An Introduction to Modernist Literature

Ref: C3747106

What was modernism? This is a question that puzzles us as much today as it did when it was first asked around the turn of the 20th century. In this course we’ll take a look at some of the most famous texts of modernist literature, as well as the debates that swelled around them. We’ll learn about the lives of key modernists, including Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, as well as considering some of the key historical events and contexts that shaped the modernist imagination, from psychoanalysis to technological change, media and advertising, mass democracy and feminism. And lastly, we’ll reflect on some of the legacies of modernism in literature and the arts today, and ask what modernism might look like tomorrow. Exact readings TBC. Half a novel or the equivalent in poetry as approx weekly reading. Sessions consist of a short lecture followed by group discussion.

Course aim

To provide an overview of some of the key texts of the modernist literary movement by authors such as Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot and James Joyce.

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:

  • Have read some of the key literary texts of the modernist era.
  • Know key info about the lives of the authors.
  • Understand the contexts informing their works.
  • Better understand and analyse the stylistic features of the works.
  • Discover some of the key debates that have swelled around modernist literature.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need to borrow or purchase the books once the syllabus has been finalised.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

An Introduction to Modernist Literature


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
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  • 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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