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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Starting your novel
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Oct 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.



    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 £105.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  6. Spanish Art 1900-1937: the age of Picasso, Miró and Dalí
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Stuart-Smith
    Reflecting a 'silver age' of literature, art in Spain before the Civil war encompasses the modernist genius of Picasso, Juan Gris and Miró; the surrealism of Dalí and the late Impressionism of Joaquín Sorolla.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
  7. Advanced political studies
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Martin Jorgensen
    If you have a passion for politics, or have ever been interested in studying politics at a higher level, this course could be right for you. Whatever your political background, interests, or history, this course will give you a space for discussion and understanding at an advanced level.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £115.00
  8. Picture book writing: advanced
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Jun 2022 (and 6 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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 their skills and improve their own stories.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £80.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  9. British Cinema of the 1980s: From My Beautiful Laundrette to Withnail and I
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mick McAloon
    In spite of Margaret Thatcher’s hostility towards the British film industry, the 1980s was an incredibly fertile period for British cinema. This online course explores the era’s defining films, including Meantime (Leigh 1983), My Beautiful Laundrette (Frears 1985), and Withnail and I (Robinson 1987), and its most influential filmmakers (Alan Clarke, Derek Jarman, Stephen Frears, Mike Leigh) and considers the socio-cultural influences at work.



    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 £123.00
  10. City Lit reading group 1
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Tabby Toussaint
    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 Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Monthly meetings on 24 Sept; 22 Oct, 26 Nov; 14 Jan, 18 Feb, 25 March; 06 May; 10 June; 08 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
  11. From the Holy Roman Empire to the unification of Germany (the Middle Ages to 1871)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    The course offers a broad survey of the German lands over the centuries from the Middle Ages to the Unification of



    Germany in 1871.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore the themes of poverty, politics, gender and ethnicity in London at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century through the eyes of writers of fiction, but also through the testimony of their non-fiction contemporaries – social investigators, government officials, journalists and philanthropists.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £116.00
  13. Migration and the Literary Imagination: Andrea Levy, Kazuo Ishiguro and Abdulrazak Gurnah
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Peter Cherry
    This course explores literature that has emerged from the colonial and postcolonial migration of people from different cultures to Britain. 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 forms of literature.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £103.00
  14. Colonial America: European Settlement 1560 – 1815
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 28 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    The online course explores European settlement (British, French, Spanish, Russian, Swedish) of North America. It examines the differences between English colonies; the American Revolution; the formation of the United States; and the War of 1812.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Japanese imperialism
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 29 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dale Mineshima-Lowe
    Perhaps you are familiar with the history of the British empire. What about that of Japan? Join us 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 £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00

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