Lifelong Learning Dundee

Lifelong Learning Dundee is an independent, not-for-profit organisation developed by former students and tutors of the long-running continuing education classes at the University of Dundee.
For many years the University of Dundee offered classes for the general public,  most recently in its ‘Courses for Adults’ programme.  
Earlier this year the University replaced these with credit-bearing assessed courses.  As a result, Lifelong Learning Dundee was formed to continue the highly valued general interest classes on the campus.    
Having been involved in contacting the University Principal when the university changed provision to credit-bearing courses to ensure that general interest classes continued, I am delighted to see Lifelong Learning Dundee being formed and continuing the excellent tradition of general interest education classes at the university.
You can read more about the courses that are available here.

Stewart Carmichael exhibition – talk and tour

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
On Saturday 5th August at 2pm, I will be giving an illustrated talk and guided tour to accompany the exhibition Stewart Carmichael: Celtic Visions in the Lamb Gallery at the University of Dundee. 
The exhibition marks 150 years since the birth of one of Dundee’s most significant artists, Stewart Carmichael (1867-1950).    For six decades, he was one of the leading figures of Dundee’s cultural scene, a constant champion for the role of art and culture in society. 
The talk will take place in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre on the ground floor of the University Tower Building, and will be followed by an informal tour of the exhibition. 
Attendance is free and there is no need to book. 
The event has been organised in collaboration with the Scottish Society for Art History.

Girls in Print : Female Figures in British Comics

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
Girls in Print  :   Female Figures in British Comics
An exhibition in the Tower Foyer Gallery, University of Dundee
Now on and running until 21st October 2017
The way that female characters have been portrayed in comics has changed considerably over the years. In Britain, comics aimed specifically at girls were hugely popular from the 1950s to the 1980s, but have now largely disappeared. Dundee-based publishers DC Thomson were especially prolific in this area – as well as the famous Bunty (1958-2001) they produced many other titles including Judy (1960-91), Diana (1963-76), Mandy (1967-91) and Spellbound (1976-77).
The stories and characters in these comics covered a surprisingly wide range. The focus was mostly on teenage girls – their daily lives and their thirst for adventure and new worlds. They addressed important issues such as how to deal with new classmates; how to become a ballet dancer; how to fly a spaceship and save the world…
The girls’ comics of DC Thomson reflect the attitudes of their time, but were also quick to respond to readers’ demands. The traditional pony and ballet strips were soon joined by sports stories, historical dramas and tales of the supernatural. The majority of artists and writers were men, but recent years have seen a huge increase in the number of female writers and artists, creating new representations of women and girls in comics and graphic novels.   
This exhibition presents original artwork on loan from DC Thomson as well as a selection of pieces by current comics creators including Maria Stoian, Tanya Roberts and Kate Charlesworth, offering a broad range of interpretations of what female figures can be in British comics culture. The exhibition has been curated by Louise Quirion, a recent graduate from the University’s MLitt course in Comics Studies. 
Image above: ‘The Nine Lives of Kitty Foster’ by Carlos Freixas from Spellbound 1977 (copyright DC Thomson & Co Ltd).

Botanica Mathematica workshop

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
Workshop – Sunday 18 June – 2pm to 4.30pm
Come and make your own Binary Bonsai with Botanica Mathematica artist Madeleine Shepherd. Take it home or contribute it to the growing woolly herbarium that is on display in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum.  
Madeleine will give a short introduction to the project and the ideas behind its creation and then we’ll have fun with fibre generating trees and flowers by applying some simple rules.  
Yarn and some tools will be provided by Dundee’s own independent yarn store, Fluph. Please bring your own set of double-pointed needles so if you don’t finish your Binary Bonsai at the workshop you’ll be able to take it home.
Attendance at the workshop is free but places must be booked in advance here.

Botanica Mathematica

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
Botanica Mathematica
D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum
2nd – 30th June, Fridays 2 – 4.30pm
The D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum at the University of Dundee re-opens to the public for the summer season on 2 June and will be open every Friday 2-4.30pm until 1 September. Throughout June there will be a special addition to the displays – an exhibition of knitted artworks inspired by mathematical biology.
Botanica Mathematica is a textile taxonomy of mathematically inspired plant forms. Its creators, Julia Collins and Madeleine Shepherd, have combined ideas from D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form, computer science, fractals and hyperbolic geometry. The specimen collection consists mainly of crowd-sourced contributions of Binary Bonsai trees. 
Generative instructions and algorithmic knitting patterns are the genetic code of these creations; textile techniques are their metabolism. These patterns were released into the wild to evolve and change as makers around the world interpreted them. 
The elegant structures, rich textures and fascinating patterns that arise have been collected and classified, with the aid of taxonomist Jo Macrae, as if they were specimens in a botanical herbarium. 
The exhibition features Binary Bonsai, Fibonacci Flowers and Hyperbolic Chanterelles displayed throughout the museum. 
Madeleine Shepherd will be in the museum on 2 June to meet visitors and discuss her work. You can also find out more on her website here.

The University on Screen

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee (and, as part of the university’s 50th Anniversary celebrations) :
Sunday 21st May, 11am, Dundee Contemporary Arts
The University on Screen
We’re teaming up with DCA and the University Archives to present a one-off screening of some rarely seen films made about the University in decades past. 
From biology expeditions in the 1930s to Stephen Fry’s installation as Rector in the 1990s, we present a fascinating glimpse into the various activities that make up University life in Dundee. 
The centrepiece will be a unique 16mm promotional film from 1977 called Live and Learn in Tayside. Were you a student here at that time? You might just spot a groovier (or at least hairier) version of yourself!
This event is free. Tickets must be collected from DCA box office for the film screening.

Students take on historic team in Dundee’s University Challenge

As part of the University of Dundee’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, Dundee’s historic University Challenge champions from the 1980s will return to campus to take on the students set to represent the University in next years’ television series.
The 1983 side became the second only Scottish team to win the competition, a record that hasn’t been added to since. They will once again flex their mental muscles when they return to campus for the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations this Saturday, 20th May.
Three of the 1983 team, James A. Smith (Economics and Politics), Graeme Davidson (Law) and Peter Burt (Zoology) will be joined by Tom McGhee (English) a member of the Dundee team who finished runners up in 1978. See photo (left).  Donald Kennedy, the fourth member of the 1983 team now lives in Australia and is unable to join his old colleagues.
They will face the newly formed student team of 2017 – Ian Bertram (Medicine), Mason Mcilreavy (Medicine), Iain Brodie (Philosophy, Psychology and Film student) and Rory McDowell (History) and reserve Greg Armstrong (Medicine).
Rory said, “It will be wonderful to take on the team that are technically the reigning Scottish Champions! However, if you look at Dundee’s rankings in the University league tables since the 1980s, we have been on the up – so I say out with the old and in with the new.”
The showdown takes place between 3.45pm – 5pm in the Dalhousie Building and will be chaired by Fordyce Davidson, Academic Director of International College Dundee and Professor of Mathematics at the University.
Professor Davidson said, “As a Dundee graduate who turns 50 in the same year as the University, it will be a great honour to see the old boys pitched against the students – the majority of whom were not even born when the competitors won in 1983.
“It begs the question, are the young genuinely smarter than their predecessors?   We will find out on the 20th May. Perhaps beating the champions could set the new generation on their way to Paxman.”
To book your seat click here.