Online - 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. Great Historical Novels
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  2. Out of the fire: Black American writers in the 20th Century
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Weaving history, diverse traditions and a collage of voices, this online literature course will explore the struggle and celebration of black experience through Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, both growing out of the explosion of Black art during the Harlem Renaissance.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00
  3. Writing Post-Colonial London
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Migration from once-colonised countries to the old imperial centre has transformed London demographically and culturally. This course offers an opportunity to critically read a selection of novels, poetry and cinema written by writers and filmmakers of migrant and diaspora heritage that examine life in contemporary multicultural and postcolonial London. We will be focusing on how this select body of work interrogates legacies of colonialism, racism and socio-economic inequality as well as offering a creative space for investigating London’s place as a multicultural metropolis.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  4. Exploring literature: an introduction to prose and drama
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce you to a range of prose and dramatic texts that explore the human condition and analyse how the writers shape your response. Prose texts include stories by Alice Munro, Raymond Carver and Kazuo Ishiguro and the short novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. The drama texts will be 'Ghosts' by Ibsen and



    'All my Sons' by Arthur Miller.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £134.00
  5. Portrayals of masculinity in the contemporary novel
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will explore how masculinity is portrayed in the post-colonial novel. We will discuss some of the factors that influence these portrayals, such as class, sexuality and race, and how they continue to be shaped by the colonial past in the post-colonial present of these works.

    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  6. Poetry cooked and raw: from Emily Dickinson to the Beat Poets
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore how poets changed during the 20th century from writing in formal ‘poetic’ language and regular forms towards writing in more natural language, freer forms and with more direct expression of feelings. We will look at free verse, political poetry, the Beat Poets, confessional poetry and prose poetry.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Asian American Literature
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is Asian American literature and how has it been defined? In this course we’ll unpack this question whilst exploring some of the most exciting texts which have emerged from this umbrella term in the last couple of years. We will also consider the history and context of Asian American literature as a category, if the texts under discussion share any common themes and whether authors themselves have embraced this label.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  8. The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This is a chance to explore four Victorian texts from the point of view of context, style and the development of the novel through realism into early modernism. Texts will include Adam Bede (George Eliot), Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell), Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) and The Turn of the Screw (Henry James). There will be supplementary critical and biographical material supplied, and plenty of opportunities for discussion! This course will examine the debates which surrounded the development of Victorian fiction and the ways in which different writers sought to engage with these ideas.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  9. Beowulf and the origins of English Literature
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    After Conversion brought writing to England, Christian monks scribed poems and other literature in manuscripts that were often composed in an earlier, pre-literate culture. It is widely held that Beowulf is a product of this period of Old English writing, between 700 and 900, but most of the poetry is found in manuscripts dated centuries later, around the year 1000. There is thus much speculation as to the circumstances surrounding the composition of earliest literature in England, and this course explores the creativity of those poets and scribes, and the world in which they lived.

    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
  10. From the Land of the Rising Sun: an introduction to Japanese literature
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the strange and beautiful world of Japanese literature from the 17th century to the present. Follow the footsteps of a medieval travelling poet, delve into the Tokyo pleasure district, view Hiroshima through the eyes of survivors after the atomic bombing, and interpret dreams to illuminate Japanese history and culture. Using art, photography, history and film, you will explore poems, journals, short stories and novels by ten of Japan’s most important writers.

    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
  11. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.



    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
  12. An introduction to literature: fiction and poetry
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online literature course explores poetry and prose, with a selection of poetry from the 19th and 20th centuries. Poets include Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Bronte, Gillian Clarke, Sophie Hannah and Simon Armitage. For the prose, we will read and discuss The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West and The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  13. Russian and Eastern European poetry: a survey
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A guided tour of the personalities and achievements of the extraordinary constellation of poets that emerged during the Soviet century and its aftermath, including Akhmatova, Pasternak, Mayakovsky and their contemporaries, Milosz, Szymborska, Herbert and Anna Swir (Poland), Popa (Serbia), Holub (Czech Republic), Sorescu, Mircea Ivanescu and Nina Cassian (Romania), and others.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  14. "Beyond Love and Beyond Reason": Love's Labour's Lost, All's Well That Ends Well, Pericles and The Winter's Tale
    Course Date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    An exploration of four plays, in which Shakespeare (and at least one collaborator) presents and interrogates the uses and abuses, the fantasies and the profundities, of love in various extreme contexts. Although these texts are rarely at the forefront of Shakespearean criticism, they richly repay detailed study, especially in an era when sexual relations and definitions are in a state of considerable flux.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £429.00 Senior fee £343.00 Concession £262.00
  15. New nature writing in fiction and poetry
    Course Date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online literature course explores the fiction and poetry that has emerged from a new type of nature writing in the UK. Tracing back its origins to antecedents like Seamus Heaney, who weaved stories of the politics of Northern Ireland into personal encounters with local nature, and W.G. Sebald, whose long semi-fictional nature walks took in natural phenomena, history, and emotional connection, we explore a number of contemporary novels, poetry and memoir by Heaney, Sebald, Alice Oswald, Helen Macdonald. Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Kathleen Jamia and Naomi Booth.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00

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