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. Ways into Islamic art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    An introductory art history course providing an overview of the development of the visual language of Islamic cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  2. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Oct 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  3. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022 (and 14 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £36.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  4. The Odyssey reading group (in translation)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 25 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Justin Murray
    Homer’s epic tale of Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War may now be over 2,500 years old but it still has much to tell us about the Ancient Greek world that is still relevant today. Explore this great work in translation.



    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:
    80% of 100
  5. Starting your novel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Apr 2022 (and 6 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (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.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  6. Fakes and forgeries
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    What gives an artwork get its value? Investigate the very fine boundary between the real and the fake and who makes the call by looking at various interpretations of authenticity.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. Writing for magazines
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 24 May 2022 (and 6 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
  8. Costume and fashion in art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Costume from the past rarely survives, except in the depiction of it in paintings. Explore 500 years of costume in European art across a range of subject matter and decode the socio-political contexts and cultural identities contained within the choice of dress.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  9. Spanish Art 1900-1937: the age of Picasso, Miró and Dalí
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Stuart-Smith
    Reflecting a 'silver age' of literature, art in Spain before the Civil war encompasses the modernist genius of Picasso, Juan Gris and Miró; the surrealism of Dalí and the late Impressionism of Joaquín Sorolla.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
  10. An Introduction to the American Horror Film
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Once a minor genre, the American horror film is now a major presence in popular cinema. This course explores its history and development from the late silent and early sound eras to the present day, taking in its key films, their themes, and the studios and filmmakers behind the films, while also considering a range of critical responses and ways of conceptualising the American horror film.



    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 £64.00
  11. The rise of the American Dream: 1940s - 1950s
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Dale Mineshima-Lowe
    This course will cover the changing period in America – where the nation is on the brink of going to war; the impact of the War on America – domestically and on the global stage.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  12. Stories from Europe
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of European writing from the second half of the 20th century include Arturo’s Island by Elsa Morante (Italy), The Last and the First by Nina Berberova (Russia), The Inseparables by Simone de Beauvoir (France), Train was on Time by Heinrich Boll (Germany), Forty Lost Years by Rosa Maria Arquimbau (Catalonia/Spain) and The Man From London by Simenon (Belgium).
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  13. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022 (and 15 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.



    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
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  14. Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This online Literature course explores three novels by Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. We will develop an appreciation of Austen’s narrative style and social critique through close analysis of her language, informing our reading by engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels.



    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 £111.00 Concession £90.00
  15. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Apr 2023 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This six week course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100

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