Ways into advanced literary study
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now finished
What is the course about?
From Shakespeare to Emily Dickinson, from Ibsen to Chekhov and Henry James to Virginia Wolf, this course will enhance your appreciation of literary genres and styles from different periods, developing the rigour and skills of reading and writing that belong to a higher level of study. Includes three Saturdays.
This course is taught by Patricia Sweeney and Jenny Baynes.
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Do you enjoy reading and discussing books, but want to gain a wider grasp of the history and development of English literature? Are you perhaps thinking of studying literature at a higher level, and want to gain knowledge and confidence about what that study might entail? This course is for enthusiastic readers who want the enjoyable challenge of meeting some significant poems, plays and novels that contribute to a traditional but also changing sense of what studying literature is about. The course will encourage close reading of texts, acquaintance with the wider social and historical picture, and awareness of different ways of reading, in order to arrive at often differing interpretations. An important aspect of the course is the development of confidence in the writing of critical essays (one in term one and one in term two) and a seminar presentation and discussion in term three.
The course is structured in units which give access to five centuries of (mainly English) literature through the medium of poetry, prose and drama.The central units are concerned with Drama (reading 'Othello' and 'A Doll's House'), Romanticism (including poetry by Blake, Wordsworth & Keats), the Victorian age, late 19th century fiction (Henry James) to modernist literary works (Virginia Woolf). You will be introduced to different theoretical approaches within literary studies, and will be able to explore those that you find stimulating.
Course dates: TUESDAYS 15 September 2020 – 30 March 2021
Term one: 15 Sept – 8 Dec (12 weeks + half term 20/10/20)
Term two: 12 Jan – 30 March 2021 (11 weeks + half term 16 February 2021)
Saturday tutorials: 10.30 – 1.30pm on 28 Nov 2020 and 6 & 27 March 2021.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
By the end of the course you will have met a wide and contrasting range of poetry, prose and drama
You will have considered how literature responds to historical, social and cultural conditions
You will have seen how different approaches can be used in the reading of literature
You will have practised the skills required of a good student of literature at a higher level, including a seminar discussion and the writing of two critical essays.
A completion certificate will outline what you have covered on the course.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is open to a wide range of applicants, who will have differing intentions in following this course of study. You will need to be ready to read, discuss and write about literature willingly and with enthusiasm, and should have at least a grade B in GCSE English or equivalent. Those with higher level or professional qualifications in other subjects are welcome. Admission to the course is by online assessment, to ascertain that you will benefit from the course and that you will contribute positively.
You will receive a completion certificate from City Lit which will outline what you have covered on the course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Small group and whole class discussion, led by the tutor, will be central to this course. In addition to the class sessions, there will be three Saturday tutorials from 10.30am -1.30pm, which will be devoted to skills, particularly of essay writing. These tutorials will allow you to take full advantage of developing your study skills.
The writing of the two essays (one in each term) and preparation for the seminar presentation will also take up time outside class. There will be between 3-4 hours of preparation for classes each week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Texts you will need to buy or borrow: (in order of study):
Othello by William Shakespeare (Penguin Classics, 2015)
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (Methuen Student Edition, 2008)
The Penguin Book of English Verse, ed. Paul Keegan (Penguin Classics, 2000)
Washington Square by Henry James
Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov (Penguin Classics)
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (Penguin Classics)
(All other materials supplied by the tutors)
You will be able to pay for this course in instalments. Please ask enrolments for details.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please look for other literature courses under History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.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.