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.
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- Art and society in the early modern NetherlandsCourse start date: Mon 5 Jun 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Thomas BalfeThis course focuses on Flemish and Dutch (Netherlandish) art of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The course will examine well-known artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Rembrandt and Vermeer, as well as the role of artworks and visual images in the formation of religious, class, gender and national identities, in early science, and in cultures of collecting.Full fee £139.00
- 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 £109.00
- Symbols and stories: saints in artCourse start date: Tue 20 Jun 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Elizabeth EyresSaints are represented in masterpieces of Christian art from 1200 to the present – learn how to recognise them, decode their meanings and iconography and enhance your understanding of this aspect of art history. This course includes a gallery visit.Full fee £139.00
- Writing for magazinesCourse start date: Wed 3 May 2023 (and 8 other dates)
Location on this date: OnlineTutors: Phyllis RichardsonGet inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.Full fee £129.00
- Joyce before Ulysses: from Dubliners to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManCourse start date: Tue 19 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Niall CulliganJoyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses changed the way literature has been written—and written about—ever since. But it is impossible to fully understand this masterpiece without first appreciating Joyce’s earlier works that led up to it. Many characters in Ulysses first appear in the 1914 collection of short stories, Dubliners, or the 1916 autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Indeed, A Portrait specifically follows the early years of Stephen Dedalus, one of the three main characters of Ulysses. Whether you’ve already read Ulysses or are hoping to muster up the courage to do so, this course will provide you with the perfect foundation to approach Joyce anew.Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
- How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinemaCourse start date: Mon 15 May 2023 (and 4 other dates)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Paul SuttonThis course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.Full fee £139.00
- Art in Britain 1950-2000 - 'This is Tomorrow' (Part 1)Course start date: Thu 21 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Chantal CondronDiscover the work of selected British artists whose innovative practice shaped the development of modern art in Britain from the 1950s to the 1970s. Explore how and why the ideas and themes behind their work continue to be relevant to today’s audiences.Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
- Crime fiction past and presentCourse start date: Tue 26 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Kate WilkinsonWhy do we read crime fiction, and what are we looking for? How has its appeal changed over time, and why? This course focuses on crime fiction from its nineteenth-century beginnings to the present day. Come to explore its attractions and learn about its development, studying a selection of classic authors and contemporary writers including Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith and Gillian Flynn.Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £97.00
- British literature of the 1930s: under the shadow of warCourse start date: Tue 26 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Lewis WardIn these troubled times, we often hear that we are ‘going back to the 1930s’. But what was it like the first time round? Find out through essential writings by George Orwell, W.H. Auden, Virginia Woolf, Stevie Smith and more.Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £97.00
- City Lit reading group 1Course start date: Fri 23 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Kate WilkinsonShare thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session on Friday 23 September with suggestions (English-language contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read Open Water (2021) by Caleb Azumah Nelson. Monthly meetings on 23 Sept; 28 Oct, 2 Dec; 20 Jan, 24 Feb, 24 March; 28 April; 26 May; 30 June.Full fee £189.00
- The art of the Burgundian Netherlands c. 1360-1480Course start date: Tue 17 Oct 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Julia MusgraveExplore how the extravagant lifestyle of the Burgundian court provided opportunities for an opulent Burgundian style to be developed and disseminated across Europe in the late middle ages and into the renaissance.Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
- The mirror of nature: art and culture in the 17th centuryCourse start date: Wed 18 Oct 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Leslie PrimoThe 17th century produced some of the greatest artists of all time: Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Bernini to name but a few. Explore the work of these key artists and understand the history, styles and ideas that shaped the century.Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
- Themes in British politicsCourse start date: Mon 30 Oct 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Christian SchneeWant to look beyond the personal politics and Brexit and explore current British politics? Join Dr. Christian Schnee to discuss British politics in our time.Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
- European architecture in the Middle Ages 800-1500Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
- Irish history & identity 2 : From the coming of the English invasion in 1169 to the Coronation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland in 1541.Course start date: Thu 9 Nov 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Colm HickeyAlthough inextricably linked to Britain, Ireland’s history, identity, and nationhood has equally been shaped by its relationship with Europe. This course traces Ireland’s development from the coming of the English invasion in 1169 to the Coronation of Henry V111 as King of Ireland in 1541.Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
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