Southern Discomfort: Five Turbulent Books from the American South

Ref: C3744447

Southern American literature shares some common themes. In addition to its geographical component, certain themes have appeared because of the shared histories of the Southern states in regard to slavery, the American Civil War, and Reconstruction. The conservative culture of the South has also produced a strong literary tradition with an emphasis on family, religion, community, the use of the Southern dialect and a particularly strong sense of ‘place’. The South's troubled history with racial issues regularly appears in its literature as does the emergence of Southern Gothic, a literary sub-genre in which authors explore the behaviours of people (usually strange) within the social order of the South. Through their stories, authors show that Southern social order is s fragile one and the realities behind it, disturbing. Great Southern writers such as Faulkner, McCullers and Tennessee Williams explore the South's moral shortcomings.

Course aim

This course will explore five texts by some of the best, most atmospheric and interesting works of literature from the American South. This will iclude novels, stories and a play.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • You just need an interest in reading and discussing literature.

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

  • Recognise some of the main characteristics of Southern literature.
  • Make effective comparisons between the writers.
  • Gain an understanding of the some of the unique qualities of literature from the American South
  • Recognise the impact of the South's historical and geographical situation on its writers
  • Recognise the impact and importance of the history of slavery on lthe iterature of the American South

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

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Copies of the main texts will be required

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Pre-reading the novels will be a help.

What can I do next?

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

Download full course information sheet

Southern Discomfort: Five Turbulent Books from the American South

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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