Dec
17
Mon
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Plato’s Republic is an extend meditation on Justice and our relation to it: for Plato the good life is the just life. As Socrates says at the end of the dialogue, we should consider how life is arranged and “having an eye to the nature of the soul, to comprehend both the worse and the better life, pronouncing that to be the worse which shall lead the soul to become more unjust, and that to be the better life which shall lead it to become more just, and to dismiss every other consideration.”

Is this emphatic emphasis on justice reasonable? And, if so, how can we recognize justice, and cultivate it within ourselves?

We’ll read passages from the Republic and other dialogues where the issue is explored and discuss the validity of this view, and its implications.

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.)

Jan
8
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Introduction and the Middle Ages) 1/10
Jan 8 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Introduction and the Middle Ages) 1/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this series of 10, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Introduction and the Middle Ages

“An Englishman’s home is his castle” but some “castles” are rather finer and more comfortable than others. We begin with an overview of our theme, exploring how the evolution of our domestic spaces serves changing life-styles before considering the castles, monasteries, halls and huts of the Middle Ages.

Jan
9
Wed
The Course / 20th Century London: A City in Flux (The Festival Style) 6/10
Jan 9 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / 20th Century London: A City in Flux (The Festival Style) 6/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

Building a Better Tomorrow: The Festival Style

The shock of the second war had repercussions in a variety of ways: it brought the end of Empire, the beginning of mass immigration and optimistic new social institutions, such as the NHS. This optimism, nurtured in a time of rationing, is best summarised by the 1951 Festival of Britain.

What every parent needs to know about Steiner schools – w/@lecanardnoir
Jan 9 @ 7:30 pm

The last decade has seen several ‘new religious movements’ create publicly funded Free Schools. Maharishi and Steiner Schools are perhaps the most prominent. It is timely to look closely at the origins and beliefs of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the occult movement of Anthroposophy. Steiner was a mystic who believed he had direct clairvoyant access to cosmic knowledge. As such he developed an esoteric belief system based on karma, reincarnation, astrology, homeopathy and gnomes. His visions gave insights into architecture, art, dance, agriculture, medicine, education, science and diet. His racial hierarchy of spiritual development resonated in Germany in the early 20th Century turning a personal belief into a worldwide movement. Today we find hundreds of anthroposophically inspired organisations in the UK alone: everything from Steiner Schools, Biodynamic farms to banks, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, charities and cheese makers.

Andy Lewis has been trying to lift the veil on the inner secrets of the movement and will discuss how this secretive movement has direct impact on public life.

 

Jan
10
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Introduction 1/8
Jan 10 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Introduction 1/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Introduction to the Decorative Arts

The word “decorative” is usually associated with functional objects like tea pots; but if such objects are functional, how can they be purely “decorative”? Is not a painting, which has no other function than to decorate a room, more “decorative” than an object that is used? The first lecture in this series will look at the background to the development of the notions of “fine”, “decorative” and “applied” art.

Jan
15
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Exile and Splendour) 2/10
Jan 15 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Exile and Splendour) 2/10 @ The COurse at the University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this series of 10, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Exile and Splendour

The triumphant return of the Tudors in 1485 brought with it the Renaissance. We look at the Continental buildings that court and monarchy aspired to emulate and how and why this changed expectations at home. And why are staircases so significant?

Justice delayed or justice denied? Investigating non-recent sexual allegations (w/ Gary Pankhurst)
Jan 15 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

Sexual crime remains a matter of deep public concern and has received considerable scrutiny over the years. A pivotal event was the unprecedented reporting of sexual allegations that followed a TV documentary in October 2012 about the late Jimmy Savile leading to the Metropolitan Police forming Operation Yewtree. This talk seeks to place these events in context, to understand the factors that can impact upon the investigation and how it continues to shape the police approach to allegations reported sometimes years after the events. These types of allegation will always raise strong opinions among commentators. Some believe that such a serious crime as child abuse should always go before the courts regardless of time passed. There are others who state it is an affront to natural justice and that such prosecutions are unsafe. We will explore whether delays in reporting can secure safe and ethical prosecutions or inevitably lead to justice denied for the accused or the complainant.

Gary is currently a PhD Candidate at Newcastle University, having recently retired (2015) after completing a 30-year career with the Metropolitan Police. He worked as a Detective on major and complex crime investigations both within the UK and overseas. He has specific expertise in the investigation of sexual offences and offences against children. He worked on many high profile investigations including the Jimmy Savile Enquiry (Operation Yewtree) working as the interview adviser and case officer for a number of the widely reported cases.

