Greater London, The Brilliant Club, 2016-2017
From Shakespeare to Salman Rushdie, literature has played a powerful part within society. It has been censored and sponsored, employed as propaganda and used for protest. This in-depth course encouraged KS4 and KS5 students to discuss the politics of literature. Students evaluated the ways in which society and its cultural forms of expression are linked.
Drawing from a wide range of examples from civil rights movements, protest culture, queer and postcolonial texts, students explored questions such as: How are political events and conflicts reflected in literary texts and influenced by cultural developments? In what ways is literature political? How can literature help us expand our knowledge and understanding of politics?
This course focused on one topic in particular: what makes literature different from the other arts of writing – journalism, history, and political science, advertising or party propaganda?
Learning to ask and articulate questions was as much part of this course as attempting to answer them, and students delivered presentations besides completing research essays to pursue enquiry as an academic, critical practice.