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Invigorating evening classes from MMU

Want to learn something really interesting this autumn? MMU's evening classes cover everything from Gothic literature to the fall of the Berlin Wall

Published on August 5th 2010.

Invigorating evening classes from MMU

It may be summer but September is nearly upon us again, and it’s the time of year when many of us start to think about ways to fill those autumn nights. Evening classes are always a good idea – and if you can mix intellectual stimulation and socialising with professional development and a boost to your CV, so much the better.

If you have a degree and are interested in English, film studies, or critical theories, then Manchester Metropolitan University may have just the thing for you. The Continuing Professional Development courses in their Department of English start in September and January and run for around 12 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 5.30pm. All of the classes are based at MMU’s All Saints Campus in Manchester city centre.

Although they are all 'stand-alone' evening courses, they are also part of MMU’s MA in English Studies, so they are all accredited as Masters level. This means that if you want to, you can clock up credits by completing one or two of the courses, and transfer your credits onto the MA English Studies at MMU later on. It’s a good way to dip your toes into MA-level work before taking the plunge.

Three courses start in September:

Representing Contemporary Cultures 1
This course looks at issues and debates in contemporary culture and the ways that recent and current writers and film-makers engage with them. Three major global events and transformations of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries give us a frame to work with: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the nature of cosmopolitanism, and our culture’s construction of ideas about childhood.

Rise of the Gothic
Where did the Gothic as a literary form come from, and when? We look at early precursors in Renaissance drama, at eighteenth century writers who developed the genre (Walpole, Radcliffe and Lewis), at people who parody it – like Jane Austen – and those who then picked up the Gothic torch – Mary Shelley, Maturin and Hogg.

Sign, Subject, Text
How has subjectivity been understood by philosophers, psychoanalysts and scholars of culture like Ferdinand de Saussure, Sigmund Freud, Claude Levi-Strauss, Michel Foucault and Judith Butler? If you were introduced to critical theory in your first degree and want to develop your understanding of it, this is the course for you.

Three courses start in January:

Representing Contemporary Cultures 2
This course picks up Representing Contemporary Cultures 1, though it stands alone and you don’t have to have taken the earlier course to do this one. We begin with a discussion of the bombing of the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001 as a way of thinking how we might define ‘the contemporary’. Other topics considered are the metropolitan city, and our attitudes towards the animal kingdom.

The Gothic and Modernity
A historical background to aspects of the Gothic in modern times, this course picks up where ‘The Rise of the Gothic’ leaves off. It covers themes like ‘urban’ Gothic, ‘Gothic sexuality’, new Gothic media and the postmodern. We might look at writers like Peter Ackroyd and Angela Carter, expressionist cinema and popular television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Theories of Culture
What do we mean by ‘modernity’? This course examines specific theoretical issues about how subjectivity is formed, the legacy of the enlightenment, urbanisation, technological domination, and biopolitics. The course looks at these ideas and some key figures associated with their development such as Althusser, Adorno and Benjamin.

The fees for each course are £395*. Each course is worth 20 credits at MA level – so if you do decide to apply for the MA English Studies in the future your credits will count towards that, and your fees for the evening course(s) will be deducted from the MA fee.

If you would like more information you should contact one of the following programme leaders:

  • Representing Contemporary Cultures 1 and Representing Contemporary Cultures 2 – Professor Berthold Schoene:
  • Sign, Subject, Text and Theories of Culture: Dr Kate McGowan –
  • Rise of the Gothic and Gothic and Modernity: Professor Sue Zlosnik –

* 2009/10: there may be a slight alteration for 2010.

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