Senior University Graduate Degree in Culture, Science and Society
2020-2021 academic year
- COMMUNICATION TODAY: NEW MEDIA AND NEW INFLUENCESDr Alfonso Méndiz and Dr Isabel Villanueva The media has made huge strides in the last ten years. We receive information via social networks before the press have had a chance to cover it. We no longer need to go to the cinema or video rental store; online platforms such as Netflix or Movistar now satisfy our thirst for films. These changes are highly significant as the information we receive is less likely to be verified. It could be manipulated or even so-called ‘fake news’. Audiovisual consumption is progressively becoming an individual activity and seldom enjoyed as a family. However, the influence these media have is on the rise: young people today think that family models should look like the ones they see in TV series, instead of the one they see at home, which is ultimately what shapes their core values as individuals. Shouldn’t we be more familiar with how these media work?
- THE BIRTHPLACE OF ART: ANCIENT ARTDr Judith Urbano In this course we will be taking a look at the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. We will analyse art and architecture from these cultures and complement our learning with visits to the Egyptian Museum and the Roman Barcino. We will study the main periods and their masterpieces in detail: the Pyramids of Giza, Abu Simbel temples, the statues of Gudea, the Code of Hammurabi, the city of Mesopotamia, the Acropolis of Athens, classical sculpture, the Pantheon of Rome, the Ara Pacis, the Colosseum... These are just some examples of what we will cover during this course.
- OUR ORIGINS: CLASSICAL CULTUREDr Alexandra Guzmán This course explores the main cultural expressions of classical antiquity that have influenced a large proportion of European philosophy and culture. Over the course of these sessions, we will look closely at Greek literature, both its origins and great literary works such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as the Greek tragedy.
- MICROORGANISMS: FRIEND OR FOE?Dr Marisol Marqués Microorganisms are a large and diverse group of microscopic organisms and constitute the basis of life on Earth. Some of the most dangerous illnesses among human beings, other animals and plants are caused by microorganisms. That being said, they also play a fundamental role in fertilising the earth, feeding humans and keeping us healthy. Large-scale industrial processes such as the production of antibiotics, hormones or industrial enzymes have a microbiological basis and are currently possible thanks to biotechnology.
- MEDIEVAL AND MODERN HISTORYDr Xavier Baró This subject offers a basic but comprehensive overview of the two periods that followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD). Specialists have traditionally called these ages Medieval and Modern. In line with this terminology, we have compiled the most relevant events from the between the fifth and eighth centuries into just one subject, offering an ample list of events that testify to the continuation of an agrarian and deeply religious society.
- THE ART OF CINEMA Carlos Jiménez Soria This subject explores different facets of cinematography, from aesthetics to narrative, to the most important technical aspects (editing, shots, use of colour) and the mythological archetypes —both male and female— that have presided over the history of the seventh art. During this course, we will analyse all these artistic concerns, identifiable in the selection of films students will watch during the course’s practical activities.
- PSYHCOLOGY AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLES. Dr Paloma Alonso and Dr Maria Gámiz Make the most of your present by answering the following questions: Who am I? What do my relationships look like? It might be that in order to answer these questions, we need to undergo a process of deconstruction, in other words, unpicking the myths we have been told about later life and have a closer look at our personal paradigm, our ideas about our own identity. With this type of positive attitude, we can learn to see every day as an adventure full of surprises; new lessons learned using our senses, experiences and our individual way of understanding them. An intense appreciation for life from every aspect of our healthy personality: thoughts, emotions and free will, including personal relationships.
- PHILOSOPHY: THE ENIGMA OF THE HUMAN BEINGDr Xavier Escribano One of the traits of human existence is the need to know who we are, in other words, the need for an image or formula to help us interpret and understand who we are, and guide ourselves in the face of complexity and the challenges that come with existing. This course intends to offer a brief overview of some of the concepts that are fundamental for our understanding of human consciousness, such as knowledge, nature, the body, freedom and dignity. It is therefore a question of accepting the challenge of anthropological and philosophical reflection, which steers us towards rediscovering the enigmatic, paradoxical and thrilling facet of this adventure that we share as human beings.
- THEMES IN PHILOSOPHY TODAY Dr Albert Moya This course is designed as an introduction to a series of general questions that occupy contemporary philosophical thought. As such, the aim is to explore some of the key concepts upon which today’s philosophers have focused their attention, which will allow us to shed light and sense of how we interpret the contemporary world. Students will have the chance to discover some of these authors’ philosophies and ideas, and above all, draw their own, accurate and substantiated conclusions on certain aspects that have a significant impact on the culture, society and politics of our time.
- MUSIC, LISTENING, EMOTION Albert Ferrer What is classical music? Essential notes and performances. Vocals and instrumental music. How can we train our senses and develop good taste? From interests to experience.
- OUR TIME: CONTEMPORARY HISTORYDr Xavier Baró Starting with the French Revolution (1789), this course intends to explain the main events of the past, which will help us better understand the world of today. Although we will be looking at events from the nineteenth century, our main focus will be the twentieth century, beset with war, but not without uplifting stories of hope. We will also be exploring contemporary concerns such as climate change and Islamist terrorism.
