May
22
Tue
The Cult of Celebrity 5/8 (Fame and Adulation)
May 22 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Cult of Celebrity 5/8 (Fame and Adulation) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers exciting and innovative lectures in Art History, Literature, Opera and Music.

This course will explore the rise of celebrity in the art world and how this change in status not only affected the output of artists but also their lives and in some cases the individuals depicted by them. It will show that the impact of these changes is still with us and continues to govern the way we appreciate and value art. We will start by looking at very early un-autographed works before moving on to look at iconic artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer and others. The themes will be the rise of the signature work, the rise of the individual and thus creation of the idea of the artist, fame, adulation, riches and the celebrity endorsement.

Fame and Adulation, The South Pacific Voyages of Captain Cook

A venture into the South Pacific to explore fame and celebrity in the 18th century through the voyages of Captain Cook will take us to the discoveries of Joseph Banks. What were the motivations that drove British explorers to venture halfway across the world into the unknown? We will look at the art, artists and literature associated with this period and how this informed the attitude of both artists and explorers. We will also look at how the making of and dissemination of the celebrity portrait was integral to the promotion and success of those that embarked on these missions.

Systems Aspects of Electric Commercial Aircraft – Researching the Challenges to Introduction
May 22 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

There is a strong drive to find more environmentally friendly solutions in the transport industry at the moment. Electric systems have a great environmental potential in terms of reducing emissions. Only a few years ago the idea of carrying commercial passengers on working routes such as London to Paris on an all-electrically powered aircraft would have been considered an impossibility: Yet we can now see the rapid progress of electric aircraft propulsion systems that is starting to make this a reality.

Professor Andreas Schafer from UCL is a key player in the EPSRC-funded work that has been underway in UK research institutions in recent years. A great opportunity to find out more about the evolution of enabling technologies and the potential paths forward. Join this free lecture to find out more about how electric systems can affect the future of commercial air transport.

This lecture is free to attend, we look forward welcoming you to our London HQ.

Mathematical Research from Toy Models by Professor Tadashi Tokieda
May 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Mathematical Research from Toy Models by Professor Tadashi Tokieda @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

JOINT LONDON MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY/ GRESHAM COLLEGE ANNUAL LECTURE

‘Toy’ here has a special sense: an object of daily life which you can find or make in minutes, yet which, if played with imaginatively, reveal behaviours that keep seasoned mathematicians and physicists puzzled for a while. The lecture will consist of tabletop demos of such toys, together with simple, robust modelling of what is going on. The theme that emerges is singularity.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

May
23
Wed
Exhilarating Places 5/10 (North Cornwall)
May 23 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
Exhilarating Places 5/10 (North Cornwall) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers exciting and innovative lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

How can we know, before we ever go there, that a new place will exhilarate us? Painting, photography, fiction, travel-writing, and poetry can put us on the plane with expectations, and pictures in our minds, and of course we then match what they promise against the realities that await us. Afterwards, art and writing intensify what we found, show us sights we missed, clothing our memories of them in the aura of legend as they had our hopes, so we may wonder if they exist when we are not there. Exhilarating Places visits charismatic cultural centres of our world and others we have dreamed of and invented. They catch our eye and instantly deliver both real and imagined destinations in great art and writing.

North Cornwall

Alfred Wallis’s untutored genius in a quayside hut sparked a school of painting in St Ives, its coast already vibrant with primeval energy, the myths of Arthur and Tristan, and the literary albums of Hardy and Lawrence. Here nature’s spaces were made new by Nicholson, Hepworth, Berlin, Heron, Winter, Barns-Graham, Frost, Lanyon and the Hiltons while Lawrence, Mansfield, Woolf, Barker, Clemo, WS Graham, David Wright, Heath-Stubbs and Ridler sang of dream-like landscapes.

