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

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    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
  2. Ghosts, witches and uncanny doubles in feminist historical fiction: Sarah Waters’ Affinity, Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate and Rosie Garland’s The Night Brother
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Discuss Sarah Waters’ Affinity, Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate, and Rosie Garland’s The Night Brother, their treatment of sexuality and gender, and their representation of Gothic motifs relating to the supernatural.



    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 £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  3. 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

    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
  4. 'A terrible beauty is born': poetry in revolutionary times
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Is Auden right that “poetry makes nothing happen”? We look at how poets have helped people to understand, cope



    with and sometimes resist oppression in revolutionary periods from the late 18th century to the present.



    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 £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £134.00
  5. In my end is my beginning: the meaning & potential of growing old
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    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
  6. Rulfo, Borges and Marquez: masters of Latin American storytelling
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We explore the main short stories from Borges' 'Labyrinths' (1962), together with Marquez's novella 'No one writes to the Colonel' (1961) and Rulfo's novel 'Pedro Páramo' (1955), investigating their unique approach to storytelling that shows the diverse and complex cultural and social context they originate from.



    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. Poetry of the 30s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

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

    Location on this date:  Online

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

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    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
  10. Ulysses Sampler: the first four chapters
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first four chapters of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  11. The Art of the Essay: film and literary crossovers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    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
  12. Beasts and Superbeasts: the short fictions of Saki
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    We will explore how this gay Edwardian man, writing in the aftermath of the Wilde trials, extended the short story genre to write darkly humorous fictions which are still admired. We will consider the nature of Saki’s satire and whether this is related to his sexuality.



    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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  13. Modernist Outsiders
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 7 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Kafka, Beckett, Pessoa, Schulz, Walser, Lispector: what does it mean to be a literary outsider, socially, intellectually, geographically? How does such a condition affect the quality of your imagining, your ability to build and sustain a personal vision that is at the same time sufficiently responsive to the concerns of the world around you?



    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 £69.00 Concession £42.00
  14. City Lit reading group (online)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first



    online session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 15/10, 19/11/21, 04/02, 04/03/22.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00

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