The continuing education program offers special interest and educational courses with a difference focusing on art, archaeology, culture, history, science, literature and writing, music and life skills.

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Mon 08 Feb 2021 - Mon 01 Mar 2021

18:00 - 19:30

4 Sessions

Online

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the women who won the right to vote in Australia. Contemporary non-fiction writers have reconstructed the lives of suffragists like Vida Goldstein and the women who left Australia to fight for the rights of women abroad from the historical record. But how did fiction writers at the time contend with the question of votes for women? How did they represent the campaign for women’s voting rights in imaginative writing? And how did they imagine the enfranchised woman herself?

This course will introduce students to the history of the women’s suffrage movement in Australia, including key players and events in the campaign, before delving into the movement’s literary dimension. Structured around the works of three woman writers – Ada Cambridge, Henrietta Dugdale, and better-known Miles Franklin – the course will explore the contexts in which their works were written, and consider how understanding these contexts informs our interpretation of each text and the message it appears to deliver.

  • Topic 1: Historical contexts: the fight for women’s suffrage in Australia
  • Topic 2: Ada Cambridge: writing the campaign for women’s suffrage
  • Topic 3: Henrietta Dugdale: writing an enfranchised future
  • Topic 4: Miles Franklin: writing voting women

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, learners should:

  • Know about the history of the women’s suffrage campaign in Australia
  • Recognise how understanding the context in which a literary work is produced can influence a reader’s perception of it
  • Understand the relationship between women’s suffrage fiction and the women’s suffrage campaign’s political agenda in Australia
  • Know about publishing trends in the late nineteenth century in Australia

Who should enrol

This course will appeal to people who are interested in the history of Australian feminism, Australian literature, women’s writing, and/or a combination of these things.

Mon 03 May 2021 - Mon 24 May 2021

18L00 - 20:00

4 Sessions

Online

This course is about the archaeology and social lives of the people living in Western Europe in the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

Warriors, farmers, sailors, builders, metalsmiths, and priests: from the people who built Stonehenge to the Celtic-speaking tribes who fought the Romans. The later prehistoric period was the time when the first ideas of civilisation came to Europe.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, learners will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Understand the archaeological timeline and characteristics of later prehistoric Western Europe;
  • Recognise the social and cultural changes from one time period to another;
  • Grasp key debates about the identities of prehistoric communities;
  • Explain the nature of monuments, housing, domestic lives, beliefs, and attitudes to death.

Who should enrol

This course is aimed at a general audience with a healthy enthusiasm for studying the past but no previous experience in archaeology is necessary.


Tue 02 Feb 2021 - Tue 23 Mar 2021

18:00 - 20:00

8 Sessions

Online

The Crusades are among the most important events in world history. As well as discussing themes of religion, society, warfare, and culture; meet outstanding historical individuals such as Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Peter the Hermit, and Baldwin the leper king of Jerusalem.

Course outline

  • Topic 1: An introduction to and overview of the Crusades.
  • Topic 2: The first Crusade.
  • Topic 3: The Holy Land and the crusader states. Crusading memoirs and primary sources.
  • Topic 4: The third Crusade: Richard and Saladin.
  • Topic 5: The fourth Crusade: the sack of Constantinople.
  • Topic 6: Crusading in the Thirteenth Century: Saint Louis and the emperor Frederick II.
  • Topic 7: The Knights Templar and the military orders.
  • Topic 8: The Crusades in literature and in the western consciousness: Walter Scott's the Talisman. The Crusades and popular culture: Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, you should:

  • have a greater appreciation of historical and cultural differences, and of human nature
  • have an increased understanding of the complex relationship between the past and the present
  • have a greater awareness of how we moderns see ourselves in relation to the past.

Who should enrol

This course is open to anyone with an interest in history.

What past participants had to say

"An exciting introduction on how to approach historical documents."

"Very enjoyable course and great class interaction."

"The presenter, Walter Kudrycz, is incredibly knowledgeable on the subject. He was able to present the information in a very easy to learn way. He was always open to questions and discussion. Very enjoyable."

No dates are currently scheduled.

This course is about the archaeology and social lives of Early Medieval English and Scandinavian peoples.

The Saxon and Viking period was one of mass-migration and cultural interaction, where Germanic language people traded and invaded from Ireland to Istanbul. Their mythical origins can be traced in the archaeology left behind and their pagan ways underpinned Christianity in the west.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, learners will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Understand the archaeological timeline and characteristics of Early Medieval Western Europe;
  • Recognise the social and cultural changes from one time period to another;
  • Grasp key debates about the identities of Early Medieval communities;
  • Explain the nature of monuments, housing, domestic lives, beliefs, and attitudes to death.

Who should enrol

This course is aimed at a general audience with a healthy enthusiasm for studying the past but no previous experience in archaeology is necessary. 

No dates are currently scheduled.

If all roads lead to Rome, then wonder this way as we take you down the path of time to the ancient Greco-Romans. In examining the archaeology, immerse yourself in their philosophy, culture and history. Engage with writings and ideas of the ancient world, and discuss the history and society. And discover the joy of studying the classics and classical antiquity.

Course outline

Each session of the course is framed around a specific area of classics, before introducing key texts and writings highlighting the ideas, culture, and society, of the ancient world.

  • Session 1 - Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Session 2 - Approaches to Greek and Roman history
  • Session 3 - Greek and Latin literature
  • Session 4 –Greek historians and Roman historians
  • Session 5 – Homer and Virgil
  • Session 6 – Approaches to classics 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should have:

  • a basic understanding of classics and the study of classics
  • a basic understanding of the societies and cultures of Ancient Greek and Rome
  • the ability to engage with the main forms of approaching Greek and Roman history
  • an understanding of the key forms of Greek and Roman literature
  • an appreciation of some of the key texts and authors of the ancient world
  • an introductory understanding of how to engage, read, and study classics
  • the ability to develop some of the key critical skills needed to engage with classics and the study of classics
  • the means to both enjoy and engage with classics.

Who should enrol

This course is open to anyone interested in learning about classics and classical antiquity.

Rhys Williams is a graduate of the Australian National University (ANU) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is a PhD candidate in the School of History, ANU, working towards a thesis on British Socialism and Australia: 1880-1914. He is a Tutor in History and Political Science.

No dates are currently scheduled.

Pop music is more than just the soundtrack to our lives; it has moved our emotions, stimulated our minds, formed our attitudes, and shaped our experiences. Covering subjects ranging from Bubblegum Music to Britpop, this course will examine the dynamic history and the multi-faceted nature of pop music. It will also use rock and pop music to help us understand the modern cultural environment, and to illustrate various philosophical issues.

Course outline

Week One - Beginnings

  • Rock Around the Clock, Elvis, Rhythm and Blues
  • Defining Rock and Pop.
  • Modernity and Postmodernity
  • To think or to feel?

Week Two - Tycoons of Teen

  • Profit and Popularity
  • Phil Spector, the girl groups, and Motown
  • The Beach Boys
  • The early Beatles, the British Invasion, and the Mersey Sound

Week Three - Changing Times

  • The Gates of Eden.
  • Poetry and Protest: Bob Dylan and the grown-up Beatles.
  • The Blues in Britain: the emergence of the guitar god, and the beginnings of hard rock.

Week Four -  Lucy in the Sky

  • Psychedelia. From Acid Rock to Bubblegum Music.
  • America Strikes Back: the Monkees, the Byrds, and Country Rock.
  • The Band, Roots Rock, and the origins of Heartland Rock.

Week Five - Parody and Postmodernity

  • Glitter and Art Rock: Roxy Music, Brian Eno, and David Bowie.
  • Progressive Rock: Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson.
  • Heavy Metal and stadium rock.

Week Six -  No Future

  • Punk Rock and New Wave Music.
  • Television, Blondie, and the New Wave in New York.
  • Reggae and the Ska revival.
  • New Order, Manchester, and Techno Pop.

Week Seven - Looking Backwards

  • From Big Star to the Paisley Underground movement.
  • New alternatives: REM and The Smiths.
  • Grunge and the birth of Indie.

Week Eight - Culture Wars

  • Britpop, Bristol, and Shoegazing.
  • A new Psychedelia?
  • Contemporary ‘R&B’ and the legacy of Soul.
  • What is the future of rock and pop music?

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course you should have:

  • A greater appreciation of modern and contemporary culture.
  • Increased ability to analyze the social and creative forces that have shaped us.
  • Increased awareness of the ways in which our lived experiences and our sense of self have been constructed.

Who should enrol

The course is for those interested in pop and rock music, modern culture, music history, and the history of ideas.

