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 long and short 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. London at war - guided walks
    Course start date:  Tue 12 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both 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 £199.00
  2. The men who built London
    Course start date:  Thu 14 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both 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 £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. City of words: London's literary landscape
    Course start date:  Thu 14 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both 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 (via zoom) we walk a different London neighbourhood each week exploring its literary connections. Initial lecture is on zoom . This is followed by 7 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 £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  4. Rethinking world cinema through women filmmakers
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 20 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stacey Abbott
    The history of World Cinema has traditionally been explored through the work of iconic male auteurs. This six-week course will challenge that history and rethink our conception of World cinema by considering the contribution of women filmmakers to the global film industry. Each week we will look at key women filmmakers and an illustrative film title from around the world, including from Asia, Africa, and South America, asking how these women are reshaping our understanding of cinema.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  5. Irish history & identity 1:From the coming of Christianity to the Battle of Clontarf
    Course start date:  Thu 21 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Colm Hickey




    Although inextricably linked to Britain, Ireland’s history, identity, and nationhood has equally been shaped by its relationship with Europe. This course traces Ireland’s development from the advent of Christianity to the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  6. Masters of cinema: love, marriage and betrayal
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 21 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mick McAloon
    Marriage has always been fertile ground for filmmakers, and some directors – Rossellini, Bergman, Godard – have gone deeper than most. This course looks at the ways cinema’s greatest filmmakers have approached the subject. It explores original works by artists who have “mined” their own lives for material, while showing how adaptations of literary works can, in the hands of great film-makers, become a kind of veiled autobiography.



    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
  7. City Lit reading group 2
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    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 Harlem Shuffle' by Colson Whitehead. Monthly meetings take place on 30 Sept, 4 Nov, 09 Dec; 27 Jan, 3 March, 31 March, 5 May, 2 June and 7 July.
    Full fee £189.00
  8. Fin de siecle writers: Oscar Wilde to Olive Schreiner
    Course start date:  Mon 25 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    This online course will look at the unique style of writers who emerged at the end of the nineteenth century. We’ll explore fin de siècle writers who were grappling with new questions of modernity. Using the exciting backdrop of the 1890s, this course explores the cultural innovations of the period alongside the works of Oscar Wilde and other writers of this period.



    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 £143.00 Concession £116.00
  9. Exploring literature: an introduction to prose and poetry
    Course start date:  Thu 28 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Wilkinson
    This course introduces you to a variety of prose texts and poems from the nineteenth century to the present. Explore how poems work both ‘on the page’ and as spoken words. Reading novels and short stories, we’ll think about writers’ narrative techniques, characterisation and social context. Come and discover what’s distinctive about these different forms of literature.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  10. Modern French literature
    Course start date:  Fri 29 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Explore modern French literature, discussing literary style, themes, and contexts as a way of sharing and developing responses to celebrated French writers. From Cendrars and Céline to Modiano and Ernaux, come discover poetry, prose, fiction, and autobiography by essential French authors of the past one hundred years.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  11. Textiles: an international history
    Course start date:  Fri 29 Sep 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    As well as expressing power, prestige and fulfilling symbolic functions, textiles have been intimately linked to the everyday lives of members all societies for millennia. On this course you will study the development of woven, printed and embroidered textiles of many kinds from around the globe and explore the significant roles they have played in the world’s material culture.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  12. Art and identity: from the High Renaissance to the Reformation
    Course start date:  Wed 4 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Explore the legendary art and artists of the High Renaissance in Italy and the Netherlands from c. 1490-1540. Consider the role that ‘self-fashioning’ plays in their fame and notoriety through close reading engagement of a combination of images and texts. Please note that the first session of this course will be held online due to rail strikes on 5 October. All subsequent sessions will be held in-person.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. 'Bowers of bliss'? Gardens and the poetic imagination
    Course start date:  Wed 4 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This online poetry course considers some of the many ways in which poets have written about gardens to explore a range of concerns, including sexuality and desire; corruption, decay, and mortality; retreat and consolation; growth and renewal; cultivation and wildness; and changing perspectives on the relationship between humans and nature.



    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 £143.00 Concession £116.00
  14. Nazi Germany: politics, society, war and genocide
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 4 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rudolf Muhs
    This course offers a broad survey of Nazi Germany, its leaders and its population, its racial ideology, political ambitions and structures of rule, its opponents and its victims, and its ultimate descent into world war and genocide.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. From isolationism to global superpower: the US from 1900 to 1945
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 4 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dafydd Townley
    This interactive lecture outline course explores the political, social, and cultural development of the United States and considers how it has contributed to modern American society.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00
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