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. World War 2: collaboration and resistance in Hitler's Europe
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Spyridon Tsoutsoumpis
    The course looks at the origins, articulations and legacies of resistance and collaboration in Hitler’s Europe (1939-1945).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
  2. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    Explore the City’s development from Roman and medieval times through to the Tudors and Stuarts.



    This course will comprise of 10 walks starting with Roman London. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £105.00
  3. Introduction to art history
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Are you interested in art and want to get more out of looking at art and exhibitions? Want to know what an art historian does? Develop your interpretative skills by exploring at how art is made and what social and cultural factors construct our understanding of it.



    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 £219.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  4. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 28 Sep 2022 (and 10 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Anna Richards
    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  5. Ulysses: the Odyssey
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Oct 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 10 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 £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  6. The Viking Age in 50 objects, c. 750-1100 CE
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Cassidy Croci
    We will explore how people lived, worshiped, fought, and identified themselves in the Viking Age (c. 750-1100 CE) using 50 objects.



    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 £89.00 Concession £45.00
  7. Avant-garde women: art innovations of the 20th & 21st centuries
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Discover the work of prominent modern and contemporary women artists from the early twentieth century to the present, looking at the political and social transformations reflected in the artworks.



    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 £116.00
  8. A critical history of American television
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Rixon
    This online course explores the development of television in America, focusing on the role of the main national commercial networks which emerged with the development of radio. The course will look at the power struggles which occurred between the networks, the sponsors (advertisers) and the Hollywood studios as each vied to take advantage of this new medium. The course will also reflect on key moments in the history of American television which have been viewed by some as golden ages.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  9. City Lit at the BFI: screen horrors - screen monsters
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 20 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  BFI Southbank

    Tutors:  Stacey Abbott
    From the ghostly apparitions of George Méliès’ Le Manoir du Diable (1896) to Ana Lily Amirpour’s skateboarding vampire in A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) to Jordan Peele’s uncanny encounters in Us (2019), horror on screen has been home to ghosts, vampires, zombies, aliens, and other monsters, visualising our nightmares and repressed desires. This eight-week course will accompany a season of films at the BFI devoted to the genre and will examine horror’s visceral pleasures; its capacity to thrill, transgress, and provoke; and its ability to express fear, anxiety, identity, and rage. Drawing upon examples from global horror cinema, this course will explore why screen horror is the most disreputable and compelling of genres.



    Please note this course will have a break week on Thursday 3 November due to the London Film festival.











    Please note that some of the films studied on this course contain graphic imagery. While care will be taken in the presentation of sequences from these films and in the discussions around them, please be aware that some of the material will be unsettling.



    Please note that this 8 week course will break for a week on Thursday 3rd November, but will resume the following week on Thursday 10th November. Your tutor will remind you of this at the beginning of the course.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £189.00
  10. 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
  11. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore the themes of poverty, politics, gender and ethnicity in London at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century through the eyes of writers of fiction, but also through the testimony of their non-fiction contemporaries – social investigators, government officials, journalists and philanthropists.



    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 £116.00
  12. 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
  13. Dickens and Trollope: Giants of the 19th Century Novel
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 29 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
    The Victorian period produced some of Britain’s most well-known canonical authors, all of whom drew inspiration from the challenges of their times. Together we’ll explore three novels from some of the period’s most popular writers and consider what anxieties they attempted to understand, and often satirise, through their works. We’ll meet a unique cast of characters along the way, including opium addicts, macabre folk parades, and industrial tycoons.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  14. Art in Britain 1890-1918 - New English Art Club to WWI
    Course start date:  Mon 31 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Explore the works of British artists and their relationship to the legacy of academic painting and the art of continental Europe between 1880-1918. Who led developments and how does the art of the period reflect the times?
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  15. At home in the Italian Renaissance: the art and objects of everyday life
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 31 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Step into the fashionable Italian Renaissance home to explore how houses were lived in and furnished and to learn about the many decorated objects made for domestic use during the Renaissance.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00

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