The 30 Years’ War (1618-48) and the Second Defenestration of Prague by Professor Peter Wilson
May 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The 30 Years’ War (1618-48) and the Second Defenestration of Prague by Professor Peter Wilson @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Professor Wilson will examine the causes, conduct and consequences of the Thirty Years’ War, Europe’s most destructive conflict prior to the two 20th-century world wars. The talk takes place on the 400th anniversary of the defenestration of three Habsburg officials by Bohemian malcontents in Prague. This violent act triggered a crisis which expanded into general war despite the best efforts of most of those involved to contain it. Why it took so long to make peace, and what extent the conflict can be considered a ‘religious war’ will also be discussed.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Media Reporting of Medical Advances: Helpful or Misleading? w/@profmjelliott
May 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Media Reporting of Medical Advances: Helpful or Misleading? w/@profmjelliott @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

The media and medicine have different perspectives. At least in part, this is due to a preference for individual human stories over detailed analysis of results. This lecture will use examples of how the public may be misled and consider the implications of such misunderstanding.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Violence against Women and Girls: Reason to Hope?
May 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

What hope is there for ending violence against women in the City, nationally and around the world? Currently in the UK, two women are killed by a current or former partner and around the world one in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused. Violence against women and girls is pervasive and not only experienced physically. It can be an everyday and ongoing experience of exclusion, objectification and marginalisation, and can result in torment both emotionally and mentally. In recent years we have witnessed an increase in sexual abuse and violence against women all over the world including towards the highest profile women in UK politics.

Join us as our panel of speakers talk about reasons to hope in the face of such violence, and point to ways we can all be part of positive change.

Speakers include:

Lisa Gormley, LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security – From 2000 to 2014 Lisa served as a legal adviser at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat, mostly specialising in women’s rights in international law. During this time, she participated in the negotiation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted in 2002, and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which was adopted in 2011.

Since leaving Amnesty International, Lisa has been teaching the module on women’s human rights law on the LLM program at Essex University (2015 and 2016). She has also written the Practitioners’ Guide on Women’s Access to Justice for Gender Based Violence (PDF) as a consultant for the International Commission of Jurists, published on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2016.

Iman Abou Atta OBE, Director Tell MAMA – Iman is the Director of Tell MAMA (Measuring antiMuslim Attacks) project in the UK. She is also the Founder of two not-for-profit organisations established to facilitate the socio-economic and political development of the Arab region. One of these being SCEME – Social Change Through Education in the Middle East and North Africa(www.sce-me.org). This organisation works on education for women and families and is also working on stopping the trafficking of young females from Iraq to neighbouring countries in the Middle East. Iman dedicates her time and efforts to building the capacity and skills of young people, women, civil society and political leaders across Europe and the Middle East to promote inclusive, participatory and cohesive societies.

Dr Elaine Storkey – a philosopher, sociologist, and theologian, who has held university posts at Kings College, London, Stirling, Oxford, Calvin College USA, and the Open University.

A broadcaster and writer, she has been involved with the BBC for 30 years. Her writing includes eight books and hundreds of journal articles. Elaine is a Fellow of Aberystwyth University, Senior Member of Newnham College, Cambridge and former Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity; she has also lectured in Africa, Asia and Haiti. Her presidency of Tearfund, in aid and development spanned 17 years and influenced her most recent book, Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women. For 28 years she served on the General Synod of the Church of England and has acted as Archbishop’s adviser, delegate to the World Council of Churches, and on many Boards and Commissions

Love: Analogue VS Digital
May 23 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Love: Analogue VS Digital @ Library Private Members Club | England | United Kingdom

Re-invent your evening and join us for a fascinating lecture from a high profile speaker in a quirky central London venue.

Five years into the onslaught of Dating Apps and that smile has truly been “swiped” off our faces…and this has probably happened more than once. We were excited, happy, young and of course naive…but did we really think dating apps would change the way we meet people forever?

If you’re interested in how much evolution has influenced your partner selection and how genetics, neuroscience and technology can sway who you fall in love with this talk is for you!

This is not a singles event! Anyone who is interested how love is perceived in this complex social and technological world should come along and learn something new.

