Dressing up: stories about clothes, identity and social class

Course Dates: 24/08/21 - 26/08/21
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Location: Online
A Pierrot costume, the wrong party dress, a pair of white kid gloves – these items of clothing enable Colette, Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen to explore large themes within short stories; for Pauline Melville and Tessa Hadley two very different jackets have rich tales to tell. Join author and lecturer Lynn Knight for a lively and engaging discussion about the meaning of clothes and the power of the short story.
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 £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00

Course Code: HLT117

Tue+Thu, day, 24 Aug - 26 Aug '21

Duration: 2 sessions

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?

Virginia Woolf wrote that ‘Clothes ... have more important offices than merely to keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.’ This online literature course will look at short stories in which clothes open up those larger themes.

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?

Topics will include clothes as expressions of emancipation, identity and social class and, in a short story with a surprising twist, their role in the marriage market.

We will discuss:
‘’Hand in Glove’ by Elizabeth Bowen; ‘The Secret Woman’ by Colette; ‘Silk Brocade’ by Tessa Hadley; ‘The Truth is in the Clothes’ by Pauline Melville and ‘The New Dress’ by Virginia Woolf

The biographical and historical background for each writer will be considered, as will the short story as a form – what the short story can deliver; its strengths and satisfactions.

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

Express an understanding of the short story as a form
Discuss the texts studied and place them in their biographical and social context
Debate the social and cultural roles clothes play in women’s lives.

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

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 include short lecture, whole group and small group work.
You will need to read the short stories in advance of the class – copies will be emailed to you beforehand.

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

Teaching will include a short lecture; whole group and small group work.
You will need to read the short stories in advance of the class – copies will be emailed to you beforehand.

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

Look for other literature courses at www.citylit.ac.uk/history, culture & writing/literature.

Lynn Knight

Writer and lecturer Lynn Knight has taught literature classes at the City Lit for many years. Her latest book, The Button Box: The story of women in the 20th century, told through the clothes they wore, reflects her interest in the texture and narratives of women’s lives. For further details of her work see www.lynnknight.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.