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Writing family history
This album contains extracts from interviews with a wide range of people talking about family history. Some history is recalled in oral form, some in photographic and some in written form, as biographical or autobiographical evidence. Many aspects of this approach to writing are discussed in illuminating and perceptive depth, giving wide-ranging yet informative coverage of the topic. This material forms part of the course A173 Start writing family history.Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Start writing plays
In this album, some of our current and most well-respected playwrights offer an insight into the mechanics and beauty of writing for the stage. Contributors include Alan Ayckbourn, David Edgar, Bryony Lavery and Willy Russell, who discuss their own work and the pleasures and pitfalls of crafting a script. All of the fundamental topics, from character and structure to dialogue and editing, are covered in detail in a series of entertaining and insightful interviews. This material forms part of The
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Start writing fiction
This album provides the budding author with everything they need to know about approaching the art of fiction writing. Each track contains discussions and interviews with best-selling novelists from a variety of backgrounds including Alex Garland, Louis de Bernières, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Monique Roffey. This enlightening and engaging series tackles the practicalities and pitfalls of writing fiction. It contains invaluable advice on the creation of characters, the structure of narratives and ho
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Social housing and working class heritage
Would you consider a dilapidated seventies tower block as heritage? In England, some social housing developments have already been given listed status, a level of protection usually associated with castles, monasteries and stately homes. Others are considered as a failed experiment by an outmoded welfare state, fit only for demolition. In this album, we see working class residents of one such estate fighting for its survival. By doing so, they may be challenging some of our fundamental assumptio
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Imperial Rome and Ostia
The splendidly evocative ruins of ancient Rome have long been a challenge to historians and archaeologists in reconstructing how it looked and functioned. It became the largest city in the western world during the imperial period, so how was the city constructed, and what were the materials used? How was it defended, supplied with food and water, and how were the people housed and entertained, and above all, how did it function? These video tracks use various famous sites such as the Baths of Ca
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Analysing European Romanticism
The principal tenets of the movement known as Romanticism first began in Germany and England, with the former pioneering the moral and philosophical beliefs and the latter producing the first Romantic artists and poets. This album concentrates on the development and spread of Romanticism in mainland Europe, analysing in clear, concise terms the metaphysical questions and beliefs that engendered the movement, along with the cultural and historical contexts that encouraged its development. The alb
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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The Graeco-Roman city of Paestum
What can archaeological remains tell us about early cities and the people who lived in them? This album examines the important remains of one city, Poseidonia in Italy, founded towards the end of the 7th century BCE by colonists from the Greek city of Sybaris. Although only twenty-five per cent of the site has been excavated to date, much of its history and culture can be traced through its buildings, inscriptions, and decoration. After it became a colony of Rome in 273 BCE, it became known a
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Re-assessing the Marquis de Sade
Donatien Alphonse François, better known as The Marquis de Sade, is infamous throughout literature and popular culture for a life and body of work that pushed boundaries. Literally synonymous with sexual and violent excess, his reputation as a writer is often clouded by the extreme nature of his work. In a series of lively and engaging discussions, Alex Barber, Angelica Goodden and Timo Airaksinen re-assess both the man and his writing in social, historical and literary contexts, providing an i
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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2.2.2 ‘Visual deficit’ hypotheses

Samuel Orton was one of the earliest and most influential researchers into dyslexia, although he used the term strephosymbolia – literally meaning ‘twisted symbols’. He noticed that children with specific reading difficulties often wrote letters back to front, confused letters such as ‘b’ and ‘d’, and would swap the position of letters within a word during spelling (e.g. ‘was’ might be written ‘saw’). From these and other observations, he suggested that their read
Author(s): The Open University

