Search results for "art"

Who We Are

How to Start A Free University

About Us

The Media: What does the future hold?

Wed 11 Jan 2012

The media industry is undergoing change. Advancing technology (iPads, interactive TV screens, social media, mobile video phones) are rapidly transforming the way we source, consume and participate in our news and entertainment. What do these changes mean for the way the media industry works, and how will they effect us, the audience? Are we ente ...

Politics, Pruning and Paint: Case studies in Art History

Tue 19 Feb 2013

The course will explore an eclectic range of subjects in art history. Meandering from Renaissance art and its contemporary re-appropriation, to the history and social dynamics of life drawing, to photography, iconography and beyond, this series will question what art tells us about society, while revelling in a whole lot of sumptuous art.

< ...

Design and Cultural Invention

Sat 07 Sep 2013

Design is often thought of as mere window dressing, used to sell lifestyles to an eager populace. By taking a broader view of the term, design can be seen as an active participant in cultural invention, shaping and altering the way in which we interact with the world. This course will look at some of the ways in which it affects our lives, and h ...

Melbourne: Music, Memory, Place

Thu 27 Feb 2014

This course examines Melbourne’s music culture with a particular focus on the way music works to generate memories. We welcome some of the city’s finest songwriters, musicians, radio presenters, venue owners, and academics to the MFU to discuss their involvement in Melbourne music and to explore the relationship between music, memory ...

Understanding Your Home

Thu 19 Mar 2015

We all have a home. Even the "homeless" people who gather under a bridge have a place to which they return daily to a familiar setting with familiar faces. We spend at least half our lives in our homes: resting, relating, loving, eating, sleeping, playing.   Despite the centrality of home in our daily lives, we have very little conscious kn ...

I (heart) Philosophy - 2010

Wed 29 Sep 2010



I (heart) Philosophy - 2011

Tue 15 Feb 2011

This course grapples with big issues and key thinkers in philosophy. Topics are broad and diverse and meant to engage people with the big topics, paradoxes and conundrums. 


Philosophy and the Divine: God in Western Thought

Wed 09 Apr 2014

God plays an important and fundamental role in many people’s lives. But what sort of role has God played in philosophy? How have philosophers understood notions of God and how have they used notions of God to make sense of the world and of ourselves? And why do so many philosophers today have no role for God in their understanding of the w ...

Middle East Mediated

Wed 10 Sep 2014

Each week of the four week series features two guests who will each choose a "mediated" item - a tweet, YouTube video, article or an image - to kick off a lively and informative interview that will hopefully demystify the tangled events occurring in the region, taking you behind the news to the stories of ordinary people and their history and ex ...

Welcome to the Anthropocene!

Wed 11 Jun 2014

The Anthropocene has been put forward as a new geological epoch, one in which humans have come to rule the world's natural systems and processes. In an age of increased environmental awareness, the term has captured the public imagination. But what is the Anthropocene? When and where did it start? Is it a terrifying global phenomenon or just a b ...

The Politics of Myth 2016

Thu 18 Feb 2016

While most commentators on myth like to speak about ancient curiosities, such as Aztec or Sumerian myths, or the now disconnected traditions of the classical world, there is in fact a wide range of mythic figures from the European past which still mean a good deal. The nine figures discussed in Stephen Knight’s new book THE POLITICS OF MYT ...

The Wild Things

Thu 10 Mar 2016

How far would you go to live out a low-carbon life? How much money would you need to feel free? How would you travel if you wanted to reduce your footprint? Join Meg Ulman and Patrick Jones, authors of THE ART OF FREE TRAVEL, as they discuss their radical form of mobility, and how they’ve embodied permaculture principles in an experiment o ...

Can words really break cement?

Wed 24 Feb 2016

Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist and author who has investigated Putin, Pussy Riot, and the Boston bombers, amongst other things. She is the author of several best selling books and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Vanity Fair, and many other publications. Join her as she reflects on dissident art, the re ...

Bioethics of Species Conservation

Thu 19 May 2016

From pandas to parasites, how should we define species and which should we save?

Our planet is facing one of the biggest extinction events in its history, with conservative estimates suggesting that a species goes extinct every hour. If we are to conserve the earth’s shrinking biodiversity we must first determine how we define a sp ...

Living Small: Tiny & Affordable Houses

Thu 23 Jun 2016

You’ve all seen the Hobbit houses on flat-bed trucks and the three story family homes built on smaller footprints that most of our shoe racks, but the tiny housing movement stands for more than Pinterest clickbait. It addresses political, social and environmental concerns while still drawing the eye. This panel discussion will ...

