What we're about

Profs and Pints (https://www.profsandpints.com) brings professors and other college instructors into bars, cafes, and other venues to give fascinating talks or to conduct instructive workshops. They cover a wide range of subjects, including history, politics, popular culture, horticulture, literature, creative writing, and personal finance. Anyone interested in learning and in meeting people with similar interests should join. Lectures are structured to allow at least a half hour for questions and an additional hour for audience members to meet each other. Admission to Profs and Pints events requires the purchase of tickets, either in advance (through the Brown Paper Tickets link provided in event descriptions) or at the door to the venue. Many events sell out in advance, and tickets for Cambria Hotel talks can be purchased only online and in advance. Your indication on Meetup of your intent to attend an event constitutes neither a reservation nor payment for that event.

Although Profs and Pints has a social mission--expanding access to higher learning while offering college instructors a new income source--it is NOT a 501c3. It was established as a for-profit company in hopes that, by developing a profitable business model, it would be able to spread to other communities much more quickly than a nonprofit dependent on philanthropic support. That said, it is welcoming contributions (separate from any ticket purchases) to help cover its advertising costs as it seeks to build up audiences large enough to sustain itself in metro Washington DC and, potentially, other cities. All money contributed to this group will be spent on advertising and promotion to reach larger audiences.

Thank you for your interest in Profs and Pints.


Peter Schmidt

Upcoming events (5)

Learn about cats in folklore and fairy tales

Online event

“Folkloric Felines,” a look at cats in folklore and fairy tales, with Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman, former instructors at The Ohio State University and co-founders of The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic. [ Tickets: $12.00 https://www.crowdcast.io/e/meow A recorded version of this talk will remain available online. ] As any cat owner/servant will tell you, cats are special in ways that make them more than mere domesticated pets. Human’s fascination with felines is nothing new. The cat was worshiped in ancient Egypt, feared as an agent of the Devil in early Europe, and celebrated and reviled throughout the Western world as a witch’s familiar, a creature of magic and mischief. Cats have been associated with a huge variety of folk beliefs, folk magics, and folktales. But did you know about the enormous Cat Sith of Celtic folklore, the Norwegian Forest Cats of the goddess Freya, or the monstrous Yule Cat of Iceland? Of course, cats prowl through our fairy tales, too. We will quest with “Puss in Boots,” converse with “The White Cat,” observe the ascension of royalty in “The King of Cats,” and more. Sometimes they are kind helpers, sometimes they are dastardly tricksters. Frequently they are both in the exact same tale. With a cat, you can never be sure what you’re going to get! Join Sara and Brittany as they explore how our fabulous and spoiled housecats have inspired the human imagination. It will be more fun than swatting something off a shelf or chasing the beam of a laser pointer.

Learn about America's Gilded Age and how it resembles our own era

Make America Gilded Again?” a look at America’s “Gilded Age” and how it compares to our current time, with Allen Pietrobon, assistant professor of Global Affairs at Trinity Washington University and former professorial lecturer of history at American University. [ Tickets: $12.00 https://www.crowdcast.io/e/gilded A recorded version of this talk will remain available online. ] Crippling economic crisis. Fears related to immigration and disease. Income inequality. Corporate monopolies. Technological disruption. Corporate money unduly influencing politics. Sound like 2020? Actually, here we’re talking about America from 1875 to 1900. Known as “The Gilded Age,” it was a crucial era of industrialization, political turmoil, and social change that set the United States on the path to becoming the most economically powerful country in the world. Expansive new factories needed unskilled workers, who arrived via the largest wave of immigration in American history. New arrivals from Europe and Asia poured into rapidly expanding major cities, places many Americans saw as rife with corruption and infested with squalor—certainly not the “real” America. As mass immigration transformed the country, some Americans formed “progressive” community groups that sought to preserve American values by teaching immigrants not to cook their seemingly revolting ethnic foods like hamburgers and spaghetti. With these changes came economic and social turbulence and dislocation. Many enterprising Americans took advantage of the “disruption” to succeed. Others were left behind, ill-equipped to compete in the new economy. The wealth gap between the rich and the poor was astronomical as industrial tycoons like the Rockefellers and the Carnegies built unthinkably large business empires and then used their monopoly power to hold down wages and shut down competition. They deployed their vast profits to buy politicians, corruptly tilting politics and the economy in their favor. Strikes and labor violence, protests and counter-protests bloodied the streets. All the while Americans grew increasingly divided and angry at their political leaders. One of their proposals: a ban on certain “dangerous” immigrant groups that the politicians tried to pin the blame on. Does the Gilded Age seem familiar yet? Join award-winning professor Allen Pietrobon as he describes this tumultuous period and explores why this all sounds so familiar to us today. Among the questions he’ll answer: How did this period draw to a close? Might ours have a similar end?