He has an operational and academic interest in the structure and conduct of investigative interviews with witnesses and suspects. He is a member of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG) and is researching the elicitation of information in interviews with suspected sex offenders.

This event is jointly hosted with Goldsmiths’ Forensic Psychology Unit.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Lab Rats: Why Modern Work Makes People Miserable
Jan 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Lab Rats: Why Modern Work Makes People Miserable @ Conway Hall | England | United Kingdom

Personality tests. Desktop surveillance. Acronyms. Diminishing job security. Dan Lyons, bestselling author of Disrupted and writer on the HBO series Silicon Valley, deliciously roasts the new work climate, while asking what can be done to recoup some sanity and dignity for the expanding class of middle-class serfs.

First, you are lucky to be here. Also, we do not care about you. We offer no job security. This is not a career. We provide no training or career development. We will pay you as little as possible. You will work long hours under constant pressure and with no privacy. We will read your email. HR will not help you. Your managers may not know what they are doing. They also may be abusive. If you file a complaint you may be fired. You may be fired even though you’re doing a good job. You may be fired for no reason at all. We do not offer day care. There are snacks and beer in the kitchen.

Personality tests. Team-building exercises. Forced Fun. Desktop surveillance. Open-plan offices. Acronyms. Diminishing job security. Hot desking. Pointless perks. Hackathons.

If any of the above sound familiar, welcome to the modern economy. In this hilarious, but deadly serious book, bestselling author Dan Lyons looks at how the world of work has slowly morphed from one of unions and steady career progression to a dystopia made of bean bags and unpaid internships. And that’s the ‘good’ jobs…

With the same wit that made Disrupted an international bestseller, Lyons shows how the hypocrisy of Silicon Valley has now been exported globally to a job near you. Even low-grade employees are now expected to view their jobs with a cult-like fervour, despite diminishing prospects of promotion. From the gig economy to the new digital oligarchs, Lyons deliciously roasts the new work climate, while asking what can be done to recoup some sanity and dignity for the expanding class of middle-class serfs.

Dan Lyons is an author, journalist, and screenwriter. He has co-produced and written for the HBO series Silicon Valley, was technology editor at Newsweek and was the creator of the ground-breaking viral blog “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs” (AKA “Fake Steve Jobs”). His first book, Disrupted, was a New York Times Bestseller.

Jan
17
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500 – 2000) Renaissance 2/8
Jan 17 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500 - 2000) Renaissance 2/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

The Decorative Arts in the Renaissance

The Renaissance is famous for its painters and sculptors but its craftsmen are often forgotten. This lecture will focus on the masterpieces of furniture, metalwork and tapestry that furnished the rooms of Renaissance princes and nobles, exploring the contexts that gave them meaning as well as the materials and techniques that gave them form.

Jan
22
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Fixtures and Fittings) 3/10
Jan 22 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Fixtures and Fittings) 3/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this series of 10, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Fixtures and Fittings

The later 16th century saw a real improvement in living standards across the country. We see not only the houses of the wealthy but the changing expectations of the merchant class, and the objects and furniture with which they adorned their homes. Outdoors, for the first time, we see the birth of interest in gardens, highly controlled and in tune with the indoor style of the age.

Jan
23
Wed
The Course / 20th Century London: A City in Flux (Designs for Living) 7/10
Jan 23 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / 20th Century London: A City in Flux (Designs for Living) 7/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.Designs for Living

In the longer post-war period a tougher future emerged. Britain confronted the loss of its historic pre-eminence by trying to embrace the ‘White Heat of Technology’ (London was briefly swinging) before the 1970s brought a new sense of realism about the city’s place in the world.

Jan
24
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Baroque 3/8
Jan 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Baroque 3/8 @ The Coure at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Furniture in the Baroque Age

Furniture came into its own in the seventeenth century when the tradition of cabinetmaking got underway. New types of object reflect dramatically changing life styles; the furnishing of private rooms, for instance, was unprecedented. And exotic materials, such as ebony and turtleshell, reflect Europeans ambitions with regard to the New World.

I’m A Joke And So Are You
Jan 24 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
I’m A Joke And So Are You @ Conway Hall

Comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of the biggest questions we all face. Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief?

What better way to understand ourselves than through the eyes of comedians – those who professionally examine our quirks on stage daily? In this touching and witty book, I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes Us Human, award-winning presenter and comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of the biggest questions we all face. Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief?

