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.

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.

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, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Ancient cities St. Paul knew
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 2 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Discover eight intriguing ancient cities, amazing places to visit today, but raw and turbulent in their Graeco-Roman heyday.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £51.00
  2. Picture book writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 Jan 2023 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  3. The pre-Socratic philosophers: philosophy in the beginning
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    The beginnings of philosophy and science are found in the thinking of early Greek, ‘Presocratic’, philosophers. Who were they? Why is their thinking still relevant?



    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 £50.00
  4. Russia-Chinese relations since 1989
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Sino-Russian relations in the post-Cold War period have been described as one of the most perplexing and debated topics in academic and policy circles. But what makes this particular relationship so interesting? How strong is their relationsship? Will they become an alliane and what would that mean for the rest of the world?



    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 £50.00
  5. The philosophical Hamlet: life, death and everything in between
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Borna Radnik
    Can we ever escape our past? Can we act to change our future? This course examines various philosophical themes through engagement with different philosophical traditions and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.



    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 £79.00 Concession £50.00
  6. Exploring East Asian cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This course introduces you to the cinema of Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. We will consider the history and development of cinema in the region, its key films, filmmakers and movements, and a range of representative genres and film styles, while also thinking about its international critical reception and cultural function as both national and transnational cinema.



    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 £64.00
  7. Writing an academic essay
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sinead Keegan
    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 £50.00
  8. The US and China since 1971
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to learn more about how the US-Chinese relations will define politics globally and most countries in the world over the 21st century? Join Phd Fellow Maria Papageorgou in this course to learn more.



    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 £50.00
  9. Italian cinema: From Neorealism to the Genre Film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    This cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 19 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  11. From Caligari to Touch of Evil: Expressionism in the Cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 5 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Characterised by chiaroscuro, or high contrast lighting, and similarly stylised narratives, the expressionist film informs German cinema of the 1920s, French poetic realism of the 1930s, and the American and European film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. This course explores a range of key examples of expressionist cinema drawn from these contexts and asks why the style continues to fascinate us.



    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 £64.00
  12. Detective reading: fictions, fakes and hoaxing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 9 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    Take a deep dive into two distinctive novels from accomplished contemporary writers – Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World and Graeme Macrae Burnet’s Case Study. Each tells a compelling story about impersonation and identity, weaving multiple voices together and asking readers to decide who to believe. As we read these two novels we’ll explore their stories and themes, their techniques for inspiring trust and for casting doubt, and the challenges and pleasures of becoming a ‘detective reader’.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  13. Spectacles of the Ancient world
    Course start date:  Thu 11 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    This course explores some of the most elaborate and powerful displays of the Graeco-Roman world. Designed to entertain, inform, and elicit support, often at times of great political or religious significance, they were unforgettable, and have long exercised an influence on our own understanding of the nature of power.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £51.00
  14. Japanese crime fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 11 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
    Japanese crime literature is reaching new audiences, with many classics being translated into English for the first time. This course explores a range of Japanese mysteries, detectives and their recurring themes, from ‘locked room’ classics to the dark side of human nature – with many murders along the way!



    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 £64.00
  15. Exploring medieval literature: late medieval drama
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 15 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Thomas White
    Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre loom large in the history of drama in England. But what came before the Bard? What is the history of drama in the period before named playwrights were producing scripts for professional actors to perform in front of paying audiences? This course will cover the dramatic works of the late medieval period (c. 1350-1550), their fascinating cultural, social, and political contexts, and their influence on the development of drama in England.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £45.00

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