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. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Apr 2023 (and 14 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £36.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  2. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022 (and 15 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    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.



    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
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  3. Looking at paintings
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Look at masterpieces in major London galleries in this introduction to European painting. Explore different painting techniques and genres (landscape, portrait and history painting) for a basic understanding and increased enjoyment of Western art.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. The art and culture of 17th century London
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Discover the 17th century: a time of upheaval in Europe, intercontinental trade, religious schisms and a wide range of artistic styles. See its art, architecture and design in London’s galleries and museums. #arthistory #explorelondon #walkingtour.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  5. City Lit reading group 1
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Tabby Toussaint
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Monthly meetings on 24 Sept; 22 Oct, 26 Nov; 14 Jan, 18 Feb, 25 March; 06 May; 10 June; 08 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  6. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. Introduction to art history
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    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
  8. City Lit reading group 2
    Course start date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 01 Oct, 29 Oct, 03 Dec; 21 Jan, 25 Feb, 01 April, 13 May, 17 June and 15 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  9. Latin American Literary Classics
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    From Mexico to Patagonia, Latin America has produced some of the most spellbinding literature of the modern age. From dictatorship and death to national identity and the natural world, join us as we investigate the cultural heritage of the continent through some its most famous writers. Includes Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Sabato, Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  10. T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land at 100
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  David Barnes
    100 years ago this autumn an extraordinary poem was published that changed the literary world in ways we are still processing today. T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land was a modernist masterpiece, a broken hymn of despair, a collage of voices from different cultures and histories – and a poem that soon became iconic. From its memorable opening line – ‘April is the cruellest month’ – to its closing prayer, it takes us through a rich cast of characters and settings, evocations of myth and religion, and references to modern life. In this course we will look at the poem’s politics, its attitude to religion and sex, its many allusions, and the great writers it influenced.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  11. London's smaller art collections
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Jun 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Discover some of London’s fascinating smaller art collections and hidden art treasures on this online art history course.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  12. Saints, scholars, sportsmen and soldiers: How religion, politics, education, sports and war shaped Irish identity: 1884-1922
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Colm Hickey
    Ireland has always been a divided nation and a part from religion, other issues that divided the country were politics, education, sport and wars. This course explores Irish history from 1884 until War of Independence and the creation of Northern Ireland in 1922.



    This course forms the second part of an accessible ‘beginners guide’ to Irish history and will help participants gain a general overview of the development of mid-Victorian Ireland from an island ruled by England to the creation of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free state in 1922.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £70.00
  13. Feminism in modern and contemporary art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Discover important modern and contemporary artists whose work can be broadly linked to the feminist project. We will discuss the political and social contexts in which the artworks were created.



    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
  14. Introduction to Latin American art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 13 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore the art of Latin America from indigenous cultures to colonisation and through the revolutions of the 20th and 21st centuries.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £103.00
  15. The art and culture of 18th century London
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 20 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Explore Georgian painting, sculpture and architecture, and consider them within the context of the history and culture of the 18th century exploring museums, galleries and other places in London online.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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