Collective Living: Alternative, Sustainable & Low Cost Housing

Thu 04 Aug 2016

Living collectively by sharing land and/or dwelling spaces can be more affordable, more sustainable and more enjoyable socially than living in a Tiny House or a Green Apartment.

ANITRA NELSON has lived in an all-under-one roof living and working cooperative in rural Victoria, a peri-urban land-sharing residential conservation cooperat ...

Challenging weapons, war, and violence: from local to global

Tue 20 Sep 2016

For 100 years, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom has been promoting a vision of feminist peace by challenging militarism and patriarchy. At this event, Ray Acheson, director of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) disarmament program, will talk about ...

Psychoanalysis is...

Thu 11 Aug 2016

Psychoanalysis is one of the most influential and enduring intellectual traditions of the past century. Many diverse tendencies have emerged from the clinical and theoretical work of visionaries such as Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. Adherents and critics of these movements have helped shape the development of psychology, art, philosophy, busi ...

Refugees in Malaysia: Economic, mixed and survival migration

Wed 05 Oct 2016

In Malaysia refugees are not the political issue they have become in Australia. Most Malaysians are preoccupied with domestic economic woes and the curtailment of their civil liberties under an increasingly authoritarian and corrupt government. This highlights a key problem for Australia - its draconian border control policies rely o ...

Millennial Citizens in the Age of Trump

Wed 07 Dec 2016

The recent election of Donald Trump in the US shook the world and affirmed the ascendancy of populist right-wing movements globally. Yet, amid the triumphs of figures like Trump, Hanson, Farage, Uribe and Duterte in polls this year, another political phenomenon is taking shape. In electorates around the world, Millennials are ...

Diasporas in Action

Thu 02 Feb 2017

We belong to a world of people on the move - in 2015, 244 million people lived outside their country of origin, including 20 million refugees. These migrants often create vibrant diaspora communities that can become agents of social, political, cultural and economic change in both  the homelands they have left behind and in the societies th ...

Peace in our time?

Wed 08 Feb 2017

Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the US on 20 January 2017. Last year, we saw the rise of right wing populism globally: Duterte’s regime in the Philippines is killing thousands of people extra-judicially as part of his tough stance on drugs, Germany and France face emergent right-wing movements as the ...

Dam busting and other true stories about publishing

Tue 09 May 2017

With access to the internet, it’s easy to imagine that a world of stories is at our fingertips. In fact, our access to authentic and diverse cultural narratives is blocked by colonial monopolies that have fettered the free movement of world narratives for hundreds of years. Readers trying to wade their way through new story platforms like Wattpa ...

Audiences, Activism and Political Film Festivals

Thu 25 May 2017

Since the 1970s, there has been significant growth in activist and human rights-focused film festivals around the world. In part, this reflects the fact that human rights has, particularly in the West, become a dominant political and legal language through which all kinds of issues can be expressed. However, it also reflects the influence that t ...

Identity and Politics

Thu 21 Sep 2017

Identity politics: either you love it or you hate it (or at least, that’s what the media would have us believe).

In reality, things are more complicated. Identities are at the heart of politics; so much of how we make sense of the world around us, and the social movements we operate within, is shaped by the ways we understand identitie ...

Beyond 'revenge porn': Responding to image-based abuse in a digital era

Thu 07 Sep 2017

Revenge porn is a media-generated term that is used to refer to the non-consensual sharing of intimate images by jilted ex-lovers on social media or via mobile phones.

While this term has been instrumental in raising attention to new forms of technology-facilitated abuse, many reject the term as being overly narrow and misleading. Incr ...

Poetry & sex: medieval to post-modern

The art of seeing – love poetry and visual art.

Tue 29 Oct 2013

What does it mean to see another person; and what can poetry tell us about this? Ekphrasis, or poetry about visual art, look at and respond to paintings, pieces of sculpture, and architectural structures, using them as prompts for description and reflection. They help us think about what is involved in seeing and responding to to other people, incl ...

Sustainability and Permaculture

Permablitz day

Sun 22 Aug 2010

Permablitz day (practical permaculture workshop, 'permablitzing' a residential garden). This will take place on Sunday 22 August from 10am-4pm in Sunshine West (address given upon RSVP). The session is run by Permablitz Melbourne. The blitz will feature: Removal and reuse of paving to transform an under-utilised space into a productive garden and a ...

I (heart) Philosophy - 2011

On Badiou and Education

Tue 22 Mar 2011

The Politics of Myth

Joan of Arc (and the English, and the French, the Inquisition and the many later versions)

Tue 19 Jun 2012

Religious, pure-hearted, a successful war-leader, the saviour of enfeebled France, and burnt to death before she was twenty: a startling story, with varied meanings for people, not only in France.

