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. Contemporary American literature by Women
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Da Cunha Lewin
    The American canon is dominated by white, male writers. In this course, we seek to rectify this by exploring the work of women from all backgrounds working across disciplines. Authors include Joan Didion, Claudia Rankine, and Siri Hustvedt.



    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 £54.00
  2. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    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:
    98% of 100
  3. Short histories of empire in South-East Asia
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Alison Appleby
    South-East Asia was for centuries an area of colonial conquest. This course looks at three of the empires established in the region: Dutch, British and Japanese.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £22.00
  4. Movements in art: Impressionism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Study the work of a controversial group of painters working in and around Paris from the late 1860s and 1870s and explore how these artists re-thought their creative practice in response to modern 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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  5. Ulysses Sampler: the first four chapters
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first four chapters of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  6. Philosophy for life
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrew West
    This course is about trying to interrogate one’s own beliefs and attitudes, especially the attitudes that most shape our life.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £39.00
  7. Writing comics and graphic novels
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rachael Ball
    Learn the skills to write comics on this introductory course. Discover the history and key features of the medium and create your own project.



    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
  8. Movements in art: Post-Impressionism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Seurat are all called Post-Impressionists, yet each had different styles and preoccupations. Explore their work and lives and learn why they left such a valuable legacy.



    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 £42.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  9. Olympias: Feminine Power in Ancient Macedon
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Daniel Unruh
    The Macedonian queen Olympias was a famous figure in the ancient world. First and foremost, she was remembered as the wife of King Philip II of Macedon, conqueror of southern Greece, and the mother of King Alexander III of Macedon, known to history as Alexander the Great. But Olympias' identity goes far beyond wife and mother. The stories that have come down to us show her as a brilliant politician, a follower of strange religious rites, and even a general leading armies in the field. Some even represent her as the lover of a god!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  10. Reading and writing women in the ancient world: focus on reading
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Justin Murray
    Historical fiction about the Greek and Roman worlds is perennially popular with readers, and with the releases of books like Circe, The Children of Jocasta, and Electra, the new sub-genre of fiction exploring myths and legends has never been stronger. How are the female figures of these stories presented as relevant and accessible? And, for writers of historical fiction, how do we write accounts of these women in ways that draw out interesting new facets of their myths, or let readers see female figures they know already as if for the first time?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  11. European history taster: The Eastern Question: the Great (European) Powers and the Ottoman Empire, 1768-1914
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sebastien Ardouin
    For a century and a half, the relations between the Great Powers (Britain, Russia, Austria, France, Prussia - later Germany) were largely shaped by the Eastern Question, that is to say the question of the future of the Ottoman Empire as it faced increasing threats to its integrity. In this class, after a rapid survey of the interests of the Great Powers in Ottoman lands, we will focus on the moment when the Eastern Question erupted on the international stage, the 1768-74 Russo-Ottoman War, and its consequences.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  12. The changing 'face' of feminine power in America
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Dale Mineshima-Lowe
    The session will examine how our understanding of feminine power has been shaped and defined by individual female 'voices' throughout America's history and how this led to changes in attitudes by women and towards women in American society. Looking at those like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, women in the Roaring Twenties, through Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Kamala Harris - we explore what feminine power means in America and how it has been expressed.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  13. Movements in art: Cubism and Futurism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Cubism and Futurism are pivotal movements in the history of modern art – encapsulating all the promise and peril of the 20th century’s devastating birth, and even helping rewrite perceptions of space and time.



    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 £42.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  14. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  15. Masterclass: fiction (a year-long workshop)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    This intensive three-term fiction workshop is open by selective application and interview to a maximum of ten fiction writers working at the advanced and professional levels. Please note: the deadline for applications is Sunday 22nd August. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview via Zoom on Sunday 29th August.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £879.00 Senior fee £879.00 Concession £879.00

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