The use of English is on the rise in Switzerland. Many of us use it in our daily lives, and many native English speakers live here too. That is why we at the Volkshochschule have decided to offer a small number of courses in English – as a test. Of course there is no proper translation for the word Volkshochschule – but «Open University» comes pretty close. Come and think in English!

Tested by consequences

„Ideas become true just in so far as they help us to get into satisfactory relation with other parts of our experience.“ The American philosopher and psychologist William James (1842–1910) used this quote to introduce a distinctly American form of philosophy: Pragmatism. This critical movement wants to solve many traditional philosophical problems by demanding that ideas and concepts – about God, the nature of reality and human beliefs and truth – be tested by their practical consequences.

Michael Roth
„Philosophy in English. William James and Pragmatism. Introduction to American Philosophy“
Tuesdays, May 8 – May 29, 2018, 4x, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Imagination, emotion, tragedy

We shall read and discuss „Wuthering Heights“, the classic novel by Emily Brontë, published in 1847 just a year before her death at the age of 30. A book of passionate imagination and emotional intensity, it has elements of the depth and simplicity of ancient tragedy. Time permitting, we shall also watch extracts from at least one film version of the novel.

John Potts
Emily Brontë „Wuthering Heights“
Tuesdays, May 15 – June 19, 2018, 6x, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

English at its best

We are going to read, interpret and discuss a fascinating, gripping novel of great English literature. This will surely help you to speak more freely and guide you to use a choicer vocabulary and extend your knowledge of the more elaborate structures in English. Grammar will be revised when needed.

Dr. Lucy R. Peter
„English Literature“
Tuesday, May 8 – Sept. 25, 2018, 1 p.m. – 2.30 p.m.

Eyes of Victorianism

Robert Browning is the major poet of Victorian England. He created a series of dramatic monologues spoken by eminent characters from the past, especially from the Renaissance. He created monologues in which figures like the painters in the title present their artistic beliefs. At the same time, Browning expressed his own view of art indirectly through their words.

Prof. Dr. John Osterwalder
„Renaissance Paintings from a Victorian Perspective: Robert Browning’s ‚Andrea del Sarto‘ and ‚Fra Lippo Lippi'“
Friday, Sep 9, 2018, 1:30 – 5:00 p.m., including a coffee break and sweets.