Love: Analogue vs Digital

Navigating modern dating in the digital age (UX, gamification, choice fatigue)

The neuroscience of love

The battle between hormones & logic

21st-century dating etiquette

Explore your past dating patterns

See you there

Shar

https://www.maitaigroup.com/about

 

May
24
Thu
Wasps: the Neglected Darlings of the Insect World + Conservation 4.0 – Will robots take your job?
May 24 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Wasps: the Neglected Darlings of the Insect World + Conservation 4.0 – Will robots take your job? @ Huxley Lecture Theatre at ZSL London Zoo | England | United Kingdom

Wasps: the Neglected Darlings of the Insect World

Dr Seirian Sumner, Reader in Behavioural Ecology, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, UCL

What’s a wasp? Wasps are much more than the yellow and black striped pesky picnic-botherers. Wasps are one of the most diverse groups of insects; they out number species of bees and wasps combined. Yet, they are the most maligned member of the insect world – hated and avoided. Bees get praise and attention for their good services as pollinators of our wild flowers and crops. In contrast, wasps are regarded as ‘pointless’. In fact, wasps perform a wealth of important ecosystem services as key predators of arthropod pest populations. Dr Sumner will explore the importance of wasps in keeping the pest of crops and the vectors of human disease at bay.

Conservation 4.0 – Will robots take your job?

Professor Kate Jones, Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, Dept. Genetics, Evolution and Environment, UCL

Wild nature and natural ecosystems are declining rapidly as humans use more of the earth’s resources and change climate patterns.Thanks to new sensor technologies such as animal movement tags, camera traps and passive acoustic sensors and new ways of analysing these data with artificial intelligence, scientists studying the impact of anthropogenic change now have access to huge amounts of data about our changing environment and declining wildlife populations. Professor Jones argues that although these technologies will help us to better understand the natural world and to further engage people with their environment, they have the potential to be very disruptive and discusses whether we are really ready for Conservation 4.0!

Dreadnought Submarine Programme – Putting a Modern Nuclear Plant on a Submarine
May 24 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Held at the Institution’s London headquarters, we invite you to join the latest Thomas Lowe Gray Lecture lecture will discuss The Dreadnought Submarine Programme, a high-profile £41bn project.

Hear an insight into new facility requirements, in support of design, manufacture and construction. Get an overview of programme complexity and size, and facility requirements demanded by a modern nuclear product of this scale. Hear a summary of key challenges, including those specific to putting nuclear plant on a submarine.

This lecture is free to attend: please book your place on the IMechE website.

Transparency in the Family Court: What Goes on Behind Closed Doors? by Jo Delahunty QC (@JoDQC)
May 24 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Transparency in the Family Court: What Goes on Behind Closed Doors? by Jo Delahunty QC (@JoDQC) @ Barnard's Inn Hall | England | United Kingdom

Who does the story belong to: the family or society? Where and how are the lines drawn? Until relatively recently the Family Court door was closed to all save the parties and professionals involved in the case. A 2014 initiative aimed to secure ‘an immediate and significant change in practice’ to usher in greater understanding of the way in which the courts operate. The aim was to improve public awareness of the court process and to increase confidence in its actions. ‘Transparency’ was the watch word of the day. Has it worked?

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

The physics of hot air w/@DrSDFitzgerald
May 24 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
The physics of hot air w/@DrSDFitzgerald @ The Royal Institution of Great Britain | England | United Kingdom

Energy use worldwide continues to soar and buildings are responsible for a large percentage of this use. Join new Royal Institution Director Shaun Fitzgerald as he will reveal the surprising physics of hot air, and how using his research led him to revolutionise building ventilation with dramatic reductions in energy usage.

May
29
Tue
The Cult of Celebrity 6/8 (Dido Elizabeth Lindsay Belle)
May 29 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Cult of Celebrity 6/8 (Dido Elizabeth Lindsay Belle) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers exciting and innovative lectures in Art History, Literature, Opera and Music.

This course will explore the rise of celebrity in the art world and how this change in status not only affected the output of artists but also their lives and in some cases the individuals depicted by them. It will show that the impact of these changes is still with us and continues to govern the way we appreciate and value art. We will start by looking at very early un-autographed works before moving on to look at iconic artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer and others. The themes will be the rise of the signature work, the rise of the individual and thus creation of the idea of the artist, fame, adulation, riches and the celebrity endorsement.

