Senator Elizabeth Warren, Kal Penn, Remembering Cokie Roberts and More Programs Streaming in November

Smithsonian Associates Streaming has assembled an exceptional lineup of guests for some fascinating conversations this month

Image of a woman, Elizabeth Warren, smiling in a blue shirt
Senator Elizabeth Warren will discuss her new book Pinkie Promises with USA Today Washington Bureau Chief, Susan Page, in a Smithsonian Associates Streaming event Monday, Nov. 8.

Tuesday, November 2

What Cokie Roberts Did Reflections On A Life Well Lived: To call Cokie Roberts a legendary journalist merely scratches the surface of the life of this bestselling author and champion for women who was a fixture on national radio and television for 40 years. Steve Roberts, journalist, author, educator and Cokie’s husband of 53 years, in conversation with their daughter Rebecca Roberts, reflects on Cokie’s many accomplishments and how she lived each day with a devotion to helping others. 6:30 p.m. ET $20-25


Wednesday, November 3  

Kal Penn: You Can’t Be Serious: Actor, writer and producer Kal Penn took a sabbatical from his entertainment career to serve as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement under President Obama—a very unexpected detour for the star of the Harold and Kumar movies and TV’s “House”. Join him as he draws from his new memoir You Can’t Be Serious to talk about his journey from Hollywood to Washington and back again, as well as why your life can have more stories and more choices than you thought. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-25


Thursday, November 4

Habitats of the World: The world's habitats are often organized into various categories that are mainly grounded in botany, but can also be informed by climatology, geology and other paradigms. But for an amateur naturalist, birder, or outdoor enthusiast, a more intuitive tool for identifying habitat classifications has been lacking—until now. 12 p.m. ET $20-25


American Comics: A Puckish History: Beginning with cartoonist Thomas Nast’s lasting images of Uncle Sam and Santa Claus created during the Civil War, author Jeremy Dauber traces the sweeping story of cartoons, comic strips and graphic novels and their continuing hold on the American imagination. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-25


Baltimore’s Lexington Market: Since 1782, Baltimore's Lexington Market—the oldest public market in America—has brought fresh food and delicious flavors to the community long before "farm to table" was a hot culinary trend. Christine Raiexplores its history and the stories behind some of its best-known foods that define the authentic taste of Baltimore. 7 p.m. ET $25-30


Friday, November 5

Creative Instagram Content for Artists and Entrepreneurs: With limited time and money, artists and other small business owners need an effective content strategy that makes posting quick, easy and impactful. In a five-session afternoon course, learn to use every aspect of the Instagram app (reels, stories, IGTV, posts), optimize your profile, establish your brand and create fun and engaging posts designed to retain and grow your following. 12 p.m. ET $80-110


Recipes from the President’s Ranch: Home Cooking as Diplomacy: Chef Matthew Wendel, who spent many years working for President George W. Bush, shares recipes, photographs, stories and memories of daily life as the personal chef and personal assistant to the president, as well as a career in which he served in positions at the State Department and the Office of Presidential Advance. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-25


Saturday, November 6 

Ireland and Britain: 800 Years of Conflict: Ireland and Britain share a troubled past. Historian Jennifer Paxton untangles the complicated threads in the story of the Irish and British peoples and analyzes how a heritage of conflict is being transformed by new opportunities and new challenges. 9:30 a.m. ET $80-90


Sunday, November 7

Magnificent Movie Music: The Heartbeat of Film: Film music can inspire and romance us. It can make emotional statements that a script simply can’t, subvert a plot with a completely different subtext and inject irony, fear, or humor when there is apparently none on screen. Music can salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin in a series that explores the stories behind some of the greatest film music ever composed. 3 p.m. ET $25-35


Monday, November 8

An Evening with Senator Elizabeth Warren: Senator Elizabeth Warren’s political outlook is grounded in the experiences of growing up in Oklahoma. She shares those valuable life lessons with the next generation of leaders—especially young girls—in her newest book, Pinkie Promises. Join Warren as she shares the inspiration behind the book, the meaning of “pinkie promises,” and what girls can achieve, even when told they cannot. 6:30 p.m. ET $20-25


