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. The Black Death
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    The study of the social and economic impact of the disease known as the Black Death that spread throughout the world in the 1340s and continued to flare up intermittently thereafter throughout Europe and beyond.



    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 £110.00
  2. Writing fantasy stories
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mary Victoria
    Build fantastical worlds, fill them with compelling characters and learn how to structure innovative plotlines in this perfect introduction for those with a passion for fantasy.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Spanish Art 1900-1937: the age of Picasso, Miró and Dalí
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Stuart-Smith
    Reflecting a 'silver age' of literature, art in Spain before the Civil war encompasses the modernist genius of Picasso, Juan Gris and Miró; the surrealism of Dalí and the late Impressionism of Joaquín Sorolla.



    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 £110.00
  4. Cultureplex Ciné-club
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the academic year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  5. 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
  6. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 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
  7. Migration and the Literary Imagination: Andrea Levy, Kazuo Ishiguro and Abdulrazak Gurnah
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Peter Cherry
    This course explores literature that has emerged from the colonial and postcolonial migration of people from different cultures to Britain. We will be discussing how literature provides a creative space for reflecting on experiences of migration, how fiction attends to legacies of colonialism, racism and xenophobia and how ‘migrant aesthetics’ have created new forms of literature.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £103.00
  8. World War 2: collaboration and resistance in Hitler's Europe
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    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
  9. 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
  10. The great philosophers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    Explore the ideas of major philosophers from Plato to Sartre. How does Western philosophy differ from religion



    and science? What problems have the great philosophers tried to solve?



    .



    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 £259.00 Concession £130.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  11. Understanding the modern world
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    Explore the ideas of four key thinkers whose ideas have vitally shaped our world. Examine their views on morality, meaning, the role and status of women, human nature, political and economic injustice and much more.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  12. Modern political philosophy: ideas and ideologies in the 21st century
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    What are the key philosophical ideas behind the issues and debates of today? This is an opportunity to explore in more depth the concepts and ideologies that are shaping the politics of the 21st century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Middle Eastern Literature in Translation
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Peter Cherry
    This Literature course introduces you to some of the most important contemporary novels and short stories from the Middle East to have been translated into English. Includes works by Orhan Pamuk, Ahmed Sadaawi and Jokha Alharthi.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £103.00
  14. Medieval pilgrims and pilgrimages
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Pilgrimage was an integral part of medieval European spiritual land cultural life. Journeys, often long and arduous, were undertaken by people of all social classes. This compelling and engagingly illustrated course questions why people became pilgrims and what happened to them on their travels.



    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 £259.00 Concession £130.00
  15. Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 16 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Trace the history of witchcraft and magic, the power to do good or evil by supernatural means, from the Ancient World to the witch hunt trials of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £239.00 Concession £120.00

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