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. Great Historical Novels
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  2. The essay - academic writing
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A-level and access courses or undergraduates.



    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:
    91% of 100
  3. Stuart London 1 1603-1660
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Explore London's history between 1603 and 1660. How did the accession of the Stuarts, revolution, the interregnum and restoration impact on London and its people.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £88.00
  4. The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This is a chance to explore four Victorian texts from the point of view of context, style and the development of the novel through realism into early modernism. Texts will include Adam Bede (George Eliot), Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell), Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) and The Turn of the Screw (Henry James). There will be supplementary critical and biographical material supplied, and plenty of opportunities for discussion! This course will examine the debates which surrounded the development of Victorian fiction and the ways in which different writers sought to engage with these ideas.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  5. City of words: London's literary landscape
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    London has been muse, magnet and mecca to writers for 400 years, home to Shakespeare's successes, Dickens'



    dramas and Wilde's witticisms. Each week we will explore, virtually, a different London neighbourhood &



    investigate its literary connections.



    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 £57.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  6. Masters of Cinema: the directors
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Film Studies course explores the work of a select group of filmmakers, past and present: from European auteurs to the personal visions of a new generation of independent filmmakers. It considers themes of influence and innovation, and how all of the filmmakers featured have used the medium not only as a means of personal expression but as a way to take cinema in new directions.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  7. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.



    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 £54.00
  8. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. What do mathematicians do? An introduction to philosophy of maths
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course offers the opportunity to explore fascinating questions concerning the nature of mathematical knowledge by providing an introduction to four major 19th and 20th century philosophies of mathematics.



    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 £54.00
  10. Russian and Eastern European poetry: a survey
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A guided tour of the personalities and achievements of the extraordinary constellation of poets that emerged during the Soviet century and its aftermath, including Akhmatova, Pasternak, Mayakovsky and their contemporaries, Milosz, Szymborska, Herbert and Anna Swir (Poland), Popa (Serbia), Holub (Czech Republic), Sorescu, Mircea Ivanescu and Nina Cassian (Romania), and others.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  11. A Century of Surrealist Literature
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Did the world need another ‘ism’ when André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924? As a splinter movement from Dada, and borrowing its name from a term coined years before by Guillaume Apollinaire, was it even that original? We’ll explore how, despite its inauspicious origins, Surrealism grew to become one of the most influential artistic and literary styles of 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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  12. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 The Offing by Benjamin Myers. Monthly meetings on 27 Sept, 25 Oct, 29 Nov; 17 Jan, 21 Feb, 28 March, 09 May, 13 June, and 11 July.



    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 £79.00
  13. 19th Century French and Russian Literature
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online literature course explores classic shorter texts of 19th century French and Russian literature, discussing literary style, themes and contexts as a way of developing and sharing responses to celebrated European writing. From history and travel to memory and madness, the class tackles some of the finest works ever written. Among the French writers examined will be Balzac, de Nerval and Flaubert, with our Russians including Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Chekhov.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  14. Thinking through philosophy: a guide
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is morality and what is it based on? Is the mind a ghost in the machine?



    What can I really know? This is a beginner’s introduction to how philosophy tackles questions like these and many others.



    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 £54.00
    Rating:
    73% of 100
  15. Writing non-fiction for children: workshop
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    On this interactive workshop course, you will have the chance to develop a work-in-progress with constructive feedback from your tutor and classmates.



    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 £56.00

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