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. Seminal films of the 1970s
    Course Date:  Fri 11 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course looks at some of the ground-breaking films of the 1970s, considering them not only as important works of cinema, but as part of the wider cultural and political shifts taking place in society. Drawing from Europe, Britain, Africa, Australia and America, it shows how filmmakers of the 1970s continued the explorations—aesthetic, political, personal—that took root in the previous decade.

    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 £127.00 Concession £97.00
  2. Life writing: a taster
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 11 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This inspiring workshop encourages students to explore a range of techniques and prompts in order to help students with some prior experience of life writing progress further.

    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
  3. Religion, ethics and modern life: assisted dying and Christianity
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore religious approaches to ethics, with a focus on sources and ideas from the Christian tradition, and apply these to the moral issue of assisted dying.

    This course may include content that some learners may find of a sensitive or challenging nature.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  4. Writing experimental fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Writing fiction is always an experiment in how to connect to your reader, but some stories push the established boundaries of form to the extreme. In this advanced course you'll test the limits of your imagination to craft fiction that breaks all the rules with purpose. Suitable for those with lots of 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 £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  5. The lost town of Lundenwic: mid-Saxon London 600-900 CE
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Look at the least known episodes in London's history, Lundenwic (AD 600-900) and Lundenburh (AD 900-1000).

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £31.00 Concession £20.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  6. Faith and the senses: ritual and world religions
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course is a comparative overview of how aspects of contemporary world religions engage the senses in both rituals and festivities and looks at some of the objects associated with these practices.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  7. Writing journeys – in collaboration with the British Museum
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 12 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    In partnership with the British Museum’s exhibition on "Thomas Becket: the murder and making of a saint", we’ll be exploring the concepts of journeys, travel and pilgrimages. Through a combination of close readings and creative exercises, you’ll be invited to consider your own physical, spiritual and creative journeys as inspiration for your 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
  8. Religions of India: what Jainism can teach us about peace and the environment
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 13 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Jain religion is non-theistic and believes in an everlasting soul and a material body. Its morality is based on non-violence and non-acquisition. The Jain aphorism ‘all life is interdependent’ is in tune with creating a peaceful and sustainable world.

    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. The Agony of History: Why the past matters in 'The Sound and the Fury'
    Course Date:  Mon 14 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Faulkner's powerful portrayal of 1920s South examines the weight of familial and cultural history. This lyric and tragic study of tormented sibling relationships, racial tensions, gender roles and suicide requires careful attention; we will work through the density together while coming into a clearer understanding of the American South post-Civil War. The long shadow of slavery and ante-bellum Southern culture continues to exert its power—and Faulkner goes into the darkness to illustrate this world.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00
  10. Representations of femininity in contemporary Independent American cinema
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 15 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Mainstream cinema is dominated by male directors and protagonists. American independent cinema, with new ways to produce and distribute film, has increased the female voice in cinema. This course will examine what cinema looks like from a female point of view and how indie cinema has become so important in representing women.

    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 £60.00
  11. Further village London
    Course Date:  Wed 16 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online



    A further five walks around London's former villages - Hampstead, Highgate, Archway, Fitzrovia and Soho.

    Why did these areas grow up as villages and how did they become swallowed up by the city of London?

    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 £26.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. Shakespeare's Women: Rosalind, Ophelia & Lady Macbeth
    Course Date:  Thu 17 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Literature course will look at three of Shakespeare’s female characters: Rosalind (As You Like It), Ophelia (Hamlet) and Lady Macbeth (Macbeth). We will consider their wit, madness and ambition, exploring Shakespeare’s language, the historical context, and the plays in 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 £42.00
  13. Plot your children's novel in two days
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 19 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    You’re a writer with some experience and a great idea for a children’s novel. Spend two days in this interactive workshop, learning about structure and developing your idea into a compelling plot.

    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
  14. Writing the Oulipo: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 19 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Does your writing need a boost of inspiration? How about counter-intuitively imposing constraints on yourself? Learn about the ideas of the French Oulipo movement and see what happens when you experiment with interesting – and challenging – limitations!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £8.00
  15. The Insurance triangle: Fenchurch Street station
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 22 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Famous for being the station no-one can visualise Fenchurch Street is one of London’s oldest termini and gateway to the eastern side of the City. Stories include London's first railway murder, the birth of Monopoly and the diary of Samuel Pepys. In between, discover a sundial portraying London’s history, a piece of Roman wall, a graceful crescent once home to a hostel for Bengali immigrants, public art and one of the City’s most talked about office blocks, the Walkie-Talkie. Not to mention two of Rachel's ex-workplaces!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00

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