2018 Open Days recordings

Watch our 2018 Open Days recordings

We recorded a number of sessions for you to enjoy online from anywhere in the world.

Please note: most of the recordings below feature audio and slides, and in some cases video as well. Technical issues caused some of the video recordings to freeze, but in these cases the audio and slides (by far the most valuable components) are intact.

The Gothic style in Europe: an adventure in stone
Diana Matthews

Around the mid 12C a new architectural style began to emerge in the Ile-de-France - a style we would now call 'Gothic'. As a result of a long period of relative political stability, this eventually spread to the whole of Europe, partly because the 'Gothic' proved to be so flexible in adapting to local conditions. We begin by considering the emergence of the 'Gothic' in France before moving on to examine how it was adopted and adapted in England and Italy.

Landscape Archaeology: the past, the present and the future
David Griffiths

An insight into how archaeologists approach the study of landscapes. We can proudly claim that ‘Landscape Archaeology’ was largely invented in this department in the 1970s. Since then it has blossomed as a multi-period approach, concerned with understanding past human impacts on the resources, topography and environment of the whole landscape, from uplands to coasts, and from farmed landscapes to urban/industrial areas. This talk considers the origins and research  methods  of landscape archaeology, its development as a theme, and its future. It also explains how to learn more about the subject.

What is a Mathematical Property?
Cezar Ionescu

The question of what is a mathematical property (such as "even" for integers, or "equilateral" for triangles) leads us to consider the difference between classical and constructive mathematics, and the limits of computation.

Philosophical Conundrums
Marianne Talbot

Does space come to an end? Why does time have a direction? Is the mind nothing more than the brain. A romp through these and (if time) a few other philosophical conundrums - come and get some mental exercise!

Doors to Salvation: Icon and Image in Christian Art         
Robin Gibbons

Icons are a fascinating form of religious art, used in Eastern Christianity for over 1500 years and still painted today. We will look at different types and styles of icon but also examine their use and meaning in a vibrant and living spiritual tradition.

A taster course in Sanskrit
Stephen Thompson

Sanskrita means 'perfected'. It is the language that led to the discovery of the science of linguistics and has the most ancient and still the most scientific grammar in the world. It also gives access to the oldest philosophy, mathematic, astronomy, medical and religious literature in the world. Discover the joy of this delightful language and the key to the origins of language itself.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Statistics
Lawrence Dawson

At the time that Rewley House was founded, Florence Nightingale was the same age as your lecturer. But what has the lady of the lamp got to do with Evidence-based Healthcare, games of chance and traffic cameras? This session takes you on a gentle guided walk through the jungle of medical claims and equips you with the basic tools for you to attempt the journey alone.

Welcome to Continuing Education
Tony Buxton

Learn about the full range of part-time courses and programmes for adult learners available at Oxford's Department for Continuing Education.

Preparing to study
Tony Buxton

What kind of skills do you need to study effectively as a part-time student? Interested in how to manage your time, or how to take notes? Learn about the skills you already have, and how you might improve your study skills to make the most of the courses we offer.

Supernatural: Anthropology of Ritual, Magic and the Occult
Mark Anderson

Ritual and magic have been profoundly significant to societies all over the world and throughout human history. In this talk, we explore how our need for the supernatural has been expressed by different cultures in many forms. But why is the occult evidently so important to us as a species? Through an anthropological lens, we glimpse a realm of humanity that can be both enlightening and terrifying.

Harms in Healthcare: Primodos, vaginal mesh implants and the anti-epilepsy drug sodium valproate
Carl Heneghan

How concerned should we be about treatment side-effects, innovation and regulatory failures? Prof Carl Heneghan discusses the evidence about three NHS treatments undergoing government review: Primodos, vaginal mesh implants and the anti-epilepsy sodium valproate.

1878 and Beyond: Paris's Expositions
Claire  O'Mahony

Paris repeatedly provided the scenography for the cultural spectacle of the universal exposition. Starting in 1878 when our Department for Continuing Education was founded, Claire takes you on a stroll through these ephemeral displays in the city of light where art, design and architecture helped to educate and to fascinate the world, defining modern identity and taste.

Why Design History?
Claire  O'Mahony

In this session with real examples, Claire O'Mahony, who directs the MSt in the History of Design here in the Department, explores with you how everyday objects and places embody such engaging encounters with our histories and ourselves.

The Booker Prize Winner of 1878?
Sandie Byrne

What kinds of fiction were people reading in the year the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education was founded? Which were the bestsellers, who read them, and how did they get them? Which would have won the Booker or Orange Prize for 1878?

George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878) and his architecture in Oxford
Geoffrey Tyack

Sir George Gilbert Scott died as the Department for Continuing was born. His influence has continued over the past 140 years, having been one of the leading figures of the Gothic Revival in England. Geoffrey Tyack explains his enduring influence on Oxford.

Revolutionary England, 1640-1660: When the World was Turned Upside Down
Jonathan Healey

In 1640, the government of Charles I broke down, bringing civil war, revolution, and regicide. But amongst the conflict the age also saw an explosion of free thinking and creativity, with everything from religion to gender relations to politics up for discussion like never before. This lecture gives an introduction to the fascinating social history of this revolutionary period, with its democrats, communists, religious radicals, tub-preachers, and even some nudists in our own fair city of Oxford.

Getting started with social media
Jonathan  Healey

Our very own Social Historian Jon Healey explains how to make an impact with social media. He shares tips he has learned from his popular blog and twitter account.

Remembering the first world war: Community and memorial
Kate Tiller

Memorials sprang up in their thousands after the Great War of 1914-18. Using local examples, this talk reflects on how which we might now interpret their significance as part of local and wider histories.

1878 in the Middle East, the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the start of reform movements
Farhang  Jahanpour

1878 was an important date in the Middle East and regarding the relations between the Ottoman Empire and the West. In 1876, we have the first Ottoman Constitution under the Tanzimat reformer Midhat Pasha, which laid the foundations of a modern Turkey. The following year the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78 marked the loss of vast areas of Ottoman territories in Romania, Serbia and Montenegro that declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Has the Islamic Revolution in Iran reached the end of the road?
Farhang  Jahanpour

There have been huge demonstrations in Iran this year. Will these weaken the Islamic Republic’s hold on power and even its stability?

The Renaissance Church
Keith Hasted

After the great periods of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, how did the magnificence of churches built in the Renaissance style arrive? Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante, Michelangelo and Palladio led the way in Italy, and inspired building around Europe, including new churches in Paris and Christopher Wren’s work in England.

Princely Magnificence - Architecture of the Dynasties of Italy
Keith Hasted

It was not just in Rome and the republics of Florence and Venice that architecture flowered in the Italian Renaissance. The ruling families of city states such as Mantua, Rimini, Urbino, Bergamo, Milan and Pavia commissioned work by some of the most outstanding architects of the age.

Visualising Data
Sepi Chakaveh

Data is the most important entity of the information age. Raw data will be meaningless to most people and in this session we explore how to transform data into engaging informative narrative which benefit civic discourse.

Classical Hebrew
Jonathan Norton

If you’ve thought about learning biblical Hebrew, then you’ve probably wondered what learning a new alphabet is like. Why not watch this taster session to find out? We will take the first steps in learning the classical Hebrew script and then practice using the “familiar” names of people and places from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. No prior knowledge is required.