Special Interest Courses

The following courses are all run by highly qualified tutors and lecturers. Some of them have taught or are teaching for The Cambridge University Institute of Continuing Education or other Institutes of Further or Higher Education or the WEA. Students are encouraged to take an active part in learning through class discussion and reading. Some tutors may give students the option to do written work but this is entirely at the
tutor’s discretion and there may be a marking fee payable directly to the tutor. Other than for Creative Writing, written work will NOT be compulsory on any course. A syllabus and book list may be provided by the tutor prior to the start of the course. There must be a minimum of 12 students for each course to run.

Click on the Tutor’s name to go to their biography.

Contemporary Short Stories

Tutor: Sharon Priestley
Mondays from 13:30 to 15:30
3rd Jun 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

THIS COURSE IS CANCELLED. On this discussion-based, 5-week course, we analyse some fascinating contemporary short stories that provide snapshots into everyday life. We will read stories by familiar authors and new writers, all of whom have created thought-provoking and excellent short fiction. Come and join us for some stimulating discussions about the rich variety of life depicted in these stories--you may be surprised at what you find! Text: Life: Great Short Stories by Women chosen by Victoria Hislop; some photocopies of stories by men will also be provided.

Art, Enlightenment and the World - Part 2

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Tutor: Madeline Edmead
Tuesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
4th Jun 2019
£55.20 per 6 weeks term.

During the 18th century Europe became much more aware of other parts of the world. The new interactions can be seen in the way the arts reflected them. In this course we will explore, among other topics, the Americas and the Antipodes, an area newly explored by Europeans. It is not necessary to have done part one.

Smiles & Tears: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

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Tutor: Margaret Norwich
Tuesdays from 13:30 to 15:30
23rd Apr 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

A daring and powerful novel written by the "other" Bronte sister, concerning an intriguing and mysterious widow and her young son who take up residence in a previously deserted Elizabethan mansion, it was a bestseller in its day! We will consider closely Anne Bronte's style, substance and courage, and perhaps reflect on how much human nature may have changed since 1848?

Angels & Phantoms: Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies

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Tutor: Margaret Norwich
Tuesdays from 13:30 to 15:30
4th Jun 2019
£56.00 per 6 weeks term.

In the sequel to her award winning novel Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel returns to the court of Henry VIII to consider one of the most mystifying and terrifying episodes in English history as seen through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's boy who is now the King's Chief Minister. The demise of Anne Boleyn is a story we all know but in this spellbinding account by an author at the height of her powers there is much to surprise, amaze and provoke discussion: please join us!

Power and Persuasion: Propaganda and War Posters

Tutor: Barry Dackombe
Tuesdays from 13:30 to 15:30
23rd Apr 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED. A striking feature of the last century was the prevalence of posters to influence, inspire and persuade the public to action. From the memorable “Your Country Needs You” to “Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases” style posters, the nation’s hearts and minds were appealed to in order to elicit support. This course will look at a range of posters to analyse their message, contemporary mood and preoccupations as well as artistic achievements to understand the role of propaganda in its historical context.

Walking with History Part 3 (a repeat of the walks done in 2016)

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Tutor: Anne Rowe
Wednesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
24th Apr 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

A series of five walks exploring the multi-faceted history of the Hertfordshire countryside. Topics to be covered during the walks will include settlement history, open fields, commons, parks and the management of woodland and hedgerows. Each walk will be in a different area and will take about 2 hours and cover approximately 2-4 miles, starting and finishing at a point where cars can be parked. Transport for non-drivers between The Settlement and the walk start/end point can be arranged for a small additional charge. A detailed programme will be available in due course.

Art and Archaeology of the Vikings

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Tutor: Lloyd Laing
Wednesdays from 13:30 to 15:30
24th Apr 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

Although often depicted as violent pillagers and looters, the Vikings were major traders, town builders, explorers and artists, establishing colonies in Russia, Iceland and even North America centuries before Columbus. This course looks at the origins of the Vikings, their activities overseas and their dynamic art that impacted on other societies with which they made contact.

The Anglo-Saxon Settlement of England - Art and Archaeology

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Tutor: Lloyd Laing
Wednesdays from 13:30 to 15:30
5th Jun 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

How extensive were the Anglo-Saxon settlements in England? What was their relationship with the native Britons? Was King Arthur a real person? These are some of the questions considered in this course which looks at the impact of the Anglo-Saxons on Britain, their art and culture, in the period up to their conversion to Christianity.

