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. Robert Altman: The long goodbye to Hollywood
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Robert Altman served a long apprenticeship in movie-making before his great breakthrough , the Korean War comedy M*A*S*H (1969). It became a huge hit and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but also established Altman's inimitable use of sound and image, and his gift for handling a repertory company of actors. The 1970s then became Altman's decade, with a string of masterpieces: McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971 revisionist western), The Long Goodbye (1973 revisionist Raymond Chandler), Thieves Like Us (1974 remake of Nicholas Ray’s 1948 They Live By Night), Nashville (1976 completely and absolutely original widescreen mural of America and Hollywood). In the 1980s Altman struggled to fund his work, but he was restored to prominence in 1992 with The Player, an acerbic take on Hollywood. Short Cuts, an inspired adaptation of Raymond Carver, and the Oscar-winning Gosford Park, (2001), underscored his comeback. (See separate but related courses on Once Upon a Time in New Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch and the Coen brothers).
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  2. Superpowers with elephants: the battle of Raphia, 217 BCE
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    The decisive battle fought at Raphia in 217 B.C. between the two Hellenistic kings Ptolemy IV of Egypt and Antiochus III of Syria saw the clash of armies drawn from across the ancient world, with elephants and cavalry, transforming the world order.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
  3. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  4. The lost town of Lundenwic: mid-Saxon London 600-900 CE
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stuart Brookes
    Look at the least known episodes in London's history, Lundenwic (AD 600-900) and Lundenburh (AD 900-1000).



    Includes an introductory lecture and guided walk.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  5. Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  6. Creative writing: getting started
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 May 2024 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination. Please note: this course has a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  7. Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £58.00 Concession £58.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  8. Local history writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Allis Moss
    On this inspiring short course you will learn how to write local history books, booklets and features; covering a wide range of topics such as family, home towns, old buildings, parks, markets and beyond.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  9. Queer Storytelling: writing as a radical act
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 16 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Megan Beech
    This one day short course will explore the writing of two contemporary queer writers, both of whom use innovative form to tell unique stories of lesbian and trans experience. We'll look at the exhilarating, T.S Eliot Prize winning, C+nto and Othered Poems (2021) by Joelle Taylor and Variations (2022).
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  10. A day at the V&A: an introduction to collections
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 16 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Spend a fascinating day at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum exploring a range of galleries. We shall be looking at the decorative arts, paintings, sculpture and design from across the world and across the centuries in this remarkable museum.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. Up close and personal with Greek archaeological treasures
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Merali-Smith
    Discover stunning objects from ancient Greece and the evidence they provide for the lives of ancient people. Spend the afternoon having a close look at the British Museum's collection.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
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