’s diary provided a window into the center of Hitler’s ruling circle. Missing since the close of the Nuremberg trials, the volume came to light again in 2013, after a decade-long search across continents. Robert K. Wittman, who played a key role in its recovery, traces the trail that led to the diary and discusses the dark secrets in its pages.

Secrets of the Dwarf Planets

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Should we feel sorry for Pluto since it’s been reclassified from planet to dwarf planet? Not at all, says Jim Zimbelman, a geologist at the Air and Space Museum. He uncovers why Pluto has plenty of fascinating company in the outer solar system, where startling new discoveries are being made.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosé

Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

The appeal of rosé wines spans the seasons. Join Swati Bose, co-owner of Flight Wine Bar in Chinatown, for a program and sampling that will convince you today’s versatile, high-quality rosés from around the world deserve to be considered much more than a summer fling.

Cocktails with Ian Fleming and James Bond: Favorite Sips of Stylish Spies

Monday, August 8, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Cocktail experts Simon Ford and Philip Greene share tales of stylish adventure (both real-life and literary) as you sip some of the favorite drinks of debonair author Ian Fleming and his most famous character.

Off the Beaten Path in Classical Greece

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Timeless tales of goddesses, kings, warriors, and heroes are embedded in the landscape of Greece. Art historian Renee Gondek highlights the art and archaeology of the classical era as she examines lesser-known ancient sites that offer attractions for modern visitors. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

America’s First Ladies: Shaping a Role, Shaping History

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

It is Washington’s most visible and powerful unelected position—and possibly the most difficult. Andrew Och, a producer of C-Span’s 44-part series First Ladies: Influence and Image, reveals how some notable women navigated the prestige and the pitfalls that come with the role of presidential wife.

A DC Theatre Season Preview

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

With more than 400 productions planned for the area’s professional theater next season, how can you tell which companies, directors, and performers should be on your radar? Lorraine Treanor, editor of DC Theatre Scene website, offers plenty of tips and picks to help you fill your theatre-going calendar.

Gelato and Sorbetto: A Cool History

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Join food historian Francine Segan as she digs into some delicious gelato, starting with the fascinating history of Italian ices and sorbets, and ending with a taste of some of the scrumptious frozen desserts that made even Alexander the Great's mouth water.

Harry Potter and the Wizarding Gene: Scientific Fact and Fantasy Fiction

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

In a muddle understanding how Muggles can have wizards on their family tree? Using principles of genetics and genomics, Eric Spana of Duke University’s biology department casts a scientific eye on of the world of J.K. Rowling's beloved Harry Potter books to explain how their characters come by their magical abilities.

Ben-Hur: The Original Blockbuster

Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 1 p.m.

Gen. Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur became a veritable commercial brand name that generated tens of millions of dollars. Learn about the unprecedented appeal of the story, and then get ready to watch Charlton Heston take the reins in the chariot race to end all chariot races in the 1959 film screened in AFI Silver’s beautifully restored art deco theater in Silver Spring.

The Pulse on Modern Medicine: Insights from NIH Experts

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

In a five-part series, listen to National Institutes of Health directors and scientific and medical experts discuss what is currently “hot” in biomedical research—and what it all means for our health and medical treatment today and in the future. This session features Eric Green, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute.

Rum: From Cane to Cask

Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Americans have been raising toasts with rum since before there officially was an America. Now rum is the latest drink to be caught in the craft-beverage boom. Get an overview of the spirit’s history in American, and try samples of rum-based cocktails, in an evening hosted by Reed Walker and Jordan Cotton, the duo behind Washington’s first rum distillery, Cotton & Reed.

Extravagant Elegance: The Gilded Age

Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Art historian Bonita Billman examines the opulent art, architecture, fashion, and interior design of the American upper crust between 1870 and 1910, and also explores the dramatic distance between their lives and those on the other end of the social and economic scales. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Death and Beyond: Comparative Reflections on World Religious Traditions

Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Finding meaning in death, as well what might follow, has long been a focus of global religions. Graham M. Schweig, a professor of philosophy and religion at Christopher Newport University, surveys differing visions of death—and the life that leads up to it— from a variety of Eastern and Western cultural perspectives.

