Creating an Educated Democracy. The Life and Works of Raymond Williams

Ref: C2228656

Raymond Williams produced an extraordinary range of writings, lectures & interviews on culture, community, democracy and above all, the importance of continuing adult education to create what he termed "an educated and participating democracy". After many years of teaching - principally with the WEA - he joined Cambridge University and would become their first Professor of Drama. Apart from his significant critical studies of literature, he probably first came to the attention of many people in the early 1960s with his promotion of "cultural studies" and the publication of his The Long Revolution. It will be impossible to cover all of the aspects of Williams' thinking in just this short course - but we'll give it a good go! We shall also examine how his childhood in the Welsh border village of Pandy shaped his adult life. There will be a wealth of background material available on our online resource Canvas. He gave us many "resources of hope".

Course aim

Raymond Williams (1921-1988) was a hugely influential member of the British New Left, and worked as a WEA tutor for 15 years. He added a whole new meaning to "culture". A prolific writer - including fiction - we shall examine his ideas in depth.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • understand how Williams influenced what became known as "cultural studies", and why he said "culture is ordinary"
  • assess his contribution to the British left
  • appreciate why he placed such emphasis on the importance of adult education / lifelong learning
  • understand what he meant by "The Long Revolution"
  • discuss the issues raised, with confidence

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Please bring an open & enquiring mind and a willingness to get stuck in - there will be plenty to discuss. (Guaranteed!)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Creating an Educated Democracy. The Life and Works of Raymond Williams

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


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 2021
  • 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

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