Lectures and Courses

The City: From Palmyra to Mumbai to Boston

March 2–May 11, 2016

The recent tragic destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra by ISIS, and the ensuing world outrage, underscores how powerfully cities embody human history and cultural memory. This ten-week course explores the remarkable stories of the great ancient cities of Ur, Eridu, and Palmyra, and then examines contemporary Asian megacities and the future of our own city—Boston.

For more information on the exhibition “Megacities Asia,” which inspired this course, and other related programs, visit mfa.org/megacities.

Above: Hema Upadhyay, 8 x 12 (detail), 2009. Aluminum sheets, car scrap, enamel paint, plastic sheets, found objects, M-seal, resin and hardware material on Marine ply 16 mm. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.

Ticket Packages

Multi-session course packages are available for purchase after 10 am, January 7, 2016.  Please note that this course package is not available after the date of the first session.

For more information and to purchase individual sessions, select from the “In This Series” section.

Ticket Policies


In This Series


May 4, 2016
1:00 pm–2:30 pm

Join Boston Lyric Opera performers to investigate how cities have been central and dramatic characters in operatic repertoire.


May 11, 2016
1:00 pm–2:30 pm

Hear from a panel of those thinking about (and acting upon) our city's future, including experts in the arts, transportation, education, and youth.