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We offer an exceptional range of history and culture courses, including; family history and genealogy, art and music appreciation, literature, architecture, religion and philosophy. Our tutors are experts both in their subjects and in drawing parallels with our lives today. Our history and culture classes are active, and you will have opportunities to get involved and develop your research skills. We also offer trips and day schools. (See also – languages and writing)

1066 and all that View details

This course will carefully examine the situation facing the rise of Harold Godwinson in 1066, and the pressures he faced upon his accession. We will go on to look at the rival claimants to the English throne, their motives and their manoeuvres. We will finally look in more detail at the circumstances surrounding the fateful battles of Fulford, Stamford Bridge and Hastings, and consider reasons for their outcomes and the kind of tactics used, before making a final analysis of the success of William the Conqueror and his achievement of the English throne by the end of the year.

20th Century thought from German Existentialism to French Postmodernism View details

During the 20th Century two major schools of philosophy developed - one concentrated on the lived experience of the individual hoping to uncover the authentic self where it was philosophy's place to explore the meaning of being, the other suggested that such a project was impossible, that there are only multiple-selves and that there was noting special to the philosophical method. In this day long workshop both traditions as represented by the (infamous) Martin Heidegger and Michel Foucault will be explained and examined, looking to see if philosophy is still relevant as a practice.

A Beginners' Introduction to Handwriting 1550-1700 View details

This course, led by Dr Charlotte Berry, will explore the history of handwriting between 1550-1700, as well as covering key skills and strategies in tackling original texts from this period. Practical hands-on sessions are included which will give you the opportunity to start reading example texts. This course follows on from the Introduction to Paleography spring workshop.

A History of Sheffield Parks and Woodlands View details

Brian Holmshaw is leading a class for the WEA called A History of Sheffield Parks and Woodlands. It will suit beginners and people building on existing knowledge. The first session will use images, maps and documents from a range of time periods to set the scene on the history and development of Sheffield's parks, woodlands and open spaces. The following five sessions will each investigate a different park or wood in the city through site visit. Tuesday afternoons, 2.00-4.00pm for 6 weeks from 12 June to 17 July 2018 with the first session being held at Firth Park Bowling Pavilion, 420 Firth Park Rd, Sheffield S5 6HH. Book on http://www.wea.org.uk/find-course or email brian.holmshaw@btinternet.com for course content.

A Walk around Westoe View details

The starting point for the walk is the Westoe Memorial at the top of Westoe Rd, opposite the Westoe pub. The walk will take in a detailed historical survey of Westoe Village and the surrounding area looking at the changing nature of the houses, the environment and the people who lived there in the 18/19 c. The walk will begin at 6.00pm and end at 8pm. Suitable clothing and footwear are required according current weather forecasts for the day. Those who wish to discuss what has been learnt can retire to a local hostelry for refreshment.

An Introduction to Mythology View details

We begin with the Greek myths of Antigone, Odysseus and Dionysus. The tragic story of Antigone, who rebelled against her uncle the king and buried her outcast brother, performs the conflict between nature and culture which lies at the heart of human identity. Odysseus’ decade-long journey home embodies the theme of The Quest. Dionysus, the wild god of wine, reveals the pleasures and dangers of losing control. On Day Two, we uncover the world’s first ecological catastrophe: the killing of the forest spirit Humbaba in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. We draw on the themes of metamorphoses and paradox common to sources as diverse as Hindu creation myths and the Welsh Mabinogion. The day ends, appropriately, with the end of the world, as told in the Norse vision of Ragnarök. Mythical apocalypses often conclude with a rebirth, so can they help us understand the catastrophes of the present?

Archaeology: Food and Drink in the Past View details

What did our ancestors eat and why? Examine the social, cultural and economic factors that have influenced consumption in the human past via a wide range of archaeological evidence from around the world. Investigate not just what past peoples ate, but how they acquired and prepared their food, as well as dietary taboos and luxuries. No formal requirements; everyone welcome and no previous knowledge assumed

Art History: Myths, Legends and Romance in Art and Music View details

Have you ever looked at the painted ceilings in historical houses and struggled to understand the stories they show, or wondered why Orpheus went into the underworld? Myths, legends and romances have been the lifeblood of art and music throughout history. Enjoy this journey though the landscape of literature from ancient to modern times. Hear the tales behind the sculptures and pictures, from the flood stories of ancient Iraq and the bible to Beatrix Potter and Wind in the Willows. Listen to the music, from folk tunes to the symphony orchestra and the operas, music inspired by the stories of the ancient heroes in Greek mythology and the intrigues of the devious gods. Enjoy the golden braid of literature, art and music from different epochs: Babylonian and Egyptian myths. Greek and Roman stories. Bible stories. Dark Ages literature. Arthurian legends. Medieval Romances. Shakespearean tales. Middle Eastern tales. Victorian and 20th century stories in art.

Art History: The 'New Woman' and Art - Women Artists from 1870 - 1930 View details

This lecture explores the art of several women artists who played a significant role in the early developments of modern art, such as Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Sonia Delaunay, and Natalya Goncharova. Their lives and careers will be set in perspective with the concept of "the New Woman". Coined at the very end of the nineteenth century, it referred to the growing number of independent career women. In the art world, more and more women became professional artists and a number of them were at the forefront of artistic innovation.

Black History View details

This second part of the course will further look at the contribution of women from ancient times to the present in roles such as rulers, warriors, revolutionaries and inventors. We also have features on ancient and pre-colonial South Africa and explore some of the art and culture of some of the ancient kingdoms of Nigeria. We will look at aspects of the Black African/Caribbean experience from a Sociological and Psychological perspective, with a section on how African people are represented (or mis-represented) in various forms of media. We will also look at African contributions to literature, and look at aspects of the philosophies of some of our greatest leaders, including a special feature on the Black Panthers .

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