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.

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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

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  1. 20th Century Britain: The Thatcher Age 1975-1997
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 17 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  David Fowler
    The fourth in a new cycle of modern British history courses, this course examines the transformative social and cultural change in Britain during the Thatcher Decade; probing how far the Thatcher Governments were responsible for social and cultural change. Or was this largely the work of provincial cultural entrepreneurs like Tony Wilson (“Mr Manchester”)?



    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
  2. Art and melancholy: from the Enlightenment to the Victorian age
    Course start date:  Wed 17 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Study the art of the period from c.1750-1880 considering Romanticism and the Pre-Raphaelites. We look at ‘romantic’ landscape, the modern moral subject and the depiction of women. Explore the art of women artists who struggled to survive as artists in the tightly controlled world of the art academy where the woman was encouraged to be muse and model rather than creator and thinker.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
    Rating:
    70% of 100
  3. Colonial America: European settlement 1560 – 1815
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    The online course explores European settlement (British, French, Spanish, Russian, Swedish) of North America. It examines the differences between English colonies; the American Revolution; the formation of the United States; and the War of 1812.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Women writing and walking: Virginia Woolf, Nan Shepherd, Rebecca Solnit
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This online course considers the relationship between walking and writing in three innovative works of literary non-fiction: Virginia Woolf’s essay ‘Street Haunting’ (1927), Nan Shepherd’s ‘The Living Mountain’ (written c. 1945, first pub. 1977), and Rebecca Solnit’s ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ (2006).



    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 £135.00 Concession £110.00
  5. Exploring European cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This class introduces you to a range of themes and issues in European cinema, including art cinema, national cinema, movements, 'moments' and new waves, authorship, popular cinema and genre, along with key developments in European film history from the silent era to the present day, key films, directors and the canon of European cinema, and a range of critical accounts of European cinema.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £123.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. African philosophy
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ovett Nwosimiri
    This course is an introduction to African philosophy. We will analyse the various positions and contestations regarding the nature, and trends in African philosophy, debate on communitarianism and personhood, African ethics, ubuntu, and decolonisation of knowledge.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
  7. Post-war German history: 1961 to reunification and beyond
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 1 May 2024

    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 £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £116.00
  8. Stories of London
    Course start date:  Wed 1 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both online and in-person)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    Explore London’s rich history in a series of guided walks. Each week we examine a different neighbourhood & era from the capital’s past. We look at its people, both rich and poor, & the events that shaped the city.



    Initial lecture via Zoom followed by 6 guided walks.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  9. The death of God
    Course start date:  Wed 1 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Over the past five hundred years in the West belief in God has declined. This course will examine why this has happened and consider the meaning and significance of what has taken place.



    Please note: There will be no class on 20/05/24.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  10. Contemporary women's fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Fiona McCulloch
    Discuss a selection of novels written by women in contemporary British society. Focusing on the 21st century, we consider the concerns of fiction in grappling with representing the now. We will make links between literary texts and social context to consider how fiction might be influenced by and influencing the real world beyond its covers. Texts include Bernardine Evaristo's Mr. Loverman (2013), Jenni Fagan's The Panopticon (2013) and Ali Smith's Hotel World (2002).



    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
  11. Village London
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    London is made up of a series of villages, each with its own individual characteristics. Explore Shoreditch, Mayfair, Bermondsey, Notting Hill, Clerkenwell, Islington, Harrow on the Hill and Wapping,in 8 guided walks.



    First meeting place:meet at Shoreditch High Street station.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
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