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 long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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  1. An introduction to paradox
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    A paradox is an apparently absurd conclusion derived from seemingly uncontroversial premises through supposedly valid reasoning. This course will introduce you to six major philosophical paradoxes and some of the attempts to solve them.



    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
  2. Makers not muses: Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar and Isabel Rawsthorne
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore the work of three radical artists whose work and practice defied convention in modern art from the 1920s to 1960s. Discover how each artist challenged and transcended society’s expectations of being a ‘muse’ by living freely and making art in a variety of media, from painting and sculpture to collage, photography and performance.



    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 £45.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Women in ancient Rome
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  William Sterling
    Women's position in the Ancient Roman world was important as they played important roles in the home, in business, in religion and even in politics.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Italian cinema: from Neorealism to the genre film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    This cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  5. Private portraits: painted miniatures in early modern Europe
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Portrait miniatures are some of the most exquisite and beguiling likenesses ever produced. Their tiny scale and painstaking creation give them an intricacy, intimacy and sense of intrigue. These often reflect the circumstances in which they were gifted to their new owners by the person commissioning them, and both the images and their wider contexts repay our close study on this course.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  6. Art in the age of Napoleon: politics, painting & propaganda
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Explore the art of Napoleonic Europe via issues such as political and social upheaval, Neo-Classical priorities, and the rise of Romanticism, in the work of artists such as David and Goya.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. Universal horror: classic horror cinema from Universal Studios
    Last Few Places, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Universal had its greatest successes of the classical era with a series of horror films with which it will forever be associated. It's classic horror figures define the golden age of horror cinema, while the memorable performances of stars such as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi established them as horror legends. Explore and enjoy these classic horror films and their lasting legacy for the genre.



    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
  8. Populism
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 1 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Francesca Granelli
    Populism and radicalism is challenging how politics looks and works in many places around the world. Join Dr. Granelli to learn more!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £58.00
  9. Get together and read
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  10. Struggle to be heard: Rimbaud, Cavafy, Tsvetaeva, Binta Breeze
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    We look at four poets who struggled to be heard or accepted because their work was so different from what their society expected. What were the barriers they had to overcome and how did they win through to become admired and highly regarded? What made one of the poets stop writing at the age of 21 and the other three continue for the rest of their lives? What makes the poetry of all of them so original, and what can we learn from their resilience?
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £45.00
  11. An introduction to film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Develop your critical understanding of cinema through a range of concepts and critical approaches in film studies, including narrative, genre, spectatorship, authorship and directors, popular cinema, art cinema, national cinema and early film, along with technological developments including the transition to sound, while we view and discuss a range of key films from cinema's history as examples.



    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  12. Exploring the memory politics of East Asia
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Qiuyang Chen
    Discover how memory shapes politics in East Asia. Explore pivotal case studies from China, South Korea, and Japan to understand the impact of collective memory on national identities and international relations.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
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