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 in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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  1. Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
  2. Everyday Life in the Roman Empire
    Course start date:  Thu 18 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sean Gabb
    An opportunity to find about how daily life was for ordinary people in the Roman Empire.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  3. An introduction to paradox
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    A paradox is an apparently absurd conclusion derived from seemingly uncontroversial premises through supposedly valid reasoning. This course will introduce you to six major philosophical paradoxes and some of the attempts to solve them.



    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
  4. Irish history and identity 5: American and European Influences in the Modern Era
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Colm Hickey
    Although inextricably linked to Britain, Ireland’s history, identity, and nationhood has equally been shaped by its relationship with Europe. This course traces Ireland’s the influence of European and American



    politics.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  5. Humanity and agriculture - the Neolithic revolution
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Simone Chisena
    Discover how, from the depths of prehistory, our species turned from nomadic hunter gatherers to stable, town-dwelling farmers across the Mediterranean and Europe.



    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 £149.00 Concession £97.00
  6. The world of Bob Dylan
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    This class explores the work of Bob Dylan, examining his song writing, musical style, and persona in the context of American cultural, political, and musical history, exploring how Dylan engages with American culture through his absorption and reworking of multifarious aspects of both historical and modern Americana.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  7. Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  8. Philosophy and tyranny
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Karl White
    What is the relationship between Philosophy and Tyranny? Have philosophers supported tyrannical rule throughout history? Have they spoken truth to power or have they instead colluded and strengthened its grip?
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  9. Twenty-first Century Folklore: myth and magic in the global world
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Goss
    This online course focuses on innovative short fiction from around the globe which reworks folkloric traditions to grapple with conditions of twenty-first century life. As well as engaging with the unique folkloric influences each text draws on, we’ll consider the complexities of the present that they are addressed to – and how the rising popularity of ghost stories, fairy tales, dark fables and surreal myths suggests a renewed fascination with the intrigues of the mysterious, monstrous and inexplicable.



    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 £149.00 Concession £97.00
  10. Historical fiction: reimagining and rewriting
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    What’s the unique appeal of historical fiction? Why do we read it, and what are we looking for? This course investigates historical fiction written in the twenty-first century and how it reimagines the past for us as contemporary readers. Reading novels and short stories set in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we’ll explore historical fiction’s strategies, challenges and pleasures: how it can bring unknown stories into view and rewrite what we think we know. Includes Francis Spufford's Golden Hill (2016), Emma Donoghue's The Woman who Gave Birth to Rabbits (2002) and Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet (2020).
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  11. Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £75.00
  12. The Russian Revolution
    Course start date:  Thu 9 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Zoe Quinn
    In 1917 two revolutions swept through the Russian Empire. The second, in October, is a pivotal moment in modern world history, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union. This introductory interactive lecture course explores how and why these two revolutions occurred. Tutor: Zoe Quinn.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  13. Before the election: the essentials of British politics!
    Course start date:  Thu 9 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ian McGarvie
    This essentials course will give you the foundations of the political system in the United Kingdom, whilst also enabling you to use your newly acquired knowledge to discuss and debate current affairs matters in real time.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  14. Spectacles of the Ancient world
    Course start date:  Thu 9 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    This course explores some of the most elaborate and powerful displays of the Graeco-Roman world. Designed to entertain, inform, and elicit support, often at times of great political or religious significance, they were unforgettable, and have long exercised an influence on our own understanding of the nature of power.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £58.00
  15. Britain: the 1800s- poverty, industry & protest
    Course start date:  Thu 9 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    How did the working classes adapt to the social changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution? Shifting demographics, the rise of industry, child labour and the role of women in the industrial sphere are all themes that we will explore on this course, together with public protests against wages and living conditions.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
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