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. Historical fiction: reimagining the past
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What’s the unique appeal of historical fiction? Why do we read so much of it, and what are we looking for? This short online course investigates how historical novels reimagine the past for us as contemporary readers. Reading extracts from novels set in different periods, we’ll explore the pleasures and challenges of historical fiction, and how it works to bring unknown stories into view.



    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. Masters of cinema: Roberto Rossellini - the great visionary of Italian cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 3 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Give yourself a chance to explore the unforgettable cinematic vision of Roberto Rossellini, covering all his major Neorealist films up to his last historical films for TV. Roberto Rossellini (b. Italy, 1906–1977) is a key artist of the mid-twentieth century whose contribution to cinema is inestimable and whose influence on other directors, such as Jean-Luc Godard and Martin Scorsese, is profound. Over his forty-year career Rossellini’s films took several broad turns, from his Neorealist masterworks of war and its immediate aftermath to the extraordinary melodramas he made with Ingrid Bergman to “didactic” works made for television about men whose ideas altered the course of civilization (Jesus, Socrates, Pascal, Descartes). Rossellini’s films are characterized by their inflection of “actuality” (shooting on location and casting everyday people alongside professional actors), recognition of the mystery of human behaviour, belief in spiritual transcendence, and desire to stimulate audiences’ curiosity.



    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. Poetry Please! Enjoying Poetry
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 3 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This weekend course is for those who enjoy reading and thinking about poetry and for those who would like to enjoy it more. It will look at a range of poetic examples from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. There will be some discussion of the meaning of form and technique and its impact on the poem and the reader, but students will also have plenty of opportunity to talk about emotional or individual responses to poems.



    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. Cinema and the Ancient Past: idols, artefacts and epics
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 3 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This short online film course will introduce students to cinema and the ancient past, exploring how ancient civilisations have been portrayed in films, focusing on Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia. We will critically examine themes such as the portrayal of women, people of colour and ancient religions. Covering a range of time periods, with a focus on American and British cinema, we will trace this development from silent films to the present.



    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
  5. The haunted screen: German Expressionist Cinema 1919-1933
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 10 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore one of cinema's most imaginative and influential movements through films such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Nosferatu, Metropolis, M and others. We will consider the production context of German cinema in the period 1919 to 1933 and expressionism as its defining style, key filmmakers associated with the movement and critical accounts of both the films and the movement as a whole.



    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
  6. Self-publishing: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 24 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to keep full creative control of your writing project? Learn more about self-publishing and how to give your book (poetry, fiction or non-fiction) the best chance of achieving high sales.



    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
  7. The Wind in Film
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 24 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will go on a journey exploring a variety of cinematic expressions of wind in film: From silent cinema, disaster films, to nature documentaries, surrealist and art house films: Including Joris Ivens, Jean Epstein, Victor Sjostrom, and Bela Tarr. We will consider filmmaking techniques to express and render visible this invisible force through editing, soundtrack, and camera shots.



    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
  8. Creating your author platform online
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 31 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Increasingly publishers are looking for an author with an impressive online presence, as well as a sparkling manuscript. On this practical and interactive course, 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. Masters of cinema: "The movie brats"
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 31 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A restless generation took Hollywood by storm in the 1970s, reflecting the climate of the country. The freewheeling styles of Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, De Palma and Lucas would have a lasting impact on American filmmaking. These ‘movie brats’ were the first directors to come straight from college. Join us to investigate the 'New Hollywood'.



    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. America, the Gilded Age: 1870s - 1900
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 7 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will cover the dynamic period of American history – where the nation is growing and expanding economically; building the foundations of its industrial might and development of capitalism in America.



    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 £45.00
  11. The Etruscans
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Dec 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover the mysterious people who lived in Central Italy and ended up being enveloped by the Romans.



    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:
    80% of 100
  12. Craft focus: how to edit your story (fiction and non-fiction)
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Dec 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Editing is an essential skill for any writer. Learn the different types of editing process and how to polish your own prose in this workshop for writers who are ready to find a readership for their work. Suitable for those with some experience of creative 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:
    100% of 100

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