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English Literature/Film: The Great Gatsby – The Novel’s Context, Its Exploration of 1920s Issues & Reinterpretation in Film With Professor Mark Jancovich From University of East Anglia

3rd March 2021 @ 11:15 - 12:15



The Great Gatsby is not only a product of the 1920s but a novel that explicitly sought to explore the key issues of its period.

The “Jazz Age” is often remembered as a period of hedonism but it was also a period of profound social change with new systems of mass production giving rise to an age of mass consumption; an age of advertising in which the new heroes were celebrated for their lifestyles rather than for their achievements in politics or business.

If these changes were championed by some, the period also witnessed a series of campaigns against industrialisation, immorality and immigration to the US: it was a period in which the second Klu Klux Klan came into being and in which the Scope Monkey Trial which sought to prevent the teaching of Darwinism in schools.

In literary circles, this period was one of “modernism”, in which many writers claimed that new styles of writing were necessary in order to address this new social world; and while some writers championed the new society as a liberation from Victorianism, T S Eliot and others attacked it as a “wasteland” – a barren, disjointed landscape of trash.

This session will therefore explore how and why The Great Gatsby explicitly addresses these contexts, while also exploring how it has been appropriated and reinterpreted by later periods, particularly through the medium of film.


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of school closures.



Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Professor Mark Jancovich

Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 (and equivalent) English Literature and Film students, or those with a potential interest in studying Literature and/or Film. Teachers and members of school staff, as always, are welcome too.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:



3rd March 2021
11:15 - 12:15
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