Oct
22
Tue
A Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal w/@chriscfrench
Oct 22 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Ever since records began, in every known society, a substantial proportion of the population has reported unusual experiences, including seeing ghosts, feeling spiritual presence, psychic experience, near death experiences and UFO sitings, many of which could be labelled as “paranormal”.

Opinion polls show that the majority of the general public accepts that paranormal phenomena do occur.

Such widespread experience of and belief in the paranormal can only mean one of two things:

Either paranormal is real, in which case this should be accepted by the wider scientific community which currently rejects such claims; or else belief in and experience of paranormal phenomena can be fully explained with psychological reasoning.

Led by Pr. Chris French, this talk will provide an introduction to anomalistic psychology, the study of extraordinary phenomena of behaviour and experience. Dr. French will attempt to provide non-paranormal explanations for these types of experiences, by applying known psychological and physical factors.

This approach will be illustrated with examples relating to a range of paranormal phenomena.

French has authored or co-authored over 130 articles and chapters dealing with a wide variety of subjects in psychology, his work has been published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, the British Journal of Psychology and the British Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Oct
24
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 5/10
Oct 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 5/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Inside The Mind Of Man – Grotesques, Personality & Caricature

Leonardo’s mind and its supposed impact on physiognomy and ultimately personality will be the subject for this session. We will look at a wide variety of his drawings of physiological types and ask if these can tell us about the social mores of Leonardo’s times and ultimately how the explorations into the human psyche affected Leonardo’s finished works such as The Last Supper.

Oct
27
Sun
The Irrational Ape: How Critical Thinking can save the World
Oct 27 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
The Irrational Ape: How Critical Thinking can save the World @ Conway Hall

It may seem a big claim, but knowing how to think clearly and critically has literally helped save the world. In September 1983, at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union’s early warning system showed five US missiles heading towards the country. Stanislaw Petrov knew his duty: he was to inform Moscow that nuclear war had begun so that they could launch an immediate and devastating response. Instead, he made a call to say the system was faulty. He’d assessed the situation and reasoned that an error was more likely than such a limited attack.

We may not have to save the planet from nuclear annihilation, of course, but our ability to think critically has never been more important. In a world where fake news, mistrust of experts, prejudice and ignorance all too often hold sway, we can all too easily be misled over issues such as vaccinations, climate change or conspiracy theories. We live in an era where access to all the knowledge in the world is at our fingertips, yet that also means misinformation and falsehoods can spread further and faster than ever before.

In his book The Irrational Ape, David Robert Grimes shows how we can be lured into making critical mistakes or drawing false conclusions, and how to avoid such errors. Given the power of modern science and the way that movements can unite to protest a cause via social media, we are in dangerous times. But fortunately, we can learn from our mistakes, and by critical thinking and scientific method, we can discover how to apply these techniques to everything from deciding what insurance to buy to averting global disaster.

The Irrational Ape will be available on the day.

Oct
29
Tue
We Need To Talk About Race: Black Experience in White Majority Churches w/@BCWLindsay
Oct 29 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
We Need To Talk About Race: Black Experience in White Majority Churches w/@BCWLindsay @ St Paul's Cathedral

The Bible speaks of an impartial God, a diverse body of believers and justice for all people. Yet, historically, the words of the Bible have been used to justify slavery, segregation and racial discrimination. And despite advances in law and in society, white privilege persists in all areas of life, including our churches.

Ben Lindsay describes how ‘being black in a white majority church can be a bit like the first day of a new school on repeat. Your natural insecurities come to the surface. Will I be included? Will I be noticed? How do I connect with the popular people? How do I fit in? Will my contributions be valued?’ These feelings come from a lifetime of slights and indignities based on skin colour and highlighted differences; of isolation and exclusion; and from the hostility and defensiveness of white people. And yet, not wanting to be defined by these experiences or be portrayed as a victim, Ben invites us to talk about race.

Join us to listen with open hearts to the wise and honest insights of our panel of speakers: the joys and sorrows, the grace and the pain of their individual and collective experience, and to explore together how we respond to each other as people of faith, see each other as God sees us and build inclusive and empowered communities.

Ben Lindsay is a pastor at Emmanuel Church London, the Founder and CEO of Power the Fight, a charity working to end youth violence and knife crime, and the author of We Need To Talk About Race: Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches (SPCK 2019).

He will be joined by Guvna B, the first rapper to top the Christian and Gospel charts, the Revd Rosemarie Mallett, Vicar of St John’s Church, Brixton, and Lead Public Policy Advisor in the Diocese of Southwark and Chine McDonald, Media Content & PR Lead at Christian Aid.

The evening will be chaired by Canon Tricia Hillas, Canon Pastor of St Paul’s Cathedral, and include plenty of time for questions and answers.

