History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study 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, 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 online now.

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  1. Dressing up: stories about clothes, identity and social class
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 24 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A Pierrot costume, the wrong party dress, a pair of white kid gloves – these items of clothing enable Colette, Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen to explore large themes within short stories; for Pauline Melville and Tessa Hadley two very different jackets have rich tales to tell. Join author and lecturer Lynn Knight for a lively and engaging discussion about the meaning of clothes and the power of the short story.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  2. A taste of philosophy
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you ever wondered what philosophy is? What do philosophers talk about? Can they tell you the meaning of life or is it just jargon and navel gazing? Come along and find out.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  3. In the footsteps of London's rebels
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 14 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore London's places of protest and discover the stories of radicals, agitators and campaigners who fought for social justice, equal rights and better lives for all from the 1790s to the 1930s.



    A series of virtual guided tours.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. London at war
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 14 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    London has been shaped by war, conflict and unrest. Its buildings, monuments and even street names reflect our



    embattled past. These illustrated lectures examine London's wartime legacy from mediaeval fortifications to the War on Terror.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £66.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  5. World Fiction: hidden treasures
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of international writing from the second half of the 20th century, including The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi (Japan), Snow Country by Kawabata, The Coffer Dams by Kamala Markandaya (India/Britain), The Island by Ana Maria Matute (Spain), and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (Italy).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  6. Novels of Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre, Shirley & Villette
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Literature course focuses on Charlotte Bronte’s three major novels: Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette. We will develop an appreciation of Bronte’s narrative methods and concerns through close analysis of her language, alongside engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels, and the Bronte ‘mythology’ itself.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  7. The men who built London
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Thu 16 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    London was shaped by its architects, engineers, bricklayers, navies etc. These lectures will examine London’s



    buildings and the men (and women) who worked throughout history to create this eclectic and wonderful city.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £66.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Phenomenology: an introduction
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Phenomenology, one of the most influential approaches in contemporary philosophy, asks: how do we constitute experienced reality? Following Husserl and Heidegger, phenomenologists try to understand what it means, if anything, to be in the world.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  9. Writing fiction
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Lovers of fiction can develop their creative writing skills on this practical intermediate course. You'll explore the fundamentals of fiction writing craft such as character and structure, and unlock your imagination to produce compelling prose. Suitable for those with some creative writing experience.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    86% of 100
  10. New Hollywood, New Wave
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    The film world was breathless with excitement by 1963 but Hollywood had fallen behind the rest of the world and everyone was going to the latest French or Italian films. Exactly four years later Time magazine’s cover story was “The New Hollywood.” How this happened, how Hollywood suddenly went from losing millions on bloated spectacles like Cleopatra to producing smart, talked-about pictures like The Graduate, Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde — how Old Hollywood became the New Hollywood — is the subject of this course.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
  11. Key texts of 19th & 20th century drama: Ibsen, Wilde, Williams and Stoppard
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will explore the concerns,styles and influences of 4 key dramatic texts from the late 19th and 20th centuries and how they reflect the times in which they were written. Texts studied include Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Travesties by Tom Stoppard.



    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 £134.00
  12. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    For experienced writers, this supportive but rigorous workshop offers the perfect opportunity to develop your novel or short story. Receive in-depth feedback and benefit from detailed group discussions on the art of fiction.



    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 £219.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  13. Developing your novel
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you started work on your novel? This course is suitable for experienced creative writers who want to make progress with a novel draft. Learn more about the art of novel writing and move your project forward in a supportive workshop environment.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  14. Great Historical Novels
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  15. Out of the fire: Black American writers in the 20th Century
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Weaving history, diverse traditions and a collage of voices, this online literature course will explore the struggle and celebration of black experience through Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, both growing out of the explosion of Black art during the Harlem Renaissance.



    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 £143.00 Concession £109.00

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