American Literature of the 1960's

Ref: C2227512

This course explores the decade of the American 1960s through five key literary texts, used to illustrate the stylistic and thematic diversity of this pivotal cultural period. We will consider the lives and works of writers such as Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, William H. Gass, John Cheever, and Flannery O'Connor in order to develop our understanding of important literary movements such as the Southern Gothic and Postmodernism, as well as explore the impact of the American landscape, such as the Californian coastline, the American midwest, and the rapidly expanding suburbs on their novels and stories.

Additional information about this course

Half Term 26/10/2020

Course aim

This course provides an overview of American fiction of the 1960s through a selection of texts used to illustrate the stylistic and thematic diversity of this pivotal cultural decade.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the lives and works of the set writers.
  • Illustrate basic knowledge of the styles, themes, and structures of these novels and stories.
  • Develop an understanding of the social, cultural, and historical conditions that informed the literary movements and styles of the decade.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • 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?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • A copy of the set texts.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will also need to source your own copies of the set texts to read ahead of each session: Joan Didion – Slouching Toward Bethlehem Thomas Pynchon – The Crying of Lot 49 William H Gass – Omensetter's Luck John Cheever – Bullet Park Flannery O'Connor – The Violent Bear it Away

What can I do next?

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

Download full course information sheet

American Literature of the 1960's

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2020
  • 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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