The Posthuman

Ref: C2341675

‘Posthuman’ and posthumanism are terms that have been used to challenge longstanding ideas about humanity’s special status, to pose new questions about what it is to be human, to explore environmental concerns, and to signal the end of ‘the human’ as we think we know it in the wake of modern technologies. The course will examine a selection of literary texts through the prism of these different yet intersecting posthumanisms. It will not only attend to the content of the texts but to their distinctive form and style insofar as they also have a bearing on the topic of the posthuman. The two or three set texts for the course will be selected from the following: Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room (1922); Samuel Beckett, Endgame (1958); Don DeLillo, White Noise (1984); J. M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello (2003); Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behaviour (2013); Dave Eggers, The Circle (2013).

Course aim

The course will examine the various meanings of the term 'posthuman' and use these as the basis for exploring a selection of literary texts which implicitly or explicitly deal with posthuman themes and questions.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • No particular skills or experience are needed, just an interest in literature and a willingness to explore new ideas.

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

  • identify different meanings of the terms 'posthuman' and posthumanism and their political, cultural and philosophical significance;
  • discuss relevant literary texts through the prism of posthumanism;
  • make connections between the form, style and content of the selected texts;
  • select passages which illustrate key themes and questions;
  • participate in readings, presentations, discussions and debate with others.

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
  • Activities may include tutor presentation, small group work, working in pairs, class discussions, short tasks and research.

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?

  • You will need to obtain copies of the set texts.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Posthuman

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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