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. The whole story of cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    If you love cinema and want to know more about it, look no further. Here is a course for all those who love watching and reading about films, and who want to understand more about the evolution of the art of cinema, as told through the most innovative films from any country in any period. From film’s origins to modern day streaming, and through many cinematic golden ages, this course will examine those moments in time when a range of national cinemas surfed the wave of creative originality, achieved through a mix of social, technical, and historical factors. The exploration of key films and genres will reveal insights into the world of film-making, from cinematography, lighting, and sound, to editing and acting styles, enabling you to better interpret the meaning of world-famous movies.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00
  2. Cultureplex Ciné-club
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the academic year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  3. Craft focus: grammar, syntax, and style for creative writers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  William Brady
    Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new taster course, which combines creative writing with opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers, and those with more experience.



    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 £90.00
  4. Understanding the modern world
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    Explore the ideas of four key thinkers whose ideas have vitally shaped our world. Examine their views on morality, meaning, the role and status of women, human nature, political and economic injustice and much more.



    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 £95.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  5. Modern political philosophy: ideas and ideologies in the 21st century
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    What are the key philosophical ideas behind the issues and debates of today? This is an opportunity to explore in more depth the concepts and ideologies that are shaping the politics of the 21st century.



    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 £95.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. German Idealism from Kant to Hegel: the beginnings of continental philosophy
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 8 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Christopher Horner
    German philosophers created the most ambitious and imaginative systems of thought of modern times against the backdrop of revolution and war. This creative and speculative beginning to modern continental philosophy is an exciting intellectual adventure.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
  7. Films and TV series of the 1990s
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 8 May 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    The '90s were an amazing decade for film and pre-streaming television. Rom-com was at its height and screwball comedy was back with Pretty Woman (1990 Gerry Marshall) and Groundhog Day (1993 Harold Ramis). Audience and critical favourites were big box-office: Titanic (1997 James Cameron), Pulp Fiction (1994 Tarantino), The Silence of the Lambs (1993 Jonathan Demme), Se7en (1995 David Fincher). The ‘90s were a particularly good time for going out to the cinema when going to the movies was still a thing; or for staying in and watching quality television before box-set binging: Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, TGIF, Green Wing, West Wing, X-Files, Bottom, Twin Peaks—and right at the end of the decade, the best-ever series—The Sopranos. If you are looking for a new decade to obsess over then register now and join us.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £123.00

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