History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

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 online now.

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  1. Constable's Hampstead
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 16 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The artist John Constable rented properties in Hampstead with his family from 1819 until he made it his permanent home in 1827.This virtual walk looks at the Georgian and Regency Hampstead he knew and includes quotes from his letters and points out his favourite places he painted.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £9.00 Senior fee £9.00 Concession £9.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Jesus: what does the evidence say?
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 29 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the evidence in the New Testament and other sources for who Jesus was, what he did and why he was crucified. This will involve developing knowledge of the New Testament and biblical interpretation.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  3. Craft focus: grammar, syntax and style for creative writers - a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 29 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Great poetry and prose begin when the writer puts the right words in the right places. Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new course, which combines creative writing with opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers looking to build confidence, and those with more experience who would like to practise these essential skills.

    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 £28.00
  4. The art of writing the personal essay
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 30 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Follow in the footsteps of Dorothy Parker, George Orwell and Zadie Smith with this taster course on the personal essay, a continuously thriving genre of autobiographical writing.

    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  5. Religion, ethics and modern life: assisted dying and Christianity
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore religious approaches to ethics, with a focus on sources and ideas from the Christian tradition, and apply these to the moral issue of assisted dying.

    This course may include content that some learners may find of a sensitive or challenging nature.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  6. The lost town of Lundenwic: mid-Saxon London 600-900 CE
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

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

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £20.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  7. Faith and the senses: ritual and world religions
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course is a comparative overview of how aspects of contemporary world religions engage the senses in both rituals and festivities and looks at some of the objects associated with these practices.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  8. Writing journeys – in collaboration with the British Museum
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    In partnership with the British Museum’s exhibition on "Thomas Becket: the murder and making of a saint", we’ll be exploring the concepts of journeys, travel and pilgrimages. Through a combination of close readings and creative exercises, you’ll be invited to consider your own physical, spiritual and creative journeys as inspiration for your writing.

    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 £28.00
  9. Writing the Oulipo: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 19 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Does your writing need a boost of inspiration? How about counter-intuitively imposing constraints on yourself? Learn about the ideas of the French Oulipo movement and see what happens when you experiment with interesting – and challenging – limitations!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £8.00
  10. The Insurance triangle: Fenchurch Street station
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 22 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Famous for being the station no-one can visualise Fenchurch Street is one of London’s oldest termini and gateway to the eastern side of the City. Stories include London's first railway murder, the birth of Monopoly and the diary of Samuel Pepys. In between, discover a sundial portraying London’s history, a piece of Roman wall, a graceful crescent once home to a hostel for Bengali immigrants, public art and one of the City’s most talked about office blocks, the Walkie-Talkie. Not to mention two of Rachel's ex-workplaces!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00
  11. Tabloid newspaper tales
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Enter the world of tabloid journalism by getting to grips with the techniques of a professional hack. Learn to think like a journalist, writing your own articles and discovering what makes the biggest front-page stories.

    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 £28.00
  12. Pitching your screenplay treatment
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 3 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    You've worked hard on a screenplay but how do you sell it? This short intensive course, led by an Emmy award-winning Producer, identifies tools you can select to create a compelling Pitch Treatment. Please note: this course will have 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 £28.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. City Riverside: Cannon Street to Blackfriars
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 6 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Since the City opened up its river path, the lesser known north bank of the Thames between Blackfriars and Cannon Street stations and beyond provides fabulous views of Bankside and on the City side you discover a hidden monument to Shakespeare, several historic Livery Halls, colourful mosaics at an ancient landing place, an art nouveau decorated pub, a famous boys’ school and more!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00
  14. Jewish characters in 20th century Italian literature: Ginzburg, Bassani and Morante
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 10 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover how some Jewish characters have been portrayed by Italian novelists of the 20th century. We will read and comment on extracts from Ginzburg, Bassani and Morante.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  15. Writing flash fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 11 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A sideways glance: succinct, powerful. This short workshop on the essential components of flash fiction will teach you to tell a complete story in very few words. Please note: this course will have 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 £28.00

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