The Art of the Essay: film and literary crossovers

Course Dates: 20/06/22 - 25/07/22
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Online
What are the crossovers between the film and literary essay? Beginning with an investigation of the history of the essay as a literary genre , we will then consider the literary heritages of the film essay and travel through the essay as a hybrid, multi-medial genre ( including moving image, text, sound and everything in between) from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore a range of film/literary essayists including Claudia Rankine, Agnes Varda, Virginia Woolf, Anne Carson, Chris Marker and Arthur Jafa.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00

Course Code: HLT169

Mon, eve, 20 Jun - 25 Jul '22

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online hybrid essay course will explore the permeable form of the essay through the media of literature, film, and sound. We will consider the essay as a shape shifting and hybrid genre dictated by the inner journey and unique thought process of the writer/essayist across moving image and literary terrains. Over the course of our sessions and through reading texts and viewing films, we will collectively explore the following questions: What is a ‘lyric essay’ or a ‘personal essay’? What are the boundaries between poetry, fiction, autobiography and the essay form? Beginning with an investigation of the history and definition of the essay genre as a literary form, we will closely read and discuss key texts, followed by viewing film extracts. This back and forth study of film and literary essays will form part of an exploration of the extent to which the essay breaks boundaries between form and content, the personal and political. There will also be optional creative exercises.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We will cover resonant topics such as gender, sexuality, political protest, race and religious experience, exploring
how the essay accommodates these themes through a variety of methods, forms and genres such as nature writing, autobiography, memoir, philosophical meditation, cultural criticism, sermon, polemic and aphorism. We will discuss the common tropes and aesthetic differences in the film and literary essay such as the use of voice over and narration, editing and montage. Over the course of these sessions, we will focus on neglected contributions to the essay genre by key overlooked essayists.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

•Analyse key approaches to the essay genre
•Be familiar with key essayists, some of whom fall through the cracks of the literary canon.
•Develop skills in analyzing a range of media: from film form, literary texts to audio pieces.
•Lay claim to a knowledge of a rich genre.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

For those who enjoy reading, viewing and discussing literature and film and are interested in sharing ideas and listening to the views of others.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Short lecture, whole group and small group work, reading and viewing material in class, discussion, short optional creative exercises. Work outside class is generally doing the readings set for each week and any viewings of extracts.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

The tutor will provide digital handouts and/or internet links to all set readings and viewings.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other Literature courses under History, Culture and Writing/literature at

Dalia Neis

Dalia Neis is a writer, filmmaker, musician and the author of Zephyrian Spools (An Essay, A Wind) (Knives, Forks, Spoons 2020), and Hercules Road (MA Bibliotheque, 2020). Dalia is also lyricist for the poetry/musical project FITH and co-founder of Wanda, an impromptu radio show and imprint that traverses the literary, sonic, and cinematic spheres.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.