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 The World of Homer and Virgil View details

This ten week course is about ancient Greek and Roman antiquity. It will retell the story of Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey; and Virgil’s The Aeneid. We will identify who was Homer and Virgil. When and why they wrote these texts and what these texts are about. Also the impact and the subsequent influence of these texts. Finally, how did these texts fit within contemporary antiquity.

"Songs of Praise" View details

Over eight weeks, course members will explore through listening, analysis, activities and group discussion the development of religious choral music. The first session will trace the development of church music from chant and plainsong to Monteverdi's Vespers. The course will move on to focus on Bach's Mass in B minor, and then Handel's Messiah. Haydn's Harmoniemesse and Mozart's Requiem will be examined in the fourth session. Sessions on Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Brahms's German Requiem, and Verdi's Requiem will follow. The final session will be devoted to a study of Britten's War Requiem.

100 Years: Women Writing and Voting View details

Each session will have a different starting point/theme relating to how women's lives have changed over the last two hundred years or so relating to the vote. Reading from novels, biographies, short stories, plays, poems and songs. Creative writing and performance skills will be developed throughout the course.

1000 years of the Cinque Ports View details

The thirty eight mediaeval cinque ports of Kent and Sussex have a special place in national history and politics. In this course the peculiar membership of the confederation will be investigated and the reasons why it was considered necessary and desirable. Over time the fortunes of the ports changed principally for geographical reasons and these will be explored alongside their very colourful history. We will look at the physical evidence still extant today of this special status conferred on them. The confederation of the cinque ports still exist as an organisation and we will examine what this means.

1688-1715 From Stolen Throne to Stable State View details

Plots, intrigue, schism within the church, the ever present Jacobite threat, all this coupled with a time of great innovation and change. This course considers local and national events both behind and following the revolution of 1688. Was it a 'family spat' in which James II was deposed by his two daughters and nephew, or a wider political revolution? How did Britain cope with the mass of conflicting pressures arising from political, financial and social change to emerge as a vibrant and stable state? Combining local, national and social history to investigate how people in this area were involved in momentous changes, or coped with the impact of change upon their daily lives; this course will appeal to anyone interested in history, both national and local.

1816 - The Year without Summer View details

Lord Byron's poem 'Darkness' sums up the turbulent atmosphere of 1816, but the year also saw the creation of Frankenstein's monster, Austen's 'Persuasion', masterpieces by Constable and Turner, and the first published poems of John Keats. Against a background of rain, storms, August frosts and devastating famine, these and other works make a fascinating focus for study.

1918 Poets, Writers and the End of the First World War View details

1918 meant the end of the First World War. This had an effect on the lives and literary output of writers and poets. The first part of the day is to look at how and why the First World War ended. Therefore the political and military events of 1918 will be investigated and form a framework for the next session. The second part of the workshop is to look at how the war and the events of 1918 affected writers and poets such as Vera Brittain, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. There will be an opportunity to look at a range of poetry and writing. However the key issue is to understand how war both physically and psychologically affected individuals and therefore created a literary tradition all of its own because of the profound impact it had on some who took part.

19th Century Art, Architecture & Society View details

Nineteenth century England was full of contradictions. Women were given low status but were an increasingly forceful presence, even if relegated to certain roles. Justice was put on a firmer basis leaving a legacy of courtrooms and prisons. This was also the age of the seaside holiday. Childhood loomed large in people’s minds and children were the subject of paintings while attention was paid to school architecture. High mortality rates by modern standards meant that death was a more constant concern than it is today – this is the age of cemeteries such as Kensal Green. Better communications extended across the Empire and the world, and new attitudes evolved, some troubling to us today. The theatre and the music hall offered entertainment and the church gave spiritual succour, while the ideal of the House Beautiful introduced ‘art’ into the domestic environment.

20th Century - American Art Music View details

This 10 week course will explore the phenomenon that is American 20th century art music with its distinctive 'New World' sound full of energy and drive. We will discover the diverse and varied influences (classical, jazz, folk, 'colonial', popular, etc.) that impinge upon this 20th century American 'school' of music from the modernistic Ives to the minimalism of Reich, Glass and Adams.

20th Century Art and the Jerwood Gallery View details

By discussing a selection of the works face to face in the gallery, the course offers the opportunity to study works from this important collection and explore how these works fit into the wider context of twentieth century art and beyond. We will focus on works on display at the time of the course, including those in temporary exhibitions. Key social, political and cultural events and influences will also be evaluated in order to put specific artworks into context.

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