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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Anthropology: language, culture, communication
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    Explore the different ways in which humans communicate socially via culture. The course's thematic approach covers topics such as language, art, and social relations.



    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 £79.00
  2. The Art of the Essay: from Walter Benjamin to Claudia Rankine
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dalia Neis
    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through collectively reading a variety of essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between diary, literary criticism, nature writing, elegy, aphorism, political tract, and mystical/religious experiences through key essayists including Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector, Audre Lorde, Etel Adnan, James Baldwin, David Rattray, and Claudia Rankine.



    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
  3. Writing comics and graphic novels
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 14 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn the skills to write comics on this introductory course. Discover the history and key features of the medium and generate 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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Picture book writing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 14 Feb 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    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
  5. Advanced creative non-fiction: workshop
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    This advanced workshop is designed for students who have already completed introductory and intermediate creative-non fiction courses and would like to focus on workshopping their writing.



    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:
    100% of 100
  6. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Charlotte Heather
    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  7. Battles, Riddles and Spells: the Old English tradition 900-1100
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Steven Breeze
    Great changes occurred in England between 900 and 1100. Viking invasions had turned to settlement, influencing the culture and language. Events in 1066 changed the ruling elite. The language used at court changed from Old English to Norman French. However, English was still the common tongue, and much of the great store of Old English poetry and prose was produced during this time. This course looks at the literature of 900-1100, as well as the turbulent events that affected and shaped English writing.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00
  8. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (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.



    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 £60.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  9. Writing about food
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laura Silverman
    Love food and want to write about it? Whether you’re keen to review dishes, interview chefs or write about sustainable eating, now is your chance. This course will cover writing for established publications as well as personal blogs.



    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 £72.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. The essay - academic writing
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Apr 2022

    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  11. The history and meaning of portraiture
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Examine the changing face of the portrait in art history from the early Renaissance to the present. Look at how and why its meaning and function have changed over the years and why artists are still drawn to it despite photography.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £152.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  12. Art evolutions: 1950s to today
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Explore art and culture in the late 20th century, focusing on the major developments and movements in art including Neo-Dada and Pop art, conceptual and performance, installation and Postmodernism, and their relationship to wider cultural contexts.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £152.00
  13. Post war German history 1961 to reunification and beyond
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    This course offers a broad survey of German history from the sealing of the country’s division by the Berlin Wall to its unforeseen reunification in 1989-90 and its aftermath.



    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 £66.00
  14. Poetry of the Vikings
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Steven Breeze
    Medieval Norse or Icelandic Poetry contains the bulk of the myth and legends relating to the Germanic peoples who migrated across Europe in the first Century A.D. Some of it is praise poetry, very complex in nature, made by Scandinavian court poets. Some of it appears within the great Saga literature. This course looks at some principal material about the creation and demise of the world, about gods, heroes, and a character who is driven into a snake pit and who plays the harp with his feet!



    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
  15. 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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00

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