History groups

New Zealand History in the 19th Century             1st Monday 10 am

This course will provide a wide view of 19th century New Zealand history with Maori, settler and government points of view considered.

The facilitator Pam Jenkins will show James Belich’s documentary series, The New Zealand Wars and supplement it  using other sources and her own research. Pam concentrated mostly on New Zealand history when she did her MA and her research was into the loss of Maori land at Orakei..

Anthropology                                                                    4th Wednesday 2 pm

prehistoric grave

How is it that the human race has developed a seemingly limitless physical and cultural diversity? From our tree-dwelling primate ancestors to today’s globally connected citizens, anthropology looks at Homo sapiens to find out why we are the way we are. Anthropologists use multidisciplinary methods to explain this and trace the development of religion, agriculture, money, language and other aspects of human experience.

This group is based on Anthropology and the Study of Humanity, a set of 24 short talks by charismatic lecturer Scott M. Lacy, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he teaches anthropology, environmental studies, and black studies. Expect stimulating discussions.

World Religions                                                             3rd Wednesday 2 pm

religious_worshipThis is a group for members who would like to know more about different religions, their histories and their associated cultures. Our goal is to better understand people with different beliefs, values and traditions, not to promote or judge any religion.

Using short lectures from Professor Mark Berkson’s course, Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know, supplemented by a variety of other videos and textual material, we’ll learn about the main religions that originated in India, Hinduism and Buddhism; the indigenous religions of China and Japan, and Zen Buddhism; the three great monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and three religions with a relatively small number of adherents but a significant impact, Jainism, Sikhism and Baha’i.

Shakespeare                                                                         3rd Thursday 1 pm

shakespeareThis group will learn about Shakespeare and his times as well as his plays and the background to them. They will also learn how Shakespeare greatly enriched the English language, inventing many of the words and phrases we still use today.

The group will watch some of the finest dramas in the English language, featuring many of the greatest talents of 20th century British theatre and television. The plays will be supplemented by lively lectures by Peter Saccio, Emeritus Professor of Shakespearean Studies at Dartmouth College, and by material put together by the group’s facilitator, a retired teacher of English and History.


East to  West                                                                1st Wednesday 10:00 am

ottomansDiscussion in this group is based on an exciting seven part series charting the birth of a flourishing civilisation in the Near and Middle East and its dynamic influence on the West. The series follows the spread of civilisation across the globe from the first cities of Mesopotamia. For crucial phases in world history the key place was the Middle East – an extraordinary region that was a political, economic and cultural centre and a bridge between the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. The series is produced by Lion Television (UK) in association with Bahcesehir University, Turkey.


Local History group   This group is described on this page.

Art History and Art Appreciation groups  These groups are described on this page.

For other groups: use the drop-down U3A Groups menu at the top of the page