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. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Memoir writing: a taster
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 28 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Do you have a personal story to tell that will move, delight, stir and inform readers? This short course guides students in planning and crafting a memoir.



    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
  14. 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
  15. 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

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