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. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Shrinks on screen: psychologists on TV and Film
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mary Wild
    In this course, we will look at examples of ‘shrinks on screen’—portrayals of mental health professionals (psychiatrists, social workers, psychoanalysts, etc.) in cinema and TV. We will critically examine ‘head doctors’ tropes, and identify iconic psychotherapy sessions in movies and television that convincingly represent the challenges and effectiveness of the so-called ‘talking cure’.







    Mary Wild is a film lecturer and podcaster with an academic background in psychoanalytic theory. Her research interests include cinematic representation of the unconscious, surrealism, mental illness, feminine subjectivity, the horror genre, and auteur studies. In addition to teaching at City Lit, she is a regular speaker at Freud Museum London.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul: the story of an iconic city
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Roberta Marin
    Discover the multilayered history of the city from the origins to the end of the Ottoman Empire.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  8. Local history writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Allis Moss
    On this inspiring short course you will learn how to write local history books, booklets and features; covering a wide range of topics such as family, home towns, old buildings, parks, markets and beyond.



    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:
    88% of 100
  9. South Asia after independence
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mirza Jaffer Abid
    The course surveys the political, social and cultural history of South Asia since 1947, paying proportionate attention to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  10. Art in the age of Napoleon: politics, painting & propaganda
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Explore the art of Napoleonic Europe via issues such as political and social upheaval, Neo-Classical priorities, and the rise of Romanticism, in the work of artists such as David and Goya.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. Writing myths
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Maria Contos
    Whether you want to write about mythical beasts in a modern-day setting or pen a traditional epic, this fun, interactive taster will equip you with the craft basics to write a myth that will move and inspire.
    Full fee £69.00
  12. Universal horror: classic horror cinema from Universal Studios
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Universal had its greatest successes of the classical era with a series of horror films with which it will forever be associated. It's classic horror figures define the golden age of horror cinema, while the memorable performances of stars such as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi established them as horror legends. Explore and enjoy these classic horror films and their lasting legacy for the genre.



    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
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