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. 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
  2. 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
  3. The criminalization of protests and democracy in Western Europe
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Salome Ietter
    This course looks at the responses of Western European governments to recent protests and asks what the increasing criminalisation of protests means for the state of democracy in these countries.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  4. India and Pakistan: The histories, memories and legacies of Partition
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Martin Jorgensen
    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
  5. Left populism and socialism today
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Salome Ietter
    This course will provide an overview of the politics of ‘Left populism’ in their historical perspective and contemporary manifestations as well as in their relation to socialist politics.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  6. How to get published
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Feb 2025 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Neil Arksey
    So you've finished your novel. What's next? This short course provides guidance in submitting to agents and publishers, and helps you to tailor your work to maximise its potential in the marketplace.



    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
  7. Writing and rewriting fairytales
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Oct 2024 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Penny
    Once upon a time there was a City Lit workshop all about writing fairytales. The quest: to inspire writers to pen stories of love, fear, forests, revenge, dragons, witches, kings, queens, frogs and magic.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  8. Create your first poetry collection
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 19 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    You've written and workshopped your poetry, and now you're ready to create your first collection. But where do you begin with that process? This workshop offers instruction and advice on putting together your first poetry collection.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Tales of transformation: Ovid’s Metamorphoses
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 7 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nikoletta Manioti
    So many works of arts refer, in one way or another, to Ovid's Metamorphoses. In this course, you'll become familiar with some of the most memorable stories in this masterpiece and begin to understand why its stories are - and have been - so universally fascinating and influential.



    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
  10. O Lucky Lindsay Anderson!
    Course start date:  Tue 7 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Lindsay Anderson is widely recognised as one of the few authentic geniuses of British cinema, a visionary film director unafraid to challenge convention, who left an indelible mark on British cinema (e.g. on Ken Loach and Mike Leigh). He was a true maverick in every sense of the word. His uncompromising artistic vision challenged storytelling to provoke thought and change. He tackled social issues and explored the human condition through his unique directorial style. His key feature films are This Sporting Life (1963), If…(1968), O Lucky Man! (1973) and his final film in 1993, Is That All There Is?



    This course is running as part of City Lit's regular collaborations with the British Film Institute (BFI), who are screening a programme of films by Lindsay Anderson during May 2024. Please note that this course is taking place in the Cultureplex at City Lit, Keeley Street.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  11. America in the 70s: culture and society
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 7 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Pauline Greene, Mark Malcomson, Paul Sutton, Patricia Sweeney, Dafydd Townley, Ian Tucknott
    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 70s, an era of economic struggle and cultural change. While America continued to reflect aspects of 60s social upheaval, a more energised 'New Right' was emerging in defense of political conservatism and the traditional family, schisms that still exist today. We investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the 70s through a 'taster' of each subject area.



    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. "From Birth to Battle: The RAF, 1914-1945"
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 14 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Matthew Powell




    This course will explore how air power developed in Britain between 1914 and 1945.







    Taught by:



    Dr. Powell a Teaching Fellow in Air Power and Strategic Studies at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell as part of the Portsmouth Military Education Team. He holds a PhD in Modern History from the University of Birmingham. His first book The Development of British Tactical Air Power, 1940-1943: A History of Army Co-operation Command was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. He has published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals and is a regular TVP World (Poland) and British Forces TV. His current research investigates the relationship between the Air Ministry and the British aircraft industry in the inter-war period.



    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. Reading BrexLit: three novels
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 14 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    The 2016 referendum result was one of the most significant events in recent British history. How can novels, written in that moment, shed light on the run-up to the vote and its immediate aftermath?



    On this course we’ll study three fascinating and powerful novels, by Ali Smith, Anthony Cartwright and Adam Thorpe, exploring their stories and the backdrop they present of Britain’s divisions and connections.



    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
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