Oct
30
Wed
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 5/10
Oct 30 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 5/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Established in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In this series of 10 lectures and 10 accompanying walks, ww will look at the ways in which particular groups, often professions, have shaped and been shaped by London. Each theme could provide a course of its own, so we will proceed through a series of snapshots at the activities of these groups and individuals at key moments in the formation of the city.

Architects, like no others, have of course shaped the way the city looks. The history of their interactions is a complex one: from Wren to Seifert, politics has often determined who should build, and what they should build, as much as competence, aesthetics or need.

On 6 November, there will be an accompanying walk around Lincoln’s Inn.

Oct
31
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of a Universal Man 6/10
Oct 31 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of a Universal Man 6/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Obsession With Nature, Anatomical & Experiment

Leonardo was obsessed with how everything worked and the close relationship between man and nature. Here, we will look at his exploration of the workings of nature and his attempt to understand these processes and thus understand the soul of man. We will look at examples of anatomical drawings that demonstrate Leonardo’s unflinching eye and ability to investigate areas of human anatomy that many would find repulsive.

The Founding of the C20 Society
Oct 31 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

A panel of founding members, including Clive Aslet, Marcus Binney, Bevis Hillier and Simon Jenkins, talk about how the Thirties Society (renamed the C20 Society in 1992)  started and the impact of the loss of the Firestone building which was demolished over a bank holiday weekend just before it was due to be listed.

Nov
3
Sun
The Sacramental Sea: A Spiritual Voyage w/@newell_edmund
Nov 3 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
The Sacramental Sea: A Spiritual Voyage w/@newell_edmund @ St Paul's Cathedral

Why do so many people feel a spiritual connection with the sea?  Edmund Newell’s research shows that throughout history, the sea has been associated with religious experience and that the sea is highly sacramental, speaking powerfully of God.

His new book explores the sea in Christian history, theology and spirituality.  It moves from the Bible to the present day, via, among others, St Augustine, Christopher Columbus, William Shakespeare and John Donne, the scientists of the Enlightenment and the great hymn-writers of the 19th century.  In this talk, he will explore some of what the sea has meant spiritually over the centuries, and challenge us to see the current dangerous rises in sea-levels worldwide as not only an environmental crisis, but a spiritual one as well.

Canon Dr Edmund Newell is the Principal of Cumberland Lodge, and was formerly Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, Sub-Dean of Christ Church, Oxford and Research Fellow at Nuffield College Oxford.  His latest book is The Sacramental Sea:  A Spiritual Voyage though Christian History (DLT 2019).

Nov
4
Mon
A Skeptic’s Guide to Aliens/w @chriscfrench
Nov 4 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Are aliens really visiting our planet on a regular basis? Are people really being abducted by aliens and subjected to bizarre medical investigations? Even worse, are the aliens engaged upon a sinister cross-breeding project to produce human-alien hybrids?

This talk will cover psychological aspects of various types of alien contact claim, ranging from simple sightings of “unidentified flying objects” to alien abduction experiences. Along the way, we will review the history of UFOs within society and discuss the risks inherent in the “memory recovery” techniques employed by some ufologists.

It will be argued that all claims of alien contact can be plausibly accounted for in terms of known psychological phenomena such as sleep paralysis and false memories.

A Platonic view of Homer’s Odyssey – 3
Nov 4 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

A Platonic view of Homer’s Odyssey – 3

Homer, that half-legendary, half-historical figure who links the oral story-telling age of mythology to the literate age of high Greek civilization is known for his two great epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey: the Platonic tradition mined both works for their profound insights into the human condition. Over two evening sessions we will concentrate on the Odyssey which is seen by Platonic philosophers as a representation of the soul’s re-ascent to her true home – the celestial “Ithica.” The tests that Odysseus undergoes as he makes his way from the shores of Troy, laden with treasure, to the cave upon Ithica’s shore in which the Goddess Athena appears before him can be considered as images of the various trials each of us must face as we cross the ocean of life before regaining the lost empire of the soul. We will draw upon the writings of the neoplatonists and on Thomas Taylor’s essay ‘On the Wanderings of Ulysses’ and consider what lessons the epic holds for us and our own wanderings.

This is the third of three sessions looking at this theme (the first session is on Monday 7th October, the second on the 21st October) – we will begin the evening with a summary of the main points from the first two sessions.

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.)

Nov
5
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 7/10
Nov 5 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 7/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

A “Restive and Independent City”

Florence was a proud Republic, so the position of the Medici family was equivocal. Officially “first among equals”, they trod a fine line in asserting their rule without alienating the democratic rhetoric of the state, and their discerning and generous commissions to some of the greatest creative figures of the age were calculated to give political reassurance while subtly reminding the people of the munificence, wisdom and virtue of the first family.

