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Discussion Groups

Discussion Group Program

Welcome to WEA Sydney’s Discussion Group Program! The Discussion Group Program is a distance education based program with course range runs from history and literature into topics of philosophy and social sciences. Designed for group study (minimum of 6) at home or in a club or other community setting.

All DGP courses listed in the WEA Sydney Discussion Group Program Catalogue are available for enrolment – so don’t miss out! Simply check the availability of your chosen course with WEA Sydney as several courses get booked quickly. Full course information can be found using the links below.

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No Home for a Lady? Five Women Travelling in the '90s

This new course will follow the different paths of five women travellers writing of their adventures and romance. We will visit Rajasthan, Damascus, Jordon, Greece and Zimbabwe and on our travels will visit the lives and culture of the writers and those that they meet and sometimes love. Course Tutor Susannah Fullerton Supplied Course Material Lieve Joris, The Gates of Damascus Royina Grewal, In Rajasthan Annie Caulfield, Kingdom of the Film Stars Katherine Kizilos, The Olive Grove... [More]

Who'll Come A-Waltzing? - Australian Poetry In Focus

The Australian poetic voice is vibrant, entertaining, moving and memorable. There is so much about Australia, the land and its people, embedded in its poetry. Each unit of this course will explore poetic forms as they address what it means to be Australian and how our great land informs our identity. Meet our great poets and our obscure poets and learn about our rich plethora of truly memorable poetry. Course Tutor Christine Gietz Supplied Course Material Course Booklet Units &... [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 buildings as well as private homes, and even outside some churches. This course considers the dis-united states and territories before the... [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 wealth and growing poverty, great buildings and workers' slums, strict morality at home and aggression abroad... Yet Victorian England’s... [More]

The Mycenaeans: Bronze Age Ancestors of the Ancient Greeks

The Mycenaeans – the heroes of Greek mythology – created a rich and complex civilisation. Archaeology has revealed many of their monuments, including the palaces which were the centres of artistic, economic and political life. Gain a broad outline of Mycenaean culture, from the Mycenaeans' arrival in Greece to the final collapse of their civilisation. Course Tutor Faye Langley Supplied Course Material Course Booklet Units & Pricing 6 units / $78 per person Course Code for Enrolment... [More]

Medieval Learning: Throwing a Light on the Dark Ages

The Middle Ages have often been dismissed as a period of ignorance stuck between two epochs of intellectual achievement – the world of Classical Antiquity and the flowering of the Renaissance. However if we look closer we will discover a rich tradition of innovation and learning. From Charlemagne’s reign in the 8th century to the 14th century, the Middle Ages were instrumental in laying the foundation for the Renaissance and the Western intellectual tradition as a whole. This... [More]

Portraits of Italy: Cicero, Alberti, Raphael, Titian, Vivaldi and Domenic Scarletti

This course explores the glories of creativity in Italy from Ancient Rome through to the Renaissance, using a mixture of written commentary, original texts, and audio and visual material. Cicero’s famous speeches examine the interconnection between writing and public speaking in Ancient Rome; the Alberti unit looks at his architecture and his satirical novel Momus; the Raphael, Titian, and Vivaldi units hardly need any comment, as these figures are all so famous and celebrated,... [More]

Alexander the Great

The mystique of Alexander the Great is timeless. Ideas and images about this young, handsome, Macedonian have haunted historians from both East and West for over 2000 years. Why is this so? What has been the ongoing significance of this short, violent life? During this course we will seek to discover what if any, were his lasting accomplishments. Looking at his life and death we will try to understand the broad reaching cultural ramifications of the great clash of East and Western... [More]

"All the World’s a Stage..." Quoting Shakespeare

The words of Shakespeare are alive. After 400 years people still quote from his famous speeches, for as Ben Jonson said of his friend: “he was not of an age but for all time”. This will be a hands on course where we will look at some famous speeches from a variety of Shakespeare’s plays. We will analyse why the speeches work so well within their context, and investigate just why these words and sayings continue to fascinate people today. We will look for situations that elicit... [More]

The Art And Archaeology Of Ancient Greece

This course looks at various aspects of Greek art and archaeology from the legacy of the Minoans and Mycenaeans to international Hellenism. Discussion topicsinclude causes and effects of an 8th century BC renaissance in the arts as wel l as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, the first Olympic Games and most important to the West, alphabetic writing. Later meetings examine the classical ideals of the Parthenon, the birth of European painting and the exploits of Alexander the Great. Course... [More]