Jul
24
Wed
The Politics of American Conspiracy Theories (w/ Prof. Joe Uscinski)
Jul 24 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

NB: Please be aware that this Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub talk is not held at its usual time of the first Wednesday of the month.

Particularly since 2016, conspiracy theories became a mainstay of American political debate. Not only did conspiracy theories affect major political decisions (i.e., the election of Trump), but conspiracy theories have become the currency of mainstream political debate. Why has this happened, and what are the measurable effects? What are the dangers of this turn toward dark and disturbing narratives? Professor Uscinski will bring to bear a wealth of polling data from the US to explain how, when, and why conspiracy theories will affect political debate and decision-making. The surprising findings address the following questions: Who believes in conspiracy theories and why? Why are some conspiracy theories more popular than others? What are the dangers of conspiracy theories? Are conspiracy theorists prone to violence? How did conspiracy theories affect the 2016 and 2018 elections? What can conspiracy theories in the United States tell us about conspiracy theories in the United Kingdom?

Joseph Uscinski is associate professor of political science at University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. He is co-author of American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford, 2014) and editor of Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them (Oxford, 2018).

 

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/

 

Jul
28
Sun
Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language
Jul 28 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language @ Conway Hall

Polari is a language that was used chiefly by gay men in the first half of the twentieth century. At a time when being gay could result in criminal prosecution – or worse – Polari offered its speakers a degree of public camouflage, a way of expressing humour, and a means of identification and of establishing a community. Its roots are colourful and varied – from Cant to Lingua Franca to prostitutes’ slang – and in the mid-1960s it was thrust into the limelight by the characters Julian and Sandy, voiced by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, on the BBC radio show Round the Horne. (‘Oh Mr Horne, how bona to vada your dolly old eke!’)

Paul Baker recounts the story of Polari with skill, erudition and tenderness. He traces its historical origins and describes its linguistic nuts and bolts, explores the ways and the environments in which it was spoken, explains the reasons for its decline, and tells of its unlikely re-emergence in the twenty-first century.

With a cast of drag queens and sailors, Dilly boys and macho clones, Paul’s book Fabulosa! is an essential document of recent history and a fascinating and fantastically readable account of this funny, filthy and ingenious language. It will be available on the day to buy and have signed.

Paul Baker is Professor of English Language at Lancaster University. He has written 16 books including American and British English (2018) and, with Jo StanleyHello Sailor! (2003). He regularly gives talks and workshops about Polari and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Sep
1
Sun
Stop Being Reasonable: Stories of how we really change our minds
Sep 1 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Stop Being Reasonable: Stories of how we really change our minds @ Conway Hall

What if you aren’t who you think you are?

What if you don’t really know the people closest to you?

And what if your most deeply-held beliefs turn out to be … wrong?

In her book Stop Being Reasonable, philosopher and journalist Eleanor Gordon-Smith tells six lucid, gripping stories that show the limits of human reason. She discusses some of these stories with Little Atoms podcaster Neil Denny.

From the woman who realised her husband harboured a terrible secret, to the man who left the cult he had been raised in since birth, and the British reality TV contestant who, having impersonated someone else for a month, discovered he could no longer return to his former identity, all of the people interviewed radically altered their beliefs about the things that matter most.

What made them change course? How should their reversals affect how we think about our own beliefs? And in an increasingly divided world, what do they teach us about how we might change the minds of others?

Stop Being Reasonable explores the place where philosophy and real life meet. Ultimately, it argues that when it comes to finding out what’s true or convincing others about what we know, being rational might involve our hearts as well as our minds.

The perfect counterpoint to ‘ultra-rationalists’ like Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro, Gordon-Smith uses ideas from philosophy and psychology to show the ways that our emotions drive our opinions — and why it’s time we started to factor this in to how we approach debate.

Eleanor Gordon-Smith is a reporter, ethicist, and recovering champion debater. Currently at Princeton University, she has lectured on topics from the foundations of the political state to the philosophy of sex. Her latest book Stop Being Reasonable: six stories of how we really change our minds will be available on the day.

Neil Denny is the Interviews Editor of Little Atoms magazine, and for over ten years the producer and presenter of the Little Atoms Radio Show and podcast, in which capacity he has interviewed hundreds of people from astronauts to zoologists, hosted numerous live events at science and literary festivals, co-created an art installation about space travel, attempted stand-up comedy, and in 2012 drove 6000 miles across America interviewing scientists as part of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travelling fellowship

Sep
4
Wed
Cancer cures – are we nearly there yet? (w/ Dr. Alice Howarth)
Sep 4 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

One in two of us will suffer with cancer in our lifetime and almost all of us have some experience of the disease. But do we really know what cancer is and how we can work towards a cure? Is a cure even possible? And how can we arm ourselves with the right information to help us prevent and treat cancer?

Alice is a researcher who works in the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool and has worked with both non-profit and for-profit organisations. In this talk she will discuss what cancer is, how it works and just how we are working towards understanding and curing the disease. She will talk about the complexities of research and some of the big success stories that relate directly to some of the many types of cancer. Only when we understand the difficulties we face can we discern between bogus cancer treatment claims and genuine scientific advancement in this field.

 

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/

 

Sep
24
Tue
The Course/Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 1/10
Sep 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 1/10 @ The University Womens 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.

