Putting the ‘Lit’ in City Lit – Welcoming new Literature tutors and courses

9 March 2021
Posted in: Courses

Written by Dr Sophie Oxenham, Literature tutor and Head of the Culture and Humanities programme.

Our literature programme is growing!

We are thrilled to welcome some fantastic new tutors to the team; they bring a wealth of expertise, along with a passion for sharing their enthusiasms!

This article gives an overview of some of the exciting new online Literature courses they will be teaching this summer term, including courses in Contemporary and World Literature, Poetry and Children’s Literature.

Introducing our new Literature tutors and courses at City Lit

Beatrice Ashton-Lelliot

Beatrice currently teaches at the University of Portsmouth and is completing her PhD on nineteenth-century magicians and representations of fictional conjuring in Victorian literature.

About Beatrice's courses

HLT223 Japanese Crime Literature

This course explores a range of Japanese mysteries, detectives and their recurring themes, from ‘locked room’ classics to the dark side of human nature – with many murders along the way.

HLT240 Women's Prize for Fiction

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the most popular, contentious and highly contended literary prizes in Britain. In this short course we will read and discuss past and current winners, texts by the 2021 judges, consider the merits and drawbacks of the prize, and perhaps predict the next winner!

David Barnes

David BarnesDavid Barnes

David has taught at the universities of Birmingham and Oxford.

He recently wrote and presented the radio series, ‘Weird England’ for Radio 3. He is currently writing about human-animal encounters in modern London. 

About David's course

HLT226 Beastly Writing in the modern age

Animals leap, crawl, hop, and gallop across the pages of modern fiction and poetry. From children’s tales and science fiction fables to poetry, philosophy, memoir and realist fiction, this course will explore the many different ways in which authors use animals in their work.

Roger Blanton

Roger BlantonRoger Blanton

Roger has a PhD in English from Queen Mary, University of London.

He has taught in the US, Argentina, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.

About Roger's course

HLT229 The Contemporary African Novel

This course examines a selection of African novels from the late 20th to the early 21st century and some of the concepts, issues and ideas that inform them. In works from Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana, we will explore how gender, sexuality, class, and race are portrayed in the contemporary context and how these depictions are influenced by past understandings from these respective countries. Authors include Buchi Emecheta, J.M. Coetzee and Yaa Gyasi.

Phoebe Braithwaite

Phoebe BraithwaitePhoebe Braithwaite

Phoebe Braithwaite is a PhD student in English at Harvard University and her work focuses on the influence of the intellectual Stuart Hall and the tradition of British Cultural Studies.

She has taught courses on nonfiction, contemporary literature, and poetry.

About Pheobe's courses

HLT242 Caribbean voices: writers of the Windrush generation

This course concerns Caribbean writers of the mid Twentieth Century. Two decades of migration from the Caribbean “periphery” to the British “metropole” saw the development of deep varied Caribbean traditions, both critical and creative; this weekend course considers them.

HLT243 The Witches; wicked women and the myths that make them

“I understood that legends weren’t lies but were ways of telling history,” says author Fernanda Melchor. Witches have been coming out of the literal and fictional woodwork in recent years, as a resurgence of interest in occultism and sorcery registers its centrality as a site of subversion. We investigate the different formal strategies artists have used to approach the witch as a cultural trope.

Peter Cherry

Peter CherryPeter Cherry

Peter has taught at the University of Edinburgh and at Bilkent University in Turkey.

He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh and is the author of the forthcoming book Muslim Masculinities: Transcultural Identity and Migration in Britain (IB Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2021).

About Peter's courses

HLT221 Migration and the Literary Imagination

This course explores how literature provides a creative space for reflecting on experiences of migration, how fiction attends to legacies of colonialism, racism and xenophobia, and how ‘migrant aesthetics’ have created new transcultural forms of literature.

HLT238 Introduction to Graphic Novels

In 2018, Nick Drnaso’s graphic novel Sabrina was long listed for the Man Booker Prize leading to renewed discussion about the graphic novel and its relationship to the novel form. In this course, we will discuss how graphic novels, or ‘narratives of sequential art’, have developed into a literary and cultural form over the latter half of the twentieth century and into the current day.

Fiona McCulloch

Fiona McCulloughFiona McCullough

Fiona McCulloch specialises in Children’s Literature, Young Adult Fiction, Scottish Literature, Contemporary British Fiction, Women’s Writing, Victorian Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, Cosmopolitanism, Posthumanism, and Ecocriticism.

