News, Politics, & Media
Undercover with the FBI

Mike German shares the hard lessons he learned as an undercover agent with a clear-eyed assessment of the threats we may or may not face, how to fight them, and how to preserve our core values in the process.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
George Orwell in the 21st Century

The publisher of Nineteen Eighty-Four is rushing to print enough copies to keep up with fresh demand for the 1948 classic. Learn why Orwell scholar Andrew Rubin is not at all surprised that everything Orwellian seems new again.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Inside the World of Diplomacy

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.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Orange Is the New Black: Why We Love Going Behind Bars

The Netflix series set in fictional Litchfield Penitentiary has become a pop-culture phenomenon as it takes on issues like race, class, sexuality, identity, and the criminal justice system. Stef Woods of American University examines the impact of OITNB and why after five seasons viewers are still making time for the women serving time at Litchfield.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Cooking Gene: Southern Food’s Deepest Roots

Traditional Southern food is an integral part of our national culinary heritage, yet the question of who "owns" it is linked to wider issues of race, politics, and history. Culinary historian and cook Michael Twitty, a descendant of both African and European ancestors, discusses how he traced the roots of soul food, barbecue, and other staples of Southern cooking—as well as those of his own family.

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Plastics: Separating the Good from the Bad

We have a complicated relationship with plastics: We depend on the material’s convenience and affordability every day, but the overabundance of waste it produces harms the environment. Smithsonian scientists Odile Madden and Pierre Comizzoli discuss how their own work—in museum conservation and research biology, respectively—approaches plastics’ potential and its problems.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Tiki Time! Exotic Cocktails and the Cult of the Tiki Bar

In countless restaurants and bars, rum drinks topped with paper umbrellas, “exotic” foods, and fantasy Polynesian décor offered mid-century America’s favorite tropical escape. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, lead a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki culture and its modern revival, and offer samples of their bar’s original cocktail recipes.

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.