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. Classic Italian actors of cinema: from Anna Magnani to Toni Servillo
    Course Date:  Mon 28 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this course we combine biography and film extracts to examine the impact of ten Italian actors who shaped the history of Italian Cinema and became international stars by creating powerful screen personae.

    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 £79.00 Concession £60.00
  2. Beyond the human: explore the philosophy of artificial intelligence and life
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The fields of synthetic biology and artificial life are merging with artificial intelligence to put our conceptions of what it is to be human in doubt. What are the consequences of thinking ‘beyond the human’?

    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  3. Spies in Modern Literature: John Le Carre, Javier Marias & Graham Greene
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How relevant is spy literature in the 21st century? How has it evolved? This course will consider the complex narrative enticements of two acclaimed masters of the genre operating at the high end between popular entertainment and serious art form, and revisit a classic text from the 1970s whose psychological realism and moral questioning still resonate with us today.

    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 £42.00
  4. Beat writer’s block
    Course Date:  Thu 15 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A one day course for anyone who has started a project and lost their way, run out of momentum or found themselves staring at a blank page and wondering where the fun of writing went.

    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 £28.00
  5. Writing the personal: autobiographical theatre
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 15 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to select and shape your own life experiences into a dynamic text for live performance on this supportive online course. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.

    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 £28.00
  6. Getting published
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    So you've finished your novel. What's next? This short course provides guidance in submitting to agents and publishers, and helps you to tailor your work to maximise its potential in the marketplace.

    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  7. Animals in 20th and 21st century fiction
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Why do authors write about animals? What effect does it have on us as readers when we encounter animals in novels and short stories? From Beatrix Potter to the contemporary novel, this course explores the role of the animal in modern literature. Themes that we will think about together include: animal suffering, animals in depictions of childhood, and animal transformations and dehumanisation.

    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 £42.00
  8. Micropoetry: small poems, big ideas
    Course Date:  Fri 23 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the emerging art form of micropoetry in this fun but informative day workshop. Compose your own poetry and learn how to make every word on the page count.

    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  9. Writing and rewriting fairytales
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Once upon a time there was a City Lit workshop led by a romance author who loved fairytales. Her quest: to inspire writers to pen stories of love, fear, forests, revenge, dragons, witches, kings, queens, frogs and magic.

    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  10. Creating your author platform online
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 2 Jun 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Increasingly publishers are looking for an author with an impressive online presence, as well as a sparkling manuscript. In this workshop, you'll learn how to start and grow your author brand, gain a following and build a readership for your future titles.

    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 £28.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  11. Writing memoir: a taster
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 2 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you have a personal story to tell that will move, delight, stir and inform readers? This short course guides students in planning and crafting a memoir.

    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 £28.00
  12. Maps and Mapping in Fiction
    Course Date:  Wed 4 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Whether the places they depict are real, imaginary, or somewhere in between, writers of fiction have long been fascinated by maps and the possibilities they contain. From fantasy lands to real-life geographies, this course investigates the close (though sometimes ambiguous) relationships between maps and fiction. We will explore extracts and illustrative maps from a range of different texts, and try our hand at mapping a fictional space for ourselves.

    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 £36.00
  13. Chinese philosophy in a nutshell
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    There is great richness of thinking in Chinese Philosophy. From the nature of nature to the human condition, Chinese thinkers offer much to ponder.

    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 £42.00
  14. The essay - academic writing
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A-level and access courses or undergraduates.

    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  15. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Apr 2021 (and 9 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.

    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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