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 online and in-person learning. 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. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Concerning the spiritual: mysticism in 19th & 20th century European art
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Can a work of art be all touchy/feely and well… spiritual and mystical? We will explore what the words spiritual and mysticism mean in relation to art produced by 19th and 20th-century artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Hilma af Klint, Georgaina Houghton, Piet Mondrian and Anna Cassell.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
  2. Where is the future? An introduction to the philosophy of time
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 7 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    Time is a familiar and fundamental part of our lives - we count down the minutes until lunch, we schedule meetings, we set alarms - and yet few subjects have proven as mysterious and elusive. This course will explore some of the key questions that have preoccupied philosophers and scientists for thousands of years.



    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
  3. US Election and Political Update: Constant turmoil?
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 21 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson
    With the first primaries over, the state of the presidential election is becoming clearer, and we will review the state of the race and what comes next. At the same time, both the Senate and House of Representatives have been experiencing significant turmoil, and we will look at how each of them is trying to navigate these challenging times.



    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. Before the election: Understanding the different political systems across the United Kingdom
    Course start date:  Thu 11 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ian McGarvie
    Want to understand how the different political systems across the United Kingdom works? Join our tutor Ian McGarvie to explore!



    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 £55.00 Concession £45.00
  5. Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £55.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 18 Apr 2024 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    For experienced writers, this supportive but rigorous workshop offers the perfect opportunity to develop your novel or short story. Receive in-depth feedback and benefit from detailed group discussions on the art of fiction.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £115.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  8. An introduction to European decorative arts at the V&A
    Course start date:  Thu 18 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Andreas Petzold
    The Victoria and Albert Museum has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of European decorative arts in the world. This course aims to provide an introduction to these rich collections. It will focus on the period 1500 to 1900, but references later developments. The main media will be explored including textiles, ceramics, glass, metalwork, and silver.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £58.00
  9. 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
  10. Makers not muses: Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar and Isabel Rawsthorne
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    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.



    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 £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  11. Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  12. Cultureplex ciné-club
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 11 Jan 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the rest of the academic year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  13. An introduction to the history of architecture
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Architecture is the one art form that we cannot avoid even if we try. It shapes our environment and the way we live our lives, so understanding why buildings look the way they do is a vital part of understanding the world around us. This introductory course will enable you to do just that by examining the development of architectural styles from Ancient Greece to the present day.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
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