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. Nostalgia Cinema: the return of the 50s and 80s
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 28 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann-Marie Fleming
    In the 1970s, nostalgia became commercialised. Most notably, cinema looked to the fifties for material. This cinematic version of the era has a recognisable aesthetic. This course looks at how and why the past is recalled in cinema. Additionally, the course discusses the theory of nostalgia and how it changed throughout the 20th century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  2. Ways into Islamic art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    An introductory art history course providing an overview of the development of the visual language of Islamic cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  3. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Jun 2022 (and 5 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. On this course you will start to produce your own works of creative non-fiction.



    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  4. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 25 May 2022 (and 14 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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 £89.00 Concession £36.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  5. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Jun 2022 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  6. Autobiographical writing: getting started
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Whether writing for self-discovery, testimony or to tell your story, learn how to get started and what's involved in autobiographical writing. Explore various resources from diaries to dreams, memories and fantasy.



    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 £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  8. What the poem wants: drafting and editing workshop
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Christina Dunhill
    Write fast and edit fast in this poem-blitzing workshop. Learn to step back, look at your poem and think about the different directions it might take. Practise ruthlessness as well as care in the poem’s service.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £76.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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

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