Literature of the 1970s

Ref: C3741545

This course looks at one text from each year of the 1970s, considering them not only as important works of literature, but also as part of an historical, sociological and political continuum. Authors studied will include: Ted Hughes (Crow), Ira Levin (The Stepford Wives), Peter Shaffer (Equus) and Mike Leigh (Abigail’s Party). A full reading list is available on request.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the literature of the 1970s and to locate it within its socio-political context.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Identify the characteristics of the literature of the 1970s and view the selected texts as a continuum as well as products of their specific time.
  • Identify and explain some of the themes and anxieties expressed through literature in the 1970s.
  • Interpret literary texts in a critical way, illustrating arguments with carefully chosen examples.
  • Demonstrate my knowledge through the construction of critical arguments and present and defend those arguments confidently amongst my peers.
  • Analyse literary works in detail through the development of close reading skills and through comparisons between different texts.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Students will need to bring the set texts to te class and may find it useful to bring materials for taking notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A full reading list is available from the office.

What can I do next?

  • 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

Download full Course information sheet

Literature of the 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
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