History, culture & writing

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. Craft focus: grammar, syntax, and style for creative writers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 29 Apr 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers looking to build confidence, and those with more experience who would like to practise these essential skills.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £90.00
  2. Philosophy and literature: from romanticism to (post)modernity
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Barrie Selwyn
    Explore the links between philosophy and literature, from romanticism, through existentialism and into the modern and postmodern eras.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £130.00
  3. The art and culture of 17th century London
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Discover the 17th century: a time of upheaval in Europe, intercontinental trade, religious schisms and a wide range of artistic styles. See its art, architecture and design in London’s galleries and museums. #arthistory #explorelondon #walkingtour.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. City Lit reading group 1
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Tabby Toussaint
    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 The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Monthly meetings on 24 Sept; 22 Oct, 26 Nov; 14 Jan, 18 Feb, 25 March; 06 May; 10 June; 08 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  5. Roman London
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Using archaeological and written evidence, we will explore what life was like in London during the Roman occupation between c.50 and 450 CE.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £130.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. City Lit reading group 2
    Course start date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    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 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 01 Oct, 29 Oct, 03 Dec; 21 Jan, 25 Feb, 01 April, 13 May, 17 June and 15 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  7. Latin American Literary Classics
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    From Mexico to Patagonia, Latin America has produced some of the most spellbinding literature of the modern age. From dictatorship and death to national identity and the natural world, join us as we investigate the cultural heritage of the continent through some its most famous writers. Includes Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Sabato, Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  8. Shakespeare and the Classical World: Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    An exploration of four plays in which Shakespeare explores and elaborates themes and characters from the classical world whose spiritual, political and artistic example both fascinated and fuelled the European Renaissance. Beginning with presentations of two of the most celebrated idealist/misanthropes, we proceed to the transformation of Rome from republic to empire in two exemplary dramas whose combination of political dynamism and personal anguish has never been equalled.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £439.00 Senior fee £351.00 Concession £285.00
  9. Introduction to Latin American art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 13 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore the art of Latin America from indigenous cultures to colonisation and through the revolutions of the 20th and 21st centuries.



    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 £103.00
  10. Norman and Plantagenet London 1000-1350
    Course start date:  Fri 20 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    We chart the impact of the Norman Conquest on the development of London and end by exploring how Londoners reacted to the Black Death with killed 50% of the inhabitants. There will also be a guided walk.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £120.00
  11. The art and culture of 18th century London
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 20 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Explore Georgian painting, sculpture and architecture, and consider them within the context of the history and culture of the 18th century exploring museums, galleries and other places in London online.



    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 £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. London's quartiers
    Course start date:  Fri 20 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)

    Tutors:  Sue Jackson
    Through 1 lecture and 7 guided walks, explore some of London’s quartiers – Soho, Mayfair, Covent Garden, Spitalfields, Clerkenwell, St James and Bloomsbury and understand how their very distinct characters were formed. The first session will be delivered via Zoom and other sessions will be guided walks.



    London guide: Sue Jackson.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  13. National Gallery
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Get to know the National Gallery. Discuss a differently themed group of paintings each week in front of the pictures. An opportunity to understand our national collection in greater depth.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  14. Literature and the French Revolution: responses from the 19th century
    Course start date:  Fri 27 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  James Leveque
    On the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, Margaret Thatcher gifted a copy of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities to her French counterpart, François Mitterrand. Although Thatcher’s dim view of the revolution isn’t surprising, her gift of a novel – rather than something by, say, Burke or Carlyle – is a fascinating example of how the revolution became almost as well expressed as a literary event of high drama as an historical event of European society and politics. We explore works spanning the century of poetry, prose and drama after 1789.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  15. Introduction to Tate Britain
    Course start date:  Fri 6 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Each week, we'll explore a different aspect of the permanent collection at Tate Britain, looking at artworks from the 16th to the 21st centuries. This course is gallery based.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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