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.

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  1. Biography writing
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Robert Fraser
    What makes a great biography? Learn to experiment with your own life writing as you uncover the techniques and methods of this exciting genre with a professional biographer.



    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
  2. Ways into poetry: a gentle pace
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Are you brand new to writing poetry? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners in the craft? This gentle short course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a poet.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Summer exhibitions in London: Inspired! Art & Literature at the Guildhall Art Gallery
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Explore the connection of literary and visual arts in the collection of London's Guildhall Art Gallery. Get in the know before you go to the Guildhall's Inspired! exhibition this summer or just build your understanding of how literature inspired Victorian artists.



    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
  4. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Yvonne Singh
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing. On this course you will start to produce your own works of creative non-fiction.



    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:
    95% of 100
  5. Writing romance
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rebecca Ferrier
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a single pen can compose an unforgettable romance novel. This six-week course will guide students through the plotting of modern romance stories.



    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
  6. Robert Frost: a life in poetry
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Woody River
    With a career spanning nearly fifty years, Robert Frost is one of America’s best-loved poets. His poetry is often written in simple meters with regular rhyme schemes, and most of us will probably be familiar with at least one of his poems, either ‘The Road not Taken’ or ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’. Both poems are set in the woodlands of New England, but is there more to Robert Frost than being a traditional poet who loved nature?



    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
  7. Islam and politics in South and Southeast Asia post-1945
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nomaan Hanif
    Islam has long history in South and Southeast Asia and has remained a powerful influence in social and political spheres in the region following decolonisation. Join this course to learn how Islam has shaped the political dynamics of key countries and actors in the region.



    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 £44.00
  8. America Divided – the lead up to the US Mid-Terms and beyond
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson
    Every election is important but some elections have huge implications, this year’s Mid-Terms increasingly feel like they are in that group. Will they be a referendum on Biden’s presidency; a repudiation or resurrection of Trump; what part will the Supreme Court have to play; and will the finely balanced equilibrium, which slightly favours the Democrats in both the Senate and the House, be overturned?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £15.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £15.00
  9. Makers not muses: Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar and Isabel Rawsthorne
    Course start date:  Thu 16 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore the work of three radical artists whose work and practice defied convention in modern art from the 1920s to 1960s. Discover how each artist challenged and transcended society’s expectations of being a ‘muse’ by living freely and making art in a variety of media, from painting and sculpture to collage, photography and performance.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  10. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 16 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    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 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
  11. The odd couple: Presidents Ford and Carter
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson
    Presidents Ford and Carter, who only served just over six years between them, often feel like relatively insignificant figures compared with other post-War Presidents. However, they served at a tumultuous time in both the United States and in the World. We will look at both men as individuals, their lives and reflect back on their presidencies and their legacies.



    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
  12. Britain and the Empire: the 1807 abolition of the slave trade
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Why did the British slave trade end in 1807 despite its apparent financial advantages? Historians have long debated the reasons for the abolition of the slave trade, variously citing economic, social, political and moral factors. How can we reconcile these competing theories over the reasons why the slave trade ended?
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £57.00
  13. Modernist Outsiders
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 7 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Kafka, Beckett, Pessoa, Schulz, Walser, Lispector: what does it mean to be a literary outsider, socially, intellectually, geographically? How does such a condition affect the quality of your imagining, your ability to build and sustain a personal vision that is at the same time sufficiently responsive to the concerns of the world around you?



    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 £42.00
  14. Movements in art: Pop and Minimalism
    Course start date:  Thu 7 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    From Andy Warhol to Yoko Ono, Richard Hamilton to Maya Lin explore Pop Art and Minimalism to understand how these rival movements revolutionised the way we see and experience art.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Religion and nothingness: the Kyoto School
    Course start date:  Thu 7 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Goff
    Thinking of God as ‘Absolute’ and as ‘Nothing’ is key to the inter-faith dialogue of Zen Buddhism and Christian theology promoted by Kyoto School thinkers Nishida and Nishitani. In what sense is God ‘Nothing’?
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £39.00

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