History, culture & writing

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 long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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  1. Irish history and identity 5: American and European Influences in the Modern Era
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Colm Hickey
    Although inextricably linked to Britain, Ireland’s history, identity, and nationhood has equally been shaped by its relationship with Europe. This course traces Ireland’s the influence of European and American



    politics.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  2. Makers not muses: Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar and Isabel Rawsthorne
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore the work of three radical artists whose work and practice defied convention in modern art from the 1920s to 1960s. Discover how each artist challenged and transcended society’s expectations of being a ‘muse’ by living freely and making art in a variety of media, from painting and sculpture to collage, photography and performance.



    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 £45.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Cultureplex ciné-club 2
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club 2, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the academic



    year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.







    Please note that this course will screen a new and different set of films to HF211 Cultureplex Cine-Club, which will run with the same films screened last year. If you took the Cultureplex Cine-Club course last year (2023-4), please ensure that you take the Cultureplex Cine-Club 2 courses this year.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  4. Britain and France in the Hitler years
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Alison Appleby
    This course will explore how Britain and France reacted to the rise of Hitler and how the Nazi dictatorship led to strife between former allies, but eventual partnership and triumph.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
  5. An introduction to paradox
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    A paradox is an apparently absurd conclusion derived from seemingly uncontroversial premises through supposedly valid reasoning. This course will introduce you to six major philosophical paradoxes and some of the attempts to solve them.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  6. The merry monarch: Charles II & the Restoration era
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Join us for a six-week course to explore politics, society, religion and culture during the Stuart Restoration era, with reference to the reign of the ‘Merry Monarch’ Charles II (1660 – 1685) and the succession crisis that followed his death in 1685.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £97.00
  7. Art of the Northern Renaissance
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Discover the exquisite art of the Northern Renaissance through the work of its most innovative artists, including Albrecht Dürer, Rogier van der Weyden, Jan van Eyck, Grünewald, Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Creative non-fiction
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
  9. Cultureplex ciné-club
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks, we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
  10. Humanity and agriculture - the Neolithic revolution
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Simone Chisena
    Discover how, from the depths of prehistory, our species turned from nomadic hunter gatherers to stable, town-dwelling farmers across the Mediterranean and Europe.



    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 £97.00
  11. Women in ancient Rome
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  William Sterling
    Women's position in the Ancient Roman world was important as they played important roles in the home, in business, in religion and even in politics.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. Italian cinema: from Neorealism to the genre film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    This cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  13. A day in the life of the everyday: the twentieth century circadian novel: Mrs. Dalloway, One Fine Day, The Hours
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Stevens
    Novels that fit all their action into just one day (‘circadian novels’) have been penned by some of literature’s most esteemed authors. This course focuses on three novels which use the one-day structure to tell their stories: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), Mollie Pater-Downes’s One Fine Day (1947), and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours (1999). It explores how they portray the inner life of characters, at the same time as engaging with broader social issues of the time.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  14. Friday lates: art and maps
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Maps have a long and fascinating history, yet it was really the 20th Century that saw them come alive as an artistic medium, as artists turned to them to explore their place in a disoriented world. Discover the many ways artists have worked with maps, from Surrealism through to Digital Media.



    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
    Rating:
    80% of 100
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