Youngsters will be able to find out about what dreams are made of, and what their lives might have been like in the industrial revolution, in two Christmas lectures at the University of East Anglia.
History expert Dr Emma Griffin will talk about how children as young as six would work up to 12 hours a day – farming, sweeping chimneys, working down the mines, in factories, spinning wool, running errands and as servants.
In a second lecture, Dr Simon Hampton will talk about the world of dreams and sleep. What is a dream? How do we know we’re asleep? And are we even really dreaming?
The university’s annual Christmas Lectures take place on Saturday, December 11, and are suitable for children aged between eight and 14.
The event is aimed at supporting a new wave of students from a young age to experience university life and get a taste of further information.
Dr Griffin’s lecture will see plenty of audience and family participation, with children dressing up as Victorians maids and chimney sweeps, to show who went to work – from mums and dads to boys and girls as young as six. She will also use photographs to show the variety jobs children did.
She said: “We’ll be looking at why children had to go to work from such a young age, the sorts of jobs they had to do, and how they were treated. It's heartbreaking really. I hope the lecture will be fun but also convey the seriousness of the issue and give a sense of how society has changed.”
Dr Simon Hampton will talk about the psychology behind sleep and dreams to discover whether we really dream, and what meaning our dreams may have.
He said: “I will show how, when we remember a dream, we’re really just storytellers. We piece together fragments of information from the dream into a story when we wake up. Actually we’re dreaming while we’re awake!”
The Christmas Lectures take place on Saturday, December 11, from 10am until noon, in Lecture Theatre 1.
The event is free, but by ticket only, and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets are available by calling 01603 592130 or emailing email@example.com