Puzzling Out Politically Correct Language

Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

What’s the good word? With today’s rapidly evolving language trends, sometimes it’s hard to know. Linguist Anne Curzan offers perspectives on a debate about contemporary terminology that can elicit both passion and bewilderment.

The Hollywood Musical: Four Decades of Magic! Part 3: The 1950s

Monday, September 12, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

The supposedly bland Eisenhower era was never more vibrant than when its exuberant musicals filled local movie houses with Technicolor-drenched, widescreen original productions and adaptations of big Broadway hits. American music specialist Robert Wyatt examines the decade when the studio musical reached its creative zenith.

Roald Dahl: The Curmudgeon Who Built Charlie’s Chocolate Factory

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

On the anniversary of Dahl’s birth, explore the life and art of this storyteller with author Daniel Stashower. Actor Scott Sedar offers a dramatic reading of some of Dahl’s most memorable writings as we raise a toast in celebration and enjoy a special cake.

The Supreme Court: A Preview of the New Term

Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 10 a.m.

Spend a morning getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court—including the courtroom where cases are argued. Then, a panel of top legal experts previews the issues that will come before the court when the new session begins in October.

John Wilkes Booth

Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

The Many Cuisines of China

Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Skip the General Tsao’s Chicken. Cookbook author and illustrator Carolyn Phillips opens the door to the regional delights of Chinese dining that you’ve never known about when she offers an overview of the sweeping variety of cuisines within the country. Then shift from big to bite-sized as she shares tasty insights on dim sum’s traditions.

Cultural Heritage Sites of China

Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

From the grand splendor of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace to the serene beauty of the gardens of Suzhou and the grand tombs of Ming and Qing dynasty rulers, spend a day with art historian Robert DeCaroli as he introduces spectacular places in China that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

The Harlem Renaissance: From New York to Washington, D.C.

Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 10 a.m.

Historian and scholar Michele L. Simms-Burton, a former professor of African-American studies at Howard University, leads a day that examines the creators and the works that came alive during one of the most creative and intellectually productive eras in African American history, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Abstraction Takes Shape: 3D Printing and Math

Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 1 p.m.

Spend an afternoon watching and learning as mathematician and 3D designer Laura Taalman gives a 3D-printing demonstration and explains the process of transforming abstract geometrical ideas into beautiful objects.

Mid-Atlantic Cuisine on the Rise

Monday, September 19, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

From Chesapeake crab cakes to shoo-fly pie, Mid-Atlantic cuisine is now in the midst of rediscovery and revival. Chefs Jeremiah Langhorne and Spike Gjerde join Washington Post food and dining editor Joe Yonan to discuss the region’s culinary history and why it’s seeing a boost in popularity. They also talk about the trends that might be ahead on the regional dining horizon.

Frankenstein Revisited

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Two hundred years ago, Mary Shelley brought the tale of Victor Frankenstein and his man-made creature to life, and it shows no sign of fading from our consciousness. Bernard Welt of George Washington University explores the tale’s enduring power and its ever-evolving significance.

The Color of Beer

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

A Smithsonian Libraries exhibition at the Natural History Museum invites visitors to look at color in a new light. What you may not realize is that color is an important part of evaluating beer. In this special evening, beer expert Neil Witte leads a tasting that examines beer through the lens of color and what it signals about a beer’s flavor and how it was made.

Alessandro de’ Medici, the Black Prince of Florence

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Drawing on her new book, The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici, historian Catherine Fletcher presents the story of a man and a family that is a never-ending source of fascination.

Mary Roach: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Can diarrhea be a threat to national security? Why are zippers a fashion problem for snipers? Author Mary Roach, whose books deftly combine popular science and humor, learned the answers to these—and plenty of other intriguing questions—as she researched and wrote her newest book, Grunt.

A Postal Salute to National Parks: Ethel Kessler on Designing Commemorative Stamps

Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

The centennial year of the National Park Service is being marked by the U.S. Postal Service with the release of a pane of Forever stamps that celebrate 16 national parks, created by award-winning stamp designer Ethel Kessler. She talks about the commemorative collections and how they represent the regional diversity of the National Park System.

