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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information on our online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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. The oneness of time and being: explore the Zen philosophy of Eihei Dogen
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    “Life is not coming, not going, not present, not becoming. … life is the manifestation of the whole works, death is the manifestation of the whole works.” - Dogen.



    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 £30.00
  2. How to write a book about your expert knowledge
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lorna V
    This crash course aims to demystify the publishing process and help you formulate the first steps to writing your book, whether you’re an academic, a business expert or anyone else with specific professional expertise.



    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 £28.00
  3. Craft focus: novel plotting workshop (advanced)
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    If you have made a start on your novel, but need help getting it into shape, this course provides a flexible template that will help you to overcome the obstacles ahead.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £80.00
  4. Royal palaces, patrons and art treasures
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 7 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Megalomaniac monarchs in the post-Renaissance period and the ambitious artists they employed to create their ‘mega collections’– a fascinating moment in art patronage. Explore the palaces, art and personalities that make up this history.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  5. The Renaissance in Umbria
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Explore the Italian Renaissance from Umbria, the land of Raphael and Perugino. Expand your knowledge beyond Florence, Rome and Venice to discover the artistic treasures of this little-studied region of Italy.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  6. 'We're still here': new contemporary painting in the UK
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Living in a digital age, is contemporary painting ‘redundant'? This four week course explores how alive and kicking contemporary painting is in Britain. Discover how exciting, new UK-based artists use both experimental and traditional painting approaches to address issues of identity, history and personal experience.



    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 £79.00 Concession £60.00
  7. Seminal films of the 1980s
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mick McAloon
    In the 1980s, as Hollywood rejected the auteur-driven movies of the 1970s in favour of “high-concept” action films (Top Gun, Days of Thunder) there were still filmmakers – Martin Scorsese, Agnès Varda, Jane Campion and Spike Lee – who continued to expand the art form. Drawing from Europe, Britain, New Zealand and America, this course explores some of the defining films of a much-maligned decade.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  8. Victorian poets and poetry: ‘thoughts that breathe and words that burn’?
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Siv Jansson
    This short online course will consider examples of Victorian poetry within the context of literary, cultural and social attitudes of the period. It will examine the ways in which poetry was seen as the ‘highest’ (i.e. most important) of the written genres, the influences on and attitudes towards poetry, and the relevance or otherwise of Victorian poetry in a modern context. It is for those who enjoy reading and thinking about poetry and who have an interest in the Victorian period and Victorian writing.



    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 £36.00
  9. Poetry of the 30s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Phoebe Braithwaite
    Wedged between the two wars, the poets of the 1930s were drawn to forces larger than themselves. For poets such as W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, war, revolution and the allure of communism dwarfed mere personal anxieties. Others – such as William Empson, Kathleen Raine and Dylan Thomas – found a seam of spiritualism in other, more mystical, even Romantic antecedents. Our course traces these discrepant paths through the decade.



    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 £36.00
  10. The picture of health: medicine in art from ancient to modern Europe
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    From astrology to love sickness, from war wounded to plague prayers, explore how art can help us understand cultural conceptions of health, how medicine shapes visual representations of the body and how picturing health develops empathy.



    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 £42.00
  11. Ulysses Sampler: the first four chapters
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first four chapters of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £54.00
  12. Approaching an agent
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Neil Arksey
    This workshop, designed for authors who have finished their manuscript, offers practical advice on finding and approaching a literary agent.



    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  13. Judaism and Modernist Literature: from Kafka to Clarice Lispector
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  James Leveque
    This course will examine the contributions of Jewish writers in the developments of literary Modernism, from the beginning of the 20th century. We will develop an understanding of how Jewish writers deployed the techniques and themes developed in Modernist writing to approach a series of topics, such as the Jewish family and his or relation to the national body, the Jew as racialised figure and anti-semitism, and the Jewish scriptural traditions.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  14. Writing experimental fiction: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Thomas McMullan
    Writing fiction is always an experiment in how to connect to your reader, but some stories push the boundaries of form to the extreme. In this advanced course you'll test the limits of your imagination to craft fiction that breaks all the rules with purpose.



    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 £28.00
  15. Hollywood Screwball Comedies
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Suddenly sound brought a new genre in the early 1930s, a new type of romantic comedy, led by women throwing curveballs at Production Code censorship. Carole Lombard, Kate Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, and the mysterious Lady Eve, killing it in the face of the Great Depression. Screwball satirised the traditional love story, it was the battle of the sexes fought by women armed with rapid-fire, overlapping, cross-purposes Dorothy Parker dialogue directed by Howard Hawks, Frank Capra and Preston Sturges. This was a new theme for Hollywood and for audiences at the time.



    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 £36.00

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