The Late 1970s

Ref: C3528722

Disco, punk, and the Silver Jubilee: the late 1970s was an astonishing time. The deaths of Mao, Franco, and Biko changed the world in ways that are still resonating. At the same time, George Lucas offered us “A New Hope”. This course examines all of these developments, with a special focus on literature and social history. Includes a case study of late-1970s drama. Set Texts: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala “Heat and Dust”; Malcolm Bradbury “The History Man”; Mike Leigh “Abigail’s Party”; Harold Pinter “Betrayal”.

Course aim

To explore the links between literature and social history. We will read a text closely; be it poem, novel, film or painting. We will then examine its literary and historical context.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Must be able to read English.

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

  • Describe the last British trial for “Blasphemous Libel”.
  • Define the “Anarchy Tour”, and say why it was important.
  • Name the only author to have won a BAFTA, an Oscar, and the Booker Prize.
  • State who had a top-40 hit with a song about the murder of Steven Biko.
  • Analyse the types of “Betrayal” in Pinter’s play.

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 may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • People will be expected to keep up with the reading and to contribute in class discussions (if they wish to do so).

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 have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • Feedback will be informal; there will be no formal tests or exams.

What else do I need to know?

  • Set Texts: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala “Heat and Dust” (novel); Malcolm Bradbury “The History Man” (novel); Mike Leigh “Abigail’s Party” (play); Harold Pinter “Betrayal” (play).

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
  • The books will be studied in the order listed.

What can I do next?

Download full Course information sheet

The Late 1970s


You can 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
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing