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World Civilisations: City And State In Ancient Persia

The course will begin with a consideration of the definitions of 'civilisation,' and will then explore the origins of the city, the state, and of writing, in Persia (Iran) between c 3500 BC, and the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great, in 331 BC. Themes to be considered will include the changing nature of city life, and of the state; the roles of religion, trade, warfare, and the emergence of literacy. Much of the course will be based on archaeological evidence, but we will also be looking at translated inscriptions, and bureaucratic texts. We will move on to look at the interactions between the Persian Empire and the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.

22 April 2024 – 15 July 2024
Monday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:455
£133 / £47
11 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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Aspects Of The Later 20th Century World

The course will explore the cultural history of Europe and the Mediterranean world from 1960 to 2000, including feminism and the sexual revolution; the birth of Israel; the break-up of the Soviet Union; the realignment of eastern Europe; and the idea of European Union. Drawing on archaeological evidence, literary texts, architecture and the visual arts, the course will look at the complex and shifting relationships between the present and the past in the definition and transformation of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures and identities.

24 April 2024 – 10 July 2024
Wednesday, 10:30 to 13:00
Course Code:452CS
£201 / £70
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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Enlightenment: Britain And France In The Age Of Reason 1680-1760

This history course will explore key aspects of the intense political, cultural, religious, and intellectual changes that formed the backbone of the Enlightenment in Britain and France. When we think of the Enlightenment, it's very usual for the great French thinkers Voltaire and Rousseau to quickly come to mind, and we will study some of their important works. But the historian Roy Porter argued convincingly that the origins of the Enlightenment are to be found in the coffee houses of London during the second half of the 17th century, and so this is where our course will begin. We will address key questions including what exactly was the Enlightenment, and how was it understood by contemporaries? What are the different ways in which scholars have understood the Enlightenment since the 18th century? And who exactly was enlightened? How important were science, the arts, and the book trade to the process of enlightenment? Who was antagonistic towards the Enlightenment and why? How much of a threat was the new intellectual world to the governments of the day? We will utilise historical texts and images, including works by Swift, Defoe, and Hogarth, as well as reading a wide range of works by historians.

25 April 2024 – 11 July 2024
Thursday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:459
£132 / £46
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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World Civilisations City And State In Ancient Egypt

The course will begin with a consideration of the definitions of 'civilisation,' and will then explore the origins of the city, the state, and of writing, in Egypt between c 3100 BC, and the conquest of the region by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in 525 BC. Themes to be considered will include the changing nature of city life, and of the state; the roles of religion, trade, and warfare; and the emergence of literacy. Much of the course will be based on archaeological evidence, but we will also be looking at translated texts, including poems, short stories, medical treatises, religious and funerary texts.

25 September 2023 – 11 December 2023
Monday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:453
£145 / £51
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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Aspects Of The Early 20th Century World

The course will explore the cultural history of Europe and the Mediterranean world from 1920 to 1933, including the rise of Modernism & Futurism in the arts; the birth of psychology and psychotherapy; the Great Depression; the rise of Fascism in Italy, and of Naziism in Germany; the early history of film and radio. Drawing on archaeological evidence, literary texts, architecture and the visual arts, the course will look at the complex and shifting relationships between the present and the past in the definition and transformation of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures and identities.

27 September 2023 – 13 December 2023
Wednesday, 10:30 to 13:00
Course Code:450CS
£201 / £70
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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World Civilisations: City And State In Ancient Greece

The course will begin with a consideration of the definitions of 'civilisation,' and will then explore the origins of the city, the state, and of writing, in Greece between c 2000 BC, and the conquest of the region by the Roman Empire in 146 BC. Themes to be considered will include the changing nature of city life, and of the state; the roles of religion, trade, and warfare; and the emergence of literacy. The course will draw upon translated texts, including the epic poetry of Homer; the tragedies of Aeschylus, & Euripides; the comedies of Aristophanes & Menander; the histories of Herodotus & Thucydides; and the philosophy of Plato & Aristotle; as well as archaeological evidence.

08 January 2024 – 25 March 2024
Monday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:454
£145 / £51
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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The World Of The Later 20th Century

The course will explore the cultural history of Europe and the Mediterranean world from 1934 to 1959, including the origins and conduct of the Second World War; the Holocaust; the Marshall Plan; the Cold War; the welfare state; Existentialism, decolonisation, and the early history of television. Drawing on archaeological evidence, literary texts, architecture and the visual arts, the course will look at the complex and shifting relationships between the present and the past in the definition and transformation of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures and identities.

10 January 2024 – 27 March 2024
Wednesday, 10:30 to 13:00
Course Code:451CS
£201 / £70
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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The World Turned Upside Down: England In Turmoil 1530-1688

This course will explore the intense political and religious strife in England that began with Henry VII's break with Rome and continued until the Glorious Revolution. The Reformation politicised religion, pitting Catholics against Protestants. This course will examine important themes of the turmoil, such as the ways in which royal authority was contested; plots and conspiracies; rebellions; and the circulation of news and false news. This is an interdisciplinary course that will blend political, social, and cultural history, and the history of ideas, and the history of the book. We will assess lots of primary sources, including printed texts and images, paintings, and coins.

11 January 2024 – 28 March 2024
Thursday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:461
£132 / £46
12 Meetings
High Street, Stratford
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