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 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, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. Autobiographical writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    This short course explores the basic elements of writing autobiography drawing on memories, diaries, photos, dreams and fantasies with a focus on the forms of autobiography, memoir and the personal essay.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  2. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 15 May 2023 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  3. Arts of the golden age of the Ottoman Empire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Looking at how the vision of the Ottoman Sultans was crafted from diverse sources during a period of maximum growth, this course will focus on the architecture, arts and crafts of the early Ottoman Empire.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  4. The philosophical Hamlet: life, death and everything in between
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Borna Radnik
    Can we ever escape our past? Can we act to change our future? This course examines various philosophical themes through engagement with different philosophical traditions and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.



    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 £50.00
  5. Curating and collecting contemporary art in the UK
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Have you ever wondered how works of art and cultural objects have been collected for public museums and galleries in Britain? Who collected these objects? What functions have public collections played in society? Why ‘collect for the nation’?
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  6. That's entertainment
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Rachel Kolsky
    This series of walks profiles entertainment in London, past and present. Discover the theatrical and musical heritage of Soho, Covent Garden, Camden and Marylebone together with London landmarks used as popular film locations.



    22nd February : Beatles London - inside Marylebone Station near the tube entrance



    1st March : Theatreland - outside Covent Garden tube, on Long Acre on corner of Neal Street



    8th March: Musical Soho - outside Dominion Tottenham Court Road



    15th March: London on Film - outside Barbican tube.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
  7. The Golden Age of US Television: 1950s
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Rixon
    This course explores what, for many critics, was the first golden age of US television in the 1950s. For the critics the live anthologies drama series which appeared at this time, such as Kraft Theatre, came to offer acclaimed single plays including Marty (1953) and Twelve Angry Men (1954), by writers such as Paddy Chayefsky and Gore Vidal. For critics, these were a form of well-crafted, intense, claustrophobic television dramas. By the early 1960s these dramas had been replaced by filmed series and serials.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  8. Renaissance art: making, locating and viewing
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    This course explores the Making, the Locating and the Viewing of Renaissance paintings in the collection of the National Gallery. This course takes place at the National Gallery.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  9. Russia-Chinese relations since 1989
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Sino-Russian relations in the post-Cold War period have been described as one of the most perplexing and debated topics in academic and policy circles. But what makes this particular relationship so interesting? How strong is their relationsship? Will they become an alliane and what would that mean for the rest of the world?



    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 £50.00
  10. Art in 15th-century Siena
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Explore the art, society and geography of 15th century Siena, the picturesque Tuscan republic. Expand your knowledge of the Italian Renaissance beyond the borders of Florence by studying one of its worthy artistic, political and intellectual rivals.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Medieval and Renaissance art at the V&A
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Andreas Petzold
    Explore the one of the finest and most diverse collections of medieval and Renaissance art and material culture in the world at the V&A Museum.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  12. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  13. Autobiography into fiction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    This 6-week course will help you develop techniques for transforming personal experience into fiction. You'll have the opportunity to improve your writing skills as well as your ability to give and use constructive criticism in a workshop environment.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  14. Life writing: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    This inspiring workshop encourages students to explore a range of techniques and prompts in order to create vivid and engaging life 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 £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Friday lates: designs of India at the V&A
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Explore the treasures of the V&A Nehru Gallery and its painting and the decorative arts from India between the 16th and 19th centuries.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00

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