Literature

Literature Courses in London

Explore our exciting range of Literature courses, from Literary History, to specialist courses in Fiction, Poetry and Drama. We offer introductory and in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, where you can revisit classic texts and discover new writers.

Study online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students and share your passion for literature as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many also teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion for fiction, poetry and drama through presentations, readings, interactive discussion, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community; others are inspired to progress onto university study.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place online now.

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  1. Migration and the Literary Imagination
    Course Date:  Tue 18 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course explores literature that has emerged from the colonial and postcolonial migration of people from different cultures to Britain and the US. We will be discussing 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.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  2. Don Quixote for the 21st Century: the first road novel
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 22 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover why Don Quixote is considered to be the first modern novel. We explore Cervantes’ work from a wide variety of perspectives, bringing it back to life 400 years later. Readers embark on an unforgettable voyage from the first line: 'Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago...'.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
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  3. In my end is my beginning: the meaning & potential of growing old
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 22 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This innovatory course will present a wide range of poetic explorations of the experience and significance of growing old and the approach of death. While acknowledging the inevitable difficulties and challenges of the last phase of life, the emphasis will be on illuminating the scope and potential of old age while reflecting on the interdependence of life and death.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  4. The International Booker Prize
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 26 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How much translated fiction do you read? Since 2016, the International Booker Prize has been encouraging us to read more novels from around the world. On this course we will look at three winners (Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, Ogla Tokarczuk’s Flights and Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies) and assess the cultural impact of the prize so far.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00
  5. Virginia Woolf: essayist and thinker
    Course Date:  Thu 3 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online literature course will explore Virginia Woolf’s work as an essay writer and thinker, focusing on Woolf's 'A Room of One's Own', 'Three Guineas', 'The Common Reader', and other essays.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00
  6. English Poetry of the Thirties: T.S. Eliot to Dylan Thomas
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 5 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Wedged between the two wars, the poets of the 1930s were drawn to forces larger than themselves. For poets such as W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, war, revolution and the allure of communism dwarfed mere personal anxieties. Others – such as William Empson, Kathleen Raine and Dylan Thomas – found a seam of spiritualism in other, more mystical, even Romantic antecedents. Our course traces these discrepant paths through the decade.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  7. Black Women's Writing
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 7 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Black Women’s Writing is a course that seeks to highlight and celebrate the literature of Black British and American women writers from the early twenty-first century to today. We will explore the writing: 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.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  8. The Contemporary African Novel
    Course Date:  Mon 7 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  9. Contemporary fiction: letters in 21st century novels
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 8 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Contemporary fiction is full of letters. How do letters in novels explore our present world, and give us stories about the future? Come and read a selection of twenty-first century novels to delve into the uses, intricacies and attractions of fictional letters. Authors include Ian McEwan and Tayari Jones.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  10. The rise and fall of Oscar Wilde
    Course Date:  Tue 8 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Oscar Wilde was perhaps the most controversial writer of late Victorian Britain. He was famed for his wit, extravagant lifestyle, and sexual adventures. His plays and his sensational novel The Picture of Dorian Gray were celebrated and admired. But his scandalous trial and conviction “for gross indecency with men” ruined him, and he ended his life in Paris, destitute and alone.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  11. The Agony of History: Why the past matters in 'The Sound and the Fury'
    Course Date:  Mon 14 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Faulkner's powerful portrayal of 1920s South examines the weight of familial and cultural history. This lyric and tragic study of tormented sibling relationships, racial tensions, gender roles and suicide requires careful attention; we will work through the density together while coming into a clearer understanding of the American South post-Civil War. The long shadow of slavery and ante-bellum Southern culture continues to exert its power—and Faulkner goes into the darkness to illustrate this world.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00
  12. Shakespeare's Women: Rosalind, Ophelia & Lady Macbeth
    Course Date:  Thu 17 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Literature course will look at three of Shakespeare’s female characters: Rosalind (As You Like It), Ophelia (Hamlet) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth). We will consider their wit, madness and ambition, exploring Shakespeare’s language, the historical context, and the plays in performance.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  13. Animals in Modern Literature
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 20 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Animals leap, crawl, hop, and gallop across the pages of modern fiction and poetry. Why do authors write about animals? What effect does it have on us as readers when we encounter animals in novels and short stories? From Beatrix Potter and Black Beauty to the contemporary novel, this course explores the role of the animal in modern literature. Themes that we will think about together include: animal suffering, animals in depictions of childhood, and animal transformations and dehumanisation.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  14. The Art of the Essay: from Walter Benjamin to Claudia Rankine
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 23 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through collectively reading a variety of essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between diary, literary criticism, nature writing, elegy, aphorism, political tract, and mystical/religious experiences through key essayists including Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector, Audre Lorde, Etel Adnan, James Baldwin, David Rattray, and Claudia Rankine.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  15. 'I caught this morning morning's minion': the passions of Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore why Hopkins wrote highly original poems of great power and beauty, but didn’t attempt to have them published in his lifetime. We will look at how this relates to his conversion to Roman Catholicism and, in turn, how this may have related to fears about his sexuality.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

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