This course has concessions available

New: Literature, Art And Material Culture In Europe: The Lyric Thread

The course will explore the literature, art, and material culture of Europe, with reference to eight key literary texts: The surviving poems of Sappho; Ovids Amores; Petrarchs Canzoniere; Shakespeares sonnets; the secular poems of John Donne; the poems of Goethe; Wordsworths Lyrical Ballads; and Walter Scotts The Lady of the Lake. It will focus on the influence that each of these texts had on those that followed; and on the complex and changing inter-relationships between literature, the visual and performing arts, and material culture in European culture and society.

Who is this course for

No prior knowledge is necessary, but a good understanding of English is essential.

We will be discussing the following books, which you may wish to buy or borrow and read in your own time:
Sappho & C-A. Duffy (trans) 2009 Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments of Sappho. Penguin.
Ovid & E.F. Kenney (trans) 2008 The Love Poems. Oxford World Classics.
Petrarch & A, Mortimer (trans) 2002 Canzoniere: Selected Poems. Penguin.
W. Shakespeare & C. Burrow (ed) 2008 The Complete Sonnets and Poems. Oxford World Classics.
J. Donne & I. Bell (ed) 2006 Selected Poems. Penguin.
J.W. von Goethe & D. Luke (trans) 2005 Selected Poetry. Penguin.
W. Wordsworth & S.T. Coleridge 2013 Lyrical Ballads 1798 & 1802. Oxford World Classics.
W. Scott 2016 The Lady of the Lake. Birlinn.

What does this course cover

We will begin by looking at the concept of 'Lyric' poetry in global perspective; and at key issues of literary influence, and inter-relationships between different forms of cultural and creative expression. We will then examine each of the key texts on its own terms; in the context of the times and places in which they were produced; and in terms of their broader influence in the definition and transformation of national and European cultures. We will explore the invention, endurance, appropriation, and modification of tradition in response to changing social, political, and religious ideas; and the way in which such traditions continue to develop and influence the Modern World.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:
- Explain the concept of 'Lyric' poetry, with reference to key texts in the European tradition.
- Identify a range of influences of one text on another; and of specific literary works on other forms of cultural expression (painting, sculpture, material culture, music, drama).
- Contribute to a discussion on the philosophical and religious ideas that underpin key literary works.
- Define key ideas in literary criticism and art history.
- Use the knowledge gained on the course to identify aspects of Ancient, Early Modern, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century thought that continue to influence the cultural life of the Modern World.

What will it be like

Each week there will be an informative talk using PowerPoint; readings from the key texts and related works; and group discussion of issues arising from those texts. You will be encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment. Occasionally homework reading will be provided. Although this is not an accredited course leading to a formal qualification, you will be encouraged to complete a self-assessment form in which you can monitor your progress.

What else do you need to buy or do

Bring note-taking materials to all sessions

What this course could lead to

You might consider enrolling on other history/history of art/literature/philosophy courses run by the Centre.

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This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

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