Literature

Autumn

The Life and Times of Charles Dickens [cancelled]


Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was a dynamic figure whose writing and personality shaped the Victorian age. As well as creating a host of memorable characters, Dickens was a prominent philanthropist, social commentator, journalist, travel writer and self-styled celebrity. This course will highlight the less familiar aspects of his career and uncover the myth-making that shaped the Dickens we know today. In each session an introductory lecture followed by textual discussion will challenge our expectations of Dickens and the Victorian period.

Tutor Emily Middleton BA MA

  • Day: Monday
  • Start date: 07 October 2013 
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 10
  • Full fee: £67.00

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The Sherlock Factor

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The recent television adaptation of Sherlock Holmes revealed how intriguing the great detective is. Suitable for both those who know the adventures well and those for whom the television series was a revelation, this course goes back to the original stories to look at the characters of Holmes, Watson and the Baker Street entourage. We will consider the cultural influences that created Holmes, his competitors in early detective fiction and the historical background of late 19th/early 20th century Britain which produced him.

Helen Bullock BA MA

 

  • Day: Tuesday
  • Start date: 08 October 2013 
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 10
  • Full fee: £67.00

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The Arthurian Tradition [CANCELLED]


King Arthur, Guenevere, Merlin, Lancelot... the characters of Arthurian legend are well-known, but how, where and when did these stories originate, and how have they been reshaped over the centuries? Over the course of ten weeks we’ll investigate the Arthurian legend from the Middle Ages through to early modern and Victorian representations in art and poetry, before finally considering the recent Arthurian resurgence in film and literature. Theme, language, genre and artistic medium will be discussed, as well as historical and cultural contexts.

Rebecca Lyons BA MA

  • Day: Wednesday
  • Start date: 09 October 2013 
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 10
  • Full fee: £67.00

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Christmas Customs [cancelled]


Get in the festive mood with this day workshop, which takes you through the history of the English Christmas. Moving from medieval lyrics through to the Victorian celebration of all things yuletide, this course examines a range of Christmas customs through the ages, as represented in contemporary literature. Through a variety of literary works and extracts, this course offers a glimpse of Christmas past and how it shaped the Christmas present.

Alice Bennett BA MA MPhil

  • Day: Saturday
  • Start date: 26 October 2013 
  • Time: 9.30am-4.30pm 
  • No. of weeks: 1
  • Full fee: £35.00

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Spring

Not Just the Booker Prize: Contemporary Fiction in 2013

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The Booker Prize is the most acclaimed literary award in the UK. But does the winner represent the best fiction title of the year? We will read, discuss and judge for ourselves the winners of six literary prizes and the bestselling fiction title of 2013 in an attempt to answer this question. The only necessary qualification is a willingness to read and discuss the seven novels. Details of the set novels will be made available from October 2013 onwards.

Rob O’Connor BA MA CTLLS

  • Day: Monday
  • Start date: 20 January 2014 
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 8
  • Full fee: £53.50

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The World of Jane Austen

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Despite only living for 41 years and writing only six major novels, two published after her death, Jane Austen is perhaps the most important social commentator of Georgian England. Her works touched on fashionable society, marriage, and family life, but also on wider issues affecting Britain at the time such as war, travel and social change. Drawing not only on her novels but also her unpublished works and personal documents, this course will explore the life and times of Jane Austen.

Sarah Betts BA MA

  • Day: Tuesday
  • Start date: 21 January 2014 
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 8
  • Full fee: £53.50

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The Art of Book Reading

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‘People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.’ Reading for pleasure, for instruction, for inspiration and illumination, for comfort, and to furnish the mind should be as natural as breathing but many people in this busy world rush, skip and bolt through a book as if reading was a foreign experience. This course will consider two novels, one pre-1900, one post-1900 to explore the practice and pleasure of reading through the material reality of books, attitudes to reading over the ages, and close readings of the two texts.

