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 online and in-person learning. 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. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. A star is born: the birth of Hollywood stardom
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann-Marie Fleming
    Once cinema began to develop, Hollywood began to promote stardom. Starting with Florence Lawrence, the industry began to capitalise on star personalities and encourage fandom. This course will examine how the Hollywood star system began and evolved. The course will begin by examining the ‘picture personality’ in 1912 through to the collapse of the traditional star system in the 1960s.



    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 £38.00
  2. History taster: from one empire to another?
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Martin Jorgensen
    Join us for an introduction on to how to make sense of the British and American ways of seeking global dominance and the ways in which people have resisted as we see the (re-)emergence of China, India and Russia in global politics and economics.



    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
  3. Deciphering the Rosetta Stone
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Hugo Cook
    200 years after one of history’s most famous puzzles was deciphered, tour around the British Museum’s new Decipherment exhibition and learn how the mystery of Hieroglyphs was unravelled with the Rosetta Stone, with other archaeological clues, and with a bit of genius.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  4. Emma of Normandy: twice Queen of England
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Emma of Normandy dominated English politics for nearly 50 years (1002-1050) and commissioned a spin doctor to rewrite history when the chips were down.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  5. Exploring ancient tombs around the world
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Terrence Maxwell
    Ancient tombs hold secrets that historians and archaeologists are still trying to unravel. Join us in this globetrotting adventure and explore the fascinating world of ancient tombs. Yes, you can wear your Fedora!
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  6. Four outstanding women philosophers of the 20th century
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Edgar Ter-Danielyan
    This course is an introduction to four outstanding women philosophers of the 20th century and some of their most important works: Mary Midgley (1919-2018), Elizabeth Anscombe (1919-2001), Philippa Foot (1920-2010), and Iris Murdoch (1919-1999).
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. The rise of the Method
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    This course explores the acting techniques and psychological elements a new generation of American screen actors brought to cinema in the 1940s and 1950s, known as The Method.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  8. Craft focus: narrative time in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    All fiction is bound by time: a story must begin and end. In this practical short course learn how time functions in fiction and, through practical writing exercises, how you can manipulate it to great effect. Suitable for those with some creative writing experience.



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
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  9. Diaspora history: Chinese communities around the world
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Qiuyang Chen
    Trace the movements of the Chinese diaspora from the 10th century to the present day and dive into case studies highlighting the Chinese communities’ integration and influence in different regions of the world.
    Full fee £59.00
  10. Satan and the Devil: a cultural eye view through text, image and tradition
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ann Jeffers
    The figure of Satan/devil has pervaded many centuries of the cultural imagination of the Western world. The course will examine the literary and iconographic sources for this enduring phenomena and will ask why ideas about the devil have continued to both frighten and fascinate and why its long-lasting association with sexuality and deceit continues to make it an attractive theme in contemporary culture.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. Continuity, Colonialism, Change: History of Science in Central and South America
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Gary Retallick
    In this course we will look at the history of science in Central and South America (CASA) before, during and after the period of European colonisation. We will see that scientific knowledge existed in many indigenous civilizations before Europeans arrived, we will consider how some of this knowledge was lost but some has been rediscovered, and we will consider what relation pre-colonial scientific thought has to science today in CASA.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  12. Jewish characters in Italian 20th century literature: Svevo, Bassani & Ginzburg
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Francesco Bucciol
    Discover how some Jewish characters have been portrayed by Italian novelists of the 20th century. We will read and comment on extracts from Italo Svevo, Giorgio Bassani and Natalia Ginzburg.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  13. Modern African history: understanding the state and economy since independence
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Mar 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ingrid Aguiar Schlindwein
    Explore post-colonial Africa's political, economic, and social journey since independence. Gain insights into state building, governance, development, and identity, fostering a holistic understanding of Africa's evolution.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00
  14. Film studies taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This taster of forthcoming film courses at City Lit in 2024 offers you the chance to think about which ones to take while also providing an opportunity to explore some of the key areas in film studies more generally.



    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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