History, culture & writing - 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.

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. Film Studies Taster
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Sep 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Learn how to evaluate and discuss films while enjoying a working example of a City Lit film studies class.



    We will view clips from a wide variety of films, exploring themes and technique in British cinema and modern American cinema. There will be a chance to review term one film courses at City Lit (September - December 2022).
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  2. Symbolist Poetry: a season in Hell
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
    The pandemic has made many people feel as though we are living in a slow apocalypse – but looking back at similar feelings experienced by the poets of the late nineteenth century can help to put things into perspective. This weekend online course looks at a selection of the Symbolist poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, Arthur Symons and Charles Baudelaire, considering their contemporary struggles and how, through these often initially morbid fin de siècle poems, we might find some light at the end of the tunnel.



    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
  3. Masters of Cinema: Paolo Sorrentino
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    “Everything's important in a film, not just the shots. Even the sound man's mood or the quality of the catering.” Explore the virtuosic, melancholic cinema of Paolo Sorrentino from his early hypnotic and claustrophobic The Consequences of Love (2004) through his grandiose award winning The Great Beauty (2013) to his most personal and recent work, The Hand of God (2021).



    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
  4. Aliens, melodrama and the family: Hollywood in the 1950s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 9 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Explore Hollywood cinema in the 1950s, a period marked by the demise of the studio system and the growing power of independent producers. We will consider a range of issues, including the emergence of new genres in response to contemporary anxieties, and the 'upscaling' of established genres as Hollywood attempted to counter the challenge presented by television and the demands of new audiences.



    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. Self-publishing: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Helen Cox
    Want to keep full creative control of your writing project? Learn more about self-publishing and how to give your book (poetry, fiction or non-fiction) the best chance of achieving high sales.



    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:
    100% of 100
  6. The meaning of light: symbolism and religious objects in world faiths
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    World religions and the objects associated with light, from different faiths and festivals.



    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 £15.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Creating your author platform online
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laura Meyer
    Increasingly publishers are looking for authors with an impressive online presence, as well as a sparkling manuscript. On this practical and interactive course, you'll learn how to start and grow your author brand, gain a following and build a readership.



    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:
    90% of 100
  8. Happy Ever After?: reading fairytales
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Fiona McCulloch
    This online course will introduce and discuss a selection of fairy tales. We will focus upon Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Bluebeard. We will explore how fairy tales evolve by reading different versions of these stories, including Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’. Key themes and issues will be considered, such as the role of the hero, the role of the heroine, rags to riches, mother/stepmother figures, and deception. We will also think about how these tales were not just entertainment, but conveyed important social and pedagogical ideas. “And they all lived happily ever after” is associated with fairy tale endings, but is that necessarily accurate when we read these tales?



    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 £55.00 Concession £45.00
  9. Focus on: Giotto
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 29 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Discover the life and work of Giotto, was one of the earliest artists to be written about within his lifetime, his genius held up as the ideal by Italian painting critics for the next five centuries.



    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:
    97% of 100
  10. The art of writing the personal essay
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Da Cunha Lewin
    Follow in the footsteps of Dorothy Parker, George Orwell and Zadie Smith with this taster course on the personal essay, a continuously thriving genre of autobiographical writing.



    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:
    80% of 100
  11. Writing women in the 21st century
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Celebrate strong women for International Women's Day with this inclusive one-off session on how to create your own, powerful fictional women. Please note: this course will have a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.



    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
  12. Don't Look Now and The Wicker Man at 50
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Explore two landmark British horror films, originally released together as a double bill, one a gothic psychological work, the other a key example of British 'folk horror' cinema. Looking at a range of key scenes from each of the films, we will assess their critical reception and status in British horror cinema, while considering their enduring popularity with both critics and audiences alike.



    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
  13. Focus on: iconography
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Mar 2023

    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
  14. The other side of Hollywood: 'B' movies and exploitation cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Emerging in the 1930s as a means of extending the theatrical experience, the 'B' movie became an industry staple, only disappearing along with the studio era in the 1950s and the rise of the 'exploitation' film during a period of readjustment. Explore each of these areas of production, their roles as facets of Hollywood's output, and a representative selection of films, filmmakers and genres.



    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 £55.00 Concession £45.00
  15. Craft focus: grammar, syntax and style for creative writers - a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  William Brady
    Great poetry and prose begin when the writer puts the right words in the right places. Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new course, which combines creative writing with a review of essential points of grammar.



    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

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