History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study 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, 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 online now.

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  1. Writing villanelles
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 16 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do not go gentle into that good night; write villanelles that rage, rage against the dying light. This interactive day workshop teaches students about the origins of the form popularized by Dylan Thomas, Emily Bishop and Sylvia Plath, and explores methods of manipulating the villanelle in new, subversive ways.

    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
  2. The Art of the Essay: from Walter Benjamin to Claudia Rankine
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 23 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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. A compact guide to international migration: history and present
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 30 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore and understand trends and developments in international migration since the industrial revolution.

    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 £35.00
  4. Ancient Greek poetry reading group (in translation)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are still well-loved, but other archaic Greek poets’ surviving works are equally fascinating. Explore the world and works of Hesiod, Archilochus, Sappho, Pindar and others.

    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  5. Micropoetry: small poems, big ideas
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 10 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the emerging art form of micropoetry in this fun but informative day workshop. Compose your own poetry and learn how to make every word on the page count.

    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
  6. Creating your author platform online
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 2 Jun 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Increasingly publishers are looking for an author with an impressive online presence, as well as a sparkling manuscript. In this workshop, you'll learn how to start and grow your author brand, gain a following and build a readership for your future titles.

    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:
    90% of 100
  7. Ruling by right of conquest: Henry VII in history
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Henry VII ruled England from the moment he seized the crown following the Battle of Bosworth until his death in 1509, yet there is nothing inevitable about the foundation of the Tutor dynasty. Just how strong was the Tudor claim to the throne and what is Henry VII’s legacy.

    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
  8. UK politics for beginners
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Brexit and then COVID have dominated the headlines, but this won’t last for ever. This courses offers an introduction to British politics so you are well prepared whether we return to business as usual… or a new normal.

    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 £35.00
  9. Portrayals of masculinity in the contemporary novel
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will explore how masculinity is portrayed in the post-colonial novel. We will discuss some of the factors that influence these portrayals, such as class, sexuality and race, and how they continue to be shaped by the colonial past in the post-colonial present of these works.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  10. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Apr 2021 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Writers on Writing
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 29 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Over the course of these six weeks, we will explore essays by a range of different writers, including Virginia Woolf, Alexander Chee, Brian Dillon, Patricia Lockwood, James Baldwin, and Wayne Koestenbaum, and explore the vastly different ways these artists envision their craft.

    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
  12. The Reformation: reassessing the reign of Henry VIII
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Portrayed as both an icon and a tyrant in portraits, cartoons, novels films and on television, Henry VIII is one of

    England’s most instantly recognisable kings. However, fictitious portraits have in many ways obscured the more

    serious side of Henry, particularly his own religious beliefs and his Reformation legacies.

    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
  13. Writing romance
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a single pen can compose an unforgettable romance novel. This interactive course will chaperone students through the plotting of modern romance stories.

    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:
    100% of 100
  14. Movies about the movies
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this online Film Studies course we will have a peek behind the curtain, and have a look at how the film industry has depicted itself onscreen. We will look at films which both celebrate and critique one of the most dominant entertainment industries and art forms of the 20th and 21st century.

    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. Mystery religions
    Course Date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Mystery religions were very popular in the ancient world and were organised as voluntary associations. Their popularity is attested in writings and in material culture of the Greco-Roman world. They offered intense religious experiences outside the official, civic religions. The participants were initiated into the mysteries: whilst there is considerable variety in form and content, a belief in a form of salvation was a common denominator of many of these mystery religions. The question of the relationship between the mystery cults and Christianity will also be broached.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

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