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. Portrayals of masculinity in the contemporary novel
    Evening,ONLINE
    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
  2. Poetry cooked and raw: from Emily Dickinson to the Beat Poets
    ONLINE
    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:
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  3. Asian American Literature
    ONLINE
    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
  4. The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism
    ONLINE
    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
  5. Beowulf and the origins of English Literature
    ONLINE
    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
  6. From the Land of the Rising Sun: an introduction to Japanese literature
    Evening,ONLINE
    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
  7. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening,ONLINE
    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
  8. Russian and Eastern European poetry: a survey
    ONLINE
    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
  9. An introduction to literature: fiction and poetry
    ONLINE
    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
  10. "Beyond Love and Beyond Reason": Love's Labour's Lost, All's Well That Ends Well, Pericles and The Winter's Tale
    ONLINE
    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
  11. City Lit reading group 1
    Course Date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Monthly meetings on 24 Sept; 22 Oct, 26 Nov; 14 Jan, 18 Feb, 25 March; 06 May; 10 June; 08 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.



    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 £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00
  12. New nature writing in fiction and poetry
    ONLINE
    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
  13. A Century of Surrealist Literature
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Did the world need another ‘ism’ when André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924? As a splinter movement from Dada, and borrowing its name from a term coined years before by Guillaume Apollinaire, was it even that original? We’ll explore how, despite its inauspicious origins, Surrealism grew to become one of the most influential artistic and literary styles of the 20th century.



    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. Historical fiction: reimagining the past
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 26 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What’s the unique appeal of historical fiction? Why do we read so much of it, and what are we looking for? This short online course investigates how historical novels reimagine the past for us as contemporary readers. Reading extracts from novels set in different periods, we’ll explore the pleasures and challenges of historical fiction, and how it works to bring unknown stories into view.



    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
  15. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 27 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore the themes of poverty, politics, gender and ethnicity in London at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century through the eyes of writers of fiction, but also through the testimony of their non-fiction contemporaries – social investigators, government officials, journalists and philanthropists.



    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

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