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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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or 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 on our online courses, 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 now.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. 'Overturning the Home': a study of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Delving into this lyric and haunting text, we will consider Robinson’s vision of the house disrupted and how this releases the energies of constricted identities. Exploring ideas and understanding around the questioning of domestic and traditional constructs and how this impacts female identity, we will study how Robinson creates intimate spaces and relationships to overturn assumptions around parenting, the home and our relationship to the natural world.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  2. Bollywood women: stardom, performance and the construction of gender
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Bollywood produces some of the biggest films in the world, with wide global reach and overseas markets. However, relatively little has been written about the key female stars and the changing film roles for women in Hindi cinema. Explore these key female stars and how they have made themselves distinct on film through both film narratives and performance styles.



    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. Dante's Divine Comedy: an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Divine Comedy is an imaginary journey through the three realms of the afterlife. It's a fascinating compendium of life in 14th century Italy, but Dante's ability to depict humanity in all its aspects is timelss and has fascinated readers ever since.



    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
  4. Developing your fairytale
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Already devised a cunning plan for your own fairytale? This fun workshop coaches students on how to add an extra dash of magic into the cauldron while writing in the fairytale genre.



    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
  5. Masters of cinema: the films of Luis Bunuel
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course explores the immense influence of Buñuel’s films on World cinema. We will experience his visionary approach to filmmaking and storytelling by viewing and analysing his brilliant and scandalous films.



    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. London regeneration: history, politics and architecture
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Explore the reconstruction of London after WWII, the decline of its infrastructure, population and economy in the 1960s and 1970s and the emergence of a truly global city by the end of the century.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  7. How to build a career around your writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Want to write but also build a sustainable career? This short course will help you know where to look for opportunities.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  8. Adam and Eve, David and Bathsheba: stories and afterlives of biblical marriages
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    The course is about the literary traditions which stemmed from well-known biblical stories, about how and why communities continued to engage and rewrite biblical stories.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £26.00
  9. Aliens, anxiety and the bomb: 1950s science fiction cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 30 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    SF cinema of the 1950s drew on the social, political and technological concerns of the period, producing a rich body of films that reflect these themes. Looking at a range of American SF films of the period, this course considers the ways in which these films accommodate such issues, their function as popular, genre cinema, their production contexts, and the way that critics have understood them.



    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
  10. Women behind the camera: in Hollywood and beyond
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Did you know that the first fiction film was directed by a woman? That there were more women working behind the camera in the first 30 years of cinema, than in the last 30? That only one woman has won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival? In this Study Day we will explore the careers of women directors from the past, those working today, and those whose careers are in their early stages.



    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
  11. Dickens' London
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 14 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' Enjoy this introduction to Dickens' work and the London of his time. Morning lecture at City Lit followed by a walk in the area of the city connected to his work.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  12. Rulfo, Borges and Marquez: masters of Latin American storytelling
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We explore the main short stories from Borges' 'Labyrinths' (1962), together with Marquez's novella 'No one writes to the Colonel' (1961) and Rulfo's novel 'Pedro Páramo' (1955), investigating their unique approach to storytelling that shows the diverse and complex cultural and social context they originate from.



    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
  13. Melodrama, Fantasy and Realism: British cinema in the 1940s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    The 1940s saw major developments in British films and filmmaking matched by record numbers of cinema-goers and lively critical debate. Explore this 'golden age' of British cinema through films such as Millions Like Us, Brief Encounter and The Red Shoes, and themes including national cinema, realism, melodrama and fantasy, while assessing its critical reception and impact on British film culture.



    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
  14. From Cain and Abel to Joseph and his brothers: stories and afterlives of biblical siblings
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    The course is about the literary traditions which stemmed from well-known biblical stories of siblings, about how and why communities continued to engage and rewrite biblical stories.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
  15. Poetry of the 30s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Wedged between the two wars, the poets of the 1930s were drawn to forces larger than themselves. For poets such as W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, war, revolution and the allure of communism dwarfed mere personal anxieties. Others – such as William Empson, Kathleen Raine and Dylan Thomas – found a seam of spiritualism in other, more mystical, even Romantic antecedents. Our course traces these discrepant paths through the decade.



    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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