Late 1970's - Literature course

Ref: C3529111

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.

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

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • People will be expected to keep up with the reading and to contribute in class discussions (if they wish to do so).

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • 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).

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Hopefully this course will encourage people to read more on their own, and with an enhanced skill-set. It may also give them confidence to try other courses with the WEA or in higher education.

Download full Course information sheet

Late 1970's - Literature course


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
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