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Courses 2019/2020

September 2019 – June 2020

studyFundamental questions in Western philosophy

Nicholas Crofts

What is knowledge and how do we obtain it? Does the word ‘beautiful’ express anything more than personal preference? What does it mean to be a ‘good’ person? Is language essential to thought? In this course we examine some of the founding question of Western philosophy, and the answers that ancient and modern philosophers have proposed. The approach is thematic, with a chronological underpinning. There are no prerequisites, other than a willingness to grapple with complex questions and to engage in discussion.

2 modules. Meets once every 15 days on Friday evenings from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm

module 1, 2019 (20, 27 Sept; 4, 25 Oct, 8, 22 Nov, 6 Dec)
module 2, 2020 (10, 24 Jan, 7, 21 Feb, 6, 20 Mar, 3 Apr)


S6301346A thematic History of Art

Nicholas Crofts

The course takes a thematic rather than a chronological approach to the history of art: examining and comparing works from different periods by facets – subject, technique, structure, scale and form. The aim is to help students cultivate a broad, diachronic appreciation of art, to develop the ability to recognise works of different artistic styles and to place them in their historical context. There are no prerequisites for this class, other than a willingness to engage in discussion.

2 modules. Meets once every 15 days on Thursday afternoons from 14.00 pm to 15.30 pm

module 1, 2019 (26 Sept; 10, 31 Oct, 14, 28 Nov, 5, 12 Dec)
module 2, 2020 (23 Jan, 6, 20 Feb, 5, 19 Mar, 2, 16 Apr)


Understanding and listeningjazz to jazz

Marc Crofts

2 modules. Meets once every 15 days on Friday evenings from 6.15 pm to 7.45 pm
Module 1, 2019
Module 2, 2020

What do contemporary jazz and Louis Armstrong have in common? Through this course you can answer this question! To understand what jazz is, we will examine the forms it has taken, from its origins (blues, ragtime, stride, etc.) to jazz fusion, the bebop revolution and fusion styles such as bossa nova, Afro-Cuban style or gypsy swing. Listening to the songs, we explore the rhythms and harmonies at the heart of the music, as well as the historical and sociological context that saw its birth and its development through to today. Depending on our interests, we may spend more or less time on particular musicians and periods. After this trip, you will not listen to music the same way!

To participate in this course, there are no prerequisites other than a desire to explore new musical horizons.


conversationLunch time discussion group

Nicholas Crofts

An informal discussion group, with an emphasis on cultural topics, aimed primarily at non-native speakers wishing to improve their spoken English through conversation. Discussion topics are set in advance and some appropriate and accessible reading material provided.

2 modules. Meets once every 15 days on Thursdays from 5.30 pm to 7.00 pm

module 1, 2019 (19, 26 Sept; 10, 24 Oct, 7, 21 Nov, 5 Dec)
module 2, 2020 (9, 23 Jan, 6, 20 Feb, 5, 19 Mar, 2 Apr)