A Literature of their Own

Ref: C3746330

“There are no lower orders. There are no lesbians or transgender people or fill in the blank. There is only people, a wild mix of energy, different abilities, colours ranging from ebony to bleached white. We’re everything and everybody. I don’t even believe in male and female, it’s a sliding scale and we are hag-ridden by a binary culture: male-female, black-white, straight-gay, rich-poor and so it goes." Rita Mae Brown, in her introduction to her novel 'Rubyfruit Jungle' defines the essence of this five week course. Looking at a series of texts by lesbian writers we will explore the ways in which these writers negotiate identities and both embrace and defy questions of gender, race and sexuality. Poems by Carol Ann Duffy and Adrienne Rich will be provided on Canvas. Students will need to obtain copies of the novels: 'Rubyfruit Jungle' by Rita Mae Brown; 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit' by Jeanette Winterson; 'Trumpet' by Jackie Kay and 'Affinity' by Sarah Waters.

Course aim

Looking at a series of texts by lesbian writers we will explore the ways in which these writers negotiate identities and both embrace and defy questions of gender, race and sexuality.

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 course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Approach literary texts in a critical way and discuss my findings with fellow students.
  • View the selected texts in their socio-historical context.
  • Understand the impact of second-wave feminism on lesbian writing in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Explore questions relating to contemporary discourses on gender, race and sexuality.
  • Understand how Queer Theory can illuminate our understanding of these texts and engage with secondary material.

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
  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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 also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • 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
  • See Reading List below

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • 1. Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle 2. Jeannette Winterson, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit 3. Selected Poems (on Canvas) 4. Jackie Kay, Trumpet 5. Sarah Waters, Affinity

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

A Literature of their Own

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is only available as part of this programme.

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 declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • 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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