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World History Programs

The Renaissance is conventionally seen as a single, continuously unfolding movement that transformed the thinking and the artistic vision of the West. In this day-long seminar, art historian Nigel McGilchrist traces a rich visual itinerary through a different revolution: One rooted in multiple renaissances sparked in the cities of Florence, Bruges, and Venice. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date Saturday, March 2, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Historian Kevin Matthews discusses Winston Churchill’s tempestuous career as an army officer, war correspondent, member of Parliament, and minister in both Liberal and Conservative governments to reveal a man too often hidden by the post-World War II legends that surround him.

Event date Saturday, March 9, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The rich textures and monuments of Morocco’s four royal cities—Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat—reflect thousands of years of cultural crosscurrents. Art historian Lawrence Butler explores the artistic and architectural influences that shaped their distinctive and brilliant material cultures. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

From the vibrant paintings found in Stone Age caves to works of contemporary creators, the arts of Africa have been shaped by unique creative insight as well as by specific political, social, religious, and economic forces. Art historian Kevin Tervala explores these vibrant artistic expressions through an examination of the continent’s historical trajectory. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Event date Wednesday, March 27 to April 17, 2019 – 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

In 1943, the people of Denmark—led by their king—dared to stand up for their Jewish countrymen in collective resistance to Nazi occupation. Historian Ralph Nurnberger recounts this extraordinary act of courage on the part of an entire nation under duress.

Event date Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

As the 20th century emerged, existentialism was the first cultural and philosophical movement to become a major factor in the shaping of modern intellectual thought about what it means to be human. This absorbing seminar examines its major themes, figures, and impact, guided by Francis J. Ambrosio of Georgetown University, a specialist in 20th-century European philosophy. 

Event date Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Though most often defined by their positions in a marital parade full of intrigue, divorce, and death, the wives of Henry VIII deserve a closer look as individuals. Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger brings them out of the monarch’s shadow and reveals fuller portraits of the very different women who—often briefly—took their uneasy place beside the throne.

Event date Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The origins of the notorious screed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are a mystery, but its reality as a malicious tool used by such disparate voices as the Russian secret police, Adolf Hitler, Henry Ford, and the Charlottesville ultra-nationalists underscores its evil staying power. Historian Ralph Nurnberger unravels the story behind this infamous anti-Semitic document.

Event date Monday, April 15, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Late 18th-century England is the backdrop for the British series “Poldark” on PBS. Ross Poldark is the dashing hero caught up in the social, political, and economic changes swirling around him. Find out what the series, set in rugged Cornwall, gets right about the period.

Event date Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

We’ve held them in our hands forever, but books have radically shifted their forms over the millennia. Steven Galbraith, curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, unfolds the pages of their history and previews their future.

Event date Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Considered by some to be the “First Brexit,” the 16th-century break with Rome and Catholic Europe would forever change England’s religion, culture, communication, and place in the world. Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger examines how the Reformation transformed England into a maritime nation, a global power, and the center of a new empire.

Event date Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The turn of the 20th century found Europe’s greatest cities entering defining eras in their historical and cultural development. In a richly illustrated full-day program, lecturer George Scheper explores how the alignment of creative forces shaped three highly distinctive urban milieus—each nourished by the energy and excitement of new ideas and each witnessing the birth of modernism in the new century. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.