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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- The 60 minute writerCourse start date: Fri 29 Sep 2023 (and 9 other dates)
Location on this date: OnlineTutors: Tasha KavanaghFit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
- Archaeology of LondonCourse start date: Mon 8 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Jill HummerstoneExplore the archaeology and history of London through its cultural monuments, topography and material remains to more fully appreciate the rich archaeological evidence of the capital.
Tutor: Jill Hummerstone. Tutor :Jill Hummerstone.
- Contemporary cinema: the best films of the yearCourse start date: Mon 8 Jan 2024 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: John WischmeyerThis course on contemporary/current cinema crucially coincides with the wide variety of films released during Bafta/Oscars awards season. It provides a weekly ‘what’s on’ of new releases. The first session is a wide-ranging discussion and debate about favourite films of the past year, from which emerges a definitive student list of best films, modified as we view and review current films week-by-week. This course is now more timely than ever as we continue to support cinema-going. The course meets in City Lit’s own Cultureplex cinema at Keeley Street.
- Modern political philosophy: ideas and ideologies in the 21st centuryCourse start date: Mon 8 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Christopher HornerWhat are the key philosophical ideas behind the issues and debates of today? This is an opportunity to explore in more depth the concepts and ideologies that are shaping the politics of the 21st century.
- Being in the world: Heidegger's philosophyCourse start date: Mon 8 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: John Goff“The being of 'being' is itself not a being”. Questioning the meaning of ‘Being’ lies at the root of Heidegger’s critique of the ‘crisis’ of Western culture that his philosophy sought to overcome.
- Understanding the modern worldCourse start date: Tue 9 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Christopher HornerExplore the ideas of four key thinkers whose ideas have vitally shaped our world. Examine their views on morality, meaning, the role and status of women, human nature, political and economic injustice and much more.
- Cultureplex ciné-clubCourse start date: Thu 21 Sep 2023 (and 2 other dates)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Paul SuttonCome and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the academic year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, 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 £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
- Philosophy and cultural theoryCourse start date: Fri 12 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Barrie SelwynWe will look the philosophical underpinnings of culture through the writings of key philosophers who engage critically with the self images of the post enlightenment era. In particular we well look at Ideology, language and art in the context of cultural reproduction.
- Key texts of 20th and 21st century drama: George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter and Lucy PrebbleCourse start date: Mon 15 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Jenny StevensThis course will explore the concerns, styles and influences of four dramatic texts from the 20th and 21st centuries and how they reflect the social, political and cultural conditions in which they were written. It focuses primarily on G.B. Shaw’s Mrs Warren’s Profession, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, and Lucy Prebble’s Enron, making multiple connections between them as the course progresses.Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
- Existentialism and the artsCourse start date: Mon 22 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: John GoffExistentialist themes of anxiety, anguish, dread, freedom, melancholy, loneliness, death and absurdity pervade the arts from the era of Romanticism onwards. What is the cultural significance and consequence of giving expression to such concerns?
NB: no classes on 6th and 27th May.
- The alternative greatest films ever: The Sight & Sound and student pollCourse start date: Mon 22 Apr 2024 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: John WischmeyerThis is a stand-alone companion course to the Autumn ’23 course on the Sight and Sound Poll of the Greatest Films of All Time. The first reactions to the Sight and Sound Poll 2022 were divisive, as completely expected, when certain 21st-century films made the list and other venerated classics were dropped (see topics below for the list). As interesting as the top 100 was to discuss, we wanted to look a bit deeper to see how the reception of certain films shifted over the last decade, with a rundown of the films that were added and those removed. Be assured, they are as enjoyable as the Top 100—perhaps even more so. In addition to viewing the films that were added or dropped, students will conduct their own poll of the Greatest Films of All Time. Enjoy either or both of these complementary courses.Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £116.00
- German Idealism from Kant to Hegel: the beginnings of continental philosophyCourse start date: Tue 23 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Christopher HornerGerman philosophers created the most ambitious and imaginative systems of thought of modern times against the backdrop of revolution and war. This creative and speculative beginning to modern continental philosophy is an exciting intellectual adventure.
- 'A terrible beauty is born': poetry in revolutionary timesCourse start date: Mon 13 May 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Laurie SmithIs W H Auden right that “poetry makes nothing happen”? We look at how poets have helped people to understand, cope with and sometimes resist oppression in revolutionary periods from the late18th century to the present.Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
- Phenomenology: an introductionCourse start date: Mon 18 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: John GoffPhenomenology, one of the most influential approaches in contemporary philosophy, asks: how do we constitute experienced reality? Following Husserl and Heidegger, phenomenologists try to understand what it means, if anything, to be in the world.
- The greatest films of all time: Sight & Sound 2022 pollCourse start date: Mon 25 Sep 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: John WischmeyerWhat makes a great film? Who made it great? And who decides if it’s great? Every decade since 1952 Sight and Sound magazine has published a critics’ poll of the 100 greatest films ever made—cinema’s most influential works, as well as modern masterpieces which found immediate acclaim. This course analyses the poll and views the films and asks what makes a masterpiece? The course will also examine various means of critical analysis, including genre, authorship and spectatorship.Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
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