Informed by personal insights from Robin as well as interviews with some of the world’s top comedians, neuroscientists and psychologists, this is a hilarious and often moving primer to the mind. But it is also a powerful call to embrace the full breadth of our inner experience – no matter how strange we worry it may be!

Robin Ince is co-presenter of the award-winning BBC Radio 4 show, The Infinite Monkey Cage. He has won the Time Out Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, was nominated for a British Comedy Award for Best Live show and has won three Chortle Awards. He has toured his stand up across the world from Oslo to LA to Sydney, both solo and with his radio double act partner, Professor Brian Cox. He is the radio critic for the Big Issue and appears regularly on both television and radio. He has two top-ten iTunes podcast series to his name.

Jan
29
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Dynasties in Transition) 4/10
Jan 29 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Dynasties in Transition) 4/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

In this series of 10, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.Dynasties in Transition

Dynasties in Transition

Elizabeth I cannily spent much of her time as house guest of her greatest nobles and it was therefore these, rather than the monarch, who were responsible for the most sumptuous buildings of her reign. Before a Civil War put it all under threat, new comforts and sophistication become apparent in silver furniture, the work of foreign artists such as Anthony van Dyck and the plant collections and garden designs of two generations of John Tradescants.

Looking Forward: The Next Ten Years
Jan 29 @ 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

 

What key aspects of our lives are predicted to shift radically over the next ten years?

As Bloomsbury celebrates ten years of outstanding publishing as Bloomsbury Academic, we’ve invited some of our most fascinating authors to fill us in on the opportunities, challenges and biggest changes coming to our lives in the next ten years.

Come along as our experts present their most ground-breaking ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences in a series of short talks, and group discussion, to tell us what lies ahead. Their collective years of research and writing means we’ll all benefit from their educated insights into the future of our world.

Covering sustainability, terrorism, geopolitics, gender, religion, education and philosophy – what are the key issues and how can we prepare for the changes and challenges that lie ahead? Come with us as we aim beyond the regular predictions and leave you thinking differently about our shared future.

Event Speakers:

  • Rachel Reeves MP
  • Kerry Brown
  • Julia Ebner
  • Dr. Leslie Davis Burns
  • James G. Crossley
  • Constantine Sandis
  • Viv Ellis

Our speakers will each deliver a short talk and then take part in a live Q&A panel, hosted by Jamie Bartlett, author of Radicals and The People vs. Tech, tech blogger and Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media for cross-party think-tank Demos in conjunction with The University of Sussex.

We hope to see you there. Take advantage of places for just £8.00 if you book your place before Friday, November 30th

Pseudoscience, public health and the justice system (w/ Pamela Radcliffe)
Jan 29 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

This talk presents an overview of pseudoscience within therapeutic contexts in the twenty-first century, juxtaposed with the risks posed to public health and the criminal justice system. It identifies the adverse outcomes that may arise from specific psychotherapeutic treatments and popular pseudo-scientific beliefs. The justice response and published cases are briefly explored. This talk concludes by advancing the case for increased therapeutic regulation and justice safeguards.

Pamela Radcliffe is a senior barrister, Lead Editor of Witness Testimony in Sexual Cases: Evidential, Investigative, and Scientific Perspectives, OUP (2016), and Visiting Research Fellow at Portsmouth University, Psychology Department.

Called to the Bar in 1979, Pamela’s legal practice has spanned all aspects of family and criminal law (defending). She conducts independent case reviews and has assisted university innocence networks where miscarriages of justice are alleged or suspected. Pamela’s academic interest lies in the interdisciplinary nature of the law, and the nexus between medicine, psychology and law, especially the justice challenges posed by non-recent sexual complaints and controversial psychotherapeutic treatments. Pamela delivers lectures and workshops to universities and to justice and health professionals on witness testimony related issues.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Jan
31
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Silver 4/8
Jan 31 @ 12:45 pm – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) Silver 4/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

The Art and Craft of the Silversmith

Because the very materials of gold and silver were used as currency for much of their history, the status of goldsmiths was always high and their products were often splendid. But precisely because silver objects were often regarded as a form of money, they were frequently melted down in times of need. The legacy of goldsmiths throughout the ages is intertwined with the history of aristocratic taste and patronage.

Feb
5
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Privacy and Palladianism) 5/10
Feb 5 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Privacy and Palladianism) 5/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this series of 10, when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

 

Privacy and Palladianism

The great Palladian houses of the 18th century represent a revolution in lifestyle as much as in architecture. Graceful and essentially rural, they combine elegance with the possibility of intimacy, comfort with a managed offer of sophisticated activities. Against a background of upheaval in France and the agricultural revolution in England, the revolution in gardening is no less profound – from geometry to the “natural” landscapes of Capability Brown.

