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. 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
  2. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.



    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 £139.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Anthropology: what is anthropology?
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    This introductory online course gives you the basic tools for an elementary understanding of anthropology. We will identify methods and areas of concern that distinguish it from sociology, history and other disciplines.



    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 £139.00 Concession £70.00
  4. Writing non-fiction for children: an introduction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Catherine Ingram
    Learn how to write children’s non-fiction on this exciting and interactive course encompassing classic fact book, biography and narrative. You will also get an opportunity to practise and get some feedback on your writing.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
  5. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (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.



    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 £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  6. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Monthly meetings on 26 Sept, 24 Oct, 28 Nov; 16 Jan, 20 Feb, 20 March, 08 May, 12 June, and 10 July.



    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 £139.00 Concession £90.00
  8. Writing from Life: from Maggie O'Farrell to Ocean Vuong
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    What do we want and expect from ‘life stories’? How does this change when we read memoirs and novels? This course reads a selection of fascinating books and extracts, which experiment to combine memoir, personal experience and invention in different ways. As well as memoirs we’ll study ‘autofiction’ – a relatively new description for the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life – and consider ideas about this tricky and at times controversial category of writing. We’ll think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that ‘writing from life’ raises, including privacy, a right of reply, and factors that may affect a work’s critical reception.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  9. America in the 20s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    From the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance, to Prohibiton and the Depression, this online intertextual course explores the political, social and cultural context of 1920s America through a study of literature, history, music, film and art of the period. With different tutors for each specialism, the course provides a 'taster' in each subject as a gateway to further study in understanding this fascinating period in American culture and society.



    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 £109.00 Concession £71.00
  10. A critical history of American television
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Rixon
    This online course explores the development of television in America, focusing on the role of the main national commercial networks which emerged with the development of radio. The course will look at the power struggles which occurred between the networks, the sponsors (advertisers) and the Hollywood studios as each vied to take advantage of this new medium. The course will also reflect on key moments in the history of American television which have been viewed by some as golden ages.



    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 £109.00 Concession £71.00
  11. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  12. Writing romance
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 2 Nov 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Penny
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a single pen can compose an unforgettable romance novel. This interactive course will guide students through the plotting of modern romance stories.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Introduction to journalism
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 7 Nov 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Tristan McConnell
    On this course students will explore the basic skills a freelance journalist needs to write and sell news and features to newspapers and magazines. From developing ideas and identifying outlets to interview skills and approaching editors.



    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 £109.00 Concession £55.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  14. European architecture in the Middle Ages 800-1500
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Plant
    Explore the development of architecture in Europe from the Carolingian period to the end of the middle ages and study the major monuments – cathedrals, parish churches and castles of the age.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
  15. Getting away with murder: how to write crime fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Want to write a murder mystery that will knock readers dead? On this course you'll learn how to plot a murder most horrid and develop your writing to create maximum suspense.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100

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