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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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. London at war
    Course start date:  Tue 13 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson




    London has been shaped by war, conflict and unrest. It's buildings, monuments and even street names reflect our embattled past. These walks examine London's wartime legacy from mediaeval fortifications to the War on Terror.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson



    First lecture will be delivered via zoom followed by 8 guided walks.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  2. Women in art 1400-1800
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 13 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    There were a significant number of highly talented female artists active during the 15th to 18th centuries, so why is their work not more famous? This course investigates and redresses this gender inequality.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  3. City of words: London's literary landscape
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London has been muse, magnet and mecca to writers for 400 years, home to Shakespeare's successes, Dickens' dramas and Wilde's witticisms. After an introductory lecture we walk a different London neighbourhood each week exploring its literary connections. Initial lecture is on zoom . This is followed by 8 guided walks.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  4. The men who built London
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London was shaped by its architects, engineers, bricklayers, navies etc. Our lecture and walks examine London’s buildings and the men (and women) who worked throughout history to create this eclectic and wonderful city.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson



    First lecture will be delivered via zoom followed by 8 guided walks.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Art in Britain 1950-2000 - 'This is Tomorrow' (Part 1)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 15 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Discover the work of selected British artists whose innovative practice shaped the development of modern art in Britain from the 1950s to the 1970s. Explore how and why the ideas and themes behind their work continue to be relevant to today’s audiences.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Writing for magazines
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 7 other dates)

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

    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  7. Political communication in the West in the 20th century
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christian Schnee
    In the 2000s we saw the political communication move online, using social media, AI, network analysis etc. It is almost hard to imagine the times before this paradigm. Join Dr. Christian Schnee to explore political communication in the 20th century.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  8. The Golden Age of the British Short Story 1890-1914
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    The years 1890 to 1914 were a golden age for British writers of short stories. As the country moved from Victorian certainties to an unknown, possibly exciting, possibly frightening future, writers found the short story form perfectly suited to their concerns. The roll call is an impressive one: from Kipling, Hardy, HG Wells and Conan Doyle through Chesterton and Conrad to Katherine Mansfield and DH Lawrence.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  9. A history of London: 1815-1845
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mike Berlin
    How did London and Londoners experience the period of repression and reform that followed the long French wars? How did London develop and what was the impact of the railways?
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00
  10. American Gothic: the darker side of fiction
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    Explore and discuss the work of great 19th and 20th century writers such as Hawthorne. Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor – and learn about the dark streak that runs through so much of the best American literature.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 8 May 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  12. Autobiographical writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    This short course explores the basic elements of writing autobiography drawing on memories, diaries, photos, dreams and fantasies with a focus on the forms of autobiography, memoir and the personal essay.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  13. Fakes and forgeries
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    What gives an artwork get its value? Investigate the very fine boundary between the real and the fake and who makes the call by looking at various interpretations of authenticity.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  14. Costume and fashion in art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Costume from the past rarely survives, except in the depiction of it in paintings. Explore 500 years of costume in European art across a range of subject matter and decode the socio-political contexts and cultural identities contained within the choice of dress.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  15. The rise of the American Dream: 1940s - 1950s
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Dale Mineshima-Lowe
    This course will cover the changing period in America – where the nation is on the brink of going to war; the impact of the War on America – domestically and on the global stage.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00

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