Change and Challenge: The World in Which Our Parents Grew Up

Ref: C3744369

The modernists challenged convention. They had a vision of men and women as creators and participants, not merely "monkeys minding machines". Among the great modernists writing in English were Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Ford Madox Ford, Rebecca West, May Sinclair and Dorothy Richardson. They drew on the insights of the new discipline of psychology, recognising the "primacy of the unconscious mind in mental life", and also on the work of philosophers who were reconsidering the nature of time and consciousness. The course will look at some of the greatest novels of these fresh and exciting writers, and also at some of the finest modernist poetry of the period.

Course aim

The purpose of the course is to read, enjoy and better appreciate great modernist literature spanning the years 1914-1939.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need to be an enthusiastic reader who is prepared to "have a go" at novels and poems which don't necessarily grab you by the throat in the first line. You will need to enjoy sharing your opinion about what you have read in a friendly and supportive environment.

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

  • Discuss what modernism means.
  • Appreciate how modernists perceive and use traditional literary texts and methods.
  • Appreciate how modernist writers drew on new ideas in psychology and in particular the influence of the unconscious.
  • Appreciate the insights of women modernists.
  • Recognise some of the themes of modernist poetry.

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

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
  • Please obtain the prescribed novels, which are (with ISBN of recommended edition available on Amazon): The Life and Death of Harriett Frean (9780860681069) by May Sinclair, The Ballad and the Source (9781844083640) by Rosamond Lehmann, and The Good Soldier (9871467964562) by Ford Madox Ford.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You should read "The Good Soldier" before the beginning of the course, and if possible the other two prescribed novels.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Change and Challenge: The World in Which Our Parents Grew Up

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

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