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. Ealing Studios
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 4 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Although often remembered for its comedies, Ealing also produced films across a variety of other genres, from social realism and war, to crime thrillers and one great horror film. We will view and discuss a range of classic films and consider the studio's history and development, its key personnel, and a range of critical responses in this exploration of one of Britain's best loved film