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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of 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, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online 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.

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  1. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. The Byzantine Empire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sean Gabb
    The purpose of this course is to give an overview of Byzantine history, from the refoundation of the City by Constantine the Great to its final capture by the Turks.



    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 £84.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  3. Creative non-fiction
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 10 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
  4. The Trojan War – History or Myth?
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Michael Duigan
    Did Troy ever exist? Did a great siege ever happen? History or Myth? Come and find out on this fascinating course.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  5. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 8 Jun 2023 (and 4 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 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 £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  6. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Westcott
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    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 £55.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  7. Ways into creative writing
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 14 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    Want to have a go at creative writing in a supportive environment? Join one of these introductory courses. Guided exercises will give you the tools to explore language creatively and find your own writing voice.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  8. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    Explore the City’s development from Roman and medieval times through to the Tudors and Stuarts.



    This course will comprise of 10 walks starting with Roman London. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £105.00
  9. Travel writing: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Oct 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Susan Grossman
    You love travelling and taking photos but how do you decide what to write about and which pictures will sell? This course will give you the skills you need to approach editors with confidence.



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  10. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 11 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Anna Richards
    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  11. The Viking Age in 50 objects, c. 750-1100 CE
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Cassidy Croci
    We will explore how people lived, worshiped, fought, and identified themselves in the Viking Age (c. 750-1100 CE) using 50 objects.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £45.00
  12. International Prose and Poetry of the First World War
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Woody River
    The First World War inspired some of the most well-known and best-loved poetry in English literature, but less well known are the poems and prose by international writers from Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Russia, Poland, Hungary and America. Over a century since that war, this four-week course will provide an opportunity to read and discuss a selection of poetry and prose written by men who fought in the war, women who contributed to the war effort, and writers who responded retrospectively to the war.



    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
  13. Avant-garde women: art innovations of the 20th & 21st centuries
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Discover the work of prominent modern and contemporary women artists from the early twentieth century to the present, looking at the political and social transformations reflected in the artworks.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £116.00
  14. Exploring literature: An introduction to prose and poetry
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    This course introduces you to a variety of prose texts and poems from the nineteenth century to the present. Explore how poems work both ‘on the page’ and as spoken words. Reading prose, we’ll explore narrative technique, characterisation and social context. Come and discover what’s distinctive about these different forms of literature. Includes 'Washington Square' by Henry James, 'Mrs. Dalloway' by Virginia Woolf and a range of short stories and poetry.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  15. City Lit at the BFI: screen horrors - screen monsters
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 20 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  BFI Southbank

    Tutors:  Stacey Abbott
    From the ghostly apparitions of George Méliès’ Le Manoir du Diable (1896) to Ana Lily Amirpour’s skateboarding vampire in A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) to Jordan Peele’s uncanny encounters in Us (2019), horror on screen has been home to ghosts, vampires, zombies, aliens, and other monsters, visualising our nightmares and repressed desires. This eight-week course will accompany a season of films at the BFI devoted to the genre and will examine horror’s visceral pleasures; its capacity to thrill, transgress, and provoke; and its ability to express fear, anxiety, identity, and rage. Drawing upon examples from global horror cinema, this course will explore why screen horror is the most disreputable and compelling of genres.



    Please note this course will have a break week on Thursday 3 November due to the London Film festival.











    Please note that some of the films studied on this course contain graphic imagery. While care will be taken in the presentation of sequences from these films and in the discussions around them, please be aware that some of the material will be unsettling.



    Please note that this 8 week course will break for a week on Thursday 3rd November, but will resume the following week on Thursday 10th November. Your tutor will remind you of this at the beginning of the course.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £189.00

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