All creatures great and small: animals and us

Animals and the social imaginary: Racing and rescuing greyhounds

Thu 23 May 2013

While animals are flesh and blood social actors, they are also rich vectors for human imaginings. Animal are found in allegory, metaphor, origin stories, national myths, and all sorts of human narratives. In this talk Ray Madden will be looking at some of the ways in which animals are socially constructed and how animals do an enormous amount of sy ...

Contemporary Australian Issues

Race Relations in Australia

Sat 01 May 2010

In regard to its indigenous population and to non-European immigrants, Australia was a deeply racially divided country from its settlement until 1972, when the Whitlam government symbolically opened a new era in Australia’s race relations by abolishing the White Australia Policy. The bipartisan effort to reject the racist bias which had been offici ...

Melbourne: Music, Memory, Place

A special music, memory, place panel

Thu 13 Mar 2014

David Bridie is a uniquely Australian songwriter and musician. David is a founding member of Not Drowning, Waving and My Friend the Chocolate Cake’; as well as being an acclaimed solo artist and composer. David’s songs have provided a ruthlessly honest musical mirror to Australia’s complex national character, geography, and wry personal insights in ...

All creatures great and small: animals and us

Not a dog: The history, vilification and politics of Dingoes

Thu 25 Apr 2013

Dingos have held a special place in the psyche of Australians, particularly since the Chamberlain case. But the fear we have of them, and the narratives that have developed about their nature and interaction with humans does not reflect reality. Lyn will talk about the history of dingoes in Australia, their treatment by humans, and the political ...

Media Ethics: New And Old Dilemmas

If It Bleeds It Leads: Ethics and disaster reporting

Thu 09 May 2013

The disaster zone is a vortex of information, much of it spun out by first responders to a hungry media. The public has a right to know, but where is actuality amongst these hurried impressions and in whose interest is the news we receive? This discussion outlines factors influencing contemporary disaster news and issues around its consumption. How ...

The Politics of Myth

King Arthur (and Guinevere and Lancelot and Galahad and Morgan)

Tue 12 Jun 2012

Starting over a millenium ago and flowing thorough the languages and cultures of Europe, Arthur is the king who stood for various forms of nobility but was finally let down by dissent among his own people.

Politics, Pruning and Paint: Case studies in Art History

Michelangelo’s Fresco of the Creation of Adam in the 21st Century

Fri 03 May 2013

Michelangelo’s fresco of the Creation of Adam is amongst the most famous works of art of all time. As a result, this iconic image of God reaching out to touch his finger to Adam’s has been endlessly parodied, imitated and co-opted, used in everything from movie posters to gym logos. After considering the original meaning and significance of the fre ...

Design and Cultural Invention

Small Scale Publishing And Communities Of Interest

Tue 23 Jul 2013

DIY magazines, and ad-hoc publishing more generally, can be instrumental to communities. The most obvious example of this is what zines were to Punk. Either as a mouthpiece, rallying point or tool for investigation, magazines are often at the heart of communities.

Philosophy and the Divine: God in Western Thought

The rationalists: Descartes and Spinoza

Sun 09 Nov 2014

Welcome to the Anthropocene!

Oceans and Climate Change

Thu 13 Nov 2014

Dr Will Howard: School of Earth Sciences (Melbourne Uni)

Classics of Crime Fiction

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1891-2: 'A Case of Identity', 'The Speckled Band', 'The Cardboard Box'

Tue 30 Apr 2013

Download and read A Case of Identity Download and read The Speckled Band Download and read The Cardboard Box

The Naked Brunch: Food, Consumption & Culture

A revolution in an eggcup? Celebrity chefs, ethical consumption and lifestyle politics

Thu 20 Sep 2012

Celebrity chefs have become the somewhat unlikely cultural icons of our time. In this talk I discuss the impact that figures like Jamie Oliver have had on the way we think about cooking, eating and sourcing our food, focusing in particular on the way he has used his branded identity to promote healthy and ethical forms of consumption.

Refugee Realities: Risk, Rights and Resettlement

Workshop: Refugee communities: from within, not without. Methods for participatory consultation with displaced people.

Tue 11 Oct 2011

May Maloney has kindly provided us with the links to the training slides, reports on the methodology, and information on the outcomes of dialogues with women she worked with. The training slides are all on the University of New South Wales' Centre for Refugee Research website. Can be referenced as the last set of slides on this site: ...