- MEDIEVAL ARTISTIC HERITAGE Dr Judith Urbano During this course we will analyse examples of Medieval art and architecture, starting with the fall of the Roman Empire. We will begin with Byzantine art and its influence on Western Romanesque style. We will also study the art and architecture of this period and conclude by looking at several examples of Gothic art and architecture from Europe, Spain and Catalonia. The course will include trips out to museums and around the city of Barcelona.
- DESTRUCTIVE OR CREATIVE INNOVATION? MARKET TRENDSDr Jasmina Berbegal Our world is getting faster by the minute; it is changing every day and here on earth, flexibility and versatility are the rules of the game. We also live in a “global” world, we identify with our surroundings and we want to contribute, but at the same time, we cannot help but peer out the window and acknowledge that we form part of a globalised world. Physical distance is no longer an obstacle. Information and communication technologies make possible what only 20 years ago was unimaginable. How are companies adapting to this context in an effort to survive? How can they prepare for and respond to future needs? What are the trends of the future? And what’s more, can we be sure that our business models will help foster a fairer and more sustainable society?
- ESSENTIAL READING FROM THE WORLD OF HISPANIC LITERATUREDr Marc Sogues Spanish-language literature constitutes one of the universal canon’s oldest and most important traditions. This course has been organised into six themed sessions dedicated to central topics that will help us gain an overview of how this literary tradition has evolved over the centuries. Two sessions will focus on Medieval literature; two on a selection of classic texts from the Spanish Golden Age (both prose and poetry) and two more on unique and emblematic works from the twentieth century. The aim is to enjoy reading classic texts from different periods throughout history and appreciate their literary qualities and most distinctive period features, whilst reflecting upon their relevance today and their link to our present.
- SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY: KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURYDr Gabriel Fernández The powerful social impact of technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics, Big Data and biotechnology, calls for profound reflection. This subject will provide students with the tools they need to develop a critical and balanced perspective, understand what the core issues are and learn where we should be looking to find solutions.
- TODAY’S WORLD GEOGRAPHY Dr Sergi Massana An encounter with specific locations from around the globe, identifying their most relevant and distinctive characteristics —physical or natural (climatic, orographic), historical, cultural, political or social and economic— in order to better understand them. This subject has been divided into themed sessions (encounters) on different countries and regions on the planet: India, Russia, the Arab world, Mexico and Japan.
Senior University Graduate Degree in Culture, Science and Society
2020-2021 academic year:
- MYTHOLOGY, TRADITIONS AND VALUES IN LITERATUREDr Alexandra Guzmán Classical myths are eternal. From their origin as a way of understanding the world and ancient man, their symbolic power has transcended time as they have remained omnipresent throughout the history of Western art and culture. In this course, we will analyse some of the best known myths from Ancient History and take a look at their genesis and subsequent interpretations.
- THE PHENOMENON OF MUSIC: KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING AND EXPERIENCEJosep Miquel Mindán Music is something that encompasses so much more than just an organised arrangements of sounds. The audience, the musician, the sheet music, the period, the context and a host of other factors can turn the meaning and experience of what we typically call "music” on its head. By following these three states of awareness, we will try to discover and understand the history of music and experience richer and more active listening. We will explore different styles and genres of music, different musical periods throughout history and finally, music’s origin and its deeper meaning. The art of music has been present in all cultures since the beginning of humanity. However, the modern Western world has consigned music to professional and elitist spheres and has created divisions between high and lowbrow culture. The time has come to reflect upon this paradigm.
- RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE ARTDr Judith Urbano In this course, we will be looking at early modern art, namely Renaissance and Baroque. We will analyse examples of art and architecture from this period and complement our learning with two trips: one to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya to see paintings and sculptures, and another, a walking tour around present-day Barcelona to see the city’s most important renaissance and baroque buildings.
- THE MEDITERRANEAN, SHARED HERITAGEDr Mohammed Hassan Elrazzaz Elrazzaz The Mediterranean is a kingdom of faraway dreams and harsh realities. During this course, we will explore the Mediterranean as a concept as well as its evolution from a variety of perspectives. We will study the Mediterranean’s natural and cultural heritage in all its glory and diversity and we will discuss contemporary opportunities and challenges that either bring us together or drive us apart. We will work with practical cases and organise activities with a view to broadening students’ horizons and challenging our current perception of the Mediterranean.
- THE HISTORY OF FOODDr María Ángeles Pérez Samper Food is a vital necessity that all humans share will every other living being. But humans have transformed this need into a complex social and cultural construct. We are all subject to this same inescapable need, regardless of the time or the place, and our ways of satisfying this need are many and varied.
- CARING FOR THE ELDERLYDr María Ángeles de Juan and Dr Albert Gallart Thanks to medical and technological advances, among others, we have managed to increase our life expectancy. Time moves on and we often find ourselves surrounded by people who are getting older. Longevity is not without its challenges: adapting to the changes ageing brings, overcoming misfortunes and illnesses in a fragile and vulnerable condition. In this course, we will be looking at caring for the elderly. How can we help seniors eat without choking? To maintain or increase their independence? How should we be caring for carers, which could mean caring for ourselves?
