Only Connect: E.M. Forster's Howard's End and the Ethics of Literature

Ref: C3747075

The snappy epigraph to E.M. Forster’s 1910 novel, Howards End - "Only Connect" - has become a well-known catchphrase for the author’s liberal and humanist values, of the importance of personal relationships and cultural sensitivity. In this course, we’ll think about Forster’s gentle imperative in the context of his famous novel and some broader debates about the ethical value of literature and the arts. This 90-minute session can be taken as a one-off but also serves as an introduction to a longer course on literature and the ethics of reading that will run in the Autumn term and include authors such as Forster, Doris Lessing, Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney. You will need to read Howards End before the course.

Course aim

In this course we'll read E.M. Forster's 1910 novel Howards End in order to ask some bigger questions about the ethical value of literature - what do we hope to gain by reading literature? Can it make us a better, or indeed worse, person?

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • learn the key characters and plot of Howards End.
  • learn about Forster and his values.
  • learn some key info about the debates about the value of reading and the arts during his time.
  • participate in discussion about the ethical value of literature.
  • learn whether or not you want to take the longer course in the Autumn.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You need to borrow or by a copy of Howards End, and read it.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Read Howards End.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Only Connect: E.M. Forster's Howard's End and the Ethics of Literature

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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