Murals, Morals, and Krazy Kat: How Gilded-Age Artists Told America’s Story

Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Art historian Theodore Barrow examines the work of various muralists who played a key role in interpreting and magnifying stories and themes of American history in the Gilded Age. He also discusses artists like Winsor McCay and George Herriman, whose work reflected an entertaining and populist version of America’s story at that time. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Ottoman Arts

Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Self-Publishing: A Practical Guide for Writers

Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 10 a.m.

In a practical and informative program, writer and self-published author Monica Bhide covers the basics of self-publishing, following the process from completed manuscript to published work. Important tips are also shared by a panel of authors who have successfully self-published, as well as founders of local publishing houses.

What is Your Attachment Style?: Building Better Relationships Through Science

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 1 p.m.

According to psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine, each of us has one of three distinct attachment styles that describe our behavior in a relationship: anxious, secure, or avoidant. Find out what your own style is—and how to figure out the style of others. It can make a big difference in how we manage our close relationships.

Madagascar: A Lost World, Found

Monday, September 26, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

RESCHEDULED: Madagascar, the world’s fourth-largest island, had managed to keep its secrets for 40 million years. Among them were plants and animals that had evolved in isolation since the days of the dinosaurs. Edwin Smith, a biologist at the National Zoo, delves into some of Madagascar’s storied mysteries and explores the possibilities of the island’s future as human civilization expands across the once-isolated home of its unique plant and animal species.

Rembrandt: Close-up on a Master

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

The 17th-century Dutch painter and printmaker Rembrandt van Rijn is one of the great innovators in Western art. Using web-based, high-resolution images that provide a look at Rembrandt’s practice from an uncommonly close point of view, art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine explores some of the most unique aspects of his artistic language. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Rock Creek Park: Washington’s True Wild Side

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

In a presentation that is a virtual journey through Rock Creek Park, local natural historian Melanie Choukas-Bradley talks about its history and shares her impressions of its natural wonders. Part of a Lecture & Bus Tour Combo.

The Change-Makers and Social Justice

Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Ideas that can change the world—and lives—all share the same source: a motivated person who dares to ask, “Why not?" Tonight’s program features individuals who used their platforms to highlight issues as diverse as xenophobia, bigotry, sexism, and other social issues which then allows further discussions on these topics.

Making the Most of Your Memory

Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

Are you worried about your memory, or someone else’s? Understand more about how memory works and how you might optimize yours from Barry Gordon, a nationally recognized expert on memory and memory disorders. It is an evening you won’t forget.

The Great Cathedrals and Basilicas of Italy

Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Join Eric Denker, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, as he leads a lavishly illustrated daylong program that focuses on the churches of Venice, Rome, Siena, and Florence that represent some of Italy’s most exceptional repositories of ecclesiastical art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

The Enduring Magnificent Seven

Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 10 a.m.

The latest version of The Magnificent Seven, starring Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington, is set for a September release. It’s a remake of the 1960 film of the same name.  Find out why this timeless story has endured across the decades, various media, and languages and cultures.

The Pulse on Modern Medicine: Insights from NIH Experts

Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

In a five-part series, listen to National Institutes of Health directors and scientific and medical experts discuss what is currently “hot” in biomedical research—and what it all means for our health and medical treatment today and in the future. This session features William Gahl, Clinical Director, National Human Genome Research Institute and Director, NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program.

Jewelers Gilded Age

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

The Pulse on Modern Medicine: Insights from NIH Experts

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

In a five-part series, listen to National Institutes of Health directors and scientific and medical experts discuss what is currently “hot” in biomedical research—and what it all means for our health and medical treatment today and in the future. This session features Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The Pulse on Modern Medicine: Insights from NIH Experts

Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

In a five-part series, listen to National Institutes of Health directors and scientific and medical experts discuss what is currently “hot” in biomedical research—and what it all means for our health and medical treatment today and in the future. This session features Julie Segre, Head, Microbial Genomics Section and Chief, Translational and Functional Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute.

The Pulse on Modern Medicine: Insights from NIH Experts

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 6:45 p.m.

In a five-part series, listen to National Institutes of Health directors and scientific and medical experts discuss what is currently “hot” in biomedical research—and what it all means for our health and medical treatment today and in the future. This session features Gary Gibbons, Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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