Dido Elizabeth Lindsay Belle, The most famous black woman in London and the Beginnings of the Abolition of Slavery

We continue with our 18th century theme, with an exploration of the life of Dido Elizabeth Lindsay Belle, a black woman, depicted in just one painting by Johann Zoffany. We will look at her birth and origins, explore her fame and notoriety and her ambiguous place in society at the time of the burgeoning anti-slavery movement.

The Riddle of Ancient Sparta: Unwrapping an Enigma by Professor Paul Cartledge
May 29 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The Riddle of Ancient Sparta: Unwrapping an Enigma by Professor Paul Cartledge @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Ancient Sparta has been handed down in a tradition radically conflicted and confused by rival political and social ideologies. A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, one might say. This Spartan tradition is still alive and lively today. This lecture seeks to shed light rather than heat, by assessing just how odd (different, exceptional, peculiar) Sparta really might have been.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Computers and Warfare by Martyn Thomas (@mctFREng)‏
May 29 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Computers and Warfare by Martyn Thomas (@mctFREng)‏ @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Stuxnet, the attacks on the Ukrainian power grid, and autonomous armed guards are only the beginning. Computers are changing warfare profoundly because military strategy has always been geographically based but there are no borders in cyberspace. We shall investigate the implications for the future of international conflict and of national defence. If preparations for the next war have already started, can we tell who is winning?

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

May
30
Wed
Exhilarating Places 6/10 (Arcadia)
May 30 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
Exhilarating Places 6/10 (Arcadia) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers exciting and innovative lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

How can we know, before we ever go there, that a new place will exhilarate us? Painting, photography, fiction, travel-writing, and poetry can put us on the plane with expectations, and pictures in our minds, and of course we then match what they promise against the realities that await us. Afterwards, art and writing intensify what we found, show us sights we missed, clothing our memories of them in the aura of legend as they had our hopes, so we may wonder if they exist when we are not there. Exhilarating Places visits charismatic cultural centres of our world and others we have dreamed of and invented. They catch our eye and instantly deliver both real and imagined destinations in great art and writing.

Arcadia

The sub-title of Signac’s painting ‘The Golden Age Is Not In the Past’ seizes the idea of Arcadia as a blueprint for idyll in the present or future. Hesiod, Theocritus, Virgil, Catullus, Pausanias, Sidney, Sannazaro, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Marvell, Baudelaire, Stoppard, Whitman and Thomas crack its code in words, while art reveals it through Annibale Carracci, Poussin, Ingres, Corot, Lorrain, van Ruisdael, Böcklin, Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Chavannes, Maillol, and Thomas Cole.

Russia After Communism by @Bridget_Kendall
May 30 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Russia After Communism by @Bridget_Kendall @ Museum of London | England | United Kingdom

Russia’s emergence from Soviet Communism, ‘a revolution without shots’, did not result in civil war and bloodshed, as in 1917. But the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 still came as a shock and the subsequent chaos (with hyperinflation, political turmoil and a messy war in Chechnya) revealed that the post-Communist transition was by no means cost free. The Putin era brought increased stability and prosperity, but also loss of political freedom, increased power of the state, weakening of the rule of law, increased nationalism and a rift between Russia and the West. What is Russia’s place in the world now? And what does the turbulence of the last 25 years tell us about where it is heading?

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

A conversation: are social media compatible with Humanist ideals?
May 30 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Social media can bring people together but it can also be harmful. Jeff and Stells will share their thoughts on whether social media, on balance, does more harm than good. Stells is a frequent enthusiastic user and defender of social media while Jeff has a number of misgivings.

Each will have a few minutes to outline their position followed by a debate and audience Q&A.

Jeffrey is a retired American trial lawyer who has lived in London and been a member of CLHG since 2008. Jeff earned two university degrees in physics before attending law school. As a trial attorney, Jeff frequently presented expert witness testimony concerning scientific, medical and engineering subjects to lay juries. He especially enjoyed exposing “junk science” propounded by unscrupulous expert witnesses. Since retiring and moving to London, Jeff has spent his leisure time pursuing all the scientific and philosophical questions he never had time to study while working.

Stells Dessoy is a member of Central London Humanists and has acted as a committee member helping to organise talks for some years.

Doors open at 6.30,pm with the aim to start the talk at 7pm.

