History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

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 online now.

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  1. City Lit gift vouchers- the perfect gift
    Looking for that perfect present? Treat someone to the gift of learning with a course at City Lit. Available from £10, our gift vouchers can be used to book a place on any of our courses, from London walks and food tasting to museum visits, poetry and much more. Simply purchase your voucher and the recipient can choose from thousands of courses, at a time which suits them.
    From £10.00
  2. Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs: an introduction for complete beginners
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 7 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This four-week course uses British Museum objects related to ancient Egypt to provide a foundation in the writing of hieroglyphs. The class will be held online.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  3. Writing myths: a taster
    Last Few Places Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 8 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Whether you want to write about mythical beasts in a modern-day setting or pen a traditional epic quest, this fun, interactive taster will equip you with the craft basics to write a myth that will move and inspire.

    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
    Rating:
    70% of 100
  4. Restoration London
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 8 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover what London was like during the reign of the Merry Monarch Charles II (1660-85) with the reopening of taverns and theatres after years of austerity, closely followed by Plague and the Great Fire.

    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 £30.00
  5. Dante’s Divine Comedy: an introduction
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 8 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Divine Comedy is an imaginary journey through the three realms of the afterlife. It's a fascinating compendium of life in 14th century Italy, but Dante's ability to depict humanity in all its aspects is timelss and has fascinated readers ever since.

    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. Writing and rewriting fairytales
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 8 May 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Once upon a time there was a City Lit workshop led by a romance author who loved fairytales. Her quest: to inspire writers to pen stories of love, fear, forests, revenge, dragons, witches, kings, queens, frogs and magic.

    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
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  7. Picture book writing
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 8 May 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories. Develop both your ideas and your technique.

    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  8. Documentary Thrillers: a new genre
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Documentaries can be every bit as entertaining and suspenseful as a Hitchcock thriller. What happens next, whose side are we on? The Insider and Dark Waters are suspense films based on shocking historical events but recent documentaries Touching the Void and Searching for Sugar Man are equally gripping thrillers. For Sama is a documentary and Capernaum a fiction film but both share the neorealism of Bicycle Thieves.

    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 £159.00 Concession £97.00
  9. Fictionalising Childhood: an introduction to children's literature
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce and examine a range of fictional texts in an exploration of representations of childhood and pertinent themes like journeys, home, and identity. Reading books from the First Golden Age (Victorian to Early Twentieth Century), including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to contemporary works (Harry Potter), we will consider how literary narratives respond to cultural debates that construct childhood identity as a site of innocence.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00
  10. Politics, society and culture in Weimar Germany (1918-1933)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course looks at the Weimar republic established in Germany in 1918, its achievements, the problems it faced and why these led to the rise of the Nazis and end of democracy in inter-war Germany.

    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 £66.00
  11. Film detection and the American City
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    From Spade and Marlowe to Harry Callaghan and Popeye Doyle, the American city offers the gritty and protean terrain that endangers and protects the modern detective. This class will explore a range of classic American detective films, examining the development of genre and setting from the 1940s to the 1980s.

    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 £97.00
  12. Exploring Medieval literature: The Canterbury Tales
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Pilgrimage, religion, social mores and foibles, exuberant women, drunk millers with a penchant for bashing down doors with his head! Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are brilliant examples of Middle English writing. The range of characters, diverse plotlines, energy and playfulness all offer a fine insight into 14th Century England.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00
  13. Poetry from the edge
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Some modern poets began their writing lives, and sometimes lived much of them, outside the 'normal' modern urban lives which most of us experience. They have lived at the margins and despite - or perhaps because of - their geographic, political or emotional isolation, they have become major poets. We will look at how each has achieved national and international success with their poetry.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £127.00
  14. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  15. ‘Goodbye to all that’: politics, culture and society in Britain, 1970-1979
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This decade shaped late 20th century Britain. The course explores its significant political/economic challenges, major industrial disputes and fierce debates over EEC accession/devolution. Also explored are1970s culture (‘serious’ and ‘popular’) and wider social changes.

    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 £70.00

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