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.
- Representing nature in early modern EuropeCourse start date: Wed 14 Jun 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: OnlineTutors: Thomas BalfeExplore the links between the visual image and ideas of nature in early modernity (c.1500-1750). At this time, tools like the microscope were visualising nature in new ways, changes were afoot in how humans related to animals, and the environments of Asia and the Americas were becoming more familiar to Europeans. We will focus on how artists and skilled artisans engaged with these subjects.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.Full fee £99.00
- Picture book writingCourse start date: Sat 22 Jul 2023 (and 8 other dates)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Andrew WealeWould 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; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.Full fee £99.00
- Get together and readCourse start date: Thu 4 May 2023 (and 3 other dates)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Claire AllenEnjoy 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
- Thinking through philosophy: a guideCourse start date: Mon 23 Oct 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Christopher HornerWhat is morality and what is it based on? Is the mind a ghost in the machine?
What can I really know? This is a beginner’s introduction to how philosophy tackles questions like these and many others.Full fee £99.00
- Ways into advanced film studies: film aestheticsCourse start date: Wed 1 Nov 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Paul SuttonHave you wondered why a film might have moved you so powerfully or why it looked so stunningly beautiful? Have you wanted to know quite how a film was able to communicate its story to you so effectively? If so, then this advanced level film studies course is for you. It aims to explore in depth the language of cinema, the way in which film connects with its spectators at the level of film form, in other words, film aesthetics. Writers and critics have long asked similar questions, as have filmmakers themselves, and we will follow some of the most celebrated in their quest for answers. We will look briefly at how films are made and at the importance of cinematography, editing, mise en scène and sound, before exploring in depth film’s aesthetic qualities. We will think about the importance of history for the development of film form and we will analyse clips and sequences from individual films so as to better approach and understand film aesthetics.Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
- Ways into advanced film studies: film historyCourse start date: Tue 9 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Paul SuttonThe history of the cinema is a rich, rewarding and dynamic area of study. Cinema, because it is both an art form and an industrial product, can be studied from several different historical perspectives. These have included investigations into the history of technological development associated with cinema’s origins and its subsequent development, but historians have also explored its evolution into an art form. They have written about important individual figures or influential groups and have examined specific films in great detail. Historians have also examined the national, cultural, political and social contexts that might offer insight into the cinema at a given historical moment. They have examined the changing demographic and viewing habits of spectators and explored the mutability of cinemas themselves. With so much to consider and so many different approaches to take, the history of cinema continues to evolve. As such this advanced level film studies course will explore what it means to study film history, examine the various methodologies that one might take, while at the same time looking at relevant filmic and cinematic examples.Full fee £99.00
- Ancient cities St. Paul knewCourse start date: Thu 1 Feb 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Michael BloomfieldDiscover eight intriguing ancient cities, amazing places to visit today, but raw and turbulent in their Graeco-Roman heyday.Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £58.00
- The future of democracyCourse start date: Mon 15 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Christian SchneeWant to think about and discuss what makes and breaks a democracy? Join Dr. Christian Schnee to engage in this vital discussion.Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
- Italian cinema: from Neorealism to the genre filmCourse start date: Fri 28 Apr 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Cristina MassaccesiThis cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.Full fee £99.00
- Looking at design: Arts and Crafts to Art DecoCourse start date: Sat 6 May 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Rachel SandersStudy the design reform movements – Arts and Crafts, Aesthetic Movement, Art Nouveau and Art Deco – and analyse a wide range of products, including fashion and textiles, graphics, furniture and architecture within their social, historic and artistic context. Includes a museum visit.Full fee £139.00
- Ways into advanced film studies: film theoryCourse start date: Tue 4 Jun 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Paul SuttonThis advanced level film studies course will introduce you to a range of theoretical approaches to the study of film. It will consider some of the earliest attempts to think about film, studies that borrowed methodologies from other disciplines. As early as 1915, for example, writers were applying psychology to film analysis, exploring the emotional responses of audiences to this still new medium. Early theorists argued for film as a distinct art form, and we will examine a number of their key texts. In the 1960s, film studies began to develop as a specific subject of study in universities in the US and the UK, once again deploying perspectives from other subject areas. We will examine a number of these theories and consider their continued importance for the analysis and understanding of film today.Full fee £99.00
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