Find a course

151 results in History & Culture Search again

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)

Music Appreciation: Beethoven in 11 Pieces with Nicholas Redihough View details

Students on this course will be able to appreciate the music of Beethoven, starting with eleven significant compositions, one per week, and hopefully broadening out from there to include different pieces by Beethoven. We will listen to and evaluate the compositions which represent the development of Beethoven's musical style through his three main stylistic periods. Students will have the opportunity to present their own recommendations, to engage with the biography of the composer and discuss their responses to the music in its historical context, with a view to including and considering aspects of the social, political and cultural background.

The Sceptered Isle with Gary Slator View details

We will begin by looking at the later years of the reign of Richard I, and the difficulties he faced in maintaining Angevin authority throughout his Angevin possessions. We will go on to examine the subsequent collapse of the Angevin Empire under John, and his struggles with his barons that resulted in the first edition of Magna Carta. We will then make a wider assessment of the reign of Henry III, focusing in particular on his own difficulties in establishing an independent rule under his barons - and then the circumstances which then led to the outbreak of hostilities as the Barons War. Further, we will also look at the evolution of Henry's Parliament, and the issue of anti-Jewish legislation and policies that resulted in the expulsion of Jewish communities from England, as well as Henry's strategy in dealing with European affairs.

Rediscovering Impressionism 1850 – 1886 (including two London gallery visits) View details

Impressionism, “the new painting”, was an artistic revolution. We will explore its origins by contrasting it with classical aesthetic promoted by the Academie des Beaux-Arts, by highlighting the role of photography, and studying precursors such as Turner, Courbet and Manet. We will then take a close look at the Impressionist group itself in order to reveal the diversity in aims, subjects and styles among its members. We will also study some lesser known figures such as Morisot, Cassatt, and Caillebotte. Finally, we will compare the French art scene to the English, Scandinavian, German and American ones.

History of Ideas View details

A multidisciplinary course, drawing on ideas from philosophy, art, history and literature. Each session will focus on a text and we will discuss the impact and implications of its key ideas. The ideas are: Aristotle's virtue ethics; Mary Wollstonecraft's feminism; the short story form; JS Mill and freedom of speech; the blues; transhumanism.

The American Dream: Literature in Twentieth Century America View details

We will determine the concept of the American Dream and investigate its utopian and dystopian properties through a range of texts, situated in both the US and abroad. We will discover how valid the concept was and whether it continues to exert influence.

Philosophy behind the Headlines View details

The course will briefly introduce the principal ideas of a selection of philosophers and apply these to the discussion of the news headlines and the controversies that lie behind them. This course will encourage discussion and sharing of ideas about current affairs and will involve reflecting on how to make philosophy a part of this discussion. Venue is at Blue Beetle Room, next to St Mary's Church, Hendon Lane

Every Picture Tells a Story Part 3 View details

In this course we will continue to explore the Victorian world through the depictions in art of everyday life. We will be looking in depth at the life and art of William Powell Frith and Ford Maddox Brown (the eccentric Pre-Raphaelite associate) and also discussing the way many Victorian pictures are intended to be 'read', including the symbolism and social norms and expectations of the society of the time which permiate these works. It is not necessary for students to have attended previous courses to participate.

The House of Lancaster: It Wasn’t All Roses with Gary Slator View details

We will begin by looking at the circumstances which led to the Congress of Arras, the changing policy of the Burgundians, and the resulting Treaty of Arras by 1435. We will go on to look at the consequences of the death of the Duke of Bedford in the same year, and the subsequent changes in policy and strategy taken by different factions afterwards. We will also look in closer detail at the youth and character of the young King Henry VI, and provide some interpretations of his emerging personality. We will go on to examine the circumstances which then produced the economic and financial exhaustion of the 1440s and the subsequent truces between England and France that followed, changing the nature of the conflict between them.We will conclude with an examination of the different and competing personalities of English government during the later 1440s, and the consequences for English long-term goals and strategy which that produced.

Family and Local History: Research Workshop with Kevin Brown View details

Using a selection of projects you will come together once a week to compare and contrast your discoveries. You will learn a range of strategies applying a variety of sources and resources. We aim to encourage each other and to complement each other drawing on our life-experience as well as the many methods of historical enquiry used in family history, local history, and house history in social context.

Discussing Short Stories, from Leverson to Kipling Friday-pm View details

For this course we'll be discussing six stories from The Penguin Book of The British Short Story anthology, edited by Philip Hensher. We start with Suggestion, by Mrs Ernest Leverson, a story published in 1895. Over the following five sessions we'll look at one story per week, finishing with Rudyard Kipling's, 1917 story, The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat. What is the attraction of the short story for the writer? Are these stories primarily important because they're historical? What does the twenty-first century reader get from them? The tutor will supply a schedule of stories on the Canvas site. Please read, Suggestion, by Mrs Ernest Leverson, for discussion at the first session.