History, culture & writing - Off Site - Online

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. Velázquez, painter to the King
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 24 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Stuart-Smith
    Investigate the work of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez, including enigmatic paintings such as Las Meninas (1656), and learn about how his art relates to his political role as court painter to Philip IV.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  2. Creative writing for social media
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 25 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Homan Yousofi
    In this new course we will scroll through short-form creative writing approaches, and bring together words, images, found sounds, mixed-media, cut-up and other techniques to publish writing on social media. This course is open to both new and experienced writers.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £19.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Picture book writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 21 Jan 2024 (and 5 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    Would 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.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  4. A star is born: the birth of Hollywood stardom
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann-Marie Fleming
    Once cinema began to develop, Hollywood began to promote stardom. Starting with Florence Lawrence, the industry began to capitalise on star personalities and encourage fandom. This course will examine how the Hollywood star system began and evolved. The course will begin by examining the ‘picture personality’ in 1912 through to the collapse of the traditional star system in the 1960s.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  5. Public enemies, screen heroes: the gangster film
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 3 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Although primarily associated with American cinema, the gangster film is also a major genre in British and French cinema. Explore gangster cinema in each of these three production contexts, looking at themes such as the representation of the gangster, violence, masculinity and style - particular that of the film noir - while considering the ways in which it has evolved at key historical moments.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  6. Writing and rewriting fairytales
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 3 Mar 2024 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Victoria M. Adams
    Once upon a time there was a City Lit workshop all about writing fairytales. The quest: to inspire writers to pen stories of love, fear, forests, revenge, dragons, witches, kings, queens, frogs and magic.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  7. The art of burial
    Last Few Places, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 10 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Explore the V&A’s collections and discover amazing objects associated with burial practices in world faiths from ancient Chinese and Buddhist burial practices, to more recent objects associated with Christianity and Islam,



    NB: This course will take place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  8. Modern African history: understanding the state and economy since independence
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ingrid Aguiar Schlindwein
    Explore post-colonial Africa's political, economic, and social journey since independence. Gain insights into state building, governance, development, and identity, fostering a holistic understanding of Africa's evolution.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00
  9. Focus on: iconography
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 17 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Ever wondered whether there’s a hidden meaning behind paintings? Discover why there are signs and symbols in paintings and how to find and interpret their meanings in medieval and Renaissance art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Melodrama, fantasy and realism: British cinema in the 1940s
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 17 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    The 1940s saw major developments in British films and filmmaking matched by record numbers of cinema-goers and lively critical debate. Explore this 'golden age' of British cinema through films such as Millions Like Us, Brief Encounter and The Red Shoes, and themes including national cinema, realism, melodrama and fantasy, while assessing its critical reception and impact on British film culture.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00
  11. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  12. Write a short story in a weekend
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. You'll be introduced to some key fiction writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end. Suitable for beginners who are comfortable learning at a fast pace. Includes a 2-hour break (12:30-14:30) each day.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
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