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. Write a short story in a weekend
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 Jan 2023 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Yvonne Singh
    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. 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. Includes a 2-hour break (12:30-14:30) each day.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  2. Online journalism: writing for digital media
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laura Silverman
    An introductory workshop to writing journalism for digital outlets.



    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
  3. Art of ancient Central Asia
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Roberta Marin
    Discover the establishment and the development of Islamic art in Central Asia.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Velázquez, painter to the King
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Stuart-Smith
    Investigate the work of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez, including enigmatic paintings such as Las Meninas (1656), and learn about how his art relates to his political role as court painter to Philip IV.



    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 £38.00
  5. Looking at architecture
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Study significant examples of Western architecture from the ancient to post-modern era, including works by contributors such as Wren, Pugin, Gaudi and Le Corbusier, considering style, materials and techniques, function, as well as social, political and cultural contexts that shaped the buildings.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  6. Focus on: British printmaking in the late 19th and early 20th century
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Discover the work of the significant artist-printmakers who worked in Britain from the late 19th century through to the Interwar period: the printmaking processes they used, and the ways they variously responded to tradition and modernity.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. Creative writing for social media
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Homan Yousofi
    In this new course we will scroll through short-form creative writing approaches, and bring together words, images, found sounds, mixed-media, cut-up and other techniques to publish writing on social media. This course is open to both new and experienced writers.



    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 £19.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  8. The Bloomsbury Group - art & design
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 28 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    They lived in squares and loved in triangles. Discover the art and influence of the Bloomsbury Group, through the work of their key artists: Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant.



    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
  9. Exploring East Asian cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This course introduces you to the cinema of Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. We will consider the history and development of cinema in the region, its key films, filmmakers and movements, and a range of representative genres and film styles, while also thinking about its international critical reception and cultural function as both national and transnational cinema.



    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 £64.00
  10. Pre-Columbian cultures - part 1: South America
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Max Carocci
    Shrouded in mystery and legend, Amazonian and Central American cultures reveal surprising links to societies of the Andes that defy and challenge common perceptions about the rise of civilisation in the Americas.



    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 £84.00
  11. Ways into poetry: a gentle pace
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 2 Mar 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Are you brand new to writing poetry? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners in the craft? This gentle short course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a poet.



    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 £109.00 Concession £55.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. The influence of Japan on Western art in the 19th century
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore how 19th century European artists from the Impressionists to Art Nouveau transformed their artistic language with the study Japanese art, form and subject.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Looking at contemporary art
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore and discuss contemporary art on show in London. Each week we’ll visit 1-2 commercial galleries or a public gallery and examine specific exhibitions of contemporary art across a range of media including painting, works on paper, photography, new media and sculpture.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  14. Representing nature in early modern Europe
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the links between the visual image and ideas of nature in early modernity (c.1500-1750). At this time, tools like the microscope were visualising nature in new ways, changes were afoot in how humans related to animals, and the environments of Asia and the Americas were becoming more familiar to Europeans. We will focus on how artists and skilled artisans engaged with these subjects.



    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
  15. A Star is Born: The birth of Hollywood stardom
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann-Marie Fleming
    Once cinema began to develop, Hollywood began to promote stardom. Starting with Florence Lawrence, the industry began to capitalise on star personalities and encourage fandom. This course will examine how the Hollywood star system began and evolved. The course will begin by examining the ‘picture personality’ in 1912 through to the collapse of the traditional star system in the 1960s.



    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 £38.00

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