Zooming Through the Autumn
September 2023 ~ November 2023
The courses below have been completed and are here for reference purposes only.
Click here to see our current courses.
Your Zoom Season Pass
In order to make "Zooming Through the Autumn" on-line term as flexible as possible, we are again offering a single payment "season pass" which will entitle you to join any or all of the autumn sessions below. The Autumn Zoom Season Pass costs just £15 for members or £25 for non-members*.
* To pay for the lectures as a non-member select the arrow in the white box opposite to this text, then on the drop-down menu select the non-member price of £25, next select "Buy Lectures" and follow the prompts.
Note:- The non-member price of £25 means you get the Autumn Zoom Season Pass and Guild Membership, entitling you to member discounted prices for all our other autumn and spring term courses (both Zoom and Venue) until the end of April 2024.
After receipt of payment you will receive a joining invite to each individual session which contains a session ID, password and internet link.
Note: These invites are usually sent out on the preceding day of each course.
Tutor: Alan Sennett
Monday 25th September, 2nd October and 9th October 2023 - 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
This short course will look at the origins of film noir in the 1920s and 1930s through to the classic period of the 1940s and 50s and beyond. We will be looking at film clips that will cover precursors to the classic Hollywood era of Noir, some examples from the classic era and later films that draw on the Noir genre. The course will include tutor presentations, clips from films, film notes and discussions of the films and the genres.
The Big Combo (1955)
The American Cowboy: Myth & Reality
Tutors: Steve Millward & Andrew Jones
Monday 16th October 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
The years 1866-1886 were the years of the cattle kingdom, when Texan cattle men drove their herds northward to cattle towns like Abilene. In doing so, they transformed the diet of the American people and laid down the foundations of the cowboy legend. By the early twentieth century the singing cowboy had become a mainstay of popular culture – on the radio, on record and eventually in Hollywood. The songs, and image, of the singing cowboy proved durable and survive today as an important element of country music. Steve and Andrew will explore both the myths and the music.
Statue of Tex Ritter, an early "singing cowboy," outside the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum in Carthage, Texas
Tutor: Rosemary Broadbent
Wednesday 25th October 1.30 pm - 3.30 pm
In October 1828, Schubert wrote to his publisher:
‘I have composed amongst other things, three sonatas for piano solo . . . also I have set several songs to words by Heine which were found unusually pleasing here, and finally I have knocked up a quintet for 2 violins, 1 viola, and 2 violoncellos. . . . . If any of these compositions would appeal to you, let me know.’
Within weeks the composer was seriously ill, and he died on November 19th. We shall explore this remarkable cluster of masterpieces and examine why they were so slow to be appreciated: the Piano Sonata in B flat major, the magical String Quintet in C, and the Heine settings published as Schwanengesang – Swansong.
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Ottoline Morrell and the Bloomsbury Group
Tutor: Steve Millward
Wednesday 1st November 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
‘They lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles’. Such was Dorothy Parker’s assessment of the Bloomsbury Group – the set of writers and artists that included in its ranks the likes of Virginia Woolf and EM Forster. Reacting against what they saw as the stifling conventionality of Edwardian society, they embraced pacifism, feminism and sexual freedom in a way that still shocks today. The remarkable, larger-than-life figure of Ottoline Morrell presided over the Group’s development and, whilst never a member herself, she embodied many of its principles – not least her notorious affair with the great philosopher, Bertrand Russell.
Lady Ottoline Morrell 1907
Margate - All the Fun of the Fair - Tracey Emin: The Journey Back
Tutor: Frank Vigon
Monday 6th November 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
In 1988 a group of Young British Artists held a major exhibition in London called "Freeze", intending to turn conventional art of the day upside down and shock the viewer. This lecture will try to understand the work and contextual development of perhaps the most explosive and unpredictable of this young group…Mad Tracey from Margate. Tracey Emin has pushed the sides of the envelope ever wider to confront the notion of what Art really is. The victim of childhood rape and a degree of sexual exploitation by older men, she examines with ruthless honesty her personal journey, her relationships with others and her own mortality. She is her own subject and returns again and again with harsh confrontational introspection to the nature of womanhood and the transition from victim to self-liberator. From applique to painting and everything in-between, Tracey Emin writes, photographs and draws her way through the art world in a haze of drunkenness and four letter words. This is not for the faint hearted and will most certainly provoke the ultimate question – Is this Art ?
Note: WARNING this lecture may contain explicit images.
© Piers Allardyce, CC BY 2.0
via Wikimedia Commons
Symphonic Poets: Fredrick Delius & Gustav Holst
Tutor: Steve Millward
Monday 13th November 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
Though both had their origins in continental Europe, Delius and Holst are the archetypical English composers. Each of them evokes the beauties of their native landscape in a manner that is vivid and expressive, yet at the same time, calm and restrained. But in the late nineteenth century this rural idyll was disappearing fast, and the two composers reacted in different ways: Delius by escaping to the French countryside, Holst by confronting, and anticipating, the future with his timeless work The Planets. Very different people from very different backgrounds, they will nevertheless always be seen as equal proponents of lyricism and innovation.
Aspects of Love by David Garnett
Tutor: Creina Mansfield
Wednesday 22nd November 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
David Garnett (1892-1981) is perhaps now best remembered as the author of the novel on which Andrew Lloyd Webber based a musical. As the son of Edward and Constance Garnett, he was at the heart of the literary world, becoming a leading member of the Bloomsbury Group – the influential circle of artists that ‘lived in squares and loved in triangles’.
Aspects of Love (1955) tells the story of the tangled emotions of four people, whose love-lives become almost as complicated as Garnett’s own.
British Socialism & the Establishment of the Labour Party
Tutor: Kevin Harrison
Wednesday 29nd November 1.30 pm - 3.30 pm
Socialism takes many forms. British socialism is shaped by many cultural factors, few of which are purely ideological. As Herbert Morrison, a leading Labour politician of the 1930s and 1940s said: “Socialism is whatever a Labour government does”. It is certainly widely believed that British socialism ‘owes far more to Methodism than it does to Marxism’. But is that still true?