History, culture & writing - Keeley Street

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 online and in-person learning. 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. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.


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  1. Being and beauty: the philosophy of Japanese aesthetics
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Goff
    Not something apart from everyday life but intrinsic to it, beauty in Japanese thought does not entail perfection but the surprise of imperfect and transient being.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
    96% of 100
  2. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 4 May 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00
    97% of 100
  3. Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre and Villette
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Nov 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This online Literature course focuses on two novels by Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre and Villette. We will develop an appreciation of Brontë’s narrative methods and concerns through close analysis of her language, alongside engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels, and the Brontë ‘mythology’ itself.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00
    100% of 100
  4. The beginnings of Impressionism: the Barbizon School
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Nov 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  5. Ancient cities St. Paul knew
    Course start date:  Thu 1 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Discover eight intriguing ancient cities, amazing places to visit today, but raw and turbulent in their Graeco-Roman heyday.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  6. Struggle to be heard: Rimbaud, Cavafy, Tsvetaeva, Binta Breeze
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    We look at four poets who struggled to be heard or accepted because their work was so different from what their society expected. What were the barriers they had to overcome and how did they win through to become admired and highly regarded? What made one of the poets stop writing at the age of 21 and the other three continue for the rest of their lives? What makes the poetry of all of them so original, and what can we learn from their resilience?
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £45.00
  7. Beckett and The Divine Comedy: a lifelong influence
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Explore the intimate relationship between Beckett’s universe of unbelief, presided over by a Godot who never comes, and Dante’s poem, the most exalted, vastly influential literary expression of medieval Christianity, whose presence can be felt everywhere in the Irishman’s long oeuvre, in every genre – in his plays, novels, stories, poems, essays - and at every stage of his career. What brought them together, and what were the results?
    Full fee £99.00
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