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.

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, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online 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.

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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. Advanced autobiographical writing
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    A supportive workshop for more experienced writers of autobiography who are ready to push their practice, explore new techniques and further develop their authorial voice.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. City Lit reading group 2
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'The Harlem Shuffle' by Colson Whitehead. Monthly meetings take place on 30 Sept, 4 Nov, 09 Dec; 27 Jan, 3 March, 31 March, 5 May, 2 June and 7 July.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  4. Friday lates: the East India Company and the passion for chintz
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Explore the story of how Indian painted and printed cottons became an important trade commodity for the Western domestic market, and the far-reaching impact of their design and manufacture.



    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:
    100% of 100
  5. Latin American Literary Classics
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    From Mexico to Patagonia, Latin America has produced some of the most spellbinding literature of the modern age. From dictatorship and death to national identity and the natural world, join us as we investigate the cultural heritage of the continent through some its most famous writers. Includes Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Sabato, Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  6. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Westcott
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £55.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  8. Reading for writers: the short story (a fortnightly course)
    Last Few Places, ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    The best way to write good short stories is to read a lot of good ones first. Dive into the best of short fiction, explore point-of-view, character and pacing, and begin to apply the lessons learnt to your own writing in this fortnightly course.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Masters of Cinema: Paolo Sorrentino
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    “Everything's important in a film, not just the shots. Even the sound man's mood or the quality of the catering.” Explore the virtuosic, melancholic cinema of Paolo Sorrentino from his early hypnotic and claustrophobic The Consequences of Love (2004) through his grandiose award winning The Great Beauty (2013) to his most personal and recent work, The Hand of God (2021).



    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
  10. Ways into creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022 (and 14 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    Want to have a go at creative writing in a supportive environment? Join one of these introductory courses. Guided exercises will give you the tools to explore language creatively and find your own writing voice.



    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 £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  11. What makes a masterpiece
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Look at works of art in the Western canon and ask why we consider them to be masterpieces. What formal qualities do they all share, if any, or is our interpretation of a masterpiece largely subjective?



    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 £142.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  12. From the Holy Roman Empire to the unification of Germany (the Middle Ages to 1871)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    The course offers a broad survey of the German lands over the centuries from the Middle Ages to the Unification of



    Germany in 1871.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. 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
  14. National Gallery
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Get to know the National Gallery. Discuss a differently themed group of paintings each week in front of the pictures. An opportunity to understand our national collection in greater depth.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  15. History reading group: political biographies
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Zoe Quinn
    Through discussion of selected biographies we will explore in depth key individuals in world history , their legacy and the era in which they lived.The first class will discuss The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher and the End of the Cold War by Archie Brown (2022). As the edition is fairly recent, the cheapest version I have found (at the moment of writing this- 20/4/22) is on kindle.



    NOTE: This course consists of four sessions on the following dates:4/10/22, 29/11/22, 17/1/23 & 7/3/23.



    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 £35.00

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