Gain a new appreciation of the pivotal artist Marcel Duchamp

Profs and Pints Online presents: “The Art of Marcel Duchamp,” with Lisa Lipinski, assistant professor of art history at the George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and teacher of a graduate art history seminar on Duchamp and his legacy there. [ Tickets: $12.00. Available at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/duchamp. This talk will remain available in recorded form. ] The French artist Marcel Duchamp is considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, leaving his mark on contemporary art and the institution of art itself as he sought “to put art back in the service of the mind.” Come hear an exploration of Duchamp’s career and his legacy, which will look at how he thought deeply about art and aesthetics. Duchamp focused the fundamental question of what art is, as well as the role of the art spectator, setting him apart from those who had focused on how art is made and on the genius of the artist. In 1913, he wondered: Can one make works which are not works of “art”? It was a typical Duchampian question, both serious and playful, revealing his delight in contradiction. Four years later, Duchamp attempted to exhibit a men’s urinal with the title Fountain in an art exhibition which was organized by the newly established Society of Independent Artists in New York. Was this ordinary piece of plumbing a work that was not a work of ‘art’? For the artists on the organizing committee, the answer was yes, and they rejected it for reasons which may seem obvious today. Fountain is the most iconic readymade—Duchamp’s term for a piece made from an ordinary, found object—and the original was lost before ever being publicly exhibited. This talk will leave you with much more knowledge and appreciation of the Duchamp works that remain accessible for our enjoyment.

Learn about Bob Marley from a scholar who knew him

Online event

Profs and Pints Online presents: “Lessons from Bob Marley,” an insider’s perspective on a musical revolutionary and healer, with Vivien Goldman, a New York University adjunct professor who teaches a course on Bob Marley and is the author of two books on him. [ Tickets: $12.00. Available at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/marley. A recorded version of this talk will remain available online.] Since the start of the pandemic, the music of Bob Marley and the Wailers has been downloaded 27 times more than usual, according to Billboard. What was it about this legendary musician that makes us turn to him in trying times? Come gain a rich new understanding of Marley from Vivian Goldman, an award-winning writer and musician whose most recent book on Marley is The Book of ‘Exodus’: The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Album of the Century. As an adjunct professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she teaches courses on Bob Marley, Reggae and Island Records. She also knows this subject personally: After spending seven months as Marley’s Island Records publicist, Goldman went on to cover him closely as a journalist until his death in 1981 at the age of 36, traveling with him and staying at his Kingston home. In her interactive, online talk, Goldman will discuss some of the key aspects of Marley’s life and creativity that have enabled him to remain so relevant long after his passing. She’ll discuss how he came to be the defining voice of what was then called the Third World, and how his destiny took him much further than the role society had intended for him. Marley’s was a path full of challenges. As the son of a brief cross-class and race marriage, the light-skinned youth was often rejected by both races. The music industry ripped him off throughout his early career. Politically-motivated gunmen, whom he had personally tried to help, tried to kill him in his own Kingston home in 1976. Yet across a spectacular musical canon, Marley refused to become bitter. He never lost his commitment to keeping hope at the heart of his anti-establishment, worldly-wise, spiritual Rasta rebel music. Come learn about his sources of strength, his beliefs, and the impact he continues to have on music and society today.

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