Literature: The Role of the Reader

Ref: C2344106

Our reactions to and discussions of books are all-important in book groups, yet few courses focus explicitly on the role of the reader. The course will explore such questions as: does the text create the reader or does the reader create the text? What is involved in reading a piece of writing as ‘literature’? On what basis do we decide that one interpretation of a literary text is ‘better’ than another? We will pursue these questions through a range of short stories, as well as some poems and paintings.

Course aim

We will examine a range of short stories, as well as some poems and paintings, exploring what the role of the reader is in making sense of texts, and how different texts create different kinds of reader.

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

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

  • identify various kinds of reading experience, and how and why different readers read texts differently
  • discuss and comment on the consequences of reading texts as ‘literature’
  • select passages for close reading, which illustrate key points and ideas
  • participate in discussions and debate with others
  • relate the ways in which individual readers read to wider social, political and cultural contexts

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
  • Canvas will be used to support lessons and to provide resources, and at the beginning and end of the course to record learner feedback.

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?

  • 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
  • You will need to borrow or purchase the following anthology of short stories: The Penguin Book of the British Short Story: 2: from P. G. Wodehouse to Zadie Smith, ed. Philip Hensher (Penguin, 2016)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre-reading or pre-course work is required, but you could begin reading some of the stories in the anthology.

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

Download full course information sheet

Literature: The Role of the Reader

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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