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. Masters of cinema: the Coen Brothers
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Coen brothers reflect reality through Hollywood genres: the film noir of Blood Simple, screwball comedy in Raising Arizona, the westerns True Grit or Buster Scruggs, and Hollywood musicals as celebrated in Hail, Caesar! Expect the unexpected—the Coens always add something exhilarating to the Hollywood genres they lovingly pastiche so you’ll never look at them the same way again!

    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. 'I caught this morning morning's minion': the passions of Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore why Hopkins wrote highly original poems of great power and beauty, but didn’t attempt to have them published in his lifetime. We will look at how this relates to his conversion to Roman Catholicism and, in turn, how this may have related to fears about his sexuality.

    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. A Play in two days: 'Cymbeline'
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Read or seen the play but want to know more? This course examines the background to Shakespeare's 'Cymbeline', discusses characters, identifies themes, draws parallels with Shakespeare's other plays, looks at language and analyses key scenes.

    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. Pitching your screenplay treatment
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 3 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    You've worked hard on a screenplay but how do you sell it? This short intensive course, led by an Emmy award-winning Producer, identifies tools you can select to create a compelling Pitch Treatment. Please note: this course will have a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.

    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
  5. Introduction to advanced academic writing (year 3 undergraduates and beyond)
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 17 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    An introduction to postgraduate academic writing and beyond. On this workshop we will explore the building blocks and strategies for good writing. Ideal for those studying, or contemplating writing, at this level.

    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
  6. Writing poetry: experiments in chance and choice
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore interesting, off-beat and diverse approaches to generating verse on this one-day course. Try out cut-ups, found lines, experiments in meter and rhyme, and much more.

    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
  7. Craft focus: grammar, syntax and style for creative writers - a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new taster 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 have a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.

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

    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
  9. Writing journeys – in collaboration with the British Museum
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021

    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
  10. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Apr 2021 (and 9 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
  11. American Gothic Cinema
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 25 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore American gothic cinema, past and present, through a range of key films, and discuss issues such as genre (including horror, mystery and melodrama), gender, narrative and film style. In doing so, we will consider the contexts of classical and post-classical Hollywood in which these films were produced, while also thinking about a range of critical accounts of American gothic 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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. The story of Christianity: history, beliefs, practices
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 2 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the origins and development of Christianity and its defining beliefs. We will look at the person of Jesus Christ, the Bible, the Church and key ideas such as the Trinity.

    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. Hannah Arendt: On Violence and politics
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 2 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    “ … power always stands in need of numbers, whereas violence … relies on implements.” “The extreme form of power is All against One, the extreme form of violence is One against All.”.

    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. The Bible and the big questions
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 9 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore key biblical passages which inform some of the big moral and theological questions and learn principles in biblical interpretation for addressing these questions.

    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. Travel writing: a taster
    Course Date:  Thu 3 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    You love travelling and taking photos but how do you decide what to write about and which pictures will sell? This course will give you the skills you need to approach editors with confidence.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £55.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £22.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100

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