She was Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professor of British Literature at the University of Connecticut in 2015.

Her books include Contemporary British Children’s Fiction and Cosmopolitanism (2017), Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary British Fiction: Imagined Identities (2012), Children’s Literature in Context (2011), and The Fictional Role of Childhood in Victorian and Early Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature (2004).

About Fiona's courses

HLT224 Fictionalising Childhood: an introduction to children's literature

This course will introduce and examine a range of fictional texts in an exploration of representations of childhood and pertinent themes like journeys, home, and identity. Reading books from the First Golden Age (Victorian to Early Twentieth Century), including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to contemporary works (Harry Potter), we will consider how literary narratives respond to cultural debates that construct childhood identity as a site of innocence.

HLT241 Happy ever After? Reading fairy tales

This course will introduce and discuss a selection of fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Bluebeard. The evolution of fairy tales will be considered by reading different versions of these stories. We will think about key themes and issues, such as the rags to riches format, the role of the hero, the role of the heroine, the wicked stepmother, and deception.

Laurie McRae Andrew

Laurie McRae AndrewLaurie McRae Andrew

Laurie has previously taught at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he also completed his PhD.

He is currently at work on a book about geography in David Foster Wallace’s novels.

He specialises in contemporary fiction, and is especially interested in the relationships between literature, human geography, and the natural world.

About Laurie's courses

HLT230 Environment and Ecology in contemporary fiction

As the ongoing climate crisis deepens, environment and ecology have become central concerns in contemporary culture and society. This course explores how recent fiction has responded to these concerns, focusing on three novels from the last decade. Authors include Melissa Harrison, Jesmyn Ward and James Bradley.

HLT182 Maps and Mapping in Fiction

Whether the places they depict are real, imaginary, or somewhere in between, writers of fiction have long been fascinated by maps and the possibilities they contain. From fantasy lands to real-life geographies, this course investigates the close (though sometimes ambiguous) relationships between maps and fiction.

Nina Reece

Nina ReeceNina Reece

Nina is a teacher, writer, advocate and activist.

She is a Research Associate at the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies and in 2019, she founded the Black Writer's Book Club, a community reading group centring the creativity and scholarship of black authors.

About Nina's course

HLT211 Black Women's Writing

This course celebrates the literature of Black British and American women writers from the early twenty-first century to today. It explores the style, structure and form, and the myriad themes at the heart of these texts, including feminism, race, family, and love. Writers include: Bernardine Evaristo, Audre Lorde, Natasha Gordon, Christina Sharpe, Warsan Shire and bell hooks.

Woody River

Woody RiverWoody River

Woody holds a degree in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing, and has many years of experience teaching adults.

Having travelled prolifically and lived in China, Togo and Hungary, her literature courses celebrate the diversity of literature from around the world, encouraging students to consider texts within their historical, cultural, racial, geographical and literary contexts.


About Woody's courses

HLT234 Writing the World: the international art of the short story

This course provides an opportunity to read and celebrate the breadth, history and diversity of the short story form across the world. The course covers stories by writers from Turkey, Czech Republic, Russia, America, Guatemala, Columbia, Finland, Ireland, Scotland and India.

HLT235 The Poetry of W.B. Yeats

This course explores four poems by Yeats written at different stages in his life. We will examine how he sought inspiration from Irish mythology, politics, nature, his personal relationships and art to develop ideas about beauty and creativity.


Kate Wilkinson

Kate WilkinsonKate Wilkinson

Since 2015, Kate has taught at Queen Mary University of London, on courses ranging from Middle English to cultural theory.

Her PhD and publications explore the vibrant life of letters in fiction, and what this can tell us about our contemporary world.


About Kate's courses

HLT222 Novels & Letters in the 21st Century

This course reads a selection of twenty-first-century novels to delve into the uses, intricacies and attractions of fictional letters.

HLT239 Historical Novels: reimagining and rewriting

What’s the unique appeal of historical fiction? Why do we read so much of it, and what are we looking for? This course investigates historical fiction written in the twenty-first century and how it reimagines the past for us as contemporary readers.


We are delighted to welcome these tutors to the department.

You can also explore the rest of our online courses including all our Literature courses and our new Contemporary and world literature courses.

We are delighted to welcome these tutors to the department.

You can also explore the rest of our online courses including all our Literature courses and our new Contemporary and world literature courses.