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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information on our online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. In war, defeat and victory (Britain and France in WWII)
    Course start date:  Thu 20 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Alison Appleby
    This course will explore the Franco-British Alliance from ‘phoney war’ to Dunkirk, leading to Petain’s armistice and de Gaulle’s Free France in London. Learn about British support for French resistance and the role of the Fighting French in the Allied invasion of France in 1944.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £96.00
  2. Anthropology of art, ethnographic film and photography
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Yasmin Hales
    This introductory course aims to critically explore the role and symbolic meaning of art from a cross-cultural perspective, ranging from the concept of beauty, the beliefs and rituals associated with material objects, to the human body as canvas and the role of museums.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £96.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. China in the 19th century
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Amy Matthewson
    This course explores the rise of ‘modern’ China during the late Qing dynasty (1644-1912) and explores the internal and external forces within China and how events shaped its international standing, in particular in Britain.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £70.00
  4. Film of the Book
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Cherry
    We will read works of fiction and view their cinematic transformations, developing an understanding of plot,



    characterisation and narrative in a film making context. Each session includes analysis and discussion of the literary



    text and an opportunity to view and consider the film.



    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 £79.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  5. America in the 70s: culture and society
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 70s, an era of economic struggle and cultural change. While America continued to reflect aspects of 60s social upheaval, a more energised 'New Right' was emerging in defense of political conservatism and the traditional family, schisms that still exist today. We investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the 70s through a 'taster' of each subject area.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  6. Early 20th Century Britain and Ireland
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Peter Street
    The course explores both the political, economic, social and cultural history of Britain itself in these years and its dealings with Ireland, notably over Home Rule, Easter 1916 and the Anglo/Irish war and settlement, 1919-1922.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £88.00
  7. Advanced historical study
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Benjamin Chwistek, Martin Jorgensen
    If you have a passion for history, or if you've ever been interested in studying history at a higher level, this course could be right for you. Whether you're an avid hobby historian, or thinking about studying history for your Foundation, Bachelors or Masters degree, this course offers you an introduction to history at an advanced level.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £70.00
  8. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    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 £60.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  9. Greek myths and their symbolism
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Maria Contos
    Myth permeated all aspects of ancient society and much the same can be said today. Investigate the relevance and perseverance of the Greek myth and why these tales continue to fascinate.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Understanding the Israel-Palestine conflict
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nomaan Hanif
    Trace the historical roots of this conflict and study the peace process of the 1990s: Madrid talks, Oslo agreement, Camp David talks and the recent Middle Eastern road map, as well as the latest developments on this stimulating interactive lecture course. Tutor: Noman Hanif.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Friday lates: art and alchemy: from the ancient to today
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Delve into a magical world of hidden secrets and bizarre symbolism as we distil the heady mix that is art and alchemy; from early manuscripts and renaissance paintings, to the surrealists and contemporary art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  12. Seven wonders of the ancient world
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Apr 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  William Sterling
    The Seven Wonders fascinate us, but what were they and why were they wonders? Using art, literature and



    archaeology we'll explore possible answers.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  13. Writing for children: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 12 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    Develop your ideas for children's stories in this practical and interactive short course. Topics will include plot, characterisation and viewpoint, and how to approach the children's publishing industry today.



    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  14. Exploring literature: an introduction to poetry
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    We will read and discuss poetry from across four centuries including poems by Shakespeare, John Donne, Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Emily Dickenson, Wilfred Owen, TS Eliot, WH Auden, Larkin, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Maya Angelou and many more. There will be a weekly spot where students can share their own particular favourites.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  15. Slavery and the Civil War: The United States from 1815 to 1865
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This course will look at American history from 1815 to 1865. Much of the course will focus on how regional divisions developed, how the topic of slavery divided the nation, and how that ultimately culminated in The Civil War. However, we will also look at other political, economic, social, and cultural developments during that half century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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