History Matters

Graphic Distortions: The Comic Misadventures of Cartoonist Eric Jolliffe’s Witchetty’s Tribe (as read against 18C and other Whiteman Hissyfits)

Thu 06 Apr 2017

n 1980 cartoonist Eric Jolliffe was the subject of a Federal Anti-Discrimination Board case over a cartoon published in the Permanent Building Association's monthly magazine, Corroboree. The cartoon depicted a voluptuous young woman wearing only a bra on her bottom and was captioned ‘It's a white man's garment she got from the missionary's wife’. J ...

Design and Cultural Invention

Design As A Tool For Exploring Possible Futures

Sat 07 Sep 2013

Welcome to the Anthropocene!

What can the past tell us about the future of climate change in Australia?

Wed 11 Jun 2014

Dr Simon Connor: School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment (Monash) Dr Joelle Gergis: School of Earth Sciences (Melbourne Uni) The Anthropocene has been put forward as a new geological epoch, one in which humans have come to rule the world's natural systems and processes. In an age of increased environmental awareness, the term has captured ...

History Matters

Liquid gold: How controlling water made Victoria’s miners rich

Thu 16 Mar 2017

Buying and selling water is worth billions of dollars in every year, but where did this idea come from? Where did we get the idea that people could profit from a natural asset? Abandoned dams and ditches across central Victoria provide a clue. Long before modern water markets gold miners were struggling for control over water. They had fist-fig ...

Media Ethics: New And Old Dilemmas

The Fourth Estate: Changing role, changing ethics?

Thu 29 Aug 2013

Media ethics is not just about the do's and don'ts for individual reporters and editors, but encompasses the way in which the fourth estate sees itself as has its role defined in liberal and social democratic states. In this talk, I will canvass the codes of ethics that govern the Australian media, the reaction of the press to regulatory reform in ...

Contemporary Australian Issues

Australia’s role in the world

Sat 01 May 2010

In an era characterised by globalisation, protracted civil wars, new security challenges, food and economic crises, and environmental challenges, the role Australia plays in the world has changed dramatically from in the past. Australia’s response to the myriad issues currently facing the international community raises numerous questions about the ...

Refugee Realities: Risk, Rights and Resettlement

The regional solutions: The Bali Process and regional frameworks adopted by Australia and South-East Asian countries.

Tue 25 Oct 2011

Unfortunately the recording for this week is unavailable. For anyone that is interested in what was discussed please see Savitri's recent article published in Inside Story, 'Regoinal Cooperation and the Malaysian Solution', which covers the issues discussed, including the Bali Process. Savitri also asked we put up these links for anyone who is int ...

Politics, Pruning and Paint: Case studies in Art History

Oceanic Art

Tue 26 Mar 2013

Oceanic art is largely collected by major institutions and private collectors in Australia, America and Europe. However, in spite of Australia’s proximity to the Pacific Islands region, Australian institutions have undervalued the art form from the region that is highly regarded in Europe and America. The National Gallery of Victoria holds a selec ...

Ethics and Morality in the 21st Century

Religious Truth Claims

Sat 05 Jun 2010

Belief and faith continue to thrive, however, belief in science and the supernatural differ in that the former is open and encourages verification and scepticism, whereas the latter tends to shrug from it. We will debate truth claims that religions are based upon and how open religious communities are to challenges to these truth claims. Can there ...

Gender Wars: The Military, Guns & Women

Under the Gun: Small arms, the arms trade and violence against women

Tue 27 Aug 2013

Today, there are 900 million guns in circulation in the world. Of these, 75% are in the hands of individuals -most of whom are men. Currently all countries in the world import small arms, and many manufacture them, including Australia. Given that Australia now has the same level of gun ownership as it did at the time of the Port Arthur Massacre, ha ...

Politics, Pruning and Paint: Case studies in Art History

Art and Travel - From Grand Tourists to Bilbao

Tue 03 Dec 2013

In this session we will explore the relationship between art and travel from aristocratic art collecting to the phenomenon of 'destination' art museums like the Guggenheim at Bilbao. We will begin in the 18th century with the lure of Italy and the 'Grand Tour'. A trip taken by many young aristocratic men (and the occasional woman) and meant to educ ...

Progressive Politics: What’s Left?

The Australian Union Movement: The spaces between a better world and a bigger share of this one

Tue 02 Oct 2012

Gender Wars: The Military, Guns & Women

The UN Security Council: What have women got to do with it?

