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. Autofiction: novels from life
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Life stories or novels? In recent years the term ‘autofiction’ has described the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life. This course reads a selection of fascinating novels which experiment to combine memoir, personal experience and invention. We’ll explore different styles of autofiction, ideas about this tricky and controversial category of writing, and our own responses to it as readers. We will think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that autofiction raises.



    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
  2. Focus on: David Hockney
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 10 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In 2011 David Hockney was voted most influential British artist of all time in a poll of over 1000 artists. Explore how Hockney’s career as painter, photographer and writer has evolved over six decades.



    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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
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  3. The Wind in Film
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 24 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will go on a journey exploring a variety of cinematic expressions of wind in film: From silent cinema, disaster films, to nature documentaries, surrealist and art house films: Including Joris Ivens, Jean Epstein, Victor Sjostrom, and Bela Tarr. We will consider filmmaking techniques to express and render visible this invisible force through editing, soundtrack, and camera shots.



    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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
  4. Self-publishing: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 24 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £28.00
  5. Russian Art: from the Revolution to Putin's Presidency
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Study the developments in Russian art from the 1917 Revolution to the present day in this weekend art history course.



    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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
  6. Masters of cinema: "The movie brats"
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 31 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A restless generation took Hollywood by storm in the 1970s, reflecting the climate of the country. The freewheeling styles of Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, De Palma and Lucas would have a lasting impact on American filmmaking. These ‘movie brats’ were the first directors to come straight from college. Join us to investigate the 'New Hollywood'.



    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. The Art of the Essay: women essayists and the bending of genre
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through a variety of women essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between memoir, confession, nature writing, elegy, sermon, polemic and mystical/religious experience through key women essayists including Virginia Woolf, Simone Weil, Audre Lorde, Clarice Lispector, Kathleen Jamie, Anne Carson, and Claudia Rankine.



    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. The European city in contemporary literature
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Reading our way through Paris, Madrid and Berlin, in this course we’ll be taking in some of the standout works of urban literature to have been written since 2000: texts that tell us about places, identities and contemporary life, and which prompt us to question how we think about, inhabit and visit cities.



    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. Philosophy for the guilty
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What can philosophy offer us once we have transgressed, fallen or sinned? You could say that philosophy only truly comes alive to us once we have betrayed our own values. Only then are we ready for philosophy's interrogation.



    This course may include content that some learners may find of a sensitive or challenging nature.



    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
  10. Disney: film theory and high art
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 6 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Walt Disney Animation is not just entertainment for children. Film theorist Sergei Eisenstein was very interested in what animation could do to film’s form and meaning. Equally, Salvador Dali worked with Walt Disney on a surrealist film. This course will explore the many artistic influences on the Walt Disney Company in 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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  11. Sofia Coppola - the cinema of liminality
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 13 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this online film course we will deconstruct the complete filmography of American director Sofia Coppola, and the way in which her ambient sound design, muted colour palettes, and pared-down framing communicate remoteness, ambivalence, indulgence, and solitude.



    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
  12. Writing eco-poetry: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 13 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How might poets write about the natural world in 2021 and beyond, 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 £28.00
  13. An introduction to Japanese Anime: history, genres and authors
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is anime? What are the artistic and narrative features that make these films so instantly recognizable? This two-day online film course will provide an overview of the history of Japanese animation cinema, its inextricable links with manga and its multi-faceted and varied productions that range from children’s films to genres such as cyberpunk and yaoi. During the course, we will watch and discuss clips from a variety of production companies and directors, such as Haya Miyazaki, the Studio Ghibli and Katsuhiro Otomo.



    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
  14. Masters of Cinema: Vittorio De Sica
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Matinee idol; pioneer of Italian neo-realism; popular international director; Vittorio De Sica was a man of many parts. From The Bicycle Thieves to his work with Sophia Loren, De Sica brought Italian people and society to the world stage.



    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. Masters of Cinema: Douglas Sirk and subversive melodrama
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online film studies course will explore the work of the Hollywood director Douglas Sirk, most famous for his 1950s Hollywood melodramas Magnificent Obsession (1954), All that Heaven Allows (1955), Written on the Wind (1956) and Imitation of Life (1959). The course will consider the films of this intensely productive period in some detail but it will also explore the film melodrama more broadly, considering its history, development and its critical significance. The course will consider Sirk’s status as a master filmmaker by exploring his entire career and it will examine the lasting influence and legacy of his films.



    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

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