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 online and in-person learning. 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. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Exploring film noir
    Course start date:  Tue 9 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    The term film noir has been used to describe visual style, themes and narratives in a range of American genres, particularly crime films of the 1940s and 1950s, but it has also been used to describe areas of British, French, and, as part of the giallo tradition, Italian cinema. Explore film noir through a range of critical concepts and historical periods, while assessing its enduring appeal.



    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
  2. Art and architecture of ancient India
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 16 Jan 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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 part 1 of the course.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
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  3. India and Pakistan: The histories, memories and legacies of Partition
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mirza Jaffer Abid
    Join us to gain an understanding of the partition of British India in August 1947 from the perspective of history (written and oral), literature and film.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00
  4. Medieval travel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    How, why and where did people travel in the Middle Ages? We will look at maps, itineraries and household accounts to explore the logistics of travel before 1500 CE.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £45.00
  5. Sex, gender roles and sexuality in Ancient Israel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann Jeffers
    The role of ancient Israelite women has been at the forefront of discussions about gender and sexuality as the biblical stories have been formative in mapping out subsequent understanding of women’s sexuality. This course will explore gender roles and sexuality in ancient Israel through biblical stories and laws about women in ancient Israel. We will explore a range of texts from myths, to laws, love poetry and texts portraying graphic violence against women while asking questions about the implications of gender constructions for the status of women in ancient Israel.



    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 £58.00
  6. The French Revolution
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Zoe Quinn
    In 1789 ordinary French people successfully rebelled against the absolute monarchy and privileged nobility. Find out how the struggle over the social and political system which would replace the Ancien Regime would divide both France and Europe. Tutor: Zoe Quinn.



    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 £58.00
  7. Arts of Imperial China
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the arts of imperial China spanning across 13 dynasties and 2000 years. Study how painting, sculpture, and architecture were deeply shaped by its richly diverse culture, philosophy, and religion.



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00
  8. Cold Wars, old and new
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Francesca Granelli
    In this course we will explore more than just the Cold War between the USA and USSR. We will explore the meaning of Cold Wars, where they were (and are) fought, how and by who.



    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 £58.00
  9. Diverse Docklands
    Course start date:  Tue 6 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Rachel Kolsky
    Explore the ever-changing face of east London through four different dockland neighbourhoods: Canary Wharf, Limehouse, Shadwell and Isle of Dogs.







    Meeting Place - first walk only



    Dockers to Wharfers: Canary Wharf



    Canary Wharf, Elizabeth Line station, Canada Place exit.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  11. Modern African history: understanding the state and economy since independence
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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 evolution.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00
  12. From independence to the present: Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mirza Jaffer Abid
    Join us to explore the fascinating histories of the lesser studied South Asian nation-states of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from decolonisation to the present.



    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
  13. Image and identity: 20th century Chinese art and cinema
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the art of Chinese artists and filmmakers from the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st, as they try to make sense of a world on the cusp between the old and the new, marked by encounters with imperialism and iconoclasm. Learn what place art had in socio-political movements, and how it reflected the hopes and anxieties of its time.



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00
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