William Beveridge and Social Biology at LSE
Nov 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
William Beveridge and Social Biology at LSE @ Wolfson Lecture Theatre, New Academic Building LSE

Chris Renwick (University of York) will speak on the history of sociology in Britain and why William Beveridge was interested in the role of biology within social science in the 1920s and 30s.

Dr Renwick’s first book, British Sociology’s Lost Biological Roots: A History of Futures Past(2012), recovered the forgotten history of British sociologists’ engagement with biology during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He is currently exploring how biologists and social scientists were brought together by a shared interest in topics such as intelligence, fertility, nutrition, and poverty, as well as funding bodies such as the Rockefeller Foundation, in a set of debates about the nature of society and social structure.

Chris Renwick is a historian of Britain since the early nineteenth century. His main area of expertise is the relationship between biology, social science, and politics, in particular how the interaction of the three has shaped the way we think about, study, and govern society. His work on these subjects has received international and interdisciplinary recognition. While his first book was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize in 2013, his most recent book, Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State, has been long listed for the Orwell Book Prize and short listed for the Longman-History Today Book Prize in 2018.

Professor Mike Savage is Martin White Professor at the Department of Sociology and Director of International Inequalities Institute, LSE.

Nov
6
Wed
Maths, Football, and Crowd Safety – Prof. Alison Leary
Nov 6 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

How can maths make watching football safer?

Professor Alison Leary is an expert in healthcare and mathematical modelling as well as being the match day lead for crowd medical services at Millwall FC. In this talk about maths, crowd safety, and league football, Alison discusses risk, safety planning and what it’s like to change the rules.

Prof. Leary is Chair of Healthcare & Workforce Modelling at London South Bank University.

Her research areas include: complexity & healthcare; knowledge discovery through data mining (big data); stochastic methods & workforce modelling. She provides consultancy to the NHS, government and commercial organisations. Her research on the effectiveness of medical teams is part of Millwall FC’s approach to healthcare services, which can accommodate disasters as well as minor injuries, spectator safety and primary care.

In 2019 Alison was awarded an MBE for services to Spectator Safety and Medical Care.

Gut health: revealing the power of the microbiome
Nov 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Gut health: revealing the power of the microbiome @ Congress Hall

What is the role that the microbes living in your gut play in human health? How can we look after them, so that they best look after us?

About

We’re just beginning to understand the remarkable role that the microbes living your gut play in human health, from irritable bowel syndrome and obesity to diabetes and mental health. What are these microbes? What do they do? And how can we look after them, so that they best look after us? Join Kevin Whelan and Alex Almeida, experts in the human gut microbiome, for a fascinating evening looking at the science of gut health followed by a short Q+A session, all hosted by New Scientist Live creative director, Valerie Jamieson.

Talks

Gut microbiome and diet: your route to better gut health

Kevin Whelanprofessor of dietetics and head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London.

Bacteria in the gut play an important role in human health. Numerous gut disorders are associated with alterations in this microbiome and we know these can be modified through diet, including probiotics and prebiotics, and emerging techniques such as faecal transplants in diseased guts.

Although the microbiome was historically perceived as an innocent bystander in our health, identification of its role in gut disorders has challenged this view. This has opened a Pandora’s box of interactions suggesting a role for the microbiome even in extra-intestinal disorders, such as obesity and diabetes, as well as in mental health.

Blueprint of the human gut microbiota

Alex Almeidapostdoctoral fellow at EMBL-EBI and the Wellcome Sanger Institute

The microbes living in your gut can weigh up to 2 kilograms. Yet identifying the myriad microbial species has remained something of a mystery. Many species remain unknown due to their low abundance in the gut or their inability to survive outside of it.

Now biologists are combining genomics and powerful computational tools to uncover new insights into the human gut. So far they have discovered almost 2000 bacterial species, including ones that that have not been seen before. In this talk, Alexandre Almeida describes the extraordinary detective work involved and how a blueprint of the human gut could help us understand human health and disease better.

The Truth About Fat – Why obesity, weight gain and health are more complex than everyone thinks (w/ Anthony Warner)
Nov 6 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

We are getting fat and sick in increasing numbers and it’s placing a devastating burden on our healthcare systems. Scientists in every field are desperate to explain this epidemic and stave off a modern health disaster. But what’s to blame? Carbs, fat or sugar? Gut microbes or genes? Laziness or poverty? In this talk, Anthony Warner will scrutinise the explanations of experts in every field, laying out the best evidence available. But most of all, he will rail against quack theories preying on the desperate and consider whether we are blaming our own bodies for other people’s ignorance and cruelty. What remains is the unvarnished truth about one of the great preoccupations of our age.