Torture – Does it work and can it ever be justified? (w/ Jo Kenrick)
Feb 5 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

What if there was a dirty bomb hidden somewhere in the UK and you had to get a suspect to tell you where it was and how to disable it, what lengths would you go to? Recent revelations in the media about the UK government’s role in cooperating with the CIA torture programme have re-opened the debate on what is and is not acceptable when innocent lives are at stake. The President of the United States has declared that torture ‘absolutely works’ but the CIA’s own reports state that torture techniques “do not produce intelligence” and “will probably result in false answers”. This talk examines the ethical arguments for and against torture and reviews the science behind what techniques do and don’t work in eliciting information in high-pressure situations.

Jo Kenrick is a member of the Forensic Psychology Unit and an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths where she is researching the development of deceptive skill for her PhD. She has a wide range of research interests as you can see by her previous dissertation topics  –“Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves”: Why traditional rituals of death matter to modern people (BA, Religious Studies), One born every minute: A target selection hypothesis of deception abilities in Machiavellian personalities (BSc, Psychology) and The influence of information channels on attributions for Domestic Violence against Women in Sweden, Bulgaria and the UK (MSc, Research Methods).

This event is jointly hosted with Goldsmiths’ Forensic Psychology Unit.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Feb
6
Wed
The Course / 20th Century London: a City in Flux (The New Historicisms) 8/10
Feb 6 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / 20th Century London: a City in Flux (The New Historicisms) 8/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in art history, literature and music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

The New Historicisms

The last quarter of the 20th century was among the more paradoxical periods in the city’s history. Run by a left-wing council, many images of the city projected to the world were of highly traditional events: The Silver Jubilee, the Marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The transformations of the fabric of the city could be equally paradoxical: modernity in a (partly) traditional dress.

Feb
7
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) 18th C France 5/8
Feb 7 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) 18th C France 5/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

Pleasure and Sensation in 18th Century France

This talk will focus on the golden age of French interiors, exploring how new sensibilities among the Parisian nobility required a new style of living, a development that gave rise to some of the most delicious and fanciful pieces of furniture, silver and porcelain ever made.

Feb
12
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (A Consumer Culture) 6/10
Feb 12 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (A Consumer Culture) 6/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this series of 10, we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

A Consumer Culture

New houses require new furnishings, and the Grand Tour was the perfect opportunity to acquire great collections – statuary, paintings and decorative arts reflecting a society desperate for cultural status. Side by side with this, stars of the Industrial Revolution like Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Chippendale were developing a dazzling range of affordable new products for the rising and aspirational middle classes.

Feb
14
Thu
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) The Industrial Revolution 6/8
Feb 14 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500-2000) The Industrial Revolution 6/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting Art History, Literature and Music lectures.

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

The Industrial Revolution & the Decorative Arts

The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on the decorative arts, bringing objects that had previously been associated with the nobility within reach of the ever growing middle-class. Radical new inventions and techniques reduced the cost of manufacturing products, leading to the evolution of shops and entrepreneurs, which led in turn to completely new attitudes towards taste.

Feb
19
Tue
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Antique or Exotic?) 7/10
Feb 19 @ 12:45 pm – 12:45 pm
The Course / Homes and Gardens (Antique or Exotic?) 7/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

In this 10 part series we ask when does a house become a “home”? When does a food plot become a “garden”? How do staircases and corridors reflect a new way of life? From the defensive architecture of the moat and keep to the 21st century urban fortresses of glass and concrete, from the monastic herbal garden to Chelsea show gardens for the urban terrace, we look not only at buildings, interiors and nature but, above all, at what they tell us about how people use their spaces to manage their lives.

Antique or Exotic?

The development of Bath, Buxton and other spa towns, the London buildings of John Nash, brings classical discipline to centres of fashionable society, and new public parks provide spaces for health and stylish promenades. But the Age of Reason also provokes a revolt in the form of fantasy projects drawing on influences from Indian to Gothic.

Feb
20
Wed
The Course/20th Century London: a City in Flux (The Big Bang) 9/10
Feb 20 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/20th Century London: a City in Flux (The Big Bang) 9/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in art history, literature and music.

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

The Big Bang

In one field the transformation of the economic life of the city was explosive. The City of London abandoned the traditional trappings of the banking industry and adopted a brash new persona and once again it was transformed by a wave of new buildings, including an extraordinary extension into what was once London’s docklands.