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. Heaven and hell in world religions
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Compare and contrast the afterlife beliefs of the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Explore how these ideas developed and influenced each other.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £85.00
  2. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Paul Sinclair
    Explore the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Discover how London recovered from one of the great disasters and became a centre of commerce and the heart of a great empire. We follow in the steps of some of its best known characters like Doctor Johnson and Samuel Pepys and some lesser known including William Lilley and Thomas Chatterton. The course follows on from the HLW06 The City of London: the square mile, but new students are welcome. The first meeting place is Monument station, Fish Street Hill exit.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. A stroll through British art: 1500-1850
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    On this informal gallery-based course you will explore and discuss the history and characteristics of British art from the 16th century to the mid-19th century. The course will take place offsite at both the National Gallery and Tate Britain.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  6. Writing about food
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laura Silverman
    Love food and want to write about it? Whether you’re keen to review dishes, interview chefs or write about sustainable eating, now is your chance. This course will cover writing for established publications as well as personal blogs.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Craft focus: grammar, syntax, and style for creative writers
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  William Brady
    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 a review of essential points of grammar.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £90.00
  8. Creative non-fiction
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  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.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00
  9. London's hidden art and architecture, part II
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Uncover a whole new side of London, from Roman times to the present day through a series of walks and visits to art galleries and historic sites.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  10. From the 1880s to the 1930s: how the new East End was born
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Blended (learn both online and in-person)

    Tutors:  David Rosenberg
    In an area branded 'the hell of poverty', libraries, theatres, art galleries and social housing were established. Workers went on strike and activists campaigned for better lives. Discover this history by taking actual, guided walks through six tumultuous decades of change. First and last session delivered on Zoom. Other sessions are guided walks. Full details of the meeting places for each walk will be given at the 1st session. 6 guided walks with 2 Zoom sessions.



    This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    94% of 100
  11. Isis, Mithras and Christ: iconography and mythology
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    An introduction to the history, essential beliefs, mythology, and iconography, of three influential religions



    of the Graeco-Roman world: Isis, the mystery cult devoted to Mithras and Christ.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £123.00
  12. Exploring European cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This class introduces you to a range of themes and issues in European cinema, including art cinema, national cinema, movements, 'moments' and new waves, authorship, popular cinema and genre, along with key developments in European film history from the silent era to the present day, key films, directors and the canon of European cinema, and a range of critical accounts of European cinema.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Cultureplex Ciné-club
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the rest of the academic year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  14. Homes, houses and art in Britain 1900-1960
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Knock on the door of artists’ houses and studios from 1900-1960 to experience exciting and visually dazzling spaces created over the course of their careers. At a time when artists were beginning to forge their own brave new visual worlds, this course considers what the homes might tell us about the artists and how they wanted their homes to be seen.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £103.00
  15. 'The Noise of Time': Russian poetry and society from Mayakovsky and Pasternak to Brodsky and Stepanova
    Course start date:  Thu 4 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Explore the ways in which the leading Russian poets of two contrasting periods – the early 20th century, from the Silver Age to the Revolution, and the late 20th – 21st centuries, from the end of the Soviet era up until our own time - responded and are still responding to the pressures of a society in the grip of profound political change.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00

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