Historic houses are explored with WEA

L40057H10 Arundel Castle, one of the great houses explored on the WEA Steyning course
L40057H10 Arundel Castle, one of the great houses explored on the WEA Steyning course

THREE diverse courses are on offer in January with WEA Steyning.

The Workers’ Educational Association offers a variety of courses, from one-day courses to ten sessions.

Turkey’s Role Today is a six-week course led by tutor Kim Ashcroft.

The aim is ‘to illuminate the background’ to press reports on Turkey, particularly topical at present while it is on the frontline of efforts to control Islamic State in neighbouring parts of Syria.

The course will examine Turkey’s role today in the context of its history, the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and Ataturk’s secular nationalism.

It will look at the stories behind the headlines, from headscarves to press freedom and Kurdish nationalism, and seek to understand them better by accessing information about Turkey’s history, politics, culture and religion and through discussion of the issues.

Turkey is an economically successful, modern, Muslim nation looking both east and west. The course will explain why the AKP government is popular with some and so controversial with others and examine the arguments for and against Turkey’s membership of the European Union.

Sessions are Tuesday mornings at 10.30am, starting on January 20, in the Catholic Church Room in Steyning. The fee is £52.

England’s Green and Pleasant Land: Historic Houses of the South Downs is another six-session course, which will be led by tutor Janet Sinclair.

It will cover the great South Downs estates, workers, families and collections, ‘upstairs and downstairs’. It will look at the occupants –working people, crafts people, owners and patrons – and their place in the historic house and at the development of architecture through function.

The houses and estates covered will include Stansted Park, Petworth, Arundel Castle, Goodwood, Cowdray, Uppark, Parham, Pallant House and West Dean and the course will look at various topics. Questions such as destruction, reconstruction or conservation, house or museum, will be asked and the course will look at the changing character of guide books and whose story is being told, for whom.

Penfold Hall in Steyning will be the main venue but one of the six sessions will be a three-hour visit to a local great house. The course starts on February 3 and runs on Tuesday afternoons at 2.30pm. The fee is £52.

Myth and Legend in Opera is Robert Carrington’s course for spring next year. Robert has been teaching music appreciation courses in Steyning for more than a decade and they are always popular.

This course will explain how myths and legends give composers scope to write beautiful and dramatic music that mirrors the story they are telling. It will visually explore how composers from Monteverdi to Strauss and 20th century composers added new ways of exploring ancient truths.

The ten-week course will be held on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Jarvis Music Room in Steyning. It starts on January 14 and the fee is £84.

For these courses and more, book online at www.wea.org.uk or freephone 0800 328 1060. For more information, email enquiries@weasteyning.org.uk or ring 01903 816190.