Outreach at the Parkes Institute: Ask the Expert

The next instalment of our series on the Parkes Institute’s outreach programme takes a look at our involvement in the University of Southampton’s ‘Ask the Expert’ programme.

The University’s Ask the Expert programme commits University of Southampton staff and research students to delivering regular one-hour workshops in local schools on the specific subjects in which they are an expert and about which they are particularly passionate. This visits can take place on-campus or at a local school, and can be tailored to the needs and interests of teachers and students.

The Parkes Institute currently offers three Ask the Expert workshops:

What is Apocalyptic?

“If the Apocalypse comes, beep me” – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Over the centuries, the threat of an impending apocalypse has often been used as a theme within literature and other medium to express social and political change and any accompanying fears. Apocalypses are important because they express social and cultural concerns, but also because they tell us about attitudes to historical events at crucial periods in the development of world history. This session will explore the nature of apocalyptic literature and ideas from the Bible to the Big Screen. Apocalyptic ideas are found everywhere in today’s society, and are a way of learning about the concerns of society at the time they are produced. This workshop is aimed at Years 11, 12 and 13.

Workshop leader: Helen Spurling

The rise of Islam

The seventh century CE is a crucial period of both religious and world history due to the rise of Islam. This century saw the leadership of Muhammad, the writing of the Qur’an, and the beginning of the Arab conquests of the Near East. By looking at a variety of primary sources, this session will examine the events surrounding the rise of Islam and the relationships between Jews, Christians and Muslims at this time. This workshop is aimed at Years 11, 12 and 13.

Workshop leader: Helen Spurling

Terrorism or Resistance? The Irgun Zvai Leumi, Lehi and Haganah

The popular cliché that ‘one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’ continues to be of relevance in the modern world. But, is there a way in which such debate can be considered as comprising two sides of the same coin? Can the terms ‘terrorism’ and ‘resistance’ be used interchangeably? Using close textual analysis of 1940s British newspapers, this session will explore the mechanics of the language used to describe the actions of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, Lehi and Haganah in Mandatory Palestine, providing insight into the historical context in which such actions were placed.

Workshop leader: Sarah Shawyer, ss1705@soton.ac.uk

For more information on these workshops, please contact the relevant workshop leader. To book a workshop, please visit the Ask the Expert homepage.

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