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. Thinking through philosophy: a guide
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    What is morality and what is it based on? Is the mind a ghost in the machine?



    What can I really know? This is a beginner’s introduction to how philosophy tackles questions like these and many others.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  2. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Oct 2022 (and 8 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    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, develop their ideas and technique.



    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:
    98% of 100
  3. Phenomenology: politics and empathy
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    The political begins in the recognition of human interdependence. To be oneself is to be others, not to be others is not to be oneself. This tension is empathy and grounds a phenomenology of politics.



    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
  4. Exploring Medieval Literature: Shakespeare and the Medieval Age
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Thomas White
    Shakespeare is seen as the great writer of the Renaissance period in England, yet he was influenced by the literature and culture of preceding centuries. On this course we will consider several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, and various history plays, exploring various aspects of his writing to discover just how influential the medieval world was on his thought, language, and subject matter.



    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 £64.00
  5. The ocean in contemporary art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Francesca Curtis
    Explore how contemporary artists are responding to ecological issues within the ocean today. From the Venice Biennale to Olafur Eliasson this online, art history course introduces key concepts related to art and ecology.



    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 £45.00
  6. Current British politics
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christian Schnee
    Want to look beyond the personal politics and Brexit and explore current British politics? Join Dr. Christian Schnee to discuss British politics in our time.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  7. Phenomenology: culture and history
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    The historical world forms the cultural background in and through which we live. It shapes our experience and expectations of reality. What is the phenomenology of our contemporary era?



    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
  8. Beowulf and the challenges of translation
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Thomas White
    Beowulf is one of the foundational works in the history of English literature. It is at once familiar and strange: its story is well-known, but critics continue to debate its origins and its language and form have long challenged modern readers and translators. This course will explore the poem and its original language, and recent attempts to render that language into modern English.



    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 £64.00
  9. Writing an academic essay
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sinead Keegan
    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A-level and access courses or undergraduates.



    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
  10. The Russian revolution
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Zoe Quinn
    In 1917 two revolutions swept through the Russian Empire. The second, in October, is a pivotal moment in modern world history, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union. This introductory interactive lecture course explores how and why these two revolutions occurred. Tutor: Zoe Quinn.



    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
  11. The future of democracy
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christian Schnee
    Want to think about and discuss what makes and breaks a democracy? Join Dr. Christian Schnee to engage in this vital discussion.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  12. The Art of the Essay: from Michel de Montaigne to Audre Lorde
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dalia Neis
    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through collectively reading a variety of essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between diary, literary criticism, nature writing, elegy, aphorism, political tract, and mystical/religious experiences through key essayists including Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector, Audre Lorde, Etel Adnan, James Baldwin, David Rattray, and Claudia Rankine.



    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 £64.00
  13. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  14. The pre-Socratic philosophers: philosophy in the beginning
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    The beginnings of philosophy and science are found in the thinking of early Greek, ‘Presocratic’, philosophers. Who were they? Why is their thinking still relevant?



    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
  15. Partition in the Middle East: Palestine & Cyprus
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Spyridon Tsoutsoumpis
    This course examines the unmaking and partition of the Near East by focusing on the rise and creation of Israel and Cyprus (1948-1974).



    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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