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Literature Art And Material Culture The Mythological Thread

The course will explore the literature, art, and material culture of Europe, with reference to six key texts: Hesiod's Theogony; Ovid's Metamorphoses; Chaucer's The Manciple's Tale; Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis; Shelley's Prometheus Bound; and Blake's Urizen Books. 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 it for?

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

    We will be discussing the following books, some or all of which you may wish to buy and read in your own time:

    Hesiod & M.L. West Theogony and Works & Days, Oxford World Classics.
    Ovid & E. J. Kenney Metamorphoses, Oxford World Classics.
    G. Chaucer & J. Mann The Canterbury Tales, Penguin Classics.
    W. Shakespeare & K. Duncan-Jones Shakespeare's Poems, Arden Shakespeare.
    P.B. Shelley Prometheus Unbound, CreateSpace.
    W. Blake & D. Worrall The Illuminated Books of William Blake: 6. The Urizen Books, Princeton University Press.

  • What does it cover?

    We will begin by looking at the concept of 'mythological' literature 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 tradition in response to changing social, aesthetic, and religious ideas.

  • 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.

    By the end of this course, you should be able to:

    Explain the concept of 'mythological' literature, with reference to key texts in the Ancient, Medieval and Modern traditions.
    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 historical, philosophical, and aesthetic 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 and Medieval thought that continue to influence the cultural life of the Modern World.

  • What else do I need to buy or do?

    You are advised to bring note-taking materials to all sessions.

  • What could it lead to?

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

Available Courses

Literature Art And Material Culture The Mythological Thread

The course will explore the literature, art, and material culture of Europe, with reference to six key texts: Hesiod's Theogony; Ovid's Metamorphoses; Chaucer's The Manciple's Tale; Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis; Shelley's Prometheus Bound; and Blake's Urizen Books. 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.

26 September 2022 – 12 December 2022
Monday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:453
£132 / £46
12 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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Literature Art And Material Culture In Europe: The Comic Thread

The course will explore the literature, art, and material culture of Europe, with reference to six key literary texts: Aristophaness Women in the Thesmophoria, Plautuss The Haunted House, Miguel de Cervantess Don Quixote, Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels, Gogols The Nose, Julian Barness A History of the World in 10 Chapters. 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.

17 April 2023 – 26 June 2023
Monday, 14:00 to 16:00
Course Code:455
£88 / £31
8 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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The World Of The Early 20th Century

The course will explore the cultural history of Europe and the Mediterranean world from 1914 to 1933AD, including the causes, conduct, and aftermath of the First World War; the Russian Revolution; the birth of new nations, including the Republic of Turkey, and the Irish Free State; the struggle for, and achievement of, universal suffrage for women and men; and related developments in literature and the arts. Drawing on archaeological evidence, literary texts, architecture and the visual arts, the course will look at the complex and shifting relationships between the present and the past in the definition and transformation of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures and identities.

26 April 2023 – 28 June 2023
Wednesday, 10:30 to 13:00
Course Code:452CS
£155 / £54
10 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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Victorian London

26 April 2023 – 28 June 2023
Wednesday, 14:30 to 16:30
Course Code:458
£110 / £39
10 Meetings
42 Queen Square
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Need more information?

For more information contact the Curriculum Administration Team at admin@marywardcentre.ac.uk

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