Tue 17 Sep 2013

This week we will present a panel session with Di Otto (Melb Uni) and Caroline Lambert (Executive Director, YWCA Australia). Di and Caroline will examine the role of the Security Council in relation to issues faced by women around the world, and will reflect on the ways in which women have engaged with the broader UN system - reflecting particularl ...

Australian Identities?

From White Australia to Multiculturalism: Failure or Success?

Tue 31 Aug 2010

(This lecture will start at 7.00pm)

Asia-Pacific and Us: Australia In the Region

Southeast Asia in Turmoil

Thu 14 Oct 2010

Multiculturalism is failing in many Southeast Asian countries, whilst nationalism is rearing its ugly head. The region's drive to democratise following the fall of Suharto and reform movements in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have not delivered on their promises. What's the future for Australia's closest neighbours and largest Muslim country?

Middle East Mediated


Thu 30 Oct 2014

Amin Ansari: PhD candidate at Flinders University, author and manager of Greens’ Art website; the most comprehensive online archive and exhibition of artworks related to the Green Movement of Iran Linda Briskman: Professor of Human Rights at Swinburne University of Technology and refugee advocate

Politics, Pruning and Paint: Case studies in Art History

Magnificent Matrimony: Marriage in Renaissance Art

Tue 19 Feb 2013

Just as today’s gossip magazines adore photos of celebrity weddings, in the Renaissance stunning works of art were created depicting marriage. This session explores a range of sumptuous paintings to consider which weddings were reprepsented and how and why marriage was depicted in Italian art from the fifteenth century and beyond.

Middle East Mediated


Wed 10 Sep 2014

Brian Stoddart: Former Vice-Chancellor and Emeritus Professor at La Trobe and higher education advisor on World Bank, Asian development bank and EU development projects in the Middle East and Southeast Asia Firas Massouh: Arabic translator and writer who is currently finishing his Masters dissertation on Syrian political dissident Yassin al Haj ...

Poetry & sex: medieval to post-modern

Poetry and the Absent Love Object

Sat 11 May 2013

Does absence really make the heart grow fonder? Through poets ranging from Emily Bronte and Thomas Hardy to Gwen Harwood, this session explores how poetry has fed and fed off our never-ending yearning for the bodies and minds we can’t touch.

Asia-Pacific and Us: Australia In the Region

Asia-Pacific and us: Australia in the region

Thu 30 Sep 2010

We will discuss the history of Australia's engagement with the world, especially the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting the shifts in policy, flows of people into and out of Australia, the social changes in the region and then identify the main actors involved in the often complex interactions (ranging from government departments such as AusAID and ...

Melbourne: Music, Memory, Place

Trying to make sense of it all: lI've music and conclusions on music, memory, place'

Tue 04 Mar 2014

Stuart Grant specialises in Performance Philosophy, particularly Phenomenology. Stuart believes that phenomenology gives an immediacy of access to the materiality of performance, to the bodies, voices, props, sets, audiences, places, times and meanings of which performances are made. His primary practice research specialisation is site-specific per ...

Ethics and Morality in the 21st Century

Universal Differences?

Sat 05 Jun 2010

Ours is a world in which ‘truth’ shares equal footing with ‘opinion’, where ‘equality’ is at odds with liberty, where ‘difference’ is held up as sacrosanct and ‘plurality’ is strictly – often brutally – enforced. As such, can we still speak of such a thing as ‘universality’ today? Focusing on the most famous contemporary invocation of universality, ...

Millennial Citizens in the Age of Trump

Millennial Citizens in the Age of Trump

Wed 07 Dec 2016

The recent election of Donald Trump in the US shook the world and affirmed the ascendancy of populist right-wing movements globally. Yet, amid the triumphs of figures like Trump, Hanson, Farage, Uribe and Duterte in polls this year, another political phenomenon is taking shape. In electorates around the world, Millennials are emerging as a constitu ...

All creatures great and small: animals and us

The happy hen on your supermarket shelf: What do you buy when you buy free range eggs?

Thu 16 May 2013

The rise of the "free range" egg appeals to consumers' feelings that they don't want to be complicit in the suffering of animals. But the meaning of the label "free range" varies widely - and so does the relationships it represents between consumers, retailers, suppliers, farmers, hens and, ultimately, the earth and sun. In this session we will que ...

Politics, Pruning and Paint: Case studies in Art History

Models, Mannequins and Muses

Tue 19 Mar 2013

The idea of the female artists’ muse has been a central figment of Western European painting and the tradition of the fine art nude. However, a closer examination of the practices of life modeling, art education and figurative painting reveal a complex array of differing bodies and genders at work behind and in front of the easel. In this talk I w ...