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 whole story of cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    If you love cinema and want to know more about it, look no further. Here is a course for all those who love watching and reading about films, and who want to understand more about the evolution of the art of cinema, as told through the most innovative films from any country in any period. From film’s origins to modern day streaming, and through many cinematic golden ages, this course will examine those moments in time when a range of national cinemas surfed the wave of creative originality, achieved through a mix of social, technical, and historical factors. The exploration of key films and genres will reveal insights into the world of film-making, from cinematography, lighting, and sound, to editing and acting styles, enabling you to better interpret the meaning of world-famous movies.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00
  2. Reading for children's writers
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Penny Joelson
    Explore recently published successful books for children, mainly by UK authors, and produce your own writing inspired by them. The course will cover pictures books, middle grade and young adult.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Starting your novel
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  4. Colonial America: European Settlement 1560 – 1815
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 28 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    The online course explores European settlement (British, French, Spanish, Russian, Swedish) of North America. It examines the differences between English colonies; the American Revolution; the formation of the United States; and the War of 1812.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Creative non-fiction
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 10 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
  6. City Lit reading group 2
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'The Harlem Shuffle' by Colson Whitehead. Monthly meetings take place on 30 Sept, 4 Nov, 09 Dec; 27 Jan, 3 March, 31 March, 5 May, 2 June and 7 July.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  7. Latin American Literary Classics
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    From Mexico to Patagonia, Latin America has produced some of the most spellbinding literature of the modern age. From dictatorship and death to national identity and the natural world, join us as we investigate the cultural heritage of the continent through some its most famous writers. Includes Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Sabato, Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  8. From the Holy Roman Empire to the unification of Germany (the Middle Ages to 1871)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    The course offers a broad survey of the German lands over the centuries from the Middle Ages to the Unification of



    Germany in 1871.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Art and identity: from the High Renaissance to the Reformation
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Explore the legendary art and artists of the High Renaissance in Italy and the Netherlands from c. 1490-1540. Consider the role that ‘self-fashioning’ plays in their fame and notoriety through close reading engagement of a combination of images and texts.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. 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
  11. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Thu 6 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. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £105.00
  12. Art and architecture of Ancient India
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Arjmand Ahmad
    India's three indigenous religions - Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism - have given rise to one of the oldest artistic civilisations in the world. Learn more about the art and architecture of Ancient India in this introductory course.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Rise of the novel in the 18th century
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    Explore the dynamic evolution of fiction throughout the 18th century, from the island life of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to the bold formal experimentation of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. The course will also consider the role of women in the form and the factors in 18th Century society which contributed to the formation and enduring popularity of literature’s most well-known and widely read form.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £169.00
  14. Short story writing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    A hands-on introduction to the art of writing short stories. You will receive technical advice, creative exercises to generate ideas, and feedback to develop your writing skills.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £100.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  15. 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

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