Helen Bullock BA MA

  • Day: Wednesday
  • Start date: 22 January 2014 
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 8
  • Full fee: £53.50

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Reading and Writing Illness (1700-2012) [Cancelled]

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Virginia Woolf famously remarked that, in the face of pain, ‘language runs dry’. However, illness has long been a productive subject for writers, including Woolf herself. How have authors attempted to represent the physical and psychological experience of illness, and in what ways has this changed over the last three centuries? In answering these questions, we will read and discuss a range of illness memoir and fiction, including works by Hilary Mantel and Oliver Sacks. The course will also provide an opportunity to experiment with creative and life writing about illness.

Sarah Pett BA MA

  • Day: Thursday
  • Start date: 23 January 2014 
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 8
  • Full fee: £53.50

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Girls’ School Stories

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Charting the development of girls’ school literature from the staid LT Meade through prolific favourites such as Angela Brazil, Enid Blyton and Elinor Brent-Dyer, to the anarchy of the St Trinian’s books and films, this course will consider the changing ways in which girls are represented in the stories, both textually and pictorially, and draw parallels between these changes and those taking place within the real-life educational system.

Kate Stephenson BSc MRes MLitt

  • Day: Saturday
  • Start date: 15 March 2014 
  • Time: 9.30am-4.30pm 
  • No. of weeks: 1
  • Full fee: £35.00

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Summer

An Ideal World? Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

COURSE CANCELLED

The desire to create the perfect society has been a common theme in fiction since Thomas More’s Utopia was published in 1516. Authors have used their work to explore political and social issues present in the modern world. Through analysis of key texts within the genre, this course will demonstrate how utopian and dystopian fiction is able to hold a mirror up to our own society, forcing us to question everything we know.

Rob O’Connor BA MA CTLLS

  • Day: Monday (Please note the first class will be on a Tuesday)
  • Start date: 22 April 2014
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 10
  • Full fee: £67.00

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Great Poets of the Great War

COURSE CANCELLED

This course invites its participants to explore poetry born out of the First World War (1914-1918). We will read accounts of the battles in which many of these great poet-soldiers lost their lives, and celebrate the legacy of their creative outpourings by familiarising ourselves with their poetry. If time and interest allow there will be opportunities to create and workshop our own response poems.

Nia Passmore BMus MA

  • Day: Tuesday
  • Start date: 22 April 2014
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 8
  • Full fee: £53.50

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Chilled to the Bone: Scandinavian Noir Fiction

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the most successful crime novels of the past 10 years, opening the floodgates for Scandinavian noir fiction in the UK. The genre has dominated recent best seller lists and gained massive critical acclaim. But what is it that has so captured the imagination and appetites of British readers? How does it differ from British or American crime fiction, and what do these texts say about modern society? Possible authors to be discussed may include Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg and Henning Mankell, as well as Stieg Larsson.

Rob O’Connor BA MA CTLLS

  • Day: Wednesday
  • Start date: 23 April 2014
  • Time: 7-9pm 
  • No. of weeks: 10
  • Full fee: £67.00

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Damsels, Doubt and Death: A Day with Tennyson

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Tennyson was one of the great voices of Victorian literature, steeped in the popular medievalism of the age, struggling with religious faith in the face of science, shattered by the death of his closest male friend and converting the cultural anxieties of the age into some of its most beautiful and stirring poetry. The course will situate this poet laureate’s work at the centre of the concerns of his time. Tennyson looked like a tramp and wrote like an angel; he was Queen Victoria’s favourite poet; the only English poet to receive a title on the strength of his poetry alone; and a best-seller for generations. We will discover why, and raise both desires and doubts as all good poetry should.

Helen Bullock BA MA

  • Day: Saturday
  • Start date: 31 May 2014
  • Time: 9.30am-4.30pm 
  • No. of weeks: 1
  • Full fee: £35.00

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Term dates

  • Autumn Term
    September 2013 - December 2013
  • Spring Term
    January 2014 - March 2014
  • Summer Term
    April 2014 - June 2014

Key

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