10 - 180 years of Greville Street, Prahran Dr Judith Buckrich – 1 session from 10.00 to 11.45 on Monday 24 February
Judith Buckrich’s most recent book The World is One Kilometre: Greville Street, Prahran explores 180 years of life in the street from before European settlement to the present day. Throughout the nineteenth century, Greville Street was the centre of civic activity in Prahran, containing the town hall, courthouse, police station, public library, fire station and post office. The railway station provided easy access to these institutions and the district’s factories, shops and houses. After the establishment of Leggett’s dance hall in 1920, the street became one of Melbourne’s entertainment hotspots and from the 1960s it was a centre for countercultural activity, boasting the Station Hotel and the Continental as well as many alternative food and clothes shops. Judith Buckrich’s talk will be illustrated with a slide show.
19 - Civilisations of the Ancient Maya 300 BC to 1300 AD Frank Devlin – 1 session from 10.00 to 11.45 on Monday 20 April
The talk covers Mayan sites in the Yucatan province of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize with an emphasis on their architectural and sculptural virtuosity together with some insights into their rich and distinct culture. It will also cover a private flight from Caye Caulker on the reef off Belize to the Great Blue Hole made famous by Jacques Cousteau, swimming in the remarkable cenotes near Merida (provincial capital of Yucatan province) and wild life in the tropical rainforest in Tikal National Park, Guatemala.
20 - The Crusades: an alternative view Albert Isaacs – 1 session from 12.00 to 1.45 on Monday 20 April
These days, people are starting to look at the Crusades in completely different ways to how they did previously. This talk looks at the history of the Crusades through the perspective of the many negatives, particularly the way the Muslims and Jews were treated in both the Middle East and in Europe. The talk will even cover some events in the 21st century.
43 - World War II in Europe Dr Bill Breen – 6 weekly sessions from 2.00 to 3.30 on Tuesdays 12 May to 16 June
Most U3A members who grew up in Australia understandably absorbed a very British or American-centric view of World War II. Some of the assumptions that underpinned that view have been undermined by recent historical scholarship. For example, recently opened archives in Eastern Europe and the former USSR have made us much more conscious of the pivotal nature of the struggle on the Eastern Front and the enormous suffering endured by both soldiers and civilians in that theatre. Other campaigns and strategic decisions have also been reassessed. This course covers the major European campaigns in World War II in the light of this recent scholarship.
56 - Turning points in ancient and medieval Jewish History Assoc Prof Peter Schattner – 6 weekly sessions from 2.00 to 3.30 on Wednesdays 19 February to 25 March
This six-part lecture series will examine several pivotal eras in ancient and medieval Jewish history. These eras were so profound that they changed either Judaism or the Jewish people or both – hence the term ‘turning point’. The series will cover the following ‘turning points’: the end of the first temple and the Babylonian exile; three Jewish revolts (the Maccabees, the Jewish-Roman War and Bar Kokhba); two golden ages in Babylonia and Moslem Spain; and the dark ages of Crusader and Christian antisemitism. The aim of the series is not only to describe the events but to analyse their impact on the evolution of the Jewish story. Ancient * The Babylonian exile: 586–538 BCE * The Hasmonean revolt: 167 BCE * The Great and Bar Kokhba revolts: 66–70 CE and 132–135 CE. Medieval * The golden age of Babylonian Jewry: 200–1000 CE * The golden age of Spanish Jewry till their expulsion: 900–1200 CE * The dark age of the crusades and Christian antisemitism: 1100–1330 CE.
58 - From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got compulsory voting Dr Judith Brett – 1 session from 10.00 to 11.45 on Wednesday 11 March
In my recent book, From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got compulsory voting (Text), I look at the history of Australia’s distinctive electoral system. We invented the ballot paper and the compartmentalised voting booth. It is compulsory to register to vote as well as to vote. We use preferential rather than first past the post voting. We vote on Saturdays and have great flexibility as to where we cast our votes. Our elections are administered by impartial public servants. These all grew from Australians early commitment to majoritarian democracy – to governments that are elected by the majority of voters not just the majority of those who turn up. Morning tea follows this session.