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. The Black Death
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    The study of the social and economic impact of the disease known as the Black Death that spread throughout the world in the 1340s and continued to flare up intermittently thereafter throughout Europe and beyond.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £110.00
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Stories from Europe
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Aamer Hussein
    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of European writing from the second half of the 20th century include Arturo’s Island by Elsa Morante (Italy), The Last and the First by Nina Berberova (Russia), The Inseparables by Simone de Beauvoir (France), Train was on Time by Heinrich Boll (Germany), Forty Lost Years by Rosa Maria Arquimbau (Catalonia/Spain) and The Man From London by Simenon (Belgium).
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  6. An introduction to the art of seventeenth-century Europe: 1590–1690
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Often referred to as “the Baroque”, the seventeenth century embraces some of the most dramatic, dynamic and acclaimed artworks ever produced, yet also some of the most tranquil and gentle. We will explore a wide range of paintings and sculptures from this period, discover why they look as they do, and investigate the powerful religious and historical contexts that influenced its artists.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. The art and culture of 17th century London
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Discover the 17th century: a time of upheaval in Europe, intercontinental trade, religious schisms and a wide range of artistic styles. See its art, architecture and design in London’s galleries and museums. #arthistory #explorelondon #walkingtour.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  8. Introduction to art history
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Are you interested in art and want to get more out of looking at art and exhibitions? Want to know what an art historian does? Develop your interpretative skills by exploring at how art is made and what social and cultural factors construct our understanding of it.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  9. The power and influence of German art: from early medieval to early modern
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Discover the art of Germany from medieval to modern and the variety of artists came be a major influence not just on Northern art but also the Italian Renaissance and ultimately all of European art.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  10. What makes a masterpiece
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Look at works of art in the Western canon and ask why we consider them to be masterpieces. What formal qualities do they all share, if any, or is our interpretation of a masterpiece largely subjective?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  11. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Oct 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    Explore the City’s development from Roman and medieval times through to the Tudors and Stuarts.



    This course will comprise of 10 walks starting with Roman London. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £105.00
  12. Ulysses: the Odyssey
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first 10 chapters of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  13. Great American Stories
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julian Birkett
    The short story is America’s outstanding literary form. The explosion of magazines in the 19th century led to a huge market in stories “to be taken down with a gulp.” Many of its greatest writers specialised in the form – including Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, James Baldwin, John Cheever, William Faulkner and Lorrie Moore – and made it a vivid barometer of American life.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  14. Ulysses: Nostos - the Homecoming
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this online literature course will offer strategies and engage the second half of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  15. A history of London : 1846-1880
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mike Berlin
    You will explore High Victorian London - its people, its outward growth and the growth of its economy. How did Londoners experience life in the centre and in the new suburbs?
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00

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