A History of Punk from 1976-78: A Free Online Course from the University of Reading

From Matthew Worley, professor of modern history at the University of Reading, comes the free online course Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-78. (Worley is also the author of the book, No Future: Punk, Politics and British Youth Culture.) The course covers the following ground:

In the late 1970s, a new youth subculture emerged in the UK. This, of course, was punk, and a cultural revolt was underway.

In this course, you will learn about the emergence of punk and its diverse range of meanings. You’ll use that lens to explore how youth cultures provided space for people to reimagine, discover and challenge the society and communities in which they were coming of age.

You’ll explore punk as a tool of expression for young people, and how it related to politics and events. You’ll consider punk’s relationship with gender, class, race, sexuality and protest, drawing comparisons with the youth culture of today…

This history course also has an emphasis on the creative side of punk. You’ll explore DIY punk design and writing, epitomised by fanzines. You’ll learn how to create a real-life fanzine of your own, all the way to publishing and distribution. This will help strengthen your communication skills and encourage independent thought and creativity.

Among other things, the course will cover:

  • The diverse meanings of ‘punk’, its roots and its effects on British culture.
  • The originators and defining events that led to punk’s spread across the UK and beyond.
  • The music: how the Sex Pistols opened the way for a wide range of sounds and bands.
  • Why fanzines became the perfect medium for punk.
  • Punk’s influence on publishing, fashion, art and design.
  • Punk’s impact on issues of gender, class, race, sexuality and protest.
  • Punk’s legacy and continuing influence on society.

Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-78 can be taken for free on the FutureLearn platform. The course will be added to our list: 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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The Age of Cathedrals: A Free Online Course from Yale University

From Yale professor Howard Bloch comes Age of Cathedrals, an online course that offers “an introduction to some of the most astonishing architectural monuments the world has ever known—Gothic cathedrals,” including Notre Dame, Chartres, and Saint-Denis. The course description adds: “We shall study the art, literature, intellectual life, economics, and new social arrangements that arose in the shadow of the cathedrals and that were such an important part of the revival of cities in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The goal of the course is a better appreciation of the High Middle Ages, a world that is still recognizably our own.”

You can take Age of Cathedrals for free by selecting the audit option upon enrolling. If you want to take the course for a certificate, you will need to pay a fee.

Age of Cathedrals has been added to our list of Free History Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

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Blockchain and Money: A Free Online Course from MIT

Taught by MIT professor Gary Gensler, Blockchain and Money is “for students wishing to explore blockchain technology’s potential use—by entrepreneurs and incumbents—to change the world of money and finance. The course begins with a review of Bitcoin and an understanding of the commercial, technical, and public policy fundamentals of blockchain technology, distributed ledgers, and smart contracts. The class then continues on to current and potential blockchain applications in the financial sector.”

You can watch all 23 lectures above, or on YouTube. A syllabus and other course materials can be found on MIT’s website. More related courses are listed below.

Blockchain and Money has been added to our list of Free Business Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe: A Free Online Course from the University of Colorado

Dr. Roger Louis Martínez-Dávila and Ana B. Sanchez-Prieto–two academics working out of the University of Colorado and Universidad Complutense Madrid (Spain)–have teamed up to present Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe. The free course covers the following ground:

Perhaps no other relic of the European Middle Ages captures our imagination more than illuminated medieval manuscripts, or those documents decorated with images and colored pigments. Serving as windows unto a lost world of kings, ladies, faith, war, and culture, they communicate complex visual and textual narratives of Europe’s collective cultural heritage and patrimony. In this fashion, illuminated manuscripts are dynamic messages from our communal past that are still relevant today in fields like graphic design and typography.

In this seven-week course, students will explore the material creation, content, and historical context of illuminated medieval European manuscripts. Students will acquire an introductory knowledge of their distinguishing characteristics, their cataloguing and periodization (when they were created), the methods utilized to produce them, and their historical context and value.

You can take The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe for free by selecting the audit option upon enrolling. If you want to take the course for a certificate, you will need to pay a fee.

The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe has been added to our list of Free History Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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Søren Kierkegaard – Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity: A Free Online Course from the University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen and Jon Stewart, PhD present Søren Kierkegaard – Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity, a course exploring the work of Denmark’s great philosopher. The course description reads as follows:

It is often claimed that relativism, subjectivism and nihilism are typically modern philosophical problems that emerge with the breakdown of traditional values, customs and ways of life. The result is the absence of meaning, the lapse of religious faith, and feeling of alienation that is so widespread in modernity.

The Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) gave one of the most penetrating analyses of this complex phenomenon of modernity. But somewhat surprisingly he seeks insight into it not in any modern thinker but rather in an ancient one, the Greek philosopher Socrates.

In this course created by former associate professor at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, Jon Stewart, we will explore how Kierkegaard deals with the problems associated with relativism, the lack of meaning and the undermining of religious faith that are typical of modern life. His penetrating analyses are still highly relevant today and have been seen as insightful for the leading figures of Existentialism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Modernism.

You can take Søren Kierkegaard for free by selecting the audit option upon enrolling. If you want to take the course for a certificate, you will need to pay a fee.

Søren Kierkegaard has been added to our list of Free Philosophy Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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What Is Contemporary Art?: A Free Online Course from The Museum of Modern Art

What is contemporary art? In this course from the Museum of Modern Art, you’ll explore this question through more than 70 works of art made from 1980 to the present, with a focus on art of the last decade. You’ll hear directly from artists, architects, and designers from around the globe about their creative processes, materials, and inspiration.

3D printed glass and sculptures made of fiber. Dance performed in the factory and the museum. Hacking into television and video games. Portraits made with paint or artificial intelligence. Intimate explorations of the body and collective actions.




In this course, you’ll learn about artworks in both traditional and surprising mediums, all drawn from the collection of MoMA. Each week students will look at contemporary art from a different theme: Media from Television to the Internet, Territories & Transit, Materials & Making, Agency, and Power.

You can take What Is Contemporary Art? for free by selecting the audit option upon enrollment. If you want to take the course for a certificate, you will need to pay a fee.

What Is Contemporary Art? will be added to our list of Free Art & Art History Courses, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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For a complete list of online courses, please visit our complete collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

For a list of online certificate programs, visit 200 Online Certificate & Microcredential Programs from Leading Universities & Companies, which features programs from our partners Coursera, Udacity, FutureLearn and edX.

And if you’re interested in Online Mini-Masters and Master’s Degrees programs from universities, see our collection: Online Degrees & Mini Degrees: Explore Masters, Mini Masters, Bachelors & Mini Bachelors from Top Universities.

Design Thinking for the Greater Good: A Free Online Course from the University of Virginia

Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector shows how and why human-centered design is a powerful tool. Offered by the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, the course lets students “view design thinking success stories from around the world, in areas as diverse as government, health care, and education.” Throughout the course, students will “learn the tools, techniques and mindset needed to use design thinking to uncover new and creative solutions in the social sector.”

You can take Design Thinking for the Greater Good for free by selecting the audit option upon enrolling. If you want to take the course for a certificate, you will need to pay a fee.

Design Thinking for the Greater Good has been added to our list of Free Business Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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De-Mystifying Mindfulness: A Free Online Course by Leiden University

From Chris Goto-Jones–now Dean of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Victoria–comes a free course which was named ‘one of the best online courses of all time’ in 2020. The course description for De-Mystifying Mindfulness reads:

Interest in meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation has grown exponentially in recent years. Rather than being seen as mystical practices from ancient Buddhism or esoteric philosophy, they are increasingly seen as technologies rooted in evidence from psychology and neuroscience. Mindfulness has become the basis for numerous therapeutic interventions, both as a treatment in healthcare and as a means of enhancing well-being and happiness. For millions around the world, mindfulness has become a life-style choice, enhancing and enriching everyday experience. Mindfulness is big business.




But, what actually is mindfulness? Is it really good for you? Can anyone learn it? How can you recognize charlatans? Would you want to live in a mindful society, and would it smell like sandalwood? What does it feel like to be mindful? Are you mindful already, and how would you know?

Evolving from the popular Honours Academy course at Leiden University [in the Netherlands], this innovative course combines conventional scholarly inquiry from multiple disciplines (ranging from psychology, through philosophy, to politics) with experiential learning (including specially designed ‘meditation labs,’ in which you’ll get chance to practice and analyze mindfulness on yourself). In the end, the course aims to provide a responsible, comprehensive, and inclusive education about (and in) mindfulness as a contemporary phenomenon.

You can take De-Mystifying Mindfulness for free by selecting the audit option upon enrolling. If you want to take the course for a certificate, you will need to pay a fee.

De-Mystifying Mindfulness will be added to our list, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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