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Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Wordsworth re-visited
Renowned as one the key figures of Romanticism, William Wordsworth broke through poetic traditions and barriers to produce verse that redefined the principles underlying the writing of poetry, placing the poet's emotions and interaction with a natural, pastoral world at the centre of poetic philosophy. Wordsworth's influences are a topic of immense academic debate, and this album provides a concise and distinct introduction to the many literary, political and cultural shifts that informed and in
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Exploring History: Medieval to Modern 1400 - 1900
Ever wanted to understand the key themes driving over five hundred years of European history? In this album, architecture reveals the social, religious and economic fortunes of some of the most influential people between 1400 and 1900. By the end of the 19th century Queen Victoria presided over the vast British Empire. She looked out from London, the heart of her empire, with its buildings echoing Imperial Rome. Brussels’ architecture, like London’s, was also designed to show the world the p
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Art and architecture
The Louvre was designed to house a great art collection for the people of France. Was there a plan from the outset to build a canon of work where the relationships between artists, their origins, their schools and faiths could be traced across centuries? And how did architect I.M.Pei persuade President Mitterrand to allow a pyramid to be built at the Louvre? The album goes on to explore how architecture can reflect relationships between different traditions. Two great buildings, Palladio’s chu
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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The Arts Past and Present: the Benin Bronzes
Are ancient sculptures ethnographic artefacts or works of art? How can objects like these throw light on the relationship of our culture to other cultures, both in the past and in the present? This album explores some of the issues surrounding interpretation and display of bronze sculptures originating in Benin in West Africa. The video explores the academic dilemmas behind decisions that Western curators have to make about how the pieces should be displayed. In the supporting audio, Open Unive
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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The Arts Past and Present: Mosaics
How can we read an image to tell us more about its ancient maker? In this album a mosaic artist, Catherine Parkinson, visits the splendidly-preserved ancient Roman mosaics at Brading Villa on the Isle of Wight. With the help of two archaeologists she discovers that the iconography reveals important clues about the villa inhabitants' world view, taste, and aspirations. Their leisure pursuits, the value placed on learning, and their views on men and women are just some of the themes revealed in
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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The Arts Past and Present: Ireland
Do we use our buildings to declare who we are? How far does our heritage influence our collective identity? This insightful album reveals Ireland's shifting attitudes towards its cultural heritage. In 1922 when it broke free of British rule to become an independent nation state, the Irish nationalists abandoned high-profile buildings like Dublin Castle as it was symbolic of their British oppressors, and it fell into ruin. Yet they proudly restored older sites like Cashel and New Grange, which i
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Myth at the heart of the Roman Empire
How and why did ancient Romans use myth to validate their power? Emperor Augustus legitimised his rule by entwining his own ancestry with the mythical stories of Rome's foundation, and created a divine aura around Rome as capital of the vast empire. This album visits key emblems associated with Rome's beginnings: the Forum and the Capitoline Hill with its statue of the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus; the Emperor Augustus's palace and ceremonial altar, and the 17th Century D'Arpino frescos of fou
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Wordsworth, De Quincy and Dove cottage
Can a location inspire great poetry? To what extent can a person’s environment influence their art? After leaving the area as a child the Romantic poet William Wordsworth returned to the Lake District and remained there from 1799 to 1802. Surrounded by scenery he cherished Wordsworth composed some of his best poetry in Dove Cottage, but the building was also the residence of friend Thomas De Quincy whom documented his time with the Wordsworth’s as well as his own experiences in the property.
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Indian Raga Music
The music of North India is mesmerising, and shrouded in tradition and culture. There, raga is the art of life - it is the music of the mind. The tracks in this album focus on three instruments - the tabla, the alap and the voice - all central to the existence of Raga. Each instrument is broken down into the individual sounds that make up the intricate compositions. Performances on all three complete this introduction to the fascinating sound of Raga. This material is drawn from The Open Unive
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The Arts Past and Present: Diva
How do you get to be one of the great operatic divas? Catherine Rogers might just have what it takes to be a famous opera singer, but she still has lots of work to do. This album gives us an insight into the immense effort it requires to become a musical performer. As well as singing, acting, language, and stage skills all need to be honed. Catherine tackles the tragic aria of the Countess in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and is praised by her tutors. In the audio track Elaine Moohan from the Musi
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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Textiles in Ghana
In Ghana, types of cloth and the design of textiles are about more than just fashion. Woven Kente cloth is a great status symbol, marking wealth and, in the past, office - something to be worn on important occasions and by important people. Adinkra is a printed fabric, hand-made and worn mainly for funerals, which are very important celebrations in Ghana. The tracks on this album introduce the Kente weavers and Adinkra workers, show the creative processes behind the textiles they make, and revea
Author(s): The OpenLearn team

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