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) 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 speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

 

Nov
7
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 7/10
Nov 7 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 7/10 @ The Course at the University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Drawing Becomes Art

The emergence of drawing as an art form has always been hard to pinpoint. In this lecture, we will look at Leonardo’s drawings and examine how and why this art form might be attributed to him. We will also look at the Burlington Cartoon in London’s National Gallery, its life, history and production, and ask why this unfinished work has been seen as the earliest example of drawing as art and why it holds such a special place in the Gallery’s collection.

Championing the Thirties
Nov 7 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Alan Powers, the C20 TorillaSociety’s first caseworker and subsequent Chairman, tells the story of early casework campaigns, such as that to save Torilla, a 1935 reinforced concrete white cubic house by F R S Yorke, a major figure in the introduction of the Modern Movement into Britain in the 1930s.

Nov
12
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Renaissance 8/10
Nov 12 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Renaissance 8/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

Princes of the Church

Renaissance popes were not only princes of the church but rulers of vast secular domains, determined to recreate for Rome the glories of pagan antiquity. None was more remarkable than Julius II who, in a reign of barely 10 years, rebuilt a dilapidated city, commissioned Michelangelo, Raphael and Bramante, and laid the foundations of St Peter’s Basilica as we know it today.

Nov
13
Wed
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped a City 8/20
Nov 13 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped a City 8/20 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

In this series of 20 paired lectures and walks, we will look at the ways in which particular groups, often professions, have shaped and been shaped by London. Each theme could provide a course of its own, so we will proceed through a series of snapshots at the activities of those groups and individuals at key moments in the formation of the city.

Lawyers

The law and its execution have provided some of the city’s great dramas. The practitioners of law, with their own enclave of London, preserve the rituals of behaviour (and especially dress) which have lasted centuries.

The week after the lecture (20 November) there will be an accompanying walk near the Royal Courts of Justice.

 

Nov
14
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 8/10
Nov 14 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 8/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Signature Projects

We will look in detail at some of Leonardo’s major projects: the Last Supper, The Madonna of the Rock and The Battle of Cascina and discuss how these works were realised, what was the thinking behind them and how do they compare with works by his contemporaries? We will also look at the work of collaborators on these projects and ask how much is theirs and how much Leonardo’s and why do we care?

 

C20 Society Campaigns – Red Telephone Boxes, End of the Line & Farewell My Lido
Nov 14 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Nicholas Long, Niall Devitt and Alan Powers will talk about the successful campaigns the Society ran to save telephone boxes, tube stations and lidos.

Nov
18
Mon
The Apology of Socrates – a reading and discussion 1
Nov 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The Apology of Socrates

Plato’s account of the apology or defence offered by Socrates in his trial when charged with impiety and the corruption of youth in Athens is one of the great moments in philosophic literature in the west. It demonstrates the seriousness with which Socrates took his quest for wisdom – a search which even the threat of death could not prevent. The priority that the Platonic tradition gives to the care of the soul over and above all other human endeavours is encapsulated in Socrates exhortation, “O best of men, since you are an Athenian, of a city the greatest and the most celebrated for wisdom and strength, are you not ashamed of being attentive to the means of acquiring riches, glory and honour, in great abundance, but to bestow no care nor any consideration upon wisdom and truth, nor how your soul may subsist in the most excellent condition?” And perhaps we who live in a civilization which we consider to be marked by intelligence and strength should attend to that plea with greater thought than Socrates’ earlier judges. We will read and discuss the Apology over two sessions (starting the second session – 2nd December – with a short summary of the first half, for those who are absent from the first session).

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.)

Nov
19
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 9/10
Nov 19 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 9/10 @ The Course at the University Women's Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

Merchants, Monks and Guilds

The patronage of princes inspired others. Wealthy urbanites and the Church, individuals and groups, increasingly used art to confirm their commitment to Renaissance values of piety, charity and scholarship.

Nov
21
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci : Life of the Universal Man 9/10
Nov 21 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci : Life of the Universal Man 9/10 @ The Course at the University Women's Club

Established in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Music, Opera and Literature Lectures.

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

The Art Of War & Mechanical Engineering

In the middle and latter part of Leonardo’s life, he became increasingly in demand for his designs and this would see him ultimately working for powerful patrons such as Isabella d’Este and Lodovico Sforza. We will look at his complex mechanical designs for flying machines, underwater breathing apparatus and ultimately weapons of mass destruction. Why did Leonardo carry out such work and what were his thoughts on these?

Brutalism Redux
Nov 21 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Thaddeus Zupancic will talk about how brutalist architecture was championed by the Society, helped by a myriad social media photo feeds, and about the fight to list brutalist buildings such as Preston Bus Station.