Contemporary Culture Courses in London

Explore contemporary culture today through City Lit's diverse range of short and long courses in Literature , Film studies , Art history , Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Our short and long courses are available online daytime, evening and weekend, inviting you to join a community of learners exploring culture in our times.

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  1. Writing from Life: from Maggie O'Farrell to Ocean Vuong
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    What do we want and expect from ‘life stories’? How does this change when we read memoirs and novels? This course reads a selection of fascinating books and extracts, which experiment to combine memoir, personal experience and invention in different ways. As well as memoirs we’ll study ‘autofiction’ – a relatively new description for the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life – and consider ideas about this tricky and at times controversial category of writing. We’ll think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that ‘writing from life’ raises, including privacy, a right of reply, and factors that may affect a work’s critical reception.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  2. The Legacy of Lord Reith: The BBC and Public Service Broadcasting
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Rixon
    This two-week course explores John Reith’s role in helping to set up the British Broadcasting Company (1922) and its transformation into the British Broadcasting Corporation (1927) as well as his ideas relating to what contribution broadcasting should make to national life. We will reflect on how influential his ideas of public service have been for British Broadcasting, as well as other national systems around the world, and how important they might still be in the digital age.



    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 £38.00
  3. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. Avant-garde women: art innovations of the 20th & 21st centuries
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Discover the work of prominent modern and contemporary women artists from the early twentieth century to the present, looking at the political and social transformations reflected in the artworks.



    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 £179.00 Concession £116.00
  5. Art history taster
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Oct 2022 (and 15 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Curious about art history? Join us for this taster session where we explore different ways into visual art and its histories, from the ancient to the contemporary.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. Friday lates: psychogeography: the art of getting lost
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    From pub crawls to punk rock, via comic books, action painting and Hegelian philosophy; hear the unlikely tale of the Situationists: international artist-revolutionaries who tried to change the world itself into a work of art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  7. Self-publishing: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Helen Cox
    Want to keep full creative control of your writing project? Learn more about self-publishing and how to give your book (poetry, fiction or non-fiction) the best chance of achieving high sales.



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Introduction to contemporary classical music
    Course start date:  Mon 31 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene
    Discover key works of contemporary classical music, considering how they function as artworks and also the political and social context in which they were written.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Ways into Advanced Film Studies: Film Aesthetics
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Have you wondered why a film might have moved you so powerfully or why it looked so stunningly beautiful? Have you wanted to know quite how a film was able to communicate its story to you so effectively? If so, then this advanced level film studies course is for you. It aims to explore in depth the language of cinema, the way in which film connects with its spectators at the level of film form, in other words, film aesthetics. Writers and critics have long asked similar questions, as have filmmakers themselves, and we will follow some of the most celebrated in their quest for answers. We will look briefly at how films are made and at the importance of cinematography, editing, mise en scène and sound, before exploring in depth film’s aesthetic qualities. We will think about the importance of history for the development of film form and we will analyse clips and sequences from individual films so as to better approach and understand film aesthetics.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Art in theory: What is creativity?
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ian Tucknott
    This critical studies course for developing artists and makers explores the concept of creativity and what it means to be an artist, drawing on a range of cultural theories and work by creative practitioners to help inspire and enhance creative and critical thinking.



    NB. This course will have a break week on 11 November.



    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 £111.00
  11. Feminism in modern and contemporary art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Discover important modern and contemporary artists whose work can be broadly linked to the feminist project. We will discuss the political and social contexts in which the artworks were created.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  12. The ocean in contemporary art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Francesca Curtis
    Explore how contemporary artists are responding to ecological issues within the ocean today. From the Venice Biennale to Olafur Eliasson this online, art history course introduces key concepts related to art and ecology.



    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 £45.00
  13. Twenty-four modern & contemporary artists you should know
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 8 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Marie-Anne Mancio
    Look in depth at four artists a week across a series of themes from alienation to post-conceptualism. What links can be made between artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and where is art heading?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Friday lates: art and alchemy: from the ancient to today
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 11 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Delve into a magical world of hidden secrets and bizarre symbolism as we distil the heady mix that is art and alchemy; from early manuscripts and renaissance paintings, to the surrealists and contemporary art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  15. Writing eco-poetry: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Nov 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Westcott
    How might poets write about the natural world today, and what is an eco-poem?



    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 £35.00

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