Day School: World War I - Art, Poetry, Memoir

Ref: C3741143

The course tutors, Penny Shepherd and Prasannajit de Silva, will lead an exploration of how British writers and artists responded to the events of the First World War, considering work relating to both the front line and the home front. We will investigate how the nature of the responses evolved as events unfolded, and the role of the arts in both personal and national commemoration. Work to be discussed will include texts by Edward Thomas, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves and Vera Brittain, and artworks by Walter Sickert, Paul Nash, C. R. W. Nevinson and Charles Sargeant Jagger.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

To consider a range of texts and artworks produced during the First World War and its immediate aftermath, investigating how writers and artists recorded and expressed their experience of the conflict.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Explain some of the ways in which artists and writers drew on their personal experiences in their work.
  • Use examples of art/writing to demonstrate changing attitudes to the War.
  • Explain some of the ways in which the arts contributed to a national sense of commemoration.

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

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • there will be informal verbal feedback as appropriate

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No preparatory reading is required, but some suggestions for general reading include: Paul Gough, A Terrible Beauty: War, Art and the Imagination (2010) Harry Ricketts, Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War (2010)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: World War I - Art, Poetry, Memoir


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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