History, culture & writing

Discount only valid on one course between £99 and £500 inclusive. Discount ends midnight Monday 28th November. 

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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. Manuscripts and illumination
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Plant
    Explore the techniques and styles used in producing manuscripts, from their earliest appearance to the 16th century. We'll consider the ways in which manuscripts were used and ask why such lavish attention was paid to them.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Ways into Advanced Film Studies: Film History
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    The history of the cinema is a rich, rewarding and dynamic area of study. Cinema, because it is both an art form and an industrial product, can be studied from several different historical perspectives. These have included investigations into the history of technological development associated with cinema’s origins and its subsequent development, but historians have also explored its evolution into an art form. They have written about important individual figures or influential groups and have examined specific films in great detail. Historians have also examined the national, cultural, political and social contexts that might offer insight into the cinema at a given historical moment. They have examined the changing demographic and viewing habits of spectators and explored the mutability of cinemas themselves. With so much to consider and so many different approaches to take, the history of cinema continues to evolve. As such this advanced level film studies course will explore what it means to study film history, examine the various methodologies that one might take, while at the same time looking at relevant filmic and cinematic examples.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  3. Ulysses: Nostos - the Homecoming
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this online literature course will offer strategies and engage the second half of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    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 £175.00 Concession £142.00
  4. A history of London : 1846-1880
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mike Berlin
    You will explore High Victorian London - its people, its outward growth and the growth of its economy. How did Londoners experience life in the centre and in the new suburbs?
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00
  5. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 28 Sep 2022 (and 10 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Yvonne Singh
    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  6. European architecture in the Middle Ages 800-1500
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Plant
    Explore the development of architecture in Europe from the Carolingian period to the end of the middle ages and study the major monuments – cathedrals, parish churches and castles of the age.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Paper Secrets: letters in novels from Julian Barnes to Tayari Jones
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Would you ever open other people’s letters? This contemporary fiction course invites you to read intimate correspondence over characters’ shoulders, to piece together the stories of long-forgotten letters, and to watch stolen letters set comic and catastrophic events in motion. We’ll study four absorbing novels in detail, exploring ideas about memory, time and communication, and discovering how letters are tangled up in them all. Includes



    Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011), Claire Fuller, Swimming Lessons (2017), Denis Thériault, The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman (2017) and Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (2018).
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  8. Families, feuds and fictions
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    “When a writer is born into a family, the family is finished.” - Polish Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz; “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy







    Unsurprisingly, novelists have always gravitated towards the dramatic potential of dysfunctional families, , and some of the finest novels of modern times have explored the tensions, disappointments (even occasional joys) of family life.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  9. Jews in London from the 1650s to the 1950s - a closer look
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  David Rosenberg
    This course will provide an exploration of 300 years of Jewish life, culture and history in London from the small scale resettlement in the 1650s through to the 1950s when the borough of Hackney was home to London’s largest and most diverse Jewish community.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00
  10. The art of the Burgundian Netherlands c. 1360-1480
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Explore how the extravagant lifestyle of the Burgundian court provided opportunities for an opulent Burgundian style to be developed and disseminated across Europe in the late middle ages and into the renaissance.



    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
  11. An Introduction to the European Horror Film
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Explore European horror cinema from its origins in German Expressionism to contemporary cinemas, such as the 'new wave of French horror'. We will consider the ways in which European horror cinema both shares and 'reconfigures' the iconography of classical horror, and its tendency to stress surrealist, dreamlike qualities, all of which has encouraged a distinct set of styles and thematic concerns.



    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
  12. Independently Minded: Maverick American Filmmakers of the 1970s
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mick McAloon
    What does it mean to be a “maverick” or “difficult”? Is such a reputation a blessing or a curse – especially in Hollywood, where the definition of success is measured at the box office? This course looks at those filmmakers whose persistence (of vision) and stubbornness (of character) were often reflected in the stories they told. And it examines the way their films have endured, often against the odds.



    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 £90.00
  13. Transports of delight: London's railway stations
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both online and in-person) (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London's stations see over 1 billion journeys annually, but the buildings themselves are often ignored. Explore a different station and environs each week, discovering the architecture, history, stories and future of these lifelines of London. The course starts with an initial zoom lecture followed by a series of walking tours.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Writing for magazines
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Laura Silverman
    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  15. Writing an academic essay
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sinead Keegan
    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A-level and access courses or undergraduates.



    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 £50.00

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