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. America in the 20s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    From the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance, to Prohibiton and the Depression, this online intertextual course explores the political, social and cultural context of 1920s America through a study of literature, history, music, film and art of the period. With different tutors for each specialism, the course provides a 'taster' in each subject as a gateway to further study in understanding this fascinating period in American culture and society.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  2. Introduction to art history
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Are you interested in art and want to get more out of looking at art and exhibitions? Want to know what an art historian does? Develop your interpretative skills by exploring at how art is made and what social and cultural factors construct our understanding of it.



    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 £142.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  3. 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:  Anna Richards
    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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  4. Ulysses: the Odyssey
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first 10 chapters 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
  5. Writing for magazines
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022 (and 7 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Susan Grossman
    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.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. Current affairs
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Do you want to find out more about the issues in the news? Enrol early for lively, informed discussion on current events in Britain and the world. Tutor: Michael Bloomfield.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  7. Mexico: From the war of independence to the present
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anna Grimaldi
    Want to know more about Mexico? Join us in this course where we look at the history of Mexico beginning with the first independence uprisings in the early 19th century until the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.



    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
  8. Textiles: an international history
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    As well as expressing power, prestige and fulfilling symbolic functions, textiles have been intimately linked to the everyday lives of members all societies for millennia. On this course you will study the development of woven, printed and embroidered textiles of many kinds from around the globe and explore the significant roles they have played in the world’s material culture.



    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
  9. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    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 £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  10. US history for beginners
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 8 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This online course offers a brief examination of, and introduction to, the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the United States, 1608 - 2001.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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

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