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 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, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Writing flash fiction: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 28 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    Flash fiction is the art of telling small stories that make a big impact. Learn how to harness the power of economy in this practical short course. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.



    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
  2. Exploring literature: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 31 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Niall Culligan
    In this introductory course, we will read and discuss Irish poetry from across the twentieth century, examining how poets responded to cultural and political issues, such as Irish Independence, religion, and the Troubles. Poets will include: W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Louis MacNeice, Patrick Kavanagh, Derek Mahon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and many others.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  3. Image and identity: 20th century Chinese art and cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the art of Chinese artists and filmmakers from the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st, as they try to make sense of a world on the cusp between the old and the new, marked by encounters with imperialism and iconoclasm. Learn what place art had in socio-political movements, and how it reflected the hopes and anxieties of its time.



    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
  4. American political institutions
    Course start date:  Thu 2 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson
    This four-week interactive lecture-based course examines the US political system from its inception to today – reviewing its structure and constituent parts.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Ancient cities St. Paul knew
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 2 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Discover eight intriguing ancient cities, amazing places to visit today, but raw and turbulent in their Graeco-Roman heyday.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £51.00
  6. Memories of authoritarian regimes in 20th Century Latin America
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 2 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anna Grimaldi
    This course explores the aftermath of authoritarian and military regimes in Latin America, focusing on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Guatemala.



    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 £55.00
  7. A taste of poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Billie Manning
    This short, fun taster course is the perfect starting point for students who are writing for the first time or new to the poetry path. Join us for thought-provoking writing exercises and poetry theory for beginners.



    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:
    85% of 100
  8. New Nature Writing in fiction and poetry
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  David Barnes
    In the last 15 years, a new type of nature writing emerged in the UK. It was personal, engaging, and examined the natural world and the environment in fresh and interesting ways. It promised to reconnect a younger generation with the world outside, and to raise awareness of ecological issues in an emotionally resonant way. Includes novels, poetry and memoir by Seamus Heaney, W.G. Sebald, Alice Oswald, Helen Macdonald. Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Kathleen Jamie.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Heaven and hell in world religions
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Compare and contrast the afterlife beliefs of the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Explore how these ideas developed and influenced each other.



    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
  10. Writing haiku poetry
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 29 Jul 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Pearl May
    Learn how to write haikus that resonate, move and entertain on this fun day workshop.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  11. Writing protest poetry
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    In these times of great political upheaval, protest poetry has never been so important.



    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
  12. America in the 30s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 7 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    From the Great Depression to the New Deal, from Swing and big band music to gangster films and screwball comedies, this online intertextual course explores the political, social and cultural context of 1930s America through a study of literature, history, music, film and art of the period. With different tutors for each specialism, the course provides a 'taster' in each subject as a gateway to further study in understanding this fascinating period in American culture and society.



    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
  13. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Lunchtime lecture: Winter Sun: Nancy Holt's land art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Join us for an introduction to the work of Nancy Holt, one of the foundational figures of the land art movement.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £8.00 Concession £7.00
  15. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Justin Murray
    Homer’s epic tale of Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War may now be over 2,500 years old but it still has much to tell us about the Ancient Greek world that is still relevant today. Explore this great work in translation.



    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
    Rating:
    84% of 100

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