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Modern History

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A Woman’s Sphere: How 19th Century British Women Created a Social Revolution that Changed the Empire

In 19th century Britain and her colonies, the socio-religious doctrine known as “The Two Spheres” was enshrined in law. This doctrine defined the roles of men and women in society. Two clearly delineated spheres – the masculine sphere was the world of action, politics, economics, education and religion; the feminine sphere was the world of hearth... [More]

A Celebration of 400 Years of Women Artists

In every century there have been outstanding women artists who have achieved a reputation that has tested time and sat well-earned, alongside their male colleagues. Often their live stories are remarkable in themselves and give us a glimpse into social histories of their age. In this 5 unit course we will look back over the last 400 years, and will... [More]

Pride, Faith And Blood: The American Civil War And Its Aftermath

Every Federation has struggles between States' rights and national policies. In the United States these led to a civil war which cost more lives than all other wars in which Americans have been involved put together. The war left scars that are still raw, especially in the South, where the Confederate flag flies defiantly over some government... [More]

The Victorian Age And Its Legacy

We’ve all heard the story of Victorian-age prudery which is said to have led to piano legs being covered with frilly lace so that lustful minds could not be excited by bare ankles. Yet, outside the home, in Victorian England, prostitution flourished as never before. This is one of the many paradoxes of the Victorian age, which also saw growing... [More]

Separatism - Why Nations Break Apart

This course looks at how and why nations fragment, why parts break away, and considers whether this could happen in Australia, with separatist movements in Western Australia and Norfolk Island and among some indigenous groups. How could indigenous ‘recognition’ and ‘sovereignty’ co-exist within Australia’s constitutional structure? Sometimes... [More]

Armchair Travels

This course let’s you visit six extraordinary destinations without leaving home. We will discuss the history of these places, what continues to draws travellers and options for ‘virtual travel’. We will visit Rapa Nui (Easter Island) unique, remote, mysterious; Vladivostok Russia, once closed to outsiders, now Russia’s gateway to the East; Kasane... [More]

Royalty & Riches, Looters & Collectors - The Wonders of the Art Museums of Today

Millions of people each year visit the major Museums of art from London to New York and from Paris to St Petersburg. But who were the individuals or families that amassed these amazing collections? What are the stories behind the masterpieces? How did major art works travel between countries as war booty from the 1500s to looted art in WWII? Some... [More]

Southeast Asia: History, Culture and Australian Involvement

Southeast Asia is more important to Australia than anywhere else but most people’s knowledge of it tends to be superficial and often inaccurate. Our media focuses on Europe which is of marginal relevance to Australia and where we have no influence or importance. This course provides an introductory overview of the region which matters to us and... [More]

Rebellion! Behind The Eureka Stockade

Just before dawn on the morning of December 3 1854, 296 soldiers and police descended on the sleeping inhabitants of the stockade which had been roughly thrown together on the Eureka Lead in Ballarat. Fifteen minutes later twenty-two miners lay dead and the rebellion against the authority of the Crown had been quashed. The issues which had driven... [More]

Portraits of the Netherlands: Holland and Belgium

This course focuses on the outstanding works of art and music that have emerged from the Low Countries: the paintings of the Van Eyck brothers, and the Flemish school in the early 15th century; the music of Clemens non Papa and Jan Sweelinck, Holland’s greatest late Renaissance composers; Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Holland; Mozart in the... [More]