Biography & Autobiography Programs
Savonarola: The Moral Dictator of Florence

How could a lowly Florentine preacher almost singlehandedly overthrow the mighty Medici family at the height of the Renaissance? Historian Janna Bianchini traces how the fiery Girolamo Savonarola upended the civic and cultural norms of a great city and installed himself as the head of a ruthless, ruling theocracy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Caravaggio: Theater and Light

Art historian Nigel McGilchrist follows Caravaggio’s life and development as a painter, and traces his indelible influence on artists including Goya, Bernini, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Henry Stuart: The Best King England Never Had

Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales—once the great hope of early 17th-century Britain, educated to rule—died at the age of 18 and became all but forgotten. His biographer Sarah Fraser traces the political and religious turmoil that followed his death, and what was behind the suppression of his memory.

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Join the Emmy Award–winning filmmaker, educator, literary scholar, journalist, and cultural critic as he adds another distinction to the list: recipient of Smithsonian Associates’ 17th annual Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award.

Friday, April 13, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
Grant Wood: Beyond American Gothic

A new exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art reveals Grant Wood as a complex, sophisticated artist whose image as a farmer-painter was as mythical as the fables he depicted in his art. Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant at the museum offers an overview of the exhibition and insights into lesser-known aspects of Wood’s life and career. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Perspectives on a Presidency

From 1953 to 1961 no one dominated the world stage as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Learn about Eisenhower’s enormous influence on modern America, the Cold War, and his extraordinary accomplishments, including ending the Korean War, avoiding a war in Vietnam, and soothing relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Mark and Jay Duplass: Like Brothers

Producers, writers, directors, and actors Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass tell their story of a lifelong creative partnership based on a bond that’s resilient, affectionate, mutually empowering, and only mildly dysfunctional. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Dashiell Hammett: A Gumshoe with Polish

Grab your trench coat, dust off your fedora, and join a tribute to author Dashiell Hammett who helped to pioneer the “hard-boiled” detective story, with novels such as Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon, and The Thin Man.

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.