Please arrive early to enjoy conversation and a drink from our wine bar, the profits from which will go to Jeff’s chosen charity: Crisis (https://www.crisis.org.uk/).

The Terms of the World’s Trade w/@AllieRenison @StephenJacobi @RichardDABurge
May 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
The Terms of the World's Trade w/@AllieRenison @StephenJacobi @RichardDABurge @ St Mary-le-Bow Church | England | United Kingdom

This event will address an important topic that has been receiving close review and has been at the forefront of both politics and business: trade. In what we hope to be a very thought provoking evening we will be touching upon some important questions including (but not limited to): post-Brexit trade deals, trade wars, the Commonwealth and how we can make trade work for everyone including the world’s poorest.

Joining us, we will have experts who are experienced in the policy and practice of trade negotiations. We hope that we will be able to touch on a wide range of perspectives on this important topic. Join us to explore and discuss how current changes that we are witnessing will have a significant impact on international trade policy.

Allie Renison – Head of Europe and Trade Policy, Institute of Directors

Stephen Jacobi – Executive Director, NZ International Business Forum

Moderator: Richard Burge – Chief Executive, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

May
31
Thu
Who’s to Blame for Britain’s Floods? by @carolynrroberts
May 31 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Who’s to Blame for Britain’s Floods? by @carolynrroberts @ Barnard's Inn Hall | England | United Kingdom

In the last ten years, the UK has been devastated by floods that have caused enormous physical and economic damage, seriously affecting the mental health of local residents. Media coverage has included allegations about the incompetence of scientists, weather forecasters, planners, builders and water companies. Conspiracy theories, fake news and alternative facts proliferate, and wellington-booted politicians often appear insincere. Can the scientific evidence about causes of recent floods dispel some of the myths about our ability to control the rising waters?

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture.

Jun
3
Sun
Divided – Living in an Age of Walls
Jun 3 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Divided – Living in an Age of Walls @ Conway Hall | England | United Kingdom

Talk of Donald Trump’s plans for a border wall with Mexico and the ongoing debate about Europe’s Schengen Agreement are symbolic of a wider, often heated, global discussion about borders, immigration and cultural change. Nationalism and identity politics are on the rise once more.

Thousands of miles of fences and barriers have been erected since the turn of the century which have redefined our political landscape. Tim Marshall brings his own trademark engaging and relatable style to examine the divisions caused by wealth, race, religion and politics.

Tim Marshall is the author of several books including the international bestseller, Prisoners of Geography. He has been a journalist and broadcaster for over 30 years and is an established and respected media commentator on foreign affairs, regularly appearing on such channels as Sky News, BBC and LBC. He edits the world affairs blog The What and The Why.

Jun
4
Mon
Exploring Plato and his tradition: Porphyry on Arete (Virtue, or Excellence)
Jun 4 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

“Beatific contemplation does not consist of the accumulation of arguments or a storehouse of learned knowledge, but in us theory must become nature and life itself.” – Porphyry, On Abstinence

For the Platonic tradition, philosophy is intimately connected with human life: it draws together our inherent impulse to explore truth and our deep-rooted desire to live well. For this reason the tradition gave much attention to the nature of arete (virtue, or excellence) through which, it taught, our life is transformed from the merely human to something bright with divinity.

But what is arete? And how do the Platonic primary virtues (wisdom, courage, temperance and justice) emerge in human life? And most important of all, how do we cultivate arete in ourselves? We will read and discuss a short extract from Porphyry (the pupil of Plotinus and a highly regarded philosopher of the 3rd century AD) and explore these questions over two evenings (the first one on the 21st May – but we’ll begin this evening with a summary of what was discussed then, so that those who missed it should be able to pick up the thread).

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

Strange Tales of London: Murder, Magic and Urban Myth
Jun 4 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Strange Tales of London: Murder, Magic and Urban Myth @ Backyard Bar and Kitchen | England | United Kingdom

Join Haunt London for an night of witchy, magical and bone-marrow curdling stories from the forgotten past and lost paths of London and beyond with tales of the Ratcliffe Highway Murders, Crouch End Spriggan and magic and mystery in London and beyond from author Cathi Unsworth.

