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.

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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  1. Figures in British politics and society you need to know!
    Course start date:  Tue 28 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Gabriel Olumide Apata
    The aim of this course is to bring to the forefront those, in British politics and society, who may have been confined to the fringes of history, simply been forgotten about, not fully understood or had their stories altered to fit a certain narrative. Curious? Join us to learn more!
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £97.00
  2. Ways into poetry: a gentle pace
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 22 Oct 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Are you brand new to writing poetry? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners in the craft? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a poet.



    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 £75.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Marriage and murder: Othello and Macbeth
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    Shakespeare presents us with two visions of marriage, the Macbeths’ longstanding but filled with passion and rivalry, Othello’s fragile and still largely innocent. Macbeth and his wife know each other only too well – Othello and Desdemona barely at all. We the audience become sucked into these marital dramas through the force of Shakespeare’s dazzling imagery, psychological insight and sensational plotting. We’ll be studying the characters, the poetry and the ideas of both plays in detail.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  4. Ways into advanced film studies: film theory
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This advanced level film studies course will introduce you to a range of theoretical approaches to the study of film. It will consider some of the earliest attempts to think about film, studies that borrowed methodologies from other disciplines. As early as 1915, for example, writers were applying psychology to film analysis, exploring the emotional responses of audiences to this still new medium. Early theorists argued for film as a distinct art form, and we will examine a number of their key texts. In the 1960s, film studies began to develop as a specific subject of study in universities in the US and the UK, once again deploying perspectives from other subject areas. We will examine a number of these theories and consider their continued importance for the analysis and understanding of film today.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  5. Modern African history: understanding the state and economy since independence
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ingrid Aguiar Schlindwein
    Explore post-colonial Africa's political, economic, and social journey since independence. Gain insights into state building, governance, development, and identity, fostering a holistic understanding of Africa's historical evolution.



    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
  6. Art and critical theory: feminism and post-colonialism
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore the role of critical theory within the field of art history, and learn new ways of thinking about art by focusing on feminism, post-colonial theory and the notion of the death of the author.



    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 £97.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  7. Ways into Islamic art
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    An introductory course providing an overview of the development of the visual language of Islamic cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe.



    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 £95.00 Concession £77.00
  8. The City in Literature: freedom and flappers in the bohemian city
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Alexander Fairbairn-Dixon
    Join us to explore three works of life writing set in Paris and Berlin between the wars, where café culture, the adventure of the streets, bohemian life, and nocturnal temptations offer opportunities for artistic, personal, and sexual freedom. Set in post-WW1 Paris and pre-WW2 Berlin, writers, artists, and adventurers find themselves entangled within the moving fabric of unpredictable social and political changes. Writers include Ernest Hemingway, Jean Rhys and Christopher Isherwood.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  9. Greek myths: ancient truths, modern mystery
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
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