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. Performance poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Arji Manuelpillai
    Write poetry and perform it, finding your own style and delivery under the guidance of a spoken word artist. Explore the differences between performance and other forms of poetry.



    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  2. Indian philosophy in a nutshell
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    From mysticism to materialism, Indian philosophy is as diverse as its European counterpart, covering a wide range of thought about the nature of reality and with a distinctive concern for human spiritual liberation.



    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 £30.00
  3. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 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
  4. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.



    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 £36.00
  5. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 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
  6. Chinese Buddhist philosophy in a nutshell
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    "Every blade of grass, tree, pebble, and particle of dust is perfectly endowed with buddha nature …” — Zhanran. “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha” — Linji.



    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 £30.00
  7. Playwriting: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 28 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Brian Mullin
    Give playwriting a try in this fun and supportive one-off taster session. Ideal if you want to unlock your imagination and express yourself, but need a bit of encouragement to get started.



    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
  8. Picture book writing: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 28 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Find out more about writing a picture book text in this short, practical and interactive taster session.



    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
  9. First nations before and in US history
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    First nations' histories are often overlooked when studying at US history. Join us on this course to explore these ‘hidden histories’.



    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 £39.00
  10. 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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