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OWL Monday Scholars 

CourseThe Magna Carta and Its Legacy
Mondays, February 2 - March 16*
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
*No Class on February 16
Click Here to Register

Taught by: Justin Champion, Graham Smith,  Nigel Saul,  Jonathan Phillips,  Emm Barnes Johnstone
Facilitated by:
Cameron Bove 

Facilitated by Cameron Bove, Monday Scholars is a weekly program from February 2 to March 16. Monday Scholars offers the best of two worlds: online learning and classroom discussion. Each week, a new lecture topic will be watched and discussed. All participants need to do is come ready to engage their minds and participate in discussion. There are no required homework assignments, log-ins, or other commitments. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. Registration is required.

About the Course: The Magna Carta and Its Legacy

The Magna Carta and Its Legacy aims to lead us into a greater appreciation for and an understanding of Magna Carta and its significance around the globe, as we approach the 800th anniversary of its sealing. Why was the Magna Carta radical in its day? Why has it been a source of numerous debates? Why is this anniversary being celebrated in the present?

In 1215, King John sealed Magna Carta by the Thames at Runnymede in Surrey, a charter between the monarch and his Barons placing limits on his power over freeborn men in the kingdom. Magna Carta enshrined the principle that all people should be bound by the rule of law, including the monarch, and that the processes of justice must be applied to all. Many political thinkers have celebrated Magna Carta as the first example of a bill of rights, an ancient constitution. 

embers of the History Department at Royal Holloway, a college of the University of London, will deliver the course. In addition to the lectures with an explicit historical focus, the lecture in week four will explore the continuing international significance of Magna Carta, and of Runnymede, through interviews with members of the Geography Department, the Politics and International Relations Department, experts in the history of law, and others. 

About the Professors:

Justin Champion,

Professor of the History of Ideas, was educated at King Edward VIth Grammar School, Southampton, and Churchill College,    Cambridge. He has taught History at Royal Holloway since 1990. A regular broadcaster on the radio and television, the focus of his historical interests are the history of political liberty, the radical English Enlightenment, and the impact of epidemic disease in London. He has just been elected as President of the Historical Association which brings together young historians in schools, their teachers, and historians in local communities. He is acting as advisor to the 2015 British Library Magna Carta Exhibition, as well as contributing to the national commemorative activity.

Graham Smith  

is a Senior Lecturer in History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a member of the Department’s Public History team, teaching and publishing on public history, oral history and the history of modern medicine. In his research he uses oral history to find out how people understand history, both personal and public. He has a chapter on the public history of Magna Carta, with Anna Green, in the Oxford Handbook of Public History (forthcoming).


Nigel Saul 

is Professor of Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of a biography of King Richard II (Yale UP, 1997) and a study of chivalry, For Honour and Fame: Chivalry in England, 1066-1500 (Bodley Head, 2011).  In 2012 he was historical consultant to the BBC4 series, “Chivalry and Betrayal: the Hundred Years War.” He is a member of the Magna Carta 800 Committee, which is co-ordinating activities to mark the Magna Carta anniversary. 

Jonathan Phillips

is Professor of Crusading History. His research interests range from an ongoing study of the Third Crusade (1187-92), through to the memory and the use of ideas and images of the crusades in the modern period across both the West and the Muslim Near East. He has published extensively on the crusades, including Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades (2009) which has been translated into German, Dutch, French and Italian. Phillips has appeared in numerous television and radio programs and recently was an advisor to playwright David Eldridge’s production of Holy Warriors at the Globe Theatre, London. 

Emm Barnes Johnstone

is a Teaching and Research Fellow in History at Royal Holloway, and is also the Magna Carta Project Manager for the College. Emm previously worked at the University of Manchester, and the University of Roehampton, and holds a doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge.


Course: Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life
Mondays, April 20  -  July 6*
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
*No class on May 25 or June 29
Click Here to Register

Taught by:  Peggy Mason, PhD
Facilitated by: Cameron Bove

Facilitated by Cameron Bove, Monday Scholars is a weekly program from April 20 to July 6. Monday Scholars offers the best of two worlds: online learning and classroom discussion. Each week, a new lecture topic will be watched and discussed. All participants need to do is come ready to engage their minds and participate in discussion. There are no required homework assignments, log-ins, or other commitments. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. Registration is required.


About the Course: Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

The Neurobiology of Everyday Life is a 10-week course intended for anyone interested in how the nervous system works. No background in science is needed! If you have ever wondered how the brain works in every day life, and how neuroscience can explain the common problems afflicting people today, then this course is for you. Join us in learning and discussing the way the brain works in every day life!

The course starts by introducing basic neuroanatomy, neurodevelopment and mechanisms of neural communication. You will gain an understanding of how injury and disease of different types and in different locations can alter a person’s life. Together, we’ll examine how we perceive the outside world, how we act in the world volitionally or emotionally, how our nervous system allows us to live, and how cognition operates to make us the human individuals that we are. 

We will look at the neurobiology of everyday situations such as multitasking (walking and chewing gum) and at the ways in which the nervous system commonly fails us (e.g. motion sickness). Each week, topics that are best described as neuro-philosophical conundrums will be discussed. Beyond emerging from this course with a new appreciation of many neurological conditions, you will come out recognizing the brain in action all day and every day!

 About the Professor: Peggy Mason, PhD

Peggy Mason, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago. She received both her BA in Biology and her PhD in Neuroscience from Harvard. Professor Mason has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago since 1992. She has taught undergraduate, graduate and medical students and has received numerous teaching awards. Using her nearly 15 years of experience teaching medical students, Professor Mason wrote Medical Neurobiology, a single-author textbook designed for medical students (Oxford University Press, 2011). 

After a 25-year focus on the cellular mechanisms of pain modulation (how does morphine work? and related questions), her laboratory has begun to concentrate on the biological basis of empathy. Additional interests are the development of feeding patterns during early life and the biology of vasomotor disorders (hot flashes, night sweats). For tangential musings on every-day-neurobiology, visit Professor Mason’s blog thebrainissocool.com.



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