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History and the Arts

Each meeting is planned for one hour (or longer with extended discussion) and will begin with a short introductory slideshow presentation from the facilitator as we work our way from past to present and then each participant is invited to bring up something of interest from that period i.e. art, literature or an idea - really anything and how it may have represented the time. Theme for discussion is simply what the time was like, what can we learn, how did and how do we change - as we look into what historian Barbara Tuchman called A Distant Mirror (US National Book Award in 1980). In case participants are looking for examples of artwork that they may want to discuss or question, this website provides a list with pictures and backgrounds of key works of art from every era and region: Required works of art for AP Art History - Smarthistory

Raphael School

Running Horned Woman

Tut Death Mask

Terra Cotta Warriors

In order to keep the discussion theme of this group and given that there are now over 30 signed up, this offering has split into two groups. Those who signed up recently were given group 2 dates close to but not exactly like below as topics are combined just a bit to keep us in the two month window that was planned. Also we could now be flexible and allow those who cannot make their scheduled group date to join in the other one on the same topic, so long as most of the time most participants are in the sessions on the dates they were expected. Here are the two groups dates now and topic lists:

History and the Arts Schedule

Group 1 Dates: Oct 4th and 18th, Nov 1st, 15th and 29th

Group 2 Dates: Oct 11th and 25th, Nov 8th and 22nd, and Dec 6th

Oct 4 and 11 -- Course outlook and format, participant introductions and History and the Arts overview trivia game in teams for big-time prizes! (well, no promises), discussion on ideas for sources encouraged

October 18 and 25- Early man and early Art, Cosmic Calendar, Sapiens by Yuval Harari slideshow, possibly discuss Homo Erectus podcast (In Our Time)

November 1 and 8- Early civilizations and early expressions of Arts - Sumer, Egypt, Indus, Olmec, Babylonian, Greek, Persian, Mauryan, Qin and Han, Roman and Gupta

November 15 and 22 - Ages and Artistic expressions of Faith - i.e. Christian Europe through 'Dark' and Middle Ages, Eastern religions and philosophies, examples from all faiths welcome

November 29 and December 6 - Late Middle Ages and Columbian Exchange: 1491 vs 1493 by Charles Mann, meeting of worlds, the vernacular and Renaissance Art as agent of change slideshow, comparison of Arts from Europe and elsewhere

Part 2 of this Interest Group, starting in January 2023, will focus on the Reformation, Baroque, Enlightenment, Romantic, Realistic and Modern eras. (Images courtesy of M. Rennie and Smart History.org)

Due to popular demand, a second group has been created. Please see below for the dates for each group.

Time:9:00 - 10:30 AM 
Dates:Group 1: Oct 4, 18; Nov 1, 15, 29, 2022
 Group 2: Oct 11, 25; Nov 8, 22; Dec 6, 2022
Where:Online via Zoom 
Facilitator:Malcolm Rennie, MA 

Participants in either group are allowed to switch dates after checking with the facilitator.

Bio: Malcolm Rennie, M.A. History & past History teacher
Malcolm's experience includes three decades of teaching Grade 12 and first year university level European History, Social 30 and coaching students in World History and American History, however my Art History background is limited to how key works were seen as revealing about the period.

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