Apocalypse London - the city in science fiction

Ref: C2226123

Fog, famine, disease, Martians, flesh-eating plantlife, rodents, totalitarianism -- the metropolis has been the setting for a wide variety of imaginative engagements with disaster. On this course, we will examine how various fiction writers have depicted London, and Londoners, under attack from a wide variety of hostile forces. We will be setting these alarmist visions in the context of the era in which each was written. Learning will be by lecture and group discussion. The books are: The War of the Worlds, by HG Wells The Time Machine, by HG Wells The Doom of the Great City, by Wiliam Delisle Hay Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham Quatermass and the Pit, by Nigel Kneale The Rats, by James Herbert

Course aim

To explore representations of London in literary works of dystopian / science fiction, written between the 1880 and the 1970s

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Identify key themes that recur in these works as well as the differences in the approach to these themes shown by individual authors
  • Locate each work within the historical context in which it was written
  • Define significant anxieties about 'modernity' and urban life which these books suggest
  • Pursue further reading on these subjects and authors with detailed bibliographies/secondary reading lists

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 is no formal assessment for this course, but the tutor will carry out ongoing informal assessment to check that all learners are being catered for intellectually and remain engaged by the topic

What else do I need to know?

  • Prior reading of the seven texts (detailed above) is desirable, though not necessary.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Prior reading of the seven texts (detailed above) is desirable, though not necessary.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Apocalypse London - the city in science fiction

Enrolment Conditions

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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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