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Summer School offers 100 short courses and lectures across a range of disciplines and topics. Summer School 2022 will be delivered in person and online, which means that participants can join this flagship programme from anywhere in the world.
Summer School is run by the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Extra-Mural Studies.
Africa was part of the Silk Routes and Indian Ocean via different routes. First we explore these connections around the presence of ceramics from thirteenth to fourteenth century China in the Mapungubwe ruins. The second lecture looks at musical connections. Next, the richness of visual and other material in relation to animals with cultural interconnections in precolonial times is examined followed by a look at the Belitung wreck and what its contents tell us about interconnections. Finally, we explore the travellers’ tales who moved between Africa, Persia, India and China.
Starting with farming, and followed by the Industrial Revolution and the rapid burning of fossil fuels, humans have become a major new geological force. We have modified three-quarters of the ice-free land surface, altered the atmosphere, oceans and climate, and in so doing have ushered in the new geologic epoch – the Anthropocene – the human epoch. This course explores the concept of the Anthropocene and its significance locally on the West Coast and globally.
Environmental degradations require profound changes in the way we produce, consume and dispose of goods and services. The circular economy is increasingly recognised as a pathway to developing an economy that is more sustainable and socially inclusive. Yet, there are multiple meanings and understandings of what this new economic paradigm entails. This course aims to equip participants with different perspectives on the circular economy and highlight how circularity constitutes a paradigm shift for the economy and will explore multiple circular strategies for businesses and industries.
What is it that distinguishes the music of one composer from another? What makes it so uniquely individual? This course explores the ‘musical fingerprints’ of the most significant composers of Western art music, with clues revealed as to what makes their music immediately recognisable. This course discusses Bach and Handel from the Baroque era, Classical masters Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven, the Romantics – Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Liszt – and concludes with the post-Romantics, Mahler and Richard Strauss – each with their own distinctive musical language.
These lectures will consider five iconic ancient Greek statues: the Kouros of Apollo from Naxos, the Caryatids from the Athenian Acropolis, the Discobolos (discus-thrower) of Myron, the Knidian Aphrodite and the statue of the dying Laocoön and his sons in the Vatican. It will look at the meaning of these artworks in a variety of contexts over time. This interest in their biographies includes their origins, unexpected charms, scandals, co-optation by nefarious agents and, finally, in a sculpture by South African artist, Wim Botha: liberation.
This course examines the fascinating way in which social insects have served as a uniting force between science and literature. Starting in the Middle Ages, we examine the bee’s position in allegorical, religious teaching and commentary. The second lecture focuses on the West African scientific explorations into termites and poet John Clare’s poems on ants . The fourth lecture explores the way in which both psychoanalysis and nationalism were influential in the scientific and poetic writings of Eugene Marais. Finally, we discuss the present day and threat of bee extinction.
Central to the argument of this short series on translated poetry is the idea that all poems begin as a translation of reality itself, and that in a certain light, poetry – that most difficult and obdurate of genres – in fact asks and receives translation better than we might expect. This idea will be the peroration drawn around the close reading of five splendid poems by the Greek Sappho, the Roman Horace, the Italian Leopardi, the Polish Zbigniew Herbert, and the Romanian-born, but German-speaking Paul Celan.