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. Constable's Hampstead
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 16 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The artist John Constable rented properties in Hampstead with his family from 1819 until he made it his permanent home in 1827.This virtual walk looks at the Georgian and Regency Hampstead he knew and includes quotes from his letters and points out his favourite places he painted.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £9.00 Senior fee £9.00 Concession £9.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. The art of writing the personal essay
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 30 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Follow in the footsteps of Dorothy Parker, George Orwell and Zadie Smith with this taster course on the personal essay, a continuously thriving genre of autobiographical 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
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  3. Film Noir and the dark side of Hollywood
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 30 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Film noir describes the darker tone and visual style of 1940s/50s’ American films, from The Maltese Falcon to Kiss Me Deadly. Emigre directors, thrilled by Raymond Chandler’s pulp poetry, painted an expressionist realism onto the screen in an outburst of artistic maturity, style and meaning. Pulp fiction’s existentialism exposed Hollywood confections and the dark side of the American dream. Indeed, The Bad and the Beautiful led to The Long Goodbye.

    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. Craft focus: novel plotting workshop (advanced)
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 6 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    If you have made a start on your novel, but need help getting it into shape, this course provides a flexible template that will help you to overcome the obstacles ahead.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £80.00
  5. Religions of India: what Jainism can teach us about peace and the environment
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 13 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Jain religion is non-theistic and believes in an everlasting soul and a material body. Its morality is based on non-violence and non-acquisition. The Jain aphorism ‘all life is interdependent’ is in tune with creating a peaceful and sustainable world.

    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Ealing Studios
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 4 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Although often remembered for its comedies, Ealing also produced films across a variety of other genres, from social realism and war, to crime thrillers and one great horror film. We will view and discuss a range of classic films and consider the studio's history and development, its key personnel, and a range of critical responses in this exploration of one of Britain's best loved film studios.

    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
  7. Writing flash fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 11 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A sideways glance: succinct, powerful. This short workshop on the essential components of flash fiction will teach you to tell a complete story in very few words. 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
  8. A walk through N3: Conservation Finchley
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 1 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Finchley Central contains three conservation areas. Starting at the oldest part of the former village of Finchley Church End , this virtual walk stops to admire traces of the old village, Edwardian and Victorian architecture before moving on to the delightful Finchley Garden village and College Farm, the last remaining farm in Finchley.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £9.00 Senior fee £9.00 Concession £9.00
  9. Craft focus: introduction to novel plotting
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 2 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    If you've made a start on your novel, but need help getting it into shape, this course provides a flexible template that will help you to overcome the obstacles ahead.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £68.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. City gardens of the Blitz
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 6 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The City of London was heavily bombed during the period of the Blitz from September 1940 to May 1941. This virtual walk takes us across the City looking bombsites that have subsequently been made into Gardens and the histories that they hold. We end at the magical garden and ruins of St Dunstan in the East.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £9.00 Senior fee £9.00 Concession £9.00

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