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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information on our online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. A taste of poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Feb 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Billie Manning
    This short, fun taster course is the perfect starting point for students who are writing for the first time or new to the poetry path. Join us for two evenings of thought-provoking writing exercises and poetry theory for beginners.



    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  2. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Charlotte Heather
    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.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  3. Writing a memoir (continuation)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 14 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This continuation course guides students in developing a memoir project that will resonate and inspire.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Life writing: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    This inspiring workshop encourages students to explore a range of techniques and approaches for writing about your own life.



    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 £28.00
  5. Micro-memoir: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 17 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    A life is measured in moments as well as momentous occasions. This fun day workshop coaches students in the art of micro-memoir. Can you write about an instant that changed you in 200 words or less?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £8.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This six week course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. The Renaissance in Umbria
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Explore the Italian Renaissance from Umbria, the land of Raphael and Perugino. Expand your knowledge beyond Florence, Rome and Venice to discover the artistic treasures of this little-studied region of Italy.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  8. Seminal films of the 1980s
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mick McAloon
    In the 1980s, as Hollywood rejected the auteur-driven movies of the 1970s in favour of “high-concept” action films (Top Gun, Days of Thunder) there were still filmmakers – Martin Scorsese, Agnès Varda, Jane Campion and Spike Lee – who continued to expand the art form. Drawing from Europe, Britain, New Zealand and America, this course explores some of the defining films of a much-maligned decade.



    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 £97.00
  9. Friday lates: 'the future is now', an introduction to video art
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore the early history of video art, its rise as a medium and its significance as a contemporary art practice. We focus on the influential video works from the 1960s-1980s.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  10. 'We're still here': new contemporary painting in the UK
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Living in a digital age, is contemporary painting ‘redundant'? This four week course explores how alive and kicking contemporary painting is in Britain. Discover how exciting, new UK-based artists use both experimental and traditional painting approaches to address issues of identity, history and personal experience.



    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 £60.00
  11. Judaism and Modernist Literature: from Kafka to Clarice Lispector
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  James Leveque
    This course will examine the contributions of Jewish writers in the developments of literary Modernism, from the beginning of the 20th century. We will develop an understanding of how Jewish writers deployed the techniques and themes developed in Modernist writing to approach a series of topics, such as the Jewish family and his or relation to the national body, the Jew as racialised figure and anti-semitism, and the Jewish scriptural traditions.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  12. Friday lates: Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kara Walker - representing history
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore how Basquiat and Walker, two of contemporary art’s most important voices, use art history, from Ancient Egypt to Abstract Expressionism, to get viewer's thinking about contemporary issues of racism, gender and representation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00

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