What our students say

"Good solid imparting of info. Context of music and cultural and societal events gave me a deeper appreciation of music and of the artists which enhanced my own decades of knowledge and experience in broadcasting music programs."

"A fun, fascinating course, very well taught  by the teacher who had great command of his material. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the history of popular music."

"Full of information, class interaction and fun! I think the lecturer enjoys giving this course almost as much as the students do. I learnt so much, and didn't want it to end."

No dates are currently scheduled.

This course is about the archaeology and social lives of the people living in the Western Roman Empire.

The Roman world included people from Africa, Britain, Germany, Greece, and Iran. They moved around Western Europe, trading, fighting, marrying, and dying in the Roman provinces. The Roman period was the flowering of multicultural Europe. 

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, learners will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Understand the archaeological timeline and characteristics of Roman Western Europe;
  • Recognise the social and cultural changes over the time period;
  • Grasp key debates about the identities of Roman communities;
  • Explain the nature of monuments, housing, domestic lives, beliefs, and attitudes to death.

Who should enrol

This course is aimed at a general audience with a healthy enthusiasm for studying the past but no previous experience in archaeology is necessary.


No dates are currently scheduled.

As an island nation, Japan’s culture is fascinatingly different from its Asian neighbours.

During two and a half centuries of self-imposed isolation in the pre-modern period, Japan developed cultural traditions so strong that they still intrigue the foreign visitor today. 

Using an abundance of visual material, this course will survey Japanese history and culture from its beginnings to the end of the 20th century, with due consideration of how Japan’s geographical position next to the Asian Continent and some hundred active volcanoes dotting the islands, frequent earthquakes, tsunamis, heavy monsoon rains and typhoons shaped the ethos and lifestyle of its people.

Course outline

  1. Introduction: the geographic and climatic features shaping Japanese history and culture. Where did the first people on the island chain come from? Jômon culture with its fantastic pottery and masked statues followed by a new wave of immigrants bringing rice cultivation, mega tombs, mirrors, swords and the governance of a female ruler. 
  2. The religion of Shinto and the sanctuary of the sun goddess Amaterasu, the progenitor of the imperial line. The introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century, the architecture of its temples that withstood earthquakes for well over a thousand years, the imagery of Buddhist statues.
  3. The founding of the imperial capital of Kyoto. The refined culture of the aristocracy. The rise of the samurai: recruited to serve the emperor, they usurped his political authority and created their own warrior culture. The attempted invasion of Kublai Khan and the divine winds (kami kaze) that saved the country.
  4. The Christian Century: from missionary success to persecution and martyrdom. Artistic and cultural gains from the encounter between East and West. The three great unifiers of Japan and the politics of the tea ceremony.
  5. The Tokugawa military rulers (shogun) and 250 years of peace and closure of the country.  The much-maligned “Dog Shogun” and the eye-witness account of a foreign visitor. 
  6. The growth of the mega city of Edo (Tokyo), and the flowering of what is celebrated as traditional Japanese culture today, such as haiku, kabuki, the art of the geisha and the woodblock print. The passion for travel: the Japanese inns and the cultural life on the busy highways.
  7. Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in the 18th and 19th century, the arrival of the Americans, the restoration of imperial rule.  
  8. The 20th century: The strive for emancipation as a world power: rapid Westernisation and the role of the military. Victory and defeat and the post-war commercial boom.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you should:

  • appreciate how the environment has shaped the culture and history of Japan
  • understand to what extent China, Korea and the West impacted on the culture and history of Japan
  • be aware how frequent natural disasters shaped religious believes and philosophical tenets in Japan, differing from those of other countries
  • know the difference between Buddhism and Shinto and the political role played by these two religions
  • have some appreciation of the role of Christianity in Japan
  • know about the origins of samurai culture and the role it played over the course of Japanese history
  • be aware of how the position of Japanese women changed over the course of Japanese history
  • understand how even after the so-called closure of Japan, cultural exchange led to advances in science and the arts in Japan and the West
  • appreciate how under the infamous Dog Shogun, laws were promulgated some of which appeared in the West only 200 years later
  • have learned about the life in Edo/Tokyo, perhaps the largest and most densely populated city in the world, twice the size of London in the pre-modern period.

Who should enrol

Anyone desiring to understand and appreciate the history and culture of Japan.