Culture, history & humanities

Explore Culture, History & Humanities Courses

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 long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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Items 1-15 of 112

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  1. Ways into creative writing: intensive
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jul 2024 (and 10 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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 £139.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Ways into poetry: intensive
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jul 2024 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This shorter version of our introductory Ways into poetry course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    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 £139.00 Concession £70.00
  3. London at war - guided walks
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London has been shaped by war, conflict and unrest. It's buildings, monuments and even street names reflect our embattled past. These walks examine London's wartime legacy from mediaeval fortifications to the War on Terror.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson



    First lecture will be delivered via zoom followed by 8 guided walks.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
  4. Art history and cinema
    Course start date:  Tue 17 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Gillian McIver
    Since cinema's earliest days, literature has provided movies with stories. But there is another way of looking at film: through its relationship with painting, the oldest of the art forms.



    We’ll look at paintings by Friedrich, Titian, Hopper, Bacon, Delaroche and many more. We’ll view Red Desert, Pan’s Labyrinth, Easy Rider – looking at realism, surrealism and more.



    As you can see, all of these are quite different! Let’s see how movies connect us to art history.



    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 £84.00
  5. Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  6. Japan at the pictures
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 17 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jean-Baptiste de Vaulx
    This course will introduce you to the cinema of Japan, one of the world’s most important national cinemas. It will introduce you to films by major Japanese directors, such as Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and Kitano. It will also explore the aesthetics of these films, situating them within their broader historical, cultural, critical and industrial contexts. It will also look at the functioning of genre and the peculiarities of the star system within Japanese filmmaking.



    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. Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  8. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 17 Sep 2024 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  9. Sleepwalking to Catastrophe? The Origins of the First World War
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Matthew Powell
    Explore the long- and short-term factors that preceded and led to the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
  10. The many sides of London's West End
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Richard Watkins
    A course of walking tours of London’s West End showing its development from the seventeenth century, how its profile has ebbed and flowed, looking at it through specific themes.



    First meeting place: Covent Garden tube, outside exit on James Street.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  11. Memoir Fiction: Karl Ove Knausgaard, Martin Amis, Philip Roth
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lewis Ward
    We will discuss questions of memory, history and genre through readings of three fascinating examples of ‘memoir fiction’: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Death in the Family, Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, and Martin Amis’ Inside Story.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
  12. Writing from Life: memoir, autofiction, novels
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    What do we want and expect from life stories? On this online literature course we’ll read a selection of fascinating books and extracts, which experiment in different ways to combine stories of personal experience and literary invention. As well as memoirs the course includes ‘autofiction’ – a description for the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life – and we’ll explore this tricky and sometimes controversial category of writing. We’ll think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that writing from life can raise, including privacy and a right of reply, and think about factors that may affect a book’s critical reception.



    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
  13. It Can't Happen Here: Sinclair Lewis, Philip Roth, Muriel Spark
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Alexander Fairbairn-Dixon
    Explore three ground-breaking works of ‘speculative’ prose fiction, each offering a highly innovative examination of C20 American political populism. From bitter satire, unnerving dystopia, to the lightly comic, we’ll see how the texts embody genuine anxieties of authoritarianism in America. Surely,- ‘it can’t happen here’?
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
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