What's the Point of the Third Age? (Summer term) (HIS 32)

  • Day and time: Tuesday 14:00 - 15:30
  • Length of course: 1 term. Summer (10 Weeks)
  • Number of places: 16
  • Start date: 13 April 2021
  • Description:

    We are - some of us at least - living longer than ever. This has created a huge market for advice givers and commentators of every persuasion, from the scientific to the wryly humorous. They are part of a long tradition of reflections, whether philosophical, literary or religious, that aim to fit ageing into life's overall narrative: how do we define it, and how is it experienced? As with all phases of life, the third age is to a large extent a social construct whose shape varies in different epochs and cultures. This course explores a variety of attitudes to the subject from the psalms to the present day, from Cicero to Tolstoy, and from Francis Bacon to Diana Athill. Can we find in the ensuing composite picture any points of universal validity?

  • Format: Lecture/Discussion

  • Tutor: Thelma Lovell
  • An experienced tutor and a classicist with a lifelong engagement in cultural history, I have made a particular study of responses to ageing.


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