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 in-person or 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.

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 now.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. This Rough Magic: enchantment in A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    At the end of The Tempest, Prospero announces that henceforth he will abandon the “rough magic” that has enabled him to guide, trick and torment his fellow characters. Shakespeare himself used magic to wonderful effect in two of his greatest plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest. How is magic used to bestow blessings and curses, and to shape the course of the plays? And how does Shakespeare use the greatest magic of all – the power of his language – to create this enchantment?



    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 £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  2. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    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
  3. Contemporary American literature by Women
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Da Cunha Lewin
    The American canon is dominated by white, male writers. In this course, we seek to rectify this by exploring the work of women from all backgrounds working across disciplines. Authors include Joan Didion, Claudia Rankine, and Siri Hustvedt.



    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
  4. Wit, Sex and Passion: the Metaphysicals
    Course start date:  Tue 7 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    The poetry of the English 17th century - sometimes called Metaphysical poetry - is characterised by wit and wordplay that continue to delight and seduce us today. The poems of John Donne are brilliantly ingenious depictions of sexual passion, those of George Herbert are moving meditations on religious love, while Andrew Marvell in classic poems such as To His Coy Mistress treads a studiedly fine line between the art of seduction and sexual blackmail.



    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 £79.00 Concession £60.00
  5. The Art of the Essay: film and literary crossovers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dalia Neis
    What are the crossovers between the film and literary essay? Beginning with an investigation of the history of the essay as a literary genre , we will then consider the literary heritages of the film essay and travel through the essay as a hybrid, multi-medial genre ( including moving image, text, sound and everything in between) from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore a range of film/literary essayists including Claudia Rankine, Agnes Varda, Virginia Woolf, Anne Carson, Chris Marker and Arthur Jafa.



    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
  6. Judaism and Modernist Literature: from Kafka to Clarice Lispector
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  James Leveque
    This course will examine the contributions of Jewish writers in the developments of literary Modernism, from the beginning of the 20th century. We will develop an understanding of how Jewish writers deployed the techniques and themes developed in Modernist writing to approach a series of topics, such as the Jewish family and his or relation to the national body, the Jew as racialised figure and anti-semitism, and the Jewish scriptural traditions.



    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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  7. Classic drama: Aeschylus, Shakespeare and Chekhov
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    You will read view and discuss three classic plays : Aeschylus’ Eumenides from The Oresteia, Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Seagull by Chekov in terms of themes, language, their social and historical contexts and how they work as performance texts.



    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

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