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. Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
  2. Origins of the Italian Renaissance: The Primitivi
    Course start date:  Fri 19 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Simone Chisena
    Discover the history, politics and intellectualism that fuelled the Italian Renaissance. Explore the art of Giotto and his peers from a new perspective.



    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 £119.00 Concession £97.00
  3. Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. Italian cinema: from Neorealism to the genre film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    This cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  5. A day in the life of the everyday: the twentieth century circadian novel: Mrs. Dalloway, One Fine Day, The Hours
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Stevens
    Novels that fit all their action into just one day (‘circadian novels’) have been penned by some of literature’s most esteemed authors. This course focuses on three novels which use the one-day structure to tell their stories: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), Mollie Pater-Downes’s One Fine Day (1947), and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours (1999). It explores how they portray the inner life of characters, at the same time as engaging with broader social issues of the time.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  6. Visionary experiments: American art of the 1940s and 50s
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore American art during and just after World War II. From abstraction expressionism to social justice in photography and printmaking see how the US's unique context created the foundation for experimental and transgressive art.
    Full fee £119.00
  7. An introduction to film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Develop your critical understanding of cinema through a range of concepts and critical approaches in film studies, including narrative, genre, spectatorship, authorship and directors, popular cinema, art cinema, national cinema and early film, along with technological developments including the transition to sound, while we view and discuss a range of key films from cinema's history as examples.



    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  8. 'The city was then drama mad!' Irish drama in the 20th century
    Course start date:  Fri 3 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Niall Culligan
    Reflecting on the 1916 Easter Rising, W.B. Yeats speculated: “Did that play of mine send out certain men the English shot?” The Irish political revolution is unique in being preceded by a literary revolution, most especially on the Irish stage, which hugely influenced the generation of politicians and thinkers that went on to shape modern Ireland. In this course we will trace developments in Irish drama throughout the 20th century, from the Irish Literary Revival to experiments from groups such as the Field Day Theatre Company, reading plays by writers including Yeats, Lady Gregory, J.M. Synge, Seán O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel, and Marina Carr.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  9. The city and the myth: Venice in 20th & 21st century literature
    Course start date:  Fri 31 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  David Barnes
    The beautiful city of Venice has attracted writers as diverse as Marcel Proust and Thomas Mann, Ezra Pound and Jeanette Winterson. These writers eulogised Venice as a city of art and culture, praising its gorgeous Gothic palaces and shimmering waters. In this course we look behind the myth, exploring the fascinating and surprising stories behind these Venetian visions.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  10. Representing nature in early modern Europe
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Thomas Balfe
    Explore the links between the visual image and ideas of nature in early modernity (c.1500-1750). At this time, tools like the microscope were visualising nature in new ways, changes were afoot in how humans related to animals, and the environments of Asia and the Americas were becoming more familiar to Europeans. We will focus on how artists and skilled artisans engaged with these subjects.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  11. A brief history of printmaking
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Discover the complexity of printmaking through this introduction to its history. Explore the cultural contexts, social ideas and artistic methods that make printmaking distinct to other forms of art.



    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
  12. Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
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