- SCIENCE FOR NON-SCIENTISTSDr Josep Clotet We will cover three different topics: 1) The origins of life. Where do we come from? How did life start? This is an absorbing question that humans have been asking since the beginning of time and, perhaps, one which will never be answered. Furthermore, why are there so many living beings, so very different and beautiful? 2) Pandemics and coronavirus. Even though both these phenomena are currently discussed at length, we rarely have the chance to talk to experts and obtain accurate information. 3) The lies of science and pseudo-science. There are several rational methods for approaching reality, and the scientific method has proven to be one of the most fruitful for humanity. This method, which colloquially we call “doing science”, is a tool that allows us to approach and discover our tangible reality in a rather precise way. But science is made up of men and women subjected to very diverse interests who can, at times, lie.
- WORLD GEOGRAPHY TODAY IIDr Sergi Massana An encounter with specific locations from around the globe, identifying their most relevant and distinctive characteristics —physical or natural (climatic, orographic), historical, cultural, political or social and economic— in order to better understand them. This subject has been divided into themed sessions (encounters) on different countries and regions on the planet: China, Australia and Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey and the Baltic states.
- CATALAN ARTISTS, TODAYAnna Pou van den Bossche Catalonia is a land of artists. From Plensa to Barceló, to Bohigas and to the award-winning RCR, we will take an in-depth look at the work of contemporary painters, sculptors and architects. It will help us rediscover our own city, our urbanism and the public art that accompanies us through our daily lives.
- THE HISTORY OF ASIA AND THE PACIFICDr Xavier Baró This subject intends to offer students a basic but comprehensive overview of a geographically remote part of our planet, but one that is increasingly in touch with the West. The great Asia-Pacific region is home to diverse realities we must discover in order to understand the world we live in.
- PHILOSOPHY. CURRENT CLASSICAL THOUGHT Dr Bernat Torres This course will offer students an introduction to the main questions and challenges posed by classical thought. The origins of philosophical thought (why and when did we begin to philosophise?) We will meet the mysterious figure of Socrates by exploring sources that speak of him. We will also meet Plato, a disciple of Socrates, through his myths and dialogues. Finally, we will explore what classic thought proposes in terms of guidance in life; the pursuit of good will be met by the pursuit of pleasure.
- THE EUROPEAN UNION IN A WORLD OF GIANTSVíctor Pou From the perspective of the European Union and starting with its great historical milestones, we will try to understand our twenty-first century world: the shift in the economic centre of gravity towards Asia-Pacific-India; the re-emergence of China; the withdrawal of the Anglo-Saxon powers —the United States and the United Kingdom— and the return of the empires: Russia.
- OTHER RELIGIONS Dr Joan Hernández In our increasingly populated and diverse society, when it comes to religion and culture, it is important to acknowledge the different religious traditions that make up our world today. This subject intends to offer an introduction to non-Christian religions such as Judaism, Islam and Eastern religions. This approach will start by looking at religion from an anthropological, sociological, historical and theological perspective, learning by exploring the everyday reality of their rituals, celebrations, organisations and current religious practices.
- THE HISTORY OF WOMEN Dr Mariela Fargas This course focuses on how the figure of the woman has evolved through European history, from its classical roots and Christianity, to how women have lived according to cultural models and life experiences, which have mainly revolved around the family.
- ESSENTIAL READING FROM CATALAN LITERATUREDr Marc Sogues From poetry by Jordi de Sant Jordi i Ausias March, to Camí de Sirga by Jesús Moncada (1988), each session will follow the same model but focus on a different topic: the lecturer will give a short presentation about the author in question and introduce their historic and cultural context. Then, the class will read and comment upon the chosen texts. The remaining time will be spent discussing and asking questions about the literary work in question.
- SCIENCE AND RELIGIONDr Josep Corcó The relationship between science, culture and religion might be complex, but it is fundamental for understanding today’s world. The main difficulty in exploring the relationship between these three human phenomena, is the need for an interdisciplinary inquiry. In an academic context that has opted for hyperspecialisation, it is now more important than ever to integrate knowledge from different fields when studying subjects that hold the key to understanding both nature and human society.
- INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTSDr Maria Mut Our world is characterised by growing internationalisation. All countries must comply with international regulations and enforce judicial decisions taken in international courts. It is therefore necessary to know who the main international subjects and actors are. During this intensive course, we will first introduce the United Nations (UN), the international community’s main international organisation, how they work and the powers they have, as well as their chief specialised agencies: the WHO, FAO and UNESCO. Given the current pandemic, we will also have the chance to debate and analyse what these organisations do. We will dedicate the second half of this course to exploring human rights. We will analyse the main regulatory instruments that govern them, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the European Convention on Human Rights, and the system that guarantees their compliance. We will also explain the sanctions that derive from the systematic and widespread violation of human rights that has given rise to so-called international crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.