Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

British Literature Portal

His Dark Materials in Context [3 Module Series] Series

Sir Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is widely regarded as a modern classic, has been described by The New Statesman as “the most ambitious work since The Lord of the Rings,” and has been adapted onto stage, radio, and screen. The series is also deep and complex, drawing from a rich array of literary, philosophical, and theological ideas.

In this three-module series we will read, successively, the three novels in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, juxtaposing each with selected materials that will allow us to read Pullman’s work both on its own and in conversation with other works. Students can join one, two, or all three modules. There are no prerequisites.

Module 1: His Dark Materials in Context 1: The Golden Compass / Northern Lights
Module 2: His Dark Materials in Context 2: The Subtle Knife
Module 3: His Dark Materials in Context 3: The Amber Spyglass
Precepted by Faith Acker and Gabriel Schenk.

Modern British Poetry

In this module we will read and discuss a collection of some of the best British poetry of the 21st century, considering the ways in which each poet addresses the anxieties of our time.
Precepted by Sara Brown.

Novel Romani: Gypsies in Victorian & Modern British Literature

Members of various Romani peoples (aka “Gypsies”) came to the British Isles in the 16th century and have been portrayed in British literature in varying ways since. Often stereotyped, profiled, vilified, objectified, and mocked by establishment authors, Gypsies have also been described in terms of desirable characteristics, such as freedom from convention, energy and charisma, vast stores of traditional or global knowledge, spiritual insight, liberation from traditional capitalist restrictions or national identities, and seductive romance. In this course, we’ll read scholarly articles and primary sources to learn about how 19th- & 20th-century authors in the British Isles depicted and understood this complex group of peoples.
Precepted by Sørina Higgins and Eve Droma.

William Butler Yeats: The Magical Modernist

W. B. Yeats is arguably the greatest English-language poet of the Twentieth Century, yet the majority of his work is little known today outside of academia. He was also a playwright, novelist, author of a psycho-spiritual history of thought, Irish patriot, occult master, and creator of a religious/philosophical mythology. His beautiful, mystical, difficult works span (and indeed, define) at least three phases of late-19th- and early-to-mid-20th-century literature, providing an inescapable influence on authors of his time and thereafter. This module provides an overview of his poetry, from his early "Celtic twilight" phase through his modernist explorations to his late, great final works. We'll also glance at his drama and literary networks. Along the way, we'll explore a little bit about his life, social context, politics, spiritual explorations, and practical magic.
Precepted by Sørina Higgins.
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].