British Culture in the 1950''s
Queen Mary, University of London
Area of Study
British Studies, English, History
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
This module aims to introduce you to the variety of British cultural expression in the 1950s, including
novels, poetry, drama, and television and film adaptations. The literature will be analysed in the
context of a number of historical and social contexts: post-war austerity, the Festival of Britain, the
development of post-imperial Britain, the Suez Crisis, Americanisation and the Cold War, the development
of the Welfare State, the role of radio (the Third Programme) and television, the formation of the Arts
Council. We will interrogate the critical assumption that the 1950s constituted a period of loss of
confidence and ambition among British writers, and examine the range, styles and crucial reception of
the literature of the decade. Writers studied will include George Orwell, Kingsley Amis, John Osborne,
Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, Philip Larkin and Harold Pinter.
Assessment: 100.0% Coursework
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
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