South African Writing: Poetry, Prose, Theatre

Ref: C2224339

In this course we will explore literature emerging from South Africa, and written primarily in English. Our goal is to analyse these works in the light of contextual factors, and to draw from them perspectives on the country. We will take a broad look at poetry, prose, drama, and to a lesser extent, essays. The course will cover a wide variety of authors, including Zakes Mda, J. M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Mongane Wally Serote, Alan Paton, Olive Schreiner, Miriam Tlali, Athol Fugard, Zoë Wicomb, Sindiwe Magona, Lewis Nkosi, and Es'kia Mphahlele, among others. We will not be reading entire novels or plays, only pertinent extracts, and participants will not be expected to have read any of the texts beforehand, although some familiarity with the aforementioned authors is recommended. Our reading will facilitate discussions on a range of topics, such as colonialism, racism, violence (political and criminal), and gender issues, to name only a few.

Course aim

We will explore some of the writing that has emerged from this society, which is at once so fraught with tensions and so rich in potential.

Who is the course for?

- This course is for anyone interested in literature, and who is comfortable reading and communicating in English. You do not need specific study skills or prior knowledge, just a willingness to discuss your opinion and consider alternative views.

What topics will this course cover

- 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 - You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

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

How will I know I'm making progress?

- 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 - You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions - There will be a number of tasks, such as written work or presentations, which will be given feedback in a constructive environment.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

- You will need to bring a notebook and something to write with. If you have internet access at home (or at a library, etc.) this would be useful, but not essential. It would be useful to be a member of your local library.

Reading and information sources

- It is not essential but, participants will find it useful to read the following longer works beforehand: Zakes Mda: The Heart of Redness J.M. Coetzee: Disgrace Alan Paton: Cry, the Beloved Country

What could the course lead to?

- 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 - Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next - This course could be a springboard to further study in literature. A hand-out will be provided at the end of the course with a list of relevant texts and websites that will be useful for those who wish to continue to explore the subject.

Download full course outline

South African Writing: Poetry, Prose, Theatre Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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