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.

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  1. Heavenly journeys
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore imaginative literature from the ancient world concerned with ‘souls journeys’ and the experience of otherworldly journeys and visions in Jewish texts arising form the Hellenistic period and the Greco-Roman world, as well as early Christian and Muslim texts.



    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
  2. Machiavelli's 'The Prince': an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 30 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    One of the most poignant ideas that emerged from the Italian Renaissance was the centrality of mankind. This new society, in which man could shape his own destiny, led to a new type of ruler, which is perfectly described in Machiavelli's work.



    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. Victorian fiction 1840 -1880: the rise of Realism
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 6 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course will consider the Victorian novel over a period of 40 years from the perspective of realism and its importance in the development of the novel’s form, style and significance.



    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. Cryptocurrencies: fad or revolution?
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 6 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Cryptocurrencies moved from the fringes to the financial mainstream. Yet, questions about their utility and long-term viability are far from settled. This course equips participants with tools to forge their own informed opinions.



    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 £35.00
  5. Disney: film theory and high art
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 6 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Walt Disney Animation is not just entertainment for children. Film theorist Sergei Eisenstein was very interested in what animation could do to film’s form and meaning. Equally, Salvador Dali worked with Walt Disney on a surrealist film. This course will explore the many artistic influences on the Walt Disney Company in the 20th century.



    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. Craft focus: character in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

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

    In fiction, character and plot are inseparable elements of craft. Without characters in stories there can be no action, and without characters acting there can be no plot. In this course you'll learn how to create characters that can drive a narrative forward and deepen its themes.



    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
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  7. How to get an agent
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 13 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This intensive workshop offers students insider, need-to-know information on securing a literary agent.



    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
  8. 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
  9. Craft focus: voice in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    All fiction must have a 'voice,' a complex mix of elements that, together, give the piece its unique identity. Learn what 'voice' really means in fiction and how to develop a voice for your story that can capture the attention of readers.



    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  10. Writing the family
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    A thought-provoking workshop designed to tackle the challenges of writing about family life and offer guidance on shaping personal stories into coherent, engaging narratives.



    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
  11. Masters of Cinema: Vittorio De Sica
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Matinee idol; pioneer of Italian neo-realism; popular international director; Vittorio De Sica was a man of many parts. From The Bicycle Thieves to his work with Sophia Loren, De Sica brought Italian people and society to the world stage.



    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. Masters of Cinema: Douglas Sirk and subversive melodrama
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online film studies course will explore the work of the Hollywood director Douglas Sirk, most famous for his 1950s Hollywood melodramas Magnificent Obsession (1954), All that Heaven Allows (1955), Written on the Wind (1956) and Imitation of Life (1959). The course will consider the films of this intensely productive period in some detail but it will also explore the film melodrama more broadly, considering its history, development and its critical significance. The course will consider Sirk’s status as a master filmmaker by exploring his entire career and it will examine the lasting influence and legacy of his 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
  13. British Gothic Cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore British gothic cinema from its origins in low budget chillers of the 1930s and dark noirs of the 1940s, to its golden age from the 1950s to the 1970s through the films produced by studios such as Hammer, Amicus and others. We will consider a range of films and discuss their style, themes and critical reception, along with issues such as the films' cultural context and censorship.



    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
  14. An artistic history of Jerusalem
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Jerusalem is considered the holy city for the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and is one of the most iconic cities in the world.



    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
  15. Mirror on the wall: an introduction to philosophy through art
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course rearranges the cultural kitchen – placing Picasso beside Plato, Rubens beside Rousseau and Monet beside Montaigne – to ask questions of universal urgency: the value of pleasure, the limits of judgement and what it means to be human.



    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 £63.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    60% of 100

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