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Remember, it's never too late to register for a class, even after it's begun. You can always catch up with any sessions you may have missed by watching the video recordings of previous sessions. The time remaining to register before the first class session is below, so stop hesitating and get to it!

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as in-person classes, live-streamed Zoom sessions and video recordings

  • • This course is offered during the 2024 Term 2 (May-Jun) period as an in-person course at the EarthDiverse Centre in Hamilton, New Zealand, live-streamed via Zoom if you live elsewhere, and as video recordings of the live sessions if you cannot attend the regularly scheduled class.

Date & Time:

Begins Wednesday 8 May 2024

  • • Our 2024 Term 2, Twelve Isms: Philosophy Meets Arts in the Modern World course meets on Wednesdays from 11:00am-1:00pm beginning on 8 May 2024 (New Zealand time) and continues for 3 consecutive weekly sessions. The last class of the Term is held on Wednesday 22 May 2024.

  • • If you live outside of New Zealand and wish to Zoom in to our live class sessions, check the nearest local Time Zone equivalent below.

Time Zone equivalents:

for live-streaming Zoom Sessions from New Zealand. If your Time Zone doesn't suit our live-streamed class, you can also access our courses by watching the live-recorded sessions that are posted to the course webpage each week, usually within 1-2 days.

  • Honolulu, Hawai’i: begins Tue 7 May 2024, 1:00-3:00pm

  • US Pacific: begins Tue 7 May 2024, 4:00-6:00pm

  • US Central: begins Tue 7 May 2024, 6:00-8:00pm

  • US Eastern: begins Tue 7 May 2024, 7:00-9:00pm

  • London, UK: begins Wed 8 May 2024, 12:00-2:00am

  • New Delhi, India: begins Wed 8 May 2024, 4:30-6:30am

  • Bangkok, Thailand: begins Wed 8 May 2024, 6:00-8:00am

  • Singapore & Shanghai: begins Wed 8 May 2024, 7:00-9:00am

  • Tokyo, Japan: begins Wed 8 May 2024, 8:00-10:00am

  • Sydney Australia: begins Wed 8 May 2024, 9:00-11:00am


ART310: Twelve Isms: Philosophy Meets Art in the Modern World

  • • Stoicism, Socialism, Romanticism, Existentialism, Nihilism, Hedonism, Feminism, Materialism, Mysticism, Scepticism, Postmodernism, Atheism.

    • Each of these isms will be explored, via the image of one famous piece of art from the 20th century, to understand the term, its historical context, and to see how it became embodied and expressed in a particular painting.

    • So, for example, Feminism will be encountered in the work of American artist, Barbara Kruger, in a work called ‘Your Body is a Battleground’ and Romanticism as exemplified by Kirchner’s ‘Striding into the Sea.’

  • • This 3-week course will examine four of the isms each session. Each session will last for two hours.

Lecture 1: Stoicism, Socialism, Romanticism, Existentialism

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Stoicism will feature David’s ‘Oath of the Horatti’, Socialism sees Joan Miro’s poster ‘Help Spain’ support the cause during the Spanish civil war, Romanticism is exemplified by the work of Kirschner’s ‘Striding into the Sea,’ while Existentialism is graphically portrayed by Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream.’

Lecture 2: Nihilism, Hedonism, Feminism, Materialism

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Nihilism looks at Duchamp’s ‘The Fountain’ produced during the Dadaist phase; Matisse and his ‘Calm Luxury Sensuality’ encapsulates Hedonism; Feminism is Barbara Kruger’s work from the 1980s, and Materialism is covered by Andy Warhol’s soup cans and the whole Pop Art genre.
man and woman in the arms of each other

Lecture 3: Mysticism, Skepticism, Postmodernism, Atheism

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Mysticism is something Mark Rothko explores; Skepticism will use Colin McCahon as an example; Postmodern will see another New Zealand artist at work, Ian Scott; while Atheism will be covered by the German Erik Heckel and his ‘Two Men at a Table.’

Course curriculum

    1. EarthDiverse Course Information

    2. EarthDiverse Zoom instructions

    1. Session 1: Early Evolution to the beginnings of History

    2. 20240508 T2.1 Art301 PDF

    3. 20240508 T2.1 Art301 video

    1. Session 2: Late medieval period to the Romantic movement

    2. 20240515 T2.2 Isms 2 PDF

    3. 20240515 T2.2 Art301 Video

    1. Session 3: Modernity

    2. 20240521 T2.3 ART301 Isms PDF

    3. 20240522 T2.3 Art 301 video

About this course

  • Video and PDF content of class presentations or whiteboard notes are uploaded weekly after each live session
  • Begins Wednesday 8 May 2024
  • NZ time: Wednesdays 11:00-1:00pm

Meet our Instructor:

History, Literature & Philosophy Instructor Peter Dornauf, MA Dip Tchg

Peter Dornauf has taught in secondary schools, Wintec and Waikato University collectively for over 25 years. He is a well know Waikato artist, art critic and a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His book “Days of Our Deaths” serves as the basis for one of Peter’s other popular EarthDiverse courses, “A Cultural History of Death.” Peter also teaches our “The Spiritual in Modern Art” course and continues to develop additional EarthDiverse courses for future Terms.


This is a hybrid class with both in-person sessions in our classrooms and streamed live via Zoom.

All in-person classes are held at the EarthDiverse Centre located at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located just north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station) (entrance is located on the side of the building, see map below). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front of Anglesea Street.

Distance Learning:

This course has distance-learning options for those unable to attend the live class sessions in Hamilton. Students have three options for attending our courses once they have registered:

  • Attend in-person classes in our Hamilton classrooms at the regularly scheduled day and time.

  • Attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time.

  • Watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.

Distance-Learning options:

Live Zoom sessions and Video-Recordings

  • • In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, our courses offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.

  • • Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.

  • • Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.

Pricing options:

• All prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST. • Unwaged includes students, seniors, retirees and unemployed. • Prices remain the same regardless of your chosen method for accessing this course.


Those who cannot make the class meeting day and time via live Zoom sessions may consider accessing this course through the weekly recorded video sessions. Class videos are usually posted within 1-2 days of each live class session and are available for your own personal learning on a day and time of your choosing.

  • • This class has no assignments, required readings, quizzes, tests or exams.

  • • All classes encourage questions and group discussion.

  • • PDF copies of each class presentation are posted weekly to the course webpage usually 1-2 days after each class so that you are free to focus on class content rather than taking notes. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!

  • • Course fees include a short tea/coffee/snack break in the middle of each session.

  • • There are no refunds for missed classes.

  • • Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single class at no charge.

  • • Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.


  • There are no prerequisites for this course.

  • Open to adults of any age (years 16 and above).


Love your courses!

Vicki Jacobsen

I have so enjoyed and appreciated all of the courses I have attended.  They have spurred long held interests and I am looking forward to pursuing the knowledge and the way of considering and understanding I have gained from you and your programmes. (2022 Term 2)