Stunning Structures 1.The Great Exhibition of 1851: The Crystal Palace

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Tutor: Tim Parrott
Wednesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
24th Apr 2019
£10.00 per 1 weeks term.

This is a set of 5 stand-alone lectures about some famous structures which can be attended separately or taken together as a course.

Stunning Structures 2. Gothic Structure: Understanding the Great Medieval Cathedrals

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Tutor: Tim Parrott
Wednesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
1st May 2019
£10.00 per 1 weeks term.

This is a set of 5 stand-alone lectures about some famous structures which can be attended separately or taken together as a course.

Stunning Structures 3. Some Best-Loved Bridges Ancient, Victorian and Modern

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Tutor: Tim Parrott
Wednesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
8th May 2019
£10.00 per 1 weeks term.

This is a set of 5 stand-alone lectures about some famous structures which can be attended separately or taken together as a course.

Stunning Structures 4. The Highest Bridge in the World: The Millau Viaduct

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Tutor: Tim Parrott
Wednesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
15th May 2019
£10.00 per 1 weeks term.

This is a set of 5 stand-alone lectures about some famous structures which can be attended separately or taken together as a course.

Stunning Structures 5. The Structure of St Pauls Cathedral

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Tutor: Tim Parrott
Wednesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
22nd May 2019
£10.00 per 1 weeks term.

This is a set of 5 stand-alone lectures about some famous structures which can be attended separately or taken together as a course.

Russians and the Russian Culture in the USSR through the Witnesss Eyes: The Cold War

Tutor: Marina Burrell
Wednesdays from 10:30 to 12:30
24th Apr 2019
£92.00 per 10 weeks term.

THIS COURSE IS CANCELLED. What was the life of ordinary people like in the USSR during the Cold War? The course invites you to make comparisons with the life in the UK and discuss to what extent some Western myths and stereotypes reflected the Soviet reality. The course is based on the Tutor’s experience & illustrated with period artefacts, video and audio materials. You will also learn some basic Russian.

The Pre-Raphaelites

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Tutor: Gary Day
Thursdays from 13:30 to 15:30
25th Apr 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

Everyone loves the Pre-Raphaelites. But who were they really? What were they trying to do. And what were the main characteristics of their art? This course will examine the origins of the Pre-Raphaelites, what they were reacting against (academicism) and responding to (photography, evolution), the controversy they caused, and the eventual split between the realists led by Hunt and Millais and the medievalists led by Rossetti and Burne-Jones.

French Impressionism

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Tutor: Gary Day
Thursdays from 13:30 to 15:30
6th Jun 2019
£47.00 per 5 weeks term.

It’s tempting to think that nothing new can be said about Impressionism. Originally intended as an insult, the term has now come to signify a safe and soft focus and view of life in pastel colours. This course will look at the rise of Impressionism, reactions to it and try to analyse the nature of its enduring appeal. In the process, we may find that something new can be said about it after all.

From Cradle to Grave The Victorian Family

Tutor: Liz Carter
Thursdays from 10:00 to 12:00
25th Apr 2019
£92.00 per 10 weeks term.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED. We study daily life in a Victorian England from the upper, privileged classes down to the poorest working family. Using contemporary accounts and original documents, we look at customs associated with birth, marriage and death; changing attitudes towards work for men, women and children, marriage and education; improved living conditions and expanding leisure pursuits and examine how new technology, government legislation and changing social attitudes affected the Victorian family from ‘cradle to grave.

Lipreading Classes

Tutor: Louise Reed
Fridays from 10:00 to 12:00
26th Apr 2019
£110.50 per 12 weeks term.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Attending a Lipreading course at the Settlement helps people who are becoming deaf to discover how to cope with everyday life. They will learn to understand body language, the rhythm of speech, facial expression and, of course, the lip movements of a speaker who speaks normally and without exaggeration. This skill requires perseverance and practice, of course, but classes are friendly and there is lots of laughter in them.

Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology)

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Tutor: Lesley Kelly
Fridays from 10:00 to 12:30
26th Apr 2019
£92.00 per 8 weeks term.

What causes abnormal behaviour? What is it and how can it be treated? Delve into the world of psychopathology, obsessive compulsive disorders, schizophrenia and more.