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American Literature 1878 - 1938 View details

Alongside our examination of novels, plays, poetry and short stories, we will explore the changes in the U.S. during this period. To help us with this, we will explore social, cultural and political ideas to inform our reading. We will also discuss art, architecture and the music of the era to underpin our readings. Novels (and extracts of novels) will include: Henry James’ ‘The Europeans’, Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’, ‘Riders of the Purple Sage’, by Zane Grey, ‘The Iron Heel’ by Jack London, ‘Herland’ by Charlotte Perkin’s Gilman ‘Passing’ by Nella Larsen, ‘Red Harvest’ by Dashiell Hammett, and Djuna Barnes’ ‘Nightwood’. We will also analyse and discuss poetry by Emily Dickenson, Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams, short stories by Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald and play extracts from Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’ and DuBose Heyward and the Gershwin brothers’ ‘Porgy and Bess’.

American Short Stories of Resistance View details

American Short Stories of Resistance is a course in which students will become part of a supported and facilitated critical reading group. The group will explore literary responses to modern American culture and be introduced to some lesser known writers. The tutor, Dr Jill Terry, will provide historical and cultural contextual introductions to the stories and will guide students in simple techniques to support detailed critical readings. The stories selected will provide insights into a range of ethnic and regional experiences of America.

An Anatomy of Comedy View details

An Anatomy of Comedy – 'The vital spark ' . This course will analyse the role that comedy plays as a necessary counterpoint to tragedy and as the symbol of new life . We will explore the way different writers through novels, plays and the media use comedy not just to make us laugh, but for the serious purpose of criticising both society and the individual . Discussion will include changes over the centuries in what is considered funny (for example Shakespeare's comedy ) or appropriate to joke about ( black humour) and the role of the fool , the absurd and parody.

An Armchair Cruise of the River Danube View details

Springing up near the town of Donaueschingen in Germany’s Black Forest, this great waterway flows southeast for 1,785 miles before emptying into the Black Sea at Sulina in eastern Romania. Along its vast length the Danube passes through or borders no less than ten countries. It also flows through four national capital cities - Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade - more than any other river in the world. We shall travel the length of the river exploring the history, myths, legends, music as well as the geography.

An Introduction to Antiques, Vintage and Collectables View details

Professional auctioneer, Stephen Poulter, reveals how the world of antiques, vintage items and collectables really works and shows how easy it is for anyone to start buying or collecting in these areas. We will explore the many different categories and periods of antique and vintage items which can be purchased from auctions, antiques markets, car boot sales and online. Students will acquire techniques for researching, identifying and valuing a whole range of antiques, vintage items and collectables.

An Introduction to Archaeology View details

Archaeology is all around us if you know what it looks like. Over six, two hour sessions the principles and practice of archaeology will be explored with ample opportunity to handle artefacts, as well as practical sessions on artefact recognition.

An Introduction to British Cinema View details

The famous French director François Truffaut once remarked that there was “a certain incompatibility between the terms ‘cinema’ and ‘Britain’”. However unfair this quote is, it is fair to say that the British film industry has been through many ups and downs. For instance, while production boomed after World War II and during the 1960s, British film-making struggled to survive the 1970s. This course aims to give an overview of the major developments, movements and factors which have shaped cinema in this country. It will pay tribute to the stars and directors who were responsible for many of British cinema’s most memorable moments, and also expose some of its most embarrassing secrets. Furthermore, it will explore how the concerns of British society – class, sex, the north-south divide, multiculturalism – have been reflected within the films across the decades, and consider the future of the industry post-Brexit.

An Introduction to Jane Austen View details

Jane Austen remains one of the most popular novelists in English Literature. This course looks at a selection of her novels in the context of her times, addressing issues such as women’s rights, Sensibility, colonialism and anti-slavery. We will study three novels: 'Sense and Sensibility', 'Mansfield Park' and 'Persuasion', whilst also referring briefly at sections from her other works

An Introduction to Mindfulness View details

This is a three hour session providing an Introduction to Mindfullness and its benefits and how it may be used by individuals.

An Introduction to Moral Philosophy View details

We will look at moral concepts like justice, fairness, virtue, rights and duties. We will also think about where our moral sensibilities come from: are they natural, are we born with a conscience, or do they need to be taught? If they need to be taught, who should teach them? Should morality be part of the national curriculum, or is it something best entrusted to parents and relatives? Is there such a thing as evil? Or is this simply a metaphysical relic from a former religious age?