Culture, history & humanities - 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 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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Items 1-15 of 28

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  1. Left populism and socialism today
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Salome Ietter
    This course will provide an overview of the politics of ‘Left populism’ in their historical perspective and contemporary manifestations as well as in their relation to socialist politics.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  2. Film studies taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 14 Sep 2024 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Learn how to evaluate and discuss films while enjoying a working example of a City Lit Film Studies class. In this class we will view and explore clips from a number of films, including popular remakes, enabling us to consider and compare themes and techniques from differing filmmaking countries. There will be a chance to review – in brief – film courses at City Lit (September - December 2024).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  3. Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  4. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 13 May 2024 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This 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 £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  5. 50 films from the 50s: Hollywood's last stand
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Sep 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    The 1950s was the beginning of the end for the Hollywood studio era, a golden age in place since the 1920s. The fifties are more difficult to pin down than the 1930/40s due to explosive diversity in both subject matter and cinematic technology, the profound influence of WWII, the development of European neorealism and the first signs of the French New Wave. An emphasis on teen culture emerged, represented by the brief career of James Dean. Film stars became anti-heroes. The moguls who founded Hollywood began to disappear. The studio business model was doomed. Hollywood reacted both defensively and creatively, going for broke—and producing some of the finest and most enduring films in its history, films that transformed the culture, from Sunset Blvd. (1950) to Some Like It Hot (1959)—both by Billy Wilder. From The Asphalt Jungle (1950) to The Misfits (1961)— Marilyn Monroe’s first and final films, both directed by John Huston. From Here To Eternity (1953 Fred Zinnemann) to A Place in the Sun (1951 George Stevens, part of his American trilogy). Fifties’ films reflected a darkening America. (See related courses on Fifties Musicals, Melodrama and Film Noir).
    Full fee £289.00 Senior fee £231.00 Concession £188.00
  6. Developing your poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 16 Apr 2024 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christina Dunhill
    For those familiar with the basics of poetic form, this intermediate course explores craft and content through reading exercises, writing exercises and constructive feedback. Ideal if you have already attended 'Ways into poetry'.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. Masterclass: fiction (a one-term intensive workshop)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 28 Apr 2025 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    This intensive fiction workshop is open by selective application to a maximum of ten fiction writers working at the advanced and professional levels. You will receive rigorous constructive feedback on your novel or short story as you develop it with a view to publication, and participate in detailed tutor-led discussions on advanced elements of fictional craft. Application deadline: Sunday 30th March, 2025.
    Full fee £399.00 Senior fee £399.00 Concession £399.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  8. Memoir Fiction: Karl Ove Knausgaard, Martin Amis, Philip Roth
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lewis Ward
    We will discuss questions of memory, history and genre through readings of three fascinating examples of ‘memoir fiction’: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Death in the Family, Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, and Martin Amis’ Inside Story.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
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