Course overview

This course will introduce students to nineteenth-century England. Focusing on five visual media or phenomena, it discusses how they changed ways of looking in this period and even continue to impact our lives today. It is often said that our world is increasingly becoming a true society of the spectacle, yet the origin of a society characterised by the saturation of visual phenomena can be traced back to a time much earlier than many would have thought: the long nineteenth century. From the panorama that revolutionised the way the landscape is was represented to graphic journalism that shaped the perception of monarchy, the nineteenth century marks the beginning of many visual and cultural phenomena whose legacy can still be felt today.

Course description

This course explores some of the key examples from visual culture of this period in England. By investigating five visual media and phenomena, the course goes beyond a conventional art historical discussion and introduces approaches of visual cultural studies. Students will also be encouraged to make connections between nineteenth-century media and the image-saturated society we live in today. The class will mainly be in seminar style, featured by group discussions and close looking/reading exercises, with some mini lectures.

What will I achieve?

Develop an appreciation for and understanding of visual culture studies, which focuses on removing the division between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture

Gain knowledge of important visual recreations and phenomena that shaped the new ways of looking in nineteenth-century England

Demonstrate some knowledge of the issues about ways of looking, the development of media, and the development of the concept of leisure and entertainment, in the context of nineteenth-century England

Develop some understanding of some of the scholarly approaches used in visual culture studies

Demonstrate the ability to produce evidence-based arguments, critically analysing visual examples, and conducting research on the theme of nineteenth-century visual culture.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

Share this page:

Lady giving a thumbs up to her tablet as she watches a WEA member lecture
Image overlay triangle

Become a WEA member today

For just £15 per year, you can access many great benefits, including our award-winning weekly member lectures.

Need more information?

Need help? Complete our form and our friendly Support Services team will be back in touch.

Course contact
I am most interested in (tick all that apply)

How do we use the information we gather from you?
Please see our privacy policy.