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. The East End in Fact and Fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 28 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    Covering the early 19th century to the early 20th century, we will examine the East End and analyse how it was portrayed in works of fiction, thinking about how imaginative fiction and historical fact intertwine to create local legend.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  2. Masters of cinema: Paolo Sorrentino
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Paolo Sorrentino has been described as ‘the most promising Italian director of his generation’. This one-day course will explore the cinema of this Neapolitan filmmaker renowned for his ‘commitment to style’. We will look at a number of his films as well as his television work, and examine some of the themes that he has returned to throughout his career, for example, power, nostalgia and solitude. We will also consider his Sorrentino’s relationship with figures such as the cinematographer Luca Bigazzi and the actor Toni Servillo, both of whom have collaborated frequently with the director. So, join us in City Lit’s Cultureplex screening space for day-long immersion into the beautifully stylish cinematic world of Paolo Sorrentino.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  3. Literary werewolves and vampires
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    On this short course we will explore the way in which authors in the nineteenth century created and shaped what we write and think about vampires and werewolves today. We will read extracts from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla alongside various short stories, penny dreadfuls, and news articles from the period.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  4. Fifties film noir: Kiss me Deadly
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Film Noir was the term coined by French critics to describe a distinctive style in American cinema during the decade after the war. In the transitional 1950s, genres that had been Hollywood staples began to change, evolve, or fade away. Film Noir evolved because it was too vital, too useful, and just too enjoyable to fade away. Just as John Huston’s Maltese Falcon (1941) kick-started film noir in the forties, his Asphalt Jungle (1950) introduced a darker fifties’ noir. Or did noir begin and end with Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) and Touch of Evil (1958)? ((See related courses on Fifties Melodrama and Musicals and 50 Films From the ‘50s: Hollywood’s Last Stand).
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  5. Deciphering the Rosetta Stone
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugo Cook
    200 years after one of history’s most famous puzzles was deciphered, tour around the British Museum’s new Decipherment exhibition and learn how the mystery of Hieroglyphs was unravelled with the Rosetta Stone, with other archaeological clues, and with a bit of genius.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  6. Londinium (Roman London 47-457 CE)
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jill Hummerstone
    A look through archaeology at the spectacular rise and fall of Londinium from c. AD 47 to its abandonment in c. AD 457. Includes an introductory lecture, and a guided city walk.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £51.00
  7. Screening the vampire: from Nosferatu (1922) to Renfield (2023)
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922) is acknowledged as one of the all-time greats of cinema, expressing as one critic describes it, the ‘poetry of fear’ and as one of the first feature length vampire films it’s influence, and legacy has been widely felt. Chris McKay’s Renfield (2023), comes just over one hundred years after Nosferatu and marks one of the most recent instalments in a genre that continues to renew itself for each generation of film viewers. Exploring a range of key vampire films from across this century of cinema, this course will explore why the vampire film remains such a popular sub-genre of the horror film and it will consider why it continues to exercise such power over its spectators.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
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