 

Introduction and the Court Artist

Why the arts? What is a Prince? Were they all leaders of taste? We begin by exploring some of the key themes and figures of this series before moving on to examine the qualities, experience and identity of the “court artist”.

Sep
25
Wed
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 1/20
Sep 25 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 1/20 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

In this series of paired lectures and walks 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.

Lecture Immigrants

London is a city of incomers, and has been since its foundation by the Romans nearly two millennia ago. The way Londoners speak, eat, the trades they have practiced and the way they dress have been formed by the crucial additions to the population which have given the city its character.

2 October 2019
 

The week after the lecture, there will be a conducted walk in Spitalfields and nearby, home successively to Huguenots, Jews and Bangladeshis

Sep
26
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 1/10
Sep 26 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 1/10 @ 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.

Beginnings, Schooling And Influences

We will look at the unconventional circumstances surrounding the birth of Leonardo, his family background, his father’s profession and how that impacted on Leonardo’s early education. We will examine his early training in the Florentine workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio; look closely at the latter’s techniques and working practices, the students who passed through this workshop and what possible impact all this may have had on the future development of Leonardo’s art. We will end with his departure from the Verrocchio workshop.

Oct
1
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 2/10
Oct 1 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 2/10 @ 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.

The Glory of the Lagoon

Far from the romantic city of our imagination, Renaissance Venice was a superpower feared across the Italian peninsula. Its vast territories gave it unique contact with eastern and western culture which, from Jacopo Bellini to Titian, mingle in the art commissioned by those selected families who vied with each other to provide the next Doge.

Oct
2
Wed
Witchcraft and the Law in England (w/ Deborah Hyde @jourdemayne)
Oct 2 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The legal approach to witchcraft in England changed considerably over the course of 700 years, reflecting the philosophy, power struggles and politics of each era. At first deprecated as an ignorant superstition, belief in the power of witchcraft eventually became established – even among the most educated.

Deborah Hyde has been Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic Magazine for over five years. She speaks regularly at conventions, on podcasts and on international broadcast media about why people believe in the supernatural – especially the malign supernatural – using a combination of history and psychology. She thinks that superstition and religion are natural – albeit not ideal – ways of looking at the world.

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/

 

Oct
3
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 2/10
Oct 3 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 2/10 @ 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.

Masters At Work: Techniques And Mediums

We will examine Leonardo’s decisions behind his choice of techniques and mediums, including his use of metal point, black chalk, red chalk, pen and ink and wash, and his early use of oil paint. We will look at exquisite examples of all these, asking what were their uses and how they would affect Leonardo’s choices.

Oct
8
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 3/10
Oct 8 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 3/10 @ 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.

Splendour in the Marches

Federigo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, was in many ways the ideal Renaissance ruler – courageous soldier, benevolent statesman and cultivated and lavish patron of the arts. We will concentrate on the paintings, architecture, manuscripts and sculpture associated with Federigo, but also cast a glance at his arch‐enemy Sigismondo Malatesta of Rimini, “more wild beast than man”.

Oct
9
Wed
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 3/10
Oct 9 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 3/10 @ 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 paired lectures and walks 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.

Lecture Merchants

London is a city conceived for trade. Sited at the lowest easily bridgeable part of the Thames, a conduit leading to the Continent. From Roman times the Port of London was vital to the prosperity of the country at large, and at one stage the Port was the largest in the world. Other forms of trade have also flourished, with London established as a financial centre from the 13th century onwards.

Walk
The week after the lecture (16 Oct) there will be a walk in the City and close to the Thames
Oct
10
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 3/10
Oct 10 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 3/10 @ 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.

Sculpture And The World Of The Antique

Although no sculptures by Leonardo exist, we will examine his influences from the antique world, his sculptural design ideas and how they would play into the narrative of the Renaissance aesthetic. We will also consider the drawings that were made to demonstrate how he might have constructed these artworks.

Oct
15
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 4/10
Oct 15 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 4/10 @ 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.

Poets and Soldiers

The d’Este rulers of Ferrara created an environment of taste and magnificence, brick and marble, of the finest paintings, in a city which they made a model of early urban planning and is now a Unesco World Heritage site. Much of their collections is now dispersed, but we will consider their impact as well as that of the sculpture, architecture and painting which remain. In contrast, the Sforza of Milan were terrifying warlords but also commissioned some of Leonardo’s finest work during his 18 years at their court.

Oct
17
Thu
The Course / Leonard da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 4/10
Oct 17 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonard da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 4/10 @ The Course at The University Womens 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.

The Art And The Meaning Of Portraiture

We will look at Leonardo’s interest in portraiture; his own image and what that might tell us about the man as well as portraits of ruling families, including La Giocondo or Lisa Gherardini, now known as the Mona Lisa. We will also examine his obsession with the Madonna and child grouping, his sources for these compositions and what he hoped to achieve with his constant revisiting of this subject.

Oct
22
Tue
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 5/10
Oct 22 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 5/10 @ 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.

Smoke and Mirrors

Mantua, small and muddy, was one of the least powerful of Italian city states but through extraordinary and judicious patronage of the arts, the Gonzaga dynasty presented itself as the equal of all contemporaries. Alberti in architecture, Pisanello and Mantegna in painting created an image of splendour which made the city the envy of its contemporaries.

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
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.

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.

Nov
6
Wed
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.

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?