History, culture & writing - OS - Off Site - BFI Southbank

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

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

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

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

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.


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  1. City Lit at the BFI: Ginger Rogers and All that Sass
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  BFI Southbank

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    George Gershwin discovered Ginger Rogers on Broadway just before she moved to 42nd Street—in Hollywood! That same year she also made Gold Diggers of 1933 and then partnered Fred Astaire. Her life and career would change forever. She helped revolutionise the music genre at RKO, then left it to become Kitty Foyle (1940 Sam Wood) and immediately won the Oscar for Best Actress before becoming Chicago’s Roxie Hart (1942 William Wellman). This 4-week BFI course, a companion to the Ginger Roger season, is less about her musicals than her determination to be a serious actor—who sometimes played a great dancer. I’m looking forward to the neorealist Primrose Path (1940) and the Warner Brothers thriller Storm Warning (1951).

    Please note that this course takes place in The Studio at the BFI Southbank.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00

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