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. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Apr 2021 (and 5 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
  2. Japanese history and culture in the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 15 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Kazuo Ishiguro expressed a unique, personal vision of Japan in his early novels. Discover how this relates to the ‘real’ Japanese history and culture of the mid-twentieth century, and also to the Nobel Prize-winning author’s perennial themes of memory, emotion and personal responsibility.

    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
  3. How to impress a publisher
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 15 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Publishing insider Lisa Goll offers expert advice on how to impress a publisher, work with agents and become a star author.

    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
  4. Don Quixote for the 21st Century: the first road novel
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 22 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover why Don Quixote is considered to be the first modern novel. We explore Cervantes’ work from a wide variety of perspectives, bringing it back to life 400 years later. Readers embark on an unforgettable voyage from the first line: 'Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago...'.

    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. An introduction to the horror film
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 22 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course introduces you to the genre's key themes, its major developments, and a range of critical perspectives on horror cinema. In doing so, we will view and discuss a variety of films and consider their various production contexts, including the Universal cycle of films in the 1930s, Hammer films of the 1950s/60s, American horror cinema since 1970, and recent East Asian horror cinema.

    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
  6. ‘Full steam ahead’: Britain’s railways in the Second World War
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 29 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course explores Britain’s railways’ national role from Evacuation through to Dunkirk, D-Day and beyond. Other aspects include the railways’ recruitment/deployment of women, response to invasion fears, the passenger experience, the Blackout and the Blitz.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £20.00
  7. Jesus: what does the evidence say?
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 29 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the evidence in the New Testament and other sources for who Jesus was, what he did and why he was crucified. This will involve developing knowledge of the New Testament and biblical interpretation.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  8. Craft focus: grammar, syntax and style for creative writers - a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 29 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Great poetry and prose begin when the writer puts the right words in the right places. Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new course, which combines creative writing with opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers looking to build confidence, and those with more experience who would like to practise these essential skills.

    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
  9. Creating your author platform online
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 2 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    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
  10. The oneness of time and being: explore the Zen philosophy of Eihei Dogen
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 5 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    “Life is not coming, not going, not present, not becoming. … life is the manifestation of the whole works, death is the manifestation of the whole works.” - Dogen.

    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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
  11. King Kong: a cinematic legend
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 5 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    King Kong was billed as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' in the original film and nearly ninety years later that status is just as mighty. Explore the film's conception, production and groundbreaking special effects, its enduring 'beauty and the beast' narrative, and its reputation, both critically and culturally, while also considering a sequel, two remakes, and other entries in the series.

    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
  12. Religion, ethics and modern life: assisted dying and Christianity
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore religious approaches to ethics, with a focus on sources and ideas from the Christian tradition, and apply these to the moral issue of assisted dying.

    This course may include content that some learners may find of a sensitive or challenging nature.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  13. The lost town of Lundenwic: mid-Saxon London 600-900 CE
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Look at the least known episodes in London's history, Lundenwic (AD 600-900) and Lundenburh (AD 900-1000).

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £20.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  14. Faith and the senses: ritual and world religions
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course is a comparative overview of how aspects of contemporary world religions engage the senses in both rituals and festivities and looks at some of the objects associated with these practices.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  15. Writing journeys – in collaboration with the British Museum
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    In partnership with the British Museum’s exhibition on "Thomas Becket: the murder and making of a saint", we’ll be exploring the concepts of journeys, travel and pilgrimages. Through a combination of close readings and creative exercises, you’ll be invited to consider your own physical, spiritual and creative journeys as inspiration for your writing.

    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

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