Ways into Literature: Victorian to the Modern

Course Dates: 05/05/22 - 30/06/22
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Online
Explore the development of literature from the Victorian age to the beginnings of Postmodernism. Grapple with ethical issues in H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, appreciate the forms and styles of a range of Modernist poetry by T.S. Eliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Langston Hughes, examine the African American experience of the 1920s in short stories by Zora Neale Hurston and enter the claustrophobic world of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.
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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00

Course Code: HLT174

Thu, day, 05 May - 30 Jun '22

Duration: 8 sessions (over 9 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 literature course spans only sixty years from 1896 to 1956, but it is a period of immense change which delivered a vast range of literary styles. The course is divided into four parts, the first of which, ‘Playing God’, will be spent examining the consequences of crossing ethical boundaries and the nature of humanity within H. G. Wells’ classic novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. Part two, ‘Making it New’ occurs in Weeks 3–5 during which we will explore scenes of urban modernity in the poetry of T. S. Eliot, musicality and misery in the poetry of Langston Hughes and female love and sexuality in poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Having been introduced to the Harlem Renaissance through the poetry of Langston Hughes, you will deepen your understanding of this important artistic period through the short stories of Zora Neale Hurston in part three of the course, ‘Laughter and the Blues’. The last two weeks of the course will be taken up with part four, ‘No more Nature’, which enables you to delve into the dark humour of Beckett’s unending apocalypse, Endgame.

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?

All texts will be read and discussed in terms of structure, technique, style, characterisation and their appeal or success as literary texts. In our analysis of the texts, we will consider the different contexts in which they were created, particularly the historical and social contexts, but for some texts, we will also consider the biographical, geographical, cultural and philosophical contexts.

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

• Analyse poetry and prose and drama to better understand a writer’s language choices;
• Discuss texts with reference to a variety of different contexts: historical, literary, social, philosophical, biographical and geographical;
• Explain important elements of plot and characterisation;
• Evaluate the significance of form and style
• Use key terminology within your discussions of literary texts.

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

• An enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts within large and small groups;
• A willingness and ability to do reading outside the class
• An interest in, and ability to listen to, the responses of other students to the work discussed.

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

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including short lecture with PowerPoint presentation, small group work using secondary text extracts, whole class discussion.

Work outside class is to read the relevant text/s in preparation for the upcoming week.

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

-Please buy or borrow the following texts for our course:
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells, pub.by Penguin Books, 2007
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston, pub. by HQ, 2021
Endgame by Samuel Beckett, pub. by Faber and Faber, 2009

-A course booklet will be provided which will contain poems and secondary text extracts which will be used for small-group discussions.
- Any video extracts used will be shown in class and will not need to be obtained by students.

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

See other literature courses on our website at www.citylit.ac.uk/courses under History, Culture and Writing/Literature.

Woody River

Woody River has fifteen years of experience teaching literature, language, creative writing and academic writing. She has worked within secondary, further, higher and community education. With a First Class BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing, as well as an MA in Creative Writing, Woody has a vast knowledge of British and international literature across different genres and forms and is particularly interested in European and Japanese literature.

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.