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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or 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 on our online courses, 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 now.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Plagues of London: 1348-1665
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Explore the impact of plague on London during the years 1348-1665. By the seventeenth century we can read eye-witness accounts but medicine was no nearer to a cure.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £96.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. The art and culture of 18th century London
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Explore Georgian painting, sculpture and architecture, and consider them within the context of the history and culture of the 18th century exploring museums, galleries and other places in London online.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £152.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Creative non-fiction
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Paul Laffan
    Explore practical and imaginative approaches to creative non fiction, including travel writing, life writing and the essay. Analyse published work, produce your own pieces, and benefit from detailed feedback.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £72.00
  4. Art history taster
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Ever wondered what art history is but don’t want to commit to a whole course? Wonder what's involved in online learning at City Lit? Try this taster session!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  5. Write a short story in a weekend
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022 (and 5 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Maria Thomas
    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. Through a series of inspiring exercises, you'll be introduced to some key fiction writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end. Suitable for beginners who are comfortable learning at a fast pace. Please note: this course has a 2-hr break each session 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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  6. Ghetto uprising 1943: Jewish life and death in Warsaw
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  David Rosenberg
    In April 1943, some 40,000 starving people were still incarcerated in terrible conditions within the Warsaw Ghetto. A few hundred among them – predominantly young people – led an armed rebellion against the Nazis. This course conveys the incredible story of their uprising but also reveals the background of Warsaw's vibrant but increasingly endangered Jewish life in the decades before the uprising. It describes the many forms of resistance that took place after the Nazi invasion, highlights key individuals who played a role, and provides an opportunity to reflects on different aspects of this tragic but inspiring episode during the Holocaust.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Creation myths in the ancient near East
    Last Few Places, ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann Jeffers
    Come and explore with us the idea of ‘myth’. We will look at creation myths in Ugarit, in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, ancient Greece and in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. How to write a book about your expert knowledge
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lorna V
    Learn to write about your specialist expertise in a way that will appeal to a wider reading audience.



    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. Focus on: Leonardo da Vinci
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Artist, scientist, and ‘Renaissance Man’ Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the greatest minds in history. We look at his inspirations, his theories and some of his major works.



    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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Craft focus: mastering descriptive language
    Last Few Places, ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Descriptive language can provide texture and clarity to a story, promoting reader engagement and a sensory experience that lingers long after the text has been read. In this short course learn how to create vivid descriptions with sentences that will elevate your prose. This course will support writers of fiction and non-fiction.



    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
  11. Think like an artist: in 16th century Venice
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Find out how the art of the mercantile republic of 16th century Venice reflects its unique location, trade routes and society.



    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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. Russian poets: Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    An evaluation, through close reading and discussion, of some of the most celebrated verse of the Silver Age, the Soviet Revolutionary period and the decades of Stalinism. What is it about the individual poems that cast a spell over so many of their contemporaries and the generations that followed? What do they tell us about the human spirit and the value of art in a time of catastrophic upheaval?



    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
  13. Focus on: Giotto
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Discover the life and work of Giotto, was one of the earliest artists to be written about within his lifetime, his genius held up as the ideal by Italian painting critics for the next five centuries.



    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 £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. An introduction to poetry: Blake and Keats
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    Come and join an introduction and exploration of the poetry of William Blake and John Keats. We will read, discuss and enjoy a selection of their poetry and consider how the poets shape our responses.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  15. Heist Movies: crime thrillers
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    1950’s Hollywood began with The Asphalt Jungle (1950) just as The Maltese Falcon (1941) had kickstarted the forties. John Huston directed both — the first film noir and then the first heist film. Did he pull it off? Kubrick thought so, and made The Killing (1956), a rock-hard-boiled thriller built around Asphalt’s mastermind star, Sterling Hayden. Emerging from the shadow of film noir with thrilling action scenes, heist suspense films continue to be one of cinema’s most exciting genres.



    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

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