Masterclass Programme 2019

16, 23 & 30 March

Information about this year’s masterclass programme in which students will examine the big question ‘What is Human?’, including details of how to apply for a place for your child, is now in schools.  For who to contact in your child’s school click here.

The class descriptors for Yr 9&10 are given below.  For Yrs 7&8 the process for application will be explained at the launch meeting on 6 February, details of which have been sent out.

Yr 9&10 Masterclass Descriptors

“To be Human is to be violent”
Is our species inherently violent? If so, why do we think it’s such a terrible thing? Delving deep into the philosophy of ethics and human nature, this masterclass will take a fresh perspective on violence in the natural and human world.
We will explore questions on how aggressive force should be used and whether “morality” is a good reason to be peaceful. We will consider the philosophical, historical and religious arguments that challenge the modern appetite for peace-making before reaching a judgement on the role of violence in the modern world.

Has it always meant the same thing to be human?
The relationships and tensions between the mind, body and soul have been debated for thousands of years and revealed in human actions across time. Was the medieval period the last time the soul dominated the mind and body, or would Aretha Franklin demand more respect than that? Did the mind triumph in the Early Modern period as the sweeping changes of the Reformation, Enlightenment and early science start to overcome the soul? After Galileo, Hooke and Newton, can we really believe something without seeing it? And what about us? Are modern humans really more obsessed with the body than the mind or soul when compared to our ancestors?
To explore these issues our journey will probably take us via The Health and Safety Act, Mary I, Magna Carta, The Berlin Wall, Thomas Hobbes, the Miner’s Strike, Ebola, David Livingstone, Black Power, Social Darwinism, McDonalds and York Minster. We say probably because we’ll be shaped by you as we go and we have no idea where we’ll end up. If we knew the answers, we wouldn’t ask the questions.

Is the story of music the story of humans?
How is music able to transcend time, space, cultures, and affect us like nothing else can? In many ways, the story of music is the story of humans!
In this masterclass, discover ancient forms of music, and learn how to transcribe from Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts into modern notation. Delve into the question of whether or not we can say there is an innate human ability to portray sounds and images as representations of reality.
This will lead us on to an exciting project transcribing a form of visual art into music, using a variety of early and modern notation systems.

Queer Theory: The (not so) straight road to human enlightenment
What does it mean to be male, female, and everything in between? Where did our ideas of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ come from, and what have they meant for generations of us?
Together, we’ll explore the formation of ‘male’ and ‘female’ through history, and the ways in which the LGBTQ+ community have shaped/been shaped by the world around them.
From Wilde to Degeneres, Turing to Queer Eye – how has society’s view of “gay” altered, and where do we go from here? Through analysing novels, theatre, film and television of the last century, we will explore the texts that have pushed boundaries, and the repercussions of them across the world, delving into the minds of the activists and the people who punished them, and debating what the future holds for the LGBTQ+ human story.