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. Fictionalising Childhood: an introduction to children's literature
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce and examine a range of fictional texts in an exploration of representations of childhood and pertinent themes like journeys, home, and identity. Reading books from the First Golden Age (Victorian to Early Twentieth Century), including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to contemporary works (Harry Potter), we will consider how literary narratives respond to cultural debates that construct childhood identity as a site of innocence.

    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
  2. Politics, society and culture in Weimar Germany (1918-1933)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course looks at the Weimar republic established in Germany in 1918, its achievements, the problems it faced and why these led to the rise of the Nazis and end of democracy in inter-war Germany.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £66.00
  3. Exploring Medieval literature: The Canterbury Tales
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Pilgrimage, religion, social mores and foibles, exuberant women, drunk millers with a penchant for bashing down doors with his head! Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are brilliant examples of Middle English writing. The range of characters, diverse plotlines, energy and playfulness all offer a fine insight into 14th Century England.

    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
  4. Thinking through philosophy: a guide to the basics
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 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 £89.00 Concession £54.00
  5. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 11 May 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.

    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
  6. Ways into screenwriting
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn to write for the screen on this practical, introductory course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  7. Sweet Thames, Run Softly - A  cultural exploration
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 12 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Thames runs like a silver thread through London’s history. It has been a muse & inspiration for centuries. This course examines its impact on our city, how it’s enriched & influenced our lives, both upstream & down.

    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 £44.00
  8. Working on your own historical research project: from idea to execution
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 12 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you ever wanted to undertake your own historical project? Whether researching local history, family history, or a particular topic of interest, we will explore how to go from formulating an idea to executing your historical project.

    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 £57.00
  9. Writing for magazines
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 18 May 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.

    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:
    98% of 100
  10. Migration and the Literary Imagination
    Course Date:  Tue 18 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course explores literature that has emerged from the colonial and postcolonial migration of people from different cultures to Britain and the US. We will be discussing how literature provides a creative space for reflecting on experiences of migration, how fiction attends to legacies of colonialism, racism and xenophobia and how ‘migrant aesthetics’ have created new transcultural forms of literature.

    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
  11. Getting away with murder: how to write crime fiction
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 18 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to write a murder mystery that will knock readers dead? On this course you'll learn how to plot a murder most horrid and develop your writing to create maximum suspense.

    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:
    90% of 100
  12. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Apr 2021 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  13. Ancient Israelite religions
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 20 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The study of ancient Israelite religions has seen recently an increase of interest among scholars. The Bible gives us an impression that there is one acceptable dominant religion at the exclusion of all others. However a more nuanced picture emerges as the texts often record a disjunction between and ‘official’ form of religious practice centred on monotheism and ‘popular’ forms of religions, sometimes made alongside gender lines. The course will examine the symbolic universe which we can glimpse in the Bible to help us understand a broad range of religious practices and beliefs in ancient Israel.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00
  14. Crimes and misdemeanors: crimes that rocked the capital
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 25 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Royal scandals, fraud, hoaxes & crime, this city has always had a darker underbelly. This course looks at some of the events that shocked and shaped the city.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £35.00
  15. The International Booker Prize
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 26 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How much translated fiction do you read? Since 2016, the International Booker Prize has been encouraging us to read more novels from around the world. On this course we will look at three winners (Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, Ogla Tokarczuk’s Flights and Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies) and assess the cultural impact of the prize so far.

    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

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