History, culture & writing - Online - 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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of 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, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online 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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  1. Writing for magazines
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Get 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.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.



    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 £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Anthropology: what is anthropology?
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    This introductory online course gives you the basic tools for an elementary understanding of anthropology. We will identify methods and areas of concern that distinguish it from sociology, history and other disciplines.



    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
  4. Innovators: meet the Victorians
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    What did the Victorians do for us? Taking a different topic each week, we will explore a range of innovations in the era, from engineering, public health and industry, to crime detection and nursing.



    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
  5. Writing non-fiction for children: an introduction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Catherine Ingram
    Learn how to write children’s non-fiction on this exciting and interactive course encompassing classic fact book, biography and narrative. You will also get an opportunity to practise and get some feedback on your writing.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
  6. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    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 £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  7. 17th century England, revolution and restoration: James I and Charles I
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Explore the early Stuart dynasty, from the accession of James I in 1603, until the outbreak of Civil War during the reign of Charles I in 1642.



    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
  8. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  9. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Monthly meetings on 26 Sept, 24 Oct, 28 Nov; 16 Jan, 20 Feb, 20 March, 08 May, 12 June, and 10 July.



    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 £90.00
  10. Writing from Life: from Maggie O'Farrell to Ocean Vuong
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    What do we want and expect from ‘life stories’? How does this change when we read memoirs and novels? This course reads a selection of fascinating books and extracts, which experiment to combine memoir, personal experience and invention in different ways. As well as memoirs we’ll study ‘autofiction’ – a relatively new description for the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life – and consider ideas about this tricky and at times controversial category of writing. We’ll think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that ‘writing from life’ raises, including privacy, a right of reply, and factors that may affect a work’s critical reception.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  11. Central Africa: looking beyond the 'failed state' label
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Hilke Gudel
    What is a 'failed state'? Why is Africa seen as the graveyard of 'failed states'?Learn about why nation states fail, what can be done about it and why we should be concerned as an international community.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £55.00
  12. Reading for writers: the short story (a fortnightly course)
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    The best way to write good short stories is to read a lot of good ones first. Dive into the best of short fiction, explore point-of-view, character and pacing, and begin to apply the lessons learnt to your own writing in this fortnightly course.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Making the American World: US foreign policy from the Cold War to Biden
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jack Gain
    Follow the ascendancy of American power, from 1945 up to the Biden administration, through a history of wars, foreign interventions and “soft power”. Tutor: Jack Gain.



    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
  14. America in the 20s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    From the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance, to Prohibiton and the Depression, this online intertextual course explores the political, social and cultural context of 1920s America through a study of literature, history, music, film and art of the period. With different tutors for each specialism, the course provides a 'taster' in each subject as a gateway to further study in understanding this fascinating period in American culture and society.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  15. Ways into Advanced fiction, poetry and drama: Nineteenth Century Voices
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugh Epstein, Patricia Sweeney
    Explore the rewards of close reading analysis, focusing on the three main literary genres of fiction,



    poetry and drama. Read, analyse and debate British, European and American works from different periods of time, including The Awakening(1899) by Kate Chopin, Hedda Gabler(1891) by Henrik Ibsen, and poetry by Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barratt Browning, Matthew Arnold, Alfred Tennyson, and Christina Rossetti.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00

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