Day courses will appear on our Online Shop on Enrolment Day (15/08)
SPIRIT OF PLACE – THE RISE OF LANDSCAPE IN ART
Monday, 13.30-15.30 (Mark Beesley)
30 October – 27 November 2023
Half Term: N/A
In this course we look at how landscape as a subject for art developed over the centuries, from Renaissance Italy, to 17thcentury Holland and 18th century Britain, to the more personal response to nature of the Romantic movement. Scientific advances and new ideas in painting affected the treatment of landscape in 19th century and the countryside offered artists an alternative to urban society in 20th, while in recent times it has been portrayed increasingly as something fragile.
EUROPE 1919-1949: EUROPEAN HISTORY FROM THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES TO THE FOUNDATION OF NATO
Tuesday, 13.30-15.30 (Dr Ian Luff)
12 September – 21 November 2023
Half term: 24 October
The course will study the interplay between major powers of Europe – and their largely infamous leaders – between the Treaty of Versailles, signed to end the First World War in 1919 and the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 which originated in the ashes of the Second.
These treaties can be seen as marking the start and finish of the United States’ 20thCentury attempt to distance itself from European affairs after reluctant involvement in the First World War. In refusing to ratify the first treaty the US attempted to turn its back on Europe; by facilitating the second it recognised the folly of any such attempt in a policy reversal that has endured ever since but may not endure forever. The effects on Europe of the consequential retreat and subsequent advance of the economic and military influence of ‘Uncle Sam’ will also feature in the course.
We will begin by studying the internal situations of Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the Soviet Union and, briefly, the USA, in the 1920s and 1930s before looking at the forces, personalities, events, and great-power interplay which resulted in the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939 and US involvement from December1941. We will then look at the events of what had by then become the Second World War to identify the origins of the tensions which accompanied the rise of the superpowers and brought them into the heart of a divided Europe to begin the tense ‘Cold War’ confrontation in the late 1940s.
This ten week course will study 20th Century History at roughly A level standard. It is open – and accessible – to anybody with an interest in Europe in this period regardless of any or no previous experience of studying history. All that is required is an inquisitive mind and a receptivity to the tutor’s ‘interactive lecture’ style.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SULTANATE OF OMAN
Wednesday, 14.00-16.00 (Dr Graham Platts)
20 September – 29 November 2023
Half term: 25 October
Oman is a relatively remote and little-known part of the world, but a rapidly progressing country at the southern end of the Arabian peninsular. The combination of cherished traditions and modern developments provides a fascinating basis for exploration by armchair travellers or those who plan to visit. The particular focus will be on aspects of Oman’s geography, history and culture.
SANDEL, THE TYRANNY OF MERIT: WHAT’S BECOME OF THE COMMON GOOD?
Thursday, 14.00-16.00 (Dr Nicholas Joll)
21 September – 30 November 2023
Half Term: 26 October
THE COURSE. This is a ten-week reading course.
AUTHOR & BOOK. Michael Sandel is a professor of philosophy at Harvard University. One of the few philosophers to have lectured in a stadium, and a pioneer of Massive Online Open Courses, Sandel began his career as a critic of John Rawls, who was himself a philosophical titan. The Tyranny of Merit was published in 2020. It argues – in an accessible manner – for a view that philosopher Elizabeth Anderson has expressed as follows. ‘[T]he very conception of life as a relentless competitive race unjustly denigrates the losers, produces a cynical and arrogant elite, corrupts institutions of higher education, and replaces democracy with technocracy’ and, thereby, ‘creates populist backlash’.
EDITIONS. There is a paperback and a hardback (and an electronic edition and an audio-book). The paperback is inexpensive.
PROCEDURE. In the first week I will introduce Sandel and we will discuss the book’s prologue and its introduction. (Those pages comprises pp. 3–15 of the hardback edition and – I believe – the same pages of the paperback.)