Cathi Unsworth- That Old Black Magic
Cathi Unsworth is the author of six pop-cultural crime novels based on real-life unsolved or controversial cases. Her latest, That Old Black Magic (Serpent’s Tail), interweaves the true stories of the Hagley Woods mystery of 1943 and the trial of Helen Duncan, the last woman to be prosecuted for witchcraft in the UK, in 1944.

Real life characters mingle with the imagined in a secret history of spiritualists, stage magicians and spooks of all persuasions under the blackout of Britain’s bleakest hours.

Vanessa Woolf – The Ratcliffe Highway Murders
A terrifying and appalling true story from East London of long ago. On Cable Street in East London and, just along from the Museum of Jack the Ripper, you will see an old pub, the Crown and Dolphin, which has been redeveloped into luxury apartments.

Each one “boasts a light and airy open plan reception finished to an exacting standard with reclaimed materials, completing the stunning finish throughout the property.”
However if people knew the story of this particular pub, they might be a little bit more reluctant to spend their half a million quid. Now is your chance to hear that story.

Vanessa Woolf tells stories for adults that are real, exciting, magical and engaging from start to finish. Her TEDx talk on ‘Finding Magic’ was recorded in November 2017.

Gyrus – The Crouch End Spriggan
A trip down an abandoned rail line brings us face to face with a strange creature emerging from the brickwork of an old station arch. Its story is one of Lovecraftian synchronicity, urban legends, permaculture, and cough syrup hallucinations.

Gyrus is a writer based in south London. Creator of the journals Towards 2012 and Dreamflesh, and author of North, an epic cosmological history. He runs the website Dreamflesh.

Jun
5
Tue
The Cult of Celebrity 7/8 (Fame, Celebrity and Caricature)
Jun 5 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Cult of Celebrity 7/8 (Fame, Celebrity and Caricature) @ The Course at The University Women's CLub | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers exciting and innovative lectures in Art History, Literature, Opera and Music.

This course will explore the rise of celebrity in the art world and how this change in status not only affected the output of artists but also their lives and in some cases the individuals depicted by them. It will show that the impact of these changes is still with us and continues to govern the way we appreciate and value art. We will start by looking at very early un-autographed works before moving on to look at iconic artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer and others. The themes will be the rise of the signature work, the rise of the individual and thus creation of the idea of the artist, fame, adulation, riches and the celebrity endorsement.

Fame, Celebrity and Caricature the 18th Cartoon in English High & Low Society

Now we see the beginnings of the backlash against celebrity. The weapon of choice that would lead this onslaught was the illustration or to give it its common name – the cartoon. We will look at the early proponents of this genre and also the much more well known illustrators, such as James Gillray, George Cruikshank, Thomas Rowlandson and William Hogarth. Of course, caricature of the rich and famous was not new and this lecture will look back to its origin, before going on to show how this varied genre could not exist without the oxygen of celebrity, especially celebrities behaving badly.

Jun
6
Wed
Exhilarating Places 7/10 (Bruges)
Jun 6 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
Exhilarating Places 7/10 (Bruges) @ The Course at The University Women's Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, THE COURSE offers exciting and innovative lectures in Art History, Literature, Music and Opera.

How can we know, before we ever go there, that a new place will exhilarate us? Painting, photography, fiction, travel-writing, and poetry can put us on the plane with expectations, and pictures in our minds, and of course we then match what they promise against the realities that await us. Afterwards, art and writing intensify what we found, show us sights we missed, clothing our memories of them in the aura of legend as they had our hopes, so we may wonder if they exist when we are not there. Exhilarating Places visits charismatic cultural centres of our world and others we have dreamed of and invented. They catch our eye and instantly deliver both real and imagined destinations in great art and writing.

Bruges

George Rodenbach’s powerful story Bruges-la-Morte inspired an opera and a novel made into a film often acclaimed as the greatest ever (Hitchcock’s Vertigo). It was the first work of fiction to be published with photographs, featured here alongside Lucien Levy Dhurmer’s own atmospheric illustrations, the art of Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, The Master of the Legend of St Lucy, Hugo van der Goes, Gerard David, Henri Le Sidaner, Pissarro and Bruges’s Gothic and Renaissance architectures.