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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or 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 on our online courses, 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 now.

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  1. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Oct 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    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. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Picture book writing: advanced
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Would you like to workshop, edit and polish your picture book texts for young children? This course is designed for advanced picture book writers wishing to hone and improve their own stories.



    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 £64.00
  3. Contemporary cinema: the best films of the year
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    A crucial course on contemporary/current cinema which coincides with the wide range of films released immediately before the Bafta/Oscar awards season. A weekly ‘what’s on’ previews these films and reviews films seen in the previous weeks. The first session is the drawing up of a definitive student list of the best films of the past year. This course is now more timely than ever as we return to cinemas and to the classroom at Keeley Street.



    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 £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  4. Stuart London 2: 1660-1714
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Explore London's history between the restoration of 1660 and the end of the Stuart dynasty in 1714. How did these decades impact on London and its people? Through war, plague and fire, London survived and grew to a new architectural elegance.



    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
  5. Romantic Visions
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This literature course will trace the development of the Romantic shift in sensibility, from the rediscovery of medieval ballads – and the lucrative trade in fakes – in the late 18thC, to the first generation of Romantics such as Wordsworth and Coleridge ,who set English poetry on a new course by declaring that poetry was not the cleverly crafted expression of accepted truth but “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling”; to the brilliant second generation of poets such as Keats and Shelley who found new areas of the imagination to explore; to its legacy in later centuries and our own time.



    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 £121.00
  6. The Complete Ishiguro Part Two: 2000-2021
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro as we focus on the second twenty years of his writing career. Books include When We Were Orphans, Never Let Me Go, The Buried Giant and Klara and the Sun. We also take a look at his ventures into song lyrics and film screenplays.



    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. Hidden Treasures: stories from everywhere
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    You will read, analyse and discuss carefully selected treasures of international fiction, several of them freshly translated, from the second half of the 20th century, including a moving study of urban life from Denmarks’ Tove Ditlevsen, an Anatolian saga from Turkey’s Yashar Kemal, a satirical study of postwar Germany by Irmgard Keun, a portrait of a modern marriage by Italy’s Alberto Moravia, and a classic tale of life in a Welsh mining village by Kate Roberts.



    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 £121.00
  8. Contemporary Scottish Women's Fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore and discuss a selection of contemporary fictional texts by Scottish women writers, including Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon and Ali Smith’s Hotel World. We will think about key themes and issues, such as nationhood, women’s contribution to remapping the nation through its fictional imagining and relationship beyond its borders, social class, gender, sexuality, and journeys.



    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
  9. Faulkner's 'Absalom, Absalom!': inheriting history
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Outrage: That is where we begin in this huge work that traces the history of the tortured South on its warriors and inheritors. Faulkner explores the weight of history, class boundaries, gender relationships and limitations, competing narratives and ultimately the disruption of racism into the lives of all. The guided, text-based discussion in this course will provide tools towards understanding Faulkner’s complex vision.



    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
  10. World cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you ever wondered what lies beyond Hollywood? Are you interested in films from across the globe? Then this six-week introductory course is for you. We will consider alternative cinemas to the dominant North American industry and will focus each week on a selection of illustrative films from movie producing continents such as India, Asia, South America and Africa.



    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
  11. Vagabonds in modern fiction and film
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    “I aint got no home, I’m just a roamin’ round” (Woody Guthrie). This class explores the figure of the vagabond and representations of hardship and the road in works by celebrated authors and filmmakers. From Charlie Chaplin and George Orwell to Woody Guthrie and Agnès Varda, we investigate the historical and cultural contexts of the image of the vagabond in 20th century literature and cinema.



    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. Discover East London walks
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    An exploration of the history of East London via 10 walking tours in the areas of De Beauvoir Town, Bethnal Green , Shoreditch and Hoxton, Poplar, Leyton, Mile End and Stepney Green, Spitalfields, Shadwell, Wapping and Stratford East.



    First meeting: meet next to the Kindertransport Memorial by Macdonalds at the Liverpool Street exit of the main line station. First meeting: meet next to the Kindertransport Memorial by Macdonalds at the Liverpool Street exit of the main line station.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £83.00
  13. Classic drama: Aeschylus, Shakespeare and Chekhov
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    You will read view and discuss three classic plays : Aeschylus’ Eumenides from The Oresteia, Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Seagull by Chekov in terms of themes, language, their social and historical contexts and how they work as performance texts.



    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 £121.00
  14. Archaeology of London
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the archaeology and history of London through its cultural monuments, topography and material remains to more fully appreciate the rich archaeological evidence of the capital.



    Tutor: Jill Hummerstone. Tutor :Jill Hummerstone.



    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 £199.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. London's quartiers
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and Onsite)

    Through 1 lecture and 7 guided walks, explore some of London’s quartiers – Soho, Mayfair, Covent Garden, Spitalfields, Clerkenwell, St James and Bloomsbury and understand how their very distinct characters were formed. The first session will be delivered via Zoom and other sessions will be guided walks.



    London guide: Sue Jackson.



    This course will be delivered online and onsite. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £70.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100

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