Literature and Fake News

Ref: C2343310

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

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We live in a dumbed-down world in which fake news and slogans are often a substitute for thought, and opinions triumph over understanding. The course will link the phenomenon of fake news to questions about democracy, citizenship, populism and expertise. It will also ask if literature and the experience of reading literature can help to revive our impoverished political and public discourse. A thought-provoking work of literature may unsettle our existing assumptions, and slow down the process of forming opinions. Could this model of reading be useful to us as voters to counteract a fast-paced world in which political perspectives are arrived at instantly and antagonistically, and fake news often unquestioningly accepted? Do we need to be re-educated in the art of reading/citizenship? Or does this question smack of elitism, particularly in an era of distrusted expertise? The course will examine these questions in an effort to rethink our roles as both citizens and readers.

Course aim

We live in a dumbed-down world in which slogans and fake news are often a substitute for thought, and opinions triumph over understanding. The course will examine these problems in depth, and ask if reading literature can revive our public discourse.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • identify the social and cultural issues that underlie the phenomenon of fake news
  • link the phenomenon of fake news to questions about democracy, populism, citizenship and expertise
  • discuss and comment on the relationship between literature, democracy and fake news
  • select passages from literary texts and other media, which illustrate key points and ideas
  • participate in 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, and short tasks.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

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

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
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/

Download full course information sheet

Literature and Fake News

Is this course right for me? Request more information

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

We are launching a range of online courses shortly that may be of interest to you so sign up here to hear more.

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 2019
  • 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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