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.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or 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 on our online courses, 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 now.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Understanding the modern world
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Explore the ideas of four key thinkers whose ideas have vitally shaped our world. Examine their views on morality, meaning, the role and status of women, human nature, political and economic injustice and much more.



    NB: No class on 7/03/2022 and 14/03/2022.



    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 £79.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  2. Contemporary cinema: the best films of the year
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    A crucial course on contemporary/current cinema which coincides with the wide range of films released immediately before the Bafta/Oscar awards season. A weekly ‘what’s on’ previews these films and reviews films seen in the previous weeks. The first session is the drawing up of a definitive student list of the best films of the past year. This course is now more timely than ever as we return to cinemas and to the classroom at Keeley Street.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  3. Modern political philosophy: ideas and ideologies in the 21st century
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    What are the key philosophical ideas behind the issues and debates of today? This is an opportunity to explore in more depth the concepts and ideologies that are shaping the politics of the 21st century. NB: No class on 08/03/2022.



    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 £79.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. The Emperor of Ice Cream: why Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore and Frank O'Hara are important
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore the work of these three major 20th century American poets, focussing on what is original about their work and how they changed people’s understanding of what is possible in poetry. We will look at how their poetry developed over their writing lifetimes, how they saw their work in relation to the poetry of the past and present, and how their poetry reflected or otherwise gave meaning to their lives – Stevens as a lifelong insurance lawyer, Moore as an unmarried woman without a profession and living with her mother, and O’Hara as an art curator as out-gay as it was possible to be until his untimely death in 1960.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  5. The Complete Ishiguro Part Two: 2000-2021
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro as we focus on the second twenty years of his writing career. Books include When We Were Orphans, Never Let Me Go, The Buried Giant and Klara and the Sun. We also take a look at his ventures into song lyrics and film screenplays.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  6. Contemporary Scottish Women's Fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore and discuss a selection of contemporary fictional texts by Scottish women writers, including Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon and Ali Smith’s Hotel World. We will think about key themes and issues, such as nationhood, women’s contribution to remapping the nation through its fictional imagining and relationship beyond its borders, social class, gender, sexuality, and journeys.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  7. World cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you ever wondered what lies beyond Hollywood? Are you interested in films from across the globe? Then this six-week introductory course is for you. We will consider alternative cinemas to the dominant North American industry and will focus each week on a selection of illustrative films from movie producing continents such as India, Asia, South America and Africa.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  8. Makers of the Medieval North
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the lives and achievements of some of the most influential men and women of faith and action in northern Europe during the earlier medieval period.



    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 £79.00
  9. Craft focus: grammar, syntax, and style for creative writers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this course, which combines creative writing with opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers looking to build confidence, and those with more experience who would like to practise these essential skills.



    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 £72.00
  10. Archaeology of London
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the archaeology and history of London through its cultural monuments, topography and material remains to more fully appreciate the rich archaeological evidence of the capital.



    Tutor: Jill Hummerstone. Tutor :Jill Hummerstone.



    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 £199.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Change must come: art, politics and society
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    An exploration of art history that draws on specific political and social movements in modern history and how artists contribute to and/or influence the dialogue. We will conclude with an engagement with contemporary art and politics.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £121.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. German Idealism from Kant to Hegel: the beginnings of continental philosophy
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    German philosophers created the most ambitious and imaginative systems of thought of modern times against the backdrop of revolution and war. This creative and speculative beginning to modern continental philosophy is an exciting intellectual adventure.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £79.00
  13. French Cinema: Classic - Current - New Wave
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    When we fall in love with French cinema it’s not only with the films but with an attitude to cinema itself. In France, cinema is taken seriously as an art rather than merely entertainment or industrial product. France invented cinema then nurtured it through surrealism, 1930s poetic realism, the New Wave, the 'cinema du look’ and nineties realism to the present day by creating a climate in which Hollywood’s narrative norms did not overwhelm. Perhaps no other country, from the earliest years of the cinema’s existence to the present day, has done so much to defend the intrinsic worth of the extraordinary medium of cinema. When you love life, you’ve just been to see a French film.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £109.00

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