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.

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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

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Items 1-15 of 85

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  1. Creative writing: getting started
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 May 2024 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Deborah Martin
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination. Please note: this course has 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
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  2. Robert Altman: The long goodbye to Hollywood
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Robert Altman served a long apprenticeship in movie-making before his great breakthrough , the Korean War comedy M*A*S*H (1969). It became a huge hit and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but also established Altman's inimitable use of sound and image, and his gift for handling a repertory company of actors. The 1970s then became Altman's decade, with a string of masterpieces: McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971 revisionist western), The Long Goodbye (1973 revisionist Raymond Chandler), Thieves Like Us (1974 remake of Nicholas Ray’s 1948 They Live By Night), Nashville (1976 completely and absolutely original widescreen mural of America and Hollywood). In the 1980s Altman struggled to fund his work, but he was restored to prominence in 1992 with The Player, an acerbic take on Hollywood. Short Cuts, an inspired adaptation of Raymond Carver, and the Oscar-winning Gosford Park, (2001), underscored his comeback. (See separate but related courses on Once Upon a Time in New Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch and the Coen brothers).
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  3. Understanding Irish indentured servitude in the Caribbean
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Terrence Maxwell
    Unearth the hidden tales of Irish indentured servants in the Caribbean. This course explores their struggles, cultural influences, and lasting impact, revealing a captivating chapter in history.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  4. The Maya Calendar: Circles Of Time
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Gary Retallick
    The Maya Calendar, previously little known outside the realm of academic research, rose to worldwide prominence in 2012, since the cycle of the Calendar ended on 21st December of that year and the myth arose that the world would end when that cycle of the Calendar ended. This misinterpretation of the Calendar arose out of a lack of understanding of Maya culture, an understanding which can be obtained, at least in part, through a careful analysis of the Calendar itself.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  5. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  6. Introduction to film spectatorship
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will provide a brief introduction to the history of film spectatorship, tracing its origins in the silent era up to the present day. The course will explore a number of films in detail, includingThe Truman Show (Peter Weir 1998 US), Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore 1998 Italy), The Matrix (Wachowskis 1999 US) and others.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. The purchase of paradise: ideas of purgatory in the mediaeval world
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    In order to reach heaven a medieval Christian had to spend time in purgatory being cleansed of sin. Come and find out what purgatory consisted of and how you could fast-track you way through it.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  8. The lost town of Lundenwic: mid-Saxon London 600-900 CE
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stuart Brookes
    Look at the least known episodes in London's history, Lundenwic (AD 600-900) and Lundenburh (AD 900-1000).



    Includes an introductory lecture and guided walk.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  9. 20th century design: modern and post-modern
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Study the dominant design aesthetics of the twentieth century – its development, successes and fall from popularity. Movements will include Constructivism, the Bauhaus, Pop and Punk. Design practices will include graphics, architecture and furniture. #arthistory #weekendcourse #design #modernism #bauhaus.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  11. Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £58.00 Concession £58.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
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