Writing over the classics: postmodernist interventions

Course Dates: 26/01/21 - 16/03/21
Time: 19:45 - 21:15
Location: Online

This course covers some of the most exciting literary texts of the past half-century: texts that have revisited and adapted canonical works of literature including Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe and Hamlet. Along the way, we’ll be confronting some of the biggest questions out there, including the biggest of them all: what is literature?

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

Beginning with Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys’s extraordinary 1966 prequel to Jane Eyre, the course also takes in J.M. Coetzee’s 1986 Foe (a re-imagined Robinson Crusoe) and Ian McEwan’s 2016 novel Nutshell: Hamlet as retold by an unborn foetus. As we work through these rich, provocative (but pleasingly short) works of literature, we’ll be thinking about how they adapt and interact with the texts on which they draw, and how they use wisdom and wit to put received assumptions about truth, fiction and storytelling up for question.

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?

Questions we consider will include:
• how these texts work;
• what makes them ‘postmodern’;
• how they affect our readings of the texts on which they are based; and
• how they challenge assumptions about fiction, authenticity, and what literature is.

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

Lay claim to a knowledge of some great works of contemporary literature, as well as a renewed interpretation of the texts on which they draw.

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

This course is designed for those who enjoy reading and discussing literature, 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?

Teaching will be by way of group discussion, prompted by additional materials provided by the tutor. Preparation outside of class will consist of reading the texts and taking notes.

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

Please buy or borrow copies of:
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (Penguin, 2000), 192 pp. ISBN: 0141182857
J.M. Coetzee, Foe (Penguin, 2010), 160pp. ISBN: 0241950112
Ian McEwan, Nutshell (Vintage, 2017), 224pp. ISBN: 9781784705114
Jeanette Winterson, Frankissstein (Vintage, 2020), 352pp. ISBN: 1784709956.

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

Look for other fiction courses under History, Culture and Writing/Literature/Fiction at www.citylit.ac.uk.

Tutor Biographies
David Anderson

David Anderson has studied and taught in the English Department at UCL, and is currently a research associate in the UCL Urban Lab. He received his PhD in 2018; a book based on it, entitled Landscape and Subjectivity in the Work of Patrick Keiller, W.G. Sebald and Iain Sinclair, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. He is writer in residence at the Cob Gallery in Camden and an assistant editor at Review31.co.uk.

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.

Book your place

Course Code: HLT149

Tue, eve, 26 Jan - 16 Mar '21

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Full fee: £129.00
Senior fee: £129.00
Concession: £79.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

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.