Culture, history & humanities - Keeley Street

Explore Culture, History & Humanities Courses

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. Contemporary British and international fiction
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    We explore a brief and careful selection of recent novels in English, considering aspects of literature and the lives of writers, examining the contemporary perspective from which we reread and reinterpret classic texts to bridge the gap between past and present. Writers include Edward St Aubyn, Kathy O’Shaughnessy, Hari Kunzru, Malaysian novelist Tan Twan Eng, and British-Palestinian Isabella Hammad.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £162.00
  2. Cultureplex Ciné-Club: women directors and their wonderlands
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 25 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Katie Goss
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club: Women directors and their Wonderlands, where you will have the opportunity to view and discuss the work of innovative female filmmakers whose work generates dazzling visions of alternative modes of living and spectatorship. A development from our existing Cultureplex Ciné-Club courses and taking its cue from the famous Parisian Ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, this incarnation of the film club will allow for the viewing of a different film each week, followed by detailed discussion and debate. The film will be introduced, and 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 £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £149.00
  3. From Nonsense to the Surreal: Edward Lear to Angela Carter
    Course start date:  Wed 25 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Surrealism is one of the great developments of 20th century literature. It’s different from the fantasies of previous centuries (fairy and folk tales, imaginative stories set in remote parts of the world, satires, science fiction) because it expresses complex bizarre experiences that many people recognise as possibly part of themselves. It may reflect desires which are difficult to admit but are sometimes expressed with wit and humour. We explore how surrealism developed from the apparent nonsense of three 19th century English writers.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £162.00
  4. Africa and the Classics - the role Africa played in shaping the Classical world and our modern understanding of it
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Szerdi Nagy
    This course aims to explore the multifaceted relationship between Africa and the Classical



    world, highlighting Africa's significant contributions to the Classical world.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
  5. Art of 20th century Spain from Picasso to Almodóvar
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Jan 2025

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mark Stuart-Smith
    The course provides a general introduction to Spanish art and culture of the period, and considers the distinctive contribution made by Spanish artists to 20th-century visual culture. Explore the development of Spanish art from Impressionist Joaquin Sorolla and Picasso’s 'Guernica' to the installations of Juan Muñoz in the 1980s and the cinema of Pedro Almodóvar.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £162.00
  6. Contemporary Asian fictions
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Jan 2025

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    Discover a careful selection of novels from East and South Asia, by writers living at home and abroad, which reflect the thematic versatility and narrative innovations which are bringing readers to these novels. Ranging from large canvases to intimate portraits, the choice includes: At Dusk by Hwang Sok-Young (Korea), Mild Vertigo by Mieko Kanai (Japan), Cocoon by Zhang Yueran (Japan), Brotherless Night by V.V Ganeshanathan (Sri Lanks/US).
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £162.00
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