Eighty Years On: the Second World War Novel in English

Ref: C3742990

This course is designed to introduce participants to the novels written before or shortly after the Second World War, focusing on a small selection for close analysis. The course will provide an overview of the range of novels produced in the period, the challenges of publication (due to shortages and censorship) and the reception of this writing at the time. We shall look in detail at these texts: Evelyn Waugh, Put Out more Flags (1942); H.E. Bates, Fair Stood the Wind for France (1944); and Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day (1948). The course is designed to facilitate group discussion and analysis - and participants are encouraged to read around the subject and bring to the course their knowledge of the historical context of the war, its aftermath, and its cultural legacy.

Course aim

This course is designed to introduce participants to the novels written before or shortly after the Second World War, focusing on a small selection for close analysis.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No previous study is required, but participants will benefit from reading in advance and undertaking some research into the period of the Second World War and to contribute their impressions of the way that the period is view in our own times.

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

  • Understand the historical context in which novels attempted to describe the conditions of the Second World war for those who experienced it.
  • Have a knowledge of the overall range and variety of novels produced during and after the Second World War.
  • Understand the challenges that novels had in producing their work in the period due to censorship, material shortages, and the overall climate of austerity.
  • Understand and offer an analysis of the three focus texts, as well as speak with some authority of the overall range of the Second World War novel (in English) as well as some of the adaptations of those novels for the screen and in other media.
  • Be encouraged to read further work from the period, and to consider the realtionship between warfare and literature in its broader aspects.

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
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • There will be lectures and group discussion which will be enhanced by participants undertaking individual or group tasks in their own time. The main independent work will be the reading of the focus texts ahead of the session which addresses each.

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?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • We shall look in detail at this texts: Evelyn Waugh, Put Out more Flags (1942); H.E. Bates, Fair Stood the Wind for France (1944); and Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day (1948).

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Other literature / historical courses should become available to those who have particpated in this one.

Download full course information sheet

Eighty Years On: the Second World War Novel in English

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • 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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