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Indulge your Curiosities with our Exploring the Past Lecture Series

26 April 2016

From Nelson’s navy to the Maginot Line, from prehistoric Cardiff, via medieval myth and legend, to the music of Elgar, there is something to suit all interests in the Exploring the Past free lecture series.

This wide-ranging accessible smorgasbord of talks covers themes in History, Archaeology, Heritage, Religious Studies, Literature, and Music.

Established by Dr Dave Wyatt (Cardiff University, School of History, Archaeology and Religion) to run alongside the Humanities programme at the centre (then Lifelong Learning, now Continuing and Professional Education), these talks showcase the work of a host of fantastic scholars working in a range of fields, from those at the start of their careers to more established academics with international reputations, both from within Cardiff University and from universities across South Wales. We also welcome speakers from further afield in the UK, thanks to our successful partnership with the Cardiff Branch of the Historical Association, for instance the recent talk by Dr Richard Stone (University of Bristol) on Bristol and America before the slave trade. Talks take place on Wednesdays once a month, in the Continuing and Professional Education building in Senghenydd Road (Cardiff, CF24 4AG), starting at 7.15pm. They are completely free and all are welcome.

Two exciting papers are coming up soon!  In May, our focus turns to the theme of Cardiff City Hall, with Professor Huw Pryce (Bangor University) delivering a Historical Association paper on the statues of Welsh Heroes in this iconic building: ‘Ten Heroes and One Heroine: Unveiling the Welsh Past in Cardiff City Hall, 1916’ on Wednesday 18th May. Rounding off the 2015-16 talks, Dr Leighton James (Swansea University) will be speaking on ‘The Battle of Waterloo in Experience and Memory’, on Wednesday 15th June. The current programme of talks can be viewed here:

Meanwhile, plans are well under way for 2016-17 and once again there will be something for everyone! Interested in Archaeology? Come and hear Dave Wyatt and Olly Davies (Cardiff University) talk about the latest ground-breaking discoveries at Caerau, Cardiff’s prehistoric hillfort. If myth and legend excites you, then the internationally renowned folklorist Dr Juliette Wood (Cardiff University) will be talking about ‘Dragon teeth and dragon tales’. Those who love medieval history will enjoy the paper by Swansea University’s Dr Emma Cavell on women in Wales, and Exploring the Past tutor Dr Charlotte Pickard’s account of ‘The Princess and the Pauper’ in medieval France, whilst Dr William Purkis (University of Birmingham) will deliver a Historical Association paper intriguingly entitled ‘Devotion to an empty tomb at the time of the First Crusade’. If the history of the twentieth century, and the impact and legacy of the Second World War, is more your cup of tea, come along to hear Professor Kevin Passmore discuss the Maginot Line, and Professor Richard Toye (University of Exeter) on the theme of Sir Winston Churchill.

More details will follow in the 2016-17 edition of Choices, and on the website, so keep your eyes peeled. All are very welcome at this friendly and inspirational series of talks. As we always say, there is no need to book, just come along and enjoy the talks on the night! We’ll look forward to welcoming you to the Exploring the Past free lectures soon!

If you wish to develop your passion for History and Humanities, we have a number of pathways which have been specially developed to enable adult learners to access undergraduate degrees at Cardiff University. More information may be found here

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