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. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  2. Anthropology: what is anthropology?
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    This introductory online course gives you the basic tools for an elementary understanding of anthropology. We will identify methods and areas of concern that distinguish it from sociology, history and other disciplines.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £70.00
  3. The Black Death
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    The study of the social and economic impact of the disease known as the Black Death that spread throughout the world in the 1340s and continued to flare up intermittently thereafter throughout Europe and beyond.



    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 £219.00 Concession £110.00
  4. Political communication in the West in the 20th century
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christian Schnee
    In the 2000s we saw the political communication move online, using social media, AI, network analysis etc. It is almost hard to imagine the times before this paradigm. Join Dr. Christian Schnee to explore political communication in the 20th century.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  5. The Golden Age of the British Short Story 1890-1914
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    The years 1890 to 1914 were a golden age for British writers of short stories. As the country moved from Victorian certainties to an unknown, possibly exciting, possibly frightening future, writers found the short story form perfectly suited to their concerns. The roll call is an impressive one: from Kipling, Hardy, HG Wells and Conan Doyle through Chesterton and Conrad to Katherine Mansfield and DH Lawrence.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  6. The Russian Empire 1700-1917
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Spyridon Tsoutsoumpis
    This module examines the history of the Russian Empire from the reign of Peter the Great to the Revolution of 1917 and the rise of Lenin to power.



    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 £50.00
  7. Writing an academic essay
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sinead Keegan
    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A-level and access courses or undergraduates.



    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 £50.00
  8. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 8 May 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  9. Writing for magazines
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 7 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Susan Grossman
    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.



    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:
    98% of 100
  10. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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:
    93% of 100
  11. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  12. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore the themes of poverty, politics, gender and ethnicity in London at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century through the eyes of writers of fiction, but also through the testimony of their non-fiction contemporaries – social investigators, government officials, journalists and philanthropists.



    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
  13. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Monthly meetings on 26 Sept, 24 Oct, 28 Nov; 16 Jan, 20 Feb, 20 March, 08 May, 12 June, and 10 July.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  14. Starting your novel
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  15. The power and influence of German art: from early medieval to early modern
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Discover the art of Germany from medieval to modern and the variety of artists came be a major influence not just on Northern art but also the Italian Renaissance and ultimately all of European art.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00

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