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.
- Modern French literatureCourse start date: Fri 29 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Richard NilandExplore modern French literature in translation, discussing literary style, themes, and contexts as a way of sharing and developing responses to celebrated French writers. From Cendrars and Céline to Modiano and Ernaux, come discover poetry, prose, fiction, and autobiography by essential French authors of the past one hundred years.
- Latin American literary classicsCourse start date: Fri 19 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Richard NilandFrom 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 of its best writers.
- Global arts of AfricaCourse start date: Fri 19 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Thomas BalfeThis course introduces major forms of African art in their regional and global contexts. It studies classical traditions of carving, metal casting, architecture and textile arts as well as twentieth-century and contemporary developments, including the work of photographers and conceptual artists.
- London's quartiersCourse start date: Fri 19 Jan 2024
Location on this date: Blended (learn both online and in-person)Tutors: Sue JacksonThrough 1 lecture and 7 guided walks, explore some of London’s quartiers – Soho, Mayfair, Covent Garden, Spitalfields, Clerkenwell, St James and Bloomsbury and understand how their very distinct characters were formed. The first session will be delivered via Zoom and other sessions will be guided walks.
London guide: Sue Jackson.
This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
- Borderlines of madness in 19th century fictionCourse start date: Fri 2 Feb 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Sarah WiseWe will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will analyse are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
- A day in the life of the everyday: the twentieth century circadian novel: Mrs. Dalloway, One Fine Day, The HoursCourse start date: Fri 26 Apr 2024
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Jenny StevensNovels 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.
- City Lit reading group 2Course start date: Fri 22 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Patricia SweeneyShare 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 'Trust' by Hernan Diaz. Monthly meetings take place on 22 Sept, 27 Oct, 01 Dec; 19 Jan, 23 Feb, 22 March, 26 April, 24 May and 28 June.Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
- Textiles: an international historyCourse start date: Fri 29 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Elizabeth EyresAs well as expressing power, prestige and fulfilling symbolic functions, textiles have been intimately linked to the everyday lives of members all societies for millennia. On this course you will study the development of woven, printed and embroidered textiles of many kinds from around the globe and explore the significant roles they have played in the world’s material culture.
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