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 in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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  1. Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  2. An introduction to African and diaspora studies
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 16 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Gabriel Olumide Apata
    The course explores the many ways by which Africans came to be dispersed across the world and their political, socio-cultural experiences in their new societies.



    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
  3. The forming of the economies of the Global South
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 22 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ingrid Aguiar Schlindwein
    Explore how historical, political, and economic factors have shaped Global South economies. Analyze trade, governance, urbanization, poverty, sustainability, and challenges, fostering a holistic understanding of their development within the global landscape.



    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 £58.00
  4. From independence to the present: Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 23 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mirza Jaffer Abid
    Join us to explore the fascinating histories of the lesser studied South Asian nation-states of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from decolonisation to the present.



    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
  5. Cyborg cultures: hybrid beings and monstrous identities
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Goss
    In this course students will be introduced to theories of posthumanism that suggest ways we can embrace ‘monstruous’ identities and ‘mutant’ forms of knowing. Through popular science fiction films and literary texts, we will contemplate the complex coming together and apart of bodies-minds-worlds in contemporary culture and explore experiences of hybridity and metamorphosis.



    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
  6. Victorian networks: How trains and telegraphs shaped 19th century culture
    Course start date:  Wed 24 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Harriet Thompson
    Ever wondered about the origins of our current networked culture and technology-saturated society? Taking a deep delve into the weird and wonderful world of Victorian technologies, this course considers how advancements in transport and communication produced new sensations and subjectivities in the nineteenth century. We will read texts by major authors like Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope alongside critical theorists like Sadie Plant and Donna Haraway to help us understand the impact of new technologies on human experiences.



    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 £64.00
  7. An introduction to paradox
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    A paradox is an apparently absurd conclusion derived from seemingly uncontroversial premises through supposedly valid reasoning. This course will introduce you to six major philosophical paradoxes and some of the attempts to solve them.



    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
  8. Italian cinema: from Neorealism to the genre film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    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
  9. Discovering Late Imperial China: Ming to Qing, 1500-1800
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Qiuyang Chen
    Journey into the heart of China's transformative era, where dynastic intrigue met daily life's rich fabric. Grasp the complexities of power, ethnic interplay, and innovation in an age of change in Late Imperial China.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £58.00
  10. Image and identity: 20th century Chinese art and cinema
    Course start date:  Tue 30 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    Explore the art of Chinese artists and filmmakers from the turn of the 20th century to the turn of the 21st, as they try to make sense of a world on the cusp between the old and the new, marked by encounters with imperialism and iconoclasm. Learn what place art had in socio-political movements, and how it reflected the hopes and anxieties of its time.



    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 £64.00
  11. Populism
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 1 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Francesca Granelli
    Populism and radicalism is challenging how politics looks and works in many places around the world. Join Dr. Granelli 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 £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £58.00
  12. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    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
  13. The Worlds of Contemporary Travel Literature
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rebecca Jones
    Explore new directions in contemporary travel literature, as authors from across the world take the genre beyond the colonial European gaze that once characterised it. We examine themes such as diaspora, postcolonialism, language and ethics, looking at classic texts by Caryl Phillips, Pico Iyer and Jamaica Kincaid, and recent works by Emmanuel Iduma, Noo Saro-Wiwa, and Raja Shehadeh.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  14. An introduction to film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Develop your critical understanding of cinema through a range of concepts and critical approaches in film studies, including narrative, genre, spectatorship, authorship and directors, popular cinema, art cinema, national cinema and early film, along with technological developments including the transition to sound, while we view and discuss a range of key films from cinema's history as examples.



    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
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