Lifelong Learning Lectures
When we want to understand the mysteries of existence and the world around us, we don’t watch the news, we turn towards literature. It is stories, poems and plays that give us the insights into the human condition which help us survive. Literary Criticism today has been heavily criticised for its jargon, but by applying philosophical and political concepts to literary texts, we can see more clearly how allusions, symbols and metaphors are the key to understanding how our minds work and the beliefs we hold. In this lecture we will see how theories of literature – such as eco-criticism, feminism, Marxism and psychoanalysis – can be applied to classic texts with remarkable results. Although literature can be seen as another cultural product competing for ideological supremacy, ultimately it is the beauty of literary language which provides pleasure and allows us to meditate on our particular 21st century human experience.
Dr Martin Fletcher
Dr Martin Fletcher is a lecturer at the University of York and has taught English, Journalism and Literature in Brazil, Spain and the UK. His research interests include English poetry, the aesthetics of Modernism and the academic discipline of English Studies. His doctoral thesis on T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and the poetry of the Great War was completed at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in the south of Brazil. Martin also has a Master’s degree in Critical Theory from the University of Sussex. He is currently researching notions of the post-human as they apply to authorship and realism in literature.