Tuesday, November 9

Truffle Hound: Following The World’s Most Seductive Scent: The elusive, complex and baffling scent of the truffle sent James Beard-award-winning author Rowan Jacobsen down a rabbit hole. He emerged into a mysterious secretive world of black-market deals, obsessive chefs and some very determined dogs. Hear Jacobsen’s colorful account of this world, and the memorable truffle hunters he met along the way. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-25


Wednesday, November 10

Pure Land Buddism: An Easier Path To Nirvana?: Pure Land Buddhism—the most popular of the Buddhist traditions in the East—remains surprisingly unknown in the West. For a closer look at its thought and practice, join Charles B. Jones, professor of religion at the Catholic University of America, who traces the practice’s history and shares some of the features and goals of this prevalent form of Buddhism. 6:30 p.m. ET $20-25


Thursday, November 11

Artists in Depth at the Barnes Foundation: The School of Paris: In the early years of the 20th century, Paris became a magnet for artists from all over the world and the birthplace for some of the principal innovations of modern art. Using high-definition Deep Zoom technology, Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen guides a live virtual tour that highlights works in the museum’s collection by Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani and Soutine that bring this seminal period to life. Enrolled participants in the Smithsonian World Art History Certificate earn 1/2 credit. 10 a.m. ET $30-35


Friday, November 12

Wines of Oregon: Expand your knowledge of the world of wine as you sip along with sommelier Erik Segelbaum in an exploration of Oregon’s signature grapes. This immersive program includes a curated personal tasting kit to enhance the experience, which can be picked up from a local Washington, D.C. wine bar. 6 p.m. ET $65-75


Wednesday, November 17

Ashcan School of Painting: Art historian Bonita Billman examines how a group of painters created powerful and personal works that revealed unvarnished truths about urban life in the early 20th century. Enrolled participants in the Smithsonian World Art History Certificate earn 1/2 credit. 6:30 p.m. ET $30-35


Finding Earth 2.0: The Search for Habitable Worlds: For thousands of years people have wondered if there are planets like Earth, if they’re common, and if any have signs of life. Sara Seager, a professor of physics and planetary science at MIT who is one of the leading experts on the search for Earth-like planets, shares the latest advances in this revolutionary field. Afterward, Peter Plavchan, a professor of physics and astronomy at George Mason University, brings the skies into your living room with remote control of the GMU Observatory. 6:45 p.m. ET $20-25


Thursday, November 18

Botanical Sketching: Learn a mindful-drawing approach to botanical sketching. This workshop emphasizes freedom to interpret botanicals with line sketching by observing the geometric and organic shapes of plants. The class is open to sketchers of all levels who would like to try a new way of portraying botanicals. 1 p.m. ET $45-55

Volcanologist Kirt Kempter leads a virtual geologic tour of the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado in a Smithsonian Associates Streaming program Monday, Nov. 22. Courtesy of Kirt Kempter

Monday, November 22

Supervolcanoes of the San Juan Mountains: The geologic story of the rugged San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado reveals an explosive volcanic origin, including 18 supervolcano eruptions that peaked between 26 and 28 million years ago. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter on a virtual tour of the region to discover how these massive eruptions forever transformed the landscape in the blink of an eye. 7 p.m. ET $25-30


Tuesday, November 30

For the Love of Wisdom: The Value of Philosophy in Everyday Life: In the shadow of the Second World War and the looming threat of nuclear holocaust, British philosopher Bertrand Russell signaled an urgent need to recover the practice of philosophy in everyday life. Steven M. Emmanuel, dean of the Susan S. Goode School of Arts and Humanities at Virginia Wesleyan University, examines Russell’s writings on the practical value of philosophy to find important and timely lessons for today’s turbulent and uncertain times. 6:30 p.m. ET $25-30


To view the November Smithsonian Associates digital program guide, visit