Heroines - Women and Men Writing Women - Part 2

Ref: C2419253

Since Eve and Lilith, women have been portrayed as both angels and devils - sometimes though not always for the same reasons. We shall take a trans-historical approach to a series of literary portrayals of women, to explore the gender and identity politics of a variety of different societies as well as our own. With each of our texts we shall pay particular attention to how and why we are invited to empathise, or not, with particular characters and situations.

Course aim

To explore the power of literature to create and influence social and cultural values through some particular examples of how women have been portrayed by men and by women.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for those who love reading, and seek growth and challenge through this activity.

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

  • read and discuss challenging texts with increasing fluency
  • give an account of how and why particular writers shaped the responses of readers either to reinforce or to challenge dominant social values
  • give an account of the relevance of our texts to today's reader

How will I be taught?

  • 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 will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • Some of the texts we are studyung are too long to be read entirely in class, so there will be 'homework' reading and preparation for discussion.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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?

  • You will need a copy of the four set texts Geoffrey Chaucer: The Wife of Bath's Prologue & Tale Jane Austen: Mansfield Park Grimm's Fairy Tales (a selection) Elena Ferrante: The Lost Daughter

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • No pre-reading of texts is required, but you may choose to read them before the course begins if you wish to do so.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • You should find yourself increasingly equipped to approach challenging literary texts on your own.

Download full Course information sheet

Heroines - Women and Men Writing Women - Part 2


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • 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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