English Literature Masterclass
Have you ever argued about what literature is for, or how many right ways there are to read a poem? The one-day English Literature Masterclass is for students aged 15-18 interested in the theory of literary study or keen to discover new ways of reading. It is particularly suited to anyone considering studying English at university. The interactive, day-long course is taught through mini-lectures, seminars and group work, providing ample opportunities to discuss your ideas with tutors and fellow students in an informal environment.
Next available dates will be Autumn 2013.
Held at the University of London Union, Bloomsbury. Teaching will run from 10.30 – 4.30.
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Masterclass Programme 2013:
The Defence of Poetry
Is fiction a waste of time? Should some topics be off limits? How is creative literature related to philosophy, history, sacred texts and other kinds of writing? Disputes about the morality and purpose of literature have raged since classical times, raising vital questions about the nature of art, the social role of the author, and freedom of speech. In this session we trace these arguments from Plato’s banishment of the poets to the death threats made against Salman Rushdie, and critically examine defences of literature offered by major authors.
Postcolonial literature and theory
Imperialism was a project not just of territorial but linguistic and ideological domination. In this seminar we discuss the impact of colonialism on literature, on our readings of past works, and on authors writing today. We examine the relationship of post-colonial literature to the English canon and as a means of national self-expression.
The death of the author?
There are few questions more controversial than the nature of the relationship between a text, its reader and its author. In this seminar we will discuss and evaluate the New Critics and the ‘intentional fallacy’ and Barthes’ argument for the ‘death of the author’. We will ask to what extent you should take the author’s intentions into account when reading a text, and whether it is possible to arrive at a complete interpretation of a work of literature.
Criticism may once have been an all-male profession for the reading of texts by mostly male authors, but over the past fifty years feminist critics have sought not only to uncover and promote a female tradition of writing but also to investigate the ways in which literary texts express, resist and react to conceptions of gender. In this seminar we will use short extracts from nineteenth and twentieth century texts to explore what literature can teach us about the construction of gender.
What previous students have said – read more here
“Very interesting. It explored English in ways that I had never thought about before.”
“The tutors showed huge passion and listened to and reflected ideas well.”
“Fab! Really interesting––great insight into aspects of English not covered by AS/A2 courses.”
“I liked the seminar format. It allowed everyone to contribute without putting people under pressure. The supporting material and further reading lists also looked really interesting.”
“I really enjoyed it; it gave a real sense of what the course would be like. The lectures were really good too.”
“Absolutely brilliant––I learnt so much, speakers were stimulating and it was great to be amongst other people who are genuinely enthusiastic about the same thing.”
“I found this course very insightful and interesting. I’d definitely do it again given the chance!”
Book a place
The fee for the English Masterclass is £95. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Debate Chamber offers a limited number of full and partial bursaries for students who would otherwise have difficulty attending. To book a place please email email@example.com, call 0845 519 4827 or fill out the form below.
If you are applying for a fees bursary please do not fill in the form below, instead please complete the Bursary Application – Student Form.
If you are a teacher interested in holding an English event in your school please click here.