We have a range of courses in history and archaeology, from the Byzantine period through the French Revolution to the south Wales miners in the later twentieth century, plus a new course that examines the economic and social motives of Italian immigration to south Wales. There is also the opportunity to learn about family and community history. In art and architecture we are continuing our popular courses that look at the medieval period, and in folklore we are offering a new course that looks at the important role that fairy tales have played in culture and literature.
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Historical Studies Courses
This course will examine the rich legacy of Venetian art and culture across the Dalmatian coast in Croatia and Montenegro. This course will provide an introduction to this legacy by exploring the architecture, literature, sacred and secular art, and music in towns and cities such as Zadar, Split and Kotor, as well as those of the free Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik).
This course, which chiefly approaches the topics of race and genetics from a historical perspective, also takes an interdisciplinary approach to include disciplines as diverse as philosophy, craniology and palaeoanthropology. Over the ten weeks the tutor will also discuss the topic of DNA and will explore the Out-Of-Africa theory in detail.
Suitable for those with no previous knowledge of the subject, this course looks at the eight centuries of Moorish Spain. The three cultures - Christian, Islamic and Jewish - coexisted, fought and collaborated to spectacular effect, producing breath-taking advances in science, art and architecture, learning and the economy. This long-term example of constructive synergy is a model worthy of revisiting in our globalized, technological and increasingly secular world in which intolerance often rears its head.
This course offers an introduction to the array of sources available to the aspiring family and community historian. It is aimed at those taking their first steps towards uncovering the history of their family or community, and will reveal how to employ a logical and structured approach to researching selected sources and presenting the results in a coherent and accessible form.
The history of South Wales during this period is dominated by the issues of industrialisation and urbanisation, and politics and poverty. This course will explore these and other important topics, including migration, popular protest, religion, education, health, and expressions of culture and identity.
From Tudor times to the twentieth century great themes have dominated garden style: horticultural artifice in topiary and knots, intimacy and public display, private space and the park, entertainment and theatre, games, feasts and festivals. These recurrent elements will be studied across the centuries in their social context using the visual and written sources which record them.
A series of lectures and interactive classes looking at the history of weapons and the art of death in the Middle Ages. The class will have an opportunity to try on armour and examine weaponry of the period, as well as investigating fashions, innovations and technological advances.
The Middle Ages in popular novels and films is a colourful place full of knights and ladies. This course will examine how the medieval world saw itself though illuminated manuscripts, art and literature. These sources will help us understand the importance of status as expressed through dress and many details of the physical and spiritual worlds as depicted in literature and art.
This course offers an introduction to the major works of painting, graphic art and sculpture of the nineteenth century. Some of the topics and themes covered in the course include Romantic landscape painting, the pre-Raphaelites, the Arts and Crafts movement, and the life and key works of artists such as J.M.W. Turner and Vincent Van Gogh.
This course looks at the art of the French Impressionist painters, and how it documents patterns of urban change in the mid-nineteenth century. It will explore the changes occurring in Parisian life as represented in the work of painters such as Manet, Seurat, and Degas, and will seek to create a distinct and readable visual narrative that enhances our understanding of art and society in an age of modernity.
This course is aimed at those who have already begun to research their family or community history, and wish to take their studies further. It will focus upon some of the more specialised sources that may be found in local archives, encouraging researchers to develop a logical and coherent approach to both gathering material and presenting the results of their research.
This course looks at the interpretation of history through costumed re-enactment and archaeological experimentation. The classes will consist of lectures and class discussions examining the problems and benefits of discovering history through costume and experimentation. Classes will have the opportunity to handle and try on historical costume, weapons and armour.
A course of lectures on medieval art and architecture as seen in parish churches and cathedrals. Discussion will focus on Durham, Ripon, Jarrow, Wells and Glastonbury. Further information can be found on our website.
A course of lectures on medieval art and architecture as seen in parish churches and cathedrals. Discussion will focus on Escombe (Durham), Berkeley (Glos), Patrington (Yorks), Ludlow (Shrops) and Eardisley (Hereford).
The Fairytales of the Brothers Grimm are among the best known children’s stories. But they were not originally for children and the Brothers Grimm are only the best known of many collectors. This course looks at the history of the fairy tale and at the meanings of some of these fascinating stories and their role in modern culture.
An examination of the city of Jerusalem from its foundation up to the Byzantine period with particular emphasis on the biblical period, as revealed by archaeology. We will look at the city's location, at the city of David and Solomon, through to the time of Jesus, and beyond. The use of minutely detailed archaeological drawings will help us to walk the streets of the city in its different periods, and to participate in current debates.
This course looks at the economic and social motives of Italian immigration to south Wales, and the resulting interaction between Welsh and Italians. It studies how Italians are represented in Anglo-Welsh literature, and at the significance of recent events and commemorations, as well as recent Welsh-Italian narratives to illustrate how Italian migration emerges from the realm of communicative memory into the realm of cultural memory.
This course will introduce students to the ancient kingdoms of Africa - Egypt (KMT), Kush, Carthage, Mali, Songhay and Ghana - and consider how each of these kingdoms’ cultural, social and economic evolution and diffusion developed and shaped other societies both within and outside of Africa. The course will increase our understanding of Africa and Africans before the slave trade and the colonial era.
This course explores the social, political and economic development of the Moors. It examines the origin and development of the word ‘Moor’, the African power structures before the rise of Islam in the 7th century, through to the decline of Moorish rule and the rise of the European nation states. The course will increase our knowledge about the civilisational expansion of the Moors and will help us to better understand how the growth in scientific inquiry gave birth to what we would now call the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.
This course charts the turbulent history of the south Wales miners in the later twentieth century, a period which saw the nationalisation of their industry in 1947, a sweeping closure programme in the 1960s, and major strikes in 1972, 1974 and 1984-5, after which their defeat heralded the effective demise of deep-mining in Wales.
Many mutually-antagonistic political currents erupted into the defining conflict of its era. A precursor to the Second World War, the Spanish Civil War sucked in individuals from across the world, including many from South Wales. It was to beggar and isolate Spain for a generation whilst emboldening Hitler and Mussolini. This on-line course tracks its causes, course and (continuing) consequences.
Many mutually-antagonistic political currents erupted into the defining conflict of its era. A precursor to the Second World War, the Spanish Civil War sucked in individuals from across the world, including many from South Wales. It was to beggar and isolate Spain for a generation whilst emboldening Hitler and Mussolini. This course tracks its causes, course and (continuing) consequences.