English Literature Summer School – Part 1 (650AD to 1790AD)

The English Literature Summer School – Part 1 will cover literature dating from 650AD to 1790AD, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel. In addition we will also be covering Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School.

This course offers the opportunity for an in-depth and illuminating exploration of the major movements in the development of English Literature. Tackling canonical authors including Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton, students will develop the skills to read them both within their historical context and in dialogue with other writers and genres, such as the Medieval courtly poem and Renaissance travel writing. The course should foster a broad understanding of Medieval, Early Modern and eighteenth-century literary movements and familiarise students with their range of distinctive genres, styles and concerns.

Covering a wide range of writing forms including narrative and religious poetry, drama, Renaissance prose, and the invention of the novel form, we will combine close and critical reading with short lectures, group work and editing projects, in order to understand how the texts we encounter were put together. We will approach literature not only in book form, but also in its older oral incarnations, in manuscript, and crucially in performance. Drama should be understood in relation to its production on the stage, and an integral part of this is the trip to a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre. For 2017 this will be Twelfth Night.

As well as tackling the exciting developments in the English language through Old and Middle English, we will focus on major ideas that stimulated the literary imagination through several periods including religion, empire, and gender relations. Literary theory will play an important role in examining the production of ideas over time, and in this Summer School we apply the insights of Feminist and Historicist criticism in order to open up new perspectives on the texts that we read or encounter in performance.

Literature of past periods can sometimes seem remote from our own as we grapple with Anglo-Saxon anonymous authorship, or why fiction was such a shocking concept in the early eighteenth century. This Summer School invites students to read literature pre-1790 with historical awareness, critical acuity and an enhanced understanding of the ways in which it has shaped cultural relations, in the past and in the present. As such, the course will be particularly useful to students considering undergraduate study of English, but it is suitable for all those with a passion for literature, and complementary to A-level and Pre-U courses with an emphasis on understanding different periods of literature.

You can view a full schedule for the course, details of tutors and lots more feedback from last year on our website – www.debatechamber.com.

Part 1 of the course will take place on the 24th-28th July 2017. Students may also be interested in Part 2 of the Summer School on the 31st July – 4th Aug which covers literature from 1790 to the present day, with a focus on postcolonial and deconstructivist schools of theory, or Part 3, taking place 7th-11th Aug, which covers exclusively contemporary prose, poetry and drama, with a focus on psychoanalytic theory and theories of the canon.

Please note that students can attend all Parts of the Summer School, or just one or two, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for other Parts.

Practical Details:

The English Literature Summer School – Part 1 will take place on the 24th-28th July 2017.

The cost of booking any single Part of the English Literature Summer School £475, the cost of any two Parts is £850, and the cost for all three Parts of the Summer School is £1200. The Summer School will be held at a University of London, Bloomsbury campus (please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required).

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/. call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.