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What does a kiss mean?

What does a kiss mean? Copyrighted image Credit: Shiningcolors | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 14 Apr 2015
The kiss has changed its cultural meaning across the century - from a sign of favour to a marker of desire. How did that happen?

Before The Windrush: How did Liverpool become such a poorly-integrated city?

Before The Windrush: How did Liverpool become such a poorly-integrated city? Creative commons image Credit: Rodhullandemu under CC-BY-SA licence New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 10 Apr 2015
A century ago, Liverpool revelled in its cosmopolitan character. Nowadays, though, the city is far less ethnically mixed. What happened?

The late-modern hipster

The late-modern hipster Copyright free image Credit: Cheryl18 New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 10 Apr 2015
Unloved and shunned by sociologists. Bjørn Schiermer considers the plight of the elaborately bearded youth cult.

The purpose of war

The purpose of war Copyright free image Credit: ArmyAmber New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
War! What is it good for! Actually, Ian Morris suggests that it might make life generally less violent. He explained how to Laurie Taylor.

The illicit world of Indian dance

The illicit world of Indian dance Copyrighted image Credit: Vonora | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
Although Bollywood has brought social change, the history of dancers in India is a story of shaming. Anna Morcom visited Thinking Allowed to...

Collecting Shakespeare: Crowd funding and rediscovered plays

Collecting Shakespeare: Crowd funding and rediscovered plays Copyright free image Credit: Public domain New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Apr 2015
A benefit gig, a rediscovered lost play and a beef with Alexander Pope: Lewis Theobald's 18th Century edition of Shakespeare plays could have...

1802 Rewind: True stories of the 1802 general election

1802 Rewind: True stories of the 1802 general election Copyright free image Credit: Public domain
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 02 Apr 2015
If the 1979 election isn't far enough back in time for you, in a one-off special we take you back to the first election of the 19th Century.

The truth behind Poldark: Stories of The Great Copper Slump

The truth behind Poldark: Stories of The Great Copper Slump Creative commons image Credit: Tony Atkin under CC-BY-SA licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 30 Mar 2015
If you're enjoying the BBC revival of Poldark, you might wonder how realistic the depciction of Cornish copper mining after the American War Of...

OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic

Featuring: VideoVideo
OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 25 Mar 2015
The founder of sociology, Max Weber drilled in the value of hard work into our everyday ethic. 

How did 18th Century people react to eclipses?

How did 18th Century people react to eclipses? Creative commons image Credit: Wellcome Library, London under CC-BY licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 06 Mar 2015
With jokes, with panic, with searches for religious meaning: A collection of contemporary responses to eclipses from 18th Century publications.

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Exploring a Romano-African city: Thugga

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Exploring a Romano-African city: Thugga Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 14 hours Updated 30 Jul 2013
From Rome to Pompeii and Ephesus the excavation of Roman remains is well known, but what of Roman remains in Africa? This unit looks at the Roman...

The origins of the wars of the three kingdoms

Free CourseFree Course
The origins of the wars of the three kingdoms Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 21 Jul 2011
From Catholic rebellion to Civil War, what happened during the latter years of the reign of Charles I that caused people to take up arms against...

Late nineteenth-century Britain and America: The people and the empire

Free CourseFree Course
Late nineteenth-century Britain and America: The people and the empire Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 4 hours Updated 24 Jun 2011
In this unit we shall look more closely at the evidence available to assess the truth of this argument. Were the working people, as opposed to the...

The Roman Empire: Introducing some key terms

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The Roman Empire: Introducing some key terms Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 14 hours Updated 23 Jun 2011
This unit will define basic concepts and terms that are essential for an understanding of the culture and identity of the Roman empire. Terms such...

The African diaspora: An archaeological perspective

Free CourseFree Course
The African diaspora: An archaeological perspective Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 4 hours Updated 20 Jun 2011
In many ways the African diaspora is a contentious episode from the past (and indeed present). This unit explores why this area of research has...