European Fiction of the Nineteenth Century (OUDCE)

Ref: C3743356

European fiction of the 19th century has been enormously influential. On this course we shall study (in translation) shorter works by some of the French and Russian greats: Balzac, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Zola, Flaubert and Maupassant.

Additional information about this course

OUDCE Tutor: David Grylls Courses marked with the university symbol are run in co-operation with the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE). Please contact Patricia Baker-Cassidy for enrolment. Class numbers will be limited to 25, so early enrolment is advised Students enrolled on OUDCE courses are expected to undertake some course work. Half term: 26th February

Course aim

To study a wide range of nineteenth-century European fiction in translation.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • Some prior experience of nineteenth-century fiction would be useful.

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

  • Give an account of the main features of the content and relevant contexts of the fiction studied.
  • Undertake literary analysis of fiction by discussing features such as narrative and dramatic technique, characterisation, and the use of figurative language.
  • Reveal knowledge of the range of interpretations surrounding the set texts.

How will I be taught?

  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • Students will be expected to write a 1500 word essay. Students may also offer class presentations lasting about 10 minutes, the notes which it is based will need to be submitted to support the assessment.

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 be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress
  • Presentation/exposition by the tutor. Small group analysis of particular sections and passages. Comparison of scenes from literary works with film versions.

What else do I need to know?

  • 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

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Some prior experience of nineteenth-century fiction would be useful.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

European Fiction of the Nineteenth Century (OUDCE)


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
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