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Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Aldo Crespi Collection/Bridgeman Images
Early modern Europe: an introduction free course icon Level

History & The Arts 

Early modern Europe: an introduction

The early modern period from 1500 to 1780 is one of the most engaging periods for historical study. Beginning with the upheavals of the Reformation, and ending with the Enlightenment, this was a time of fundamental intellectual, social, religious and cultural change. At the same time, early modern Europe was rooted in and retained many of the customs of medieval times. In this free course, Early modern Europe: an introduction, you will explore some of the fundamental characteristics of this fascinating period of history.

Free course
10 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
Rights Enshrined video icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Rights Enshrined

What is the role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the nature of its relationship with the UK Government? What impact does it have on UK law? With British membership of the European Union at the heart of the political agenda, the role of its Court of Human Rights and its influence on UK law has inevitably come under scrutiny. The coalition Government has pledged to withdraw the UK from the European convention of human rights, and to give Parliament the right to veto ECHR rulings. In these 4 films we hear from people who have taken cases to the Strasbourg court. We look at how cases are referred, what laws are used, what the process is like and what impact its judgments have had in the UK - in such high profile examples as Diane Pretty’s ‘Right to Die’ case.

Video
20 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2011
Worlds of English video icon

Languages 

Worlds of English

How has the English language spread internationally - and is the worldwide influence of English a cause for celebration or concern? How is it changing in response to social, cultural, and technological developments? ‘Worlds of English’ investigates these notions by looking at the expansion of English in China since the 1970s, how it is now the dominant language used at the European Parliament and how a local vernacular in Singapore, known as 'Singlish' is causing controversy. It also examines the role of, and attitude towards, English since the end of Apartheid. This material forms part of The Open University course U214 Worlds of English.

Video
1 hr
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2010
Money and Emotions audio icon

Money & Business 

Money and Emotions

How do emotions affect financial decisions? Is their impact always bad, or are emotions an important part of making good financial decisions? Can a better understanding of emotion help us avert future financial crises? These are some of the questions being asked by the xDelia project: a European Commission funded research programme being conducted by The Open University and other partners. The project is using leading edge physiological sensors and computer game technologies to explore the impact of emotions on financial decision-making and to develop new approaches to learning, which can support effective choices. In this podcast Professor Mark Fenton-O'Creevy of The Open University Business School looks at the work of this research programme and explores the ways in which emotions affect how we all (from investment bankers to the wider public) think and decide about money. xDelia is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.

Audio
20 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
The physical world: collisions audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

The physical world: collisions

It has been called a 'Big Bang Machine', but what is the Large Hadron Collider and what do scientists hope it will discover? Presented by Robert Llewellyn, the three video tracks in this album address the science of collisions, the purpose of particle acceleration and the construction of the LHC at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, in Geneva. This cutting edge machine may detect the elusive Higgs boson, and with it reveal the origin of mass, the missing piece in our understanding of matter. If it succeeds, it will begin the next era of research into the nature of the universe. This material forms part of The Open University course S207 The physical world.

Audio
20 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Darwin and language diversity audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Darwin and language diversity

Can Darwin's theory of evolution be applied to languages? If so what are the analogues for natural selection and species diversification? What truths does this approach reveal and what problems does it throw up? In this album Professor Mark Pagel of Reading University and Quentin Atkinson, an evolutionary biologist at Oxford, discuss the pitfalls and the up-sides to approaching language through a Darwinian model. Focussing on Indo-European languages, they show how mathematical and statistical models can be used to study the development of both particular words and of grammatical terms. Looking to the future they speculate on how language will develop in the new globalised culture. The tracks on this album were produced by The Open University in collaboration with the British Council. They form part of Darwin Now, a global initiative celebrating the life and work of Charles Darwin and the impact his ideas about evolution continue to have on today’s world. © British Council 2009.

Audio
30 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Search Engines of the Future: The Pharos project video icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Search Engines of the Future: The Pharos project

The volume of stored information is growing exponentially and an increasing share is audio-visual content. This content drives the demand for new services, making audio-visual search one of the major challenges for organisations and businesses today. The Open University is one of fifteen European partners in The Pharos project which aims to advance audio-visual search using an integrated search platform paradigm.

Video
10 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Analysing European Romanticism audio icon

History & The Arts 

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 album also explores how Romanticism spread and was adopted in other countries, concentrating on how intellectual progress was often hindered by societal pressures and prejudices. This material forms part of The Open University course A207 From Enlightenment to Romanticism c.1780-1830.

Audio
1 hr
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Carnival and the performance of heritage audio icon

History & The Arts 

Carnival and the performance of heritage

There's a lot more to Notting Hill Carnival than a great street party. This album gives you a true insider guide, by some of the people who have made the Carnival what it is today. Its story reaches back to the darkest recesses of European tradition, through Colonialism and slavery, to racist Britain of the 1950’s and 60’s. It merges contemporary ideas with art forms reaching back via the Caribbean slave plantations to tribal Africa. And its setting in West London brings out a history of the area which some of its residents might prefer to forget. The album also contains academic perspectives from Susie West, Lecturer in Heritage Studies at The Open University; Hakim Adi, Reader in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at Middlesex University; and Ruth Tompsett, Visiting Lecturer in Carnival Studies at Middlesex University. This material forms part of The Open University Course AD281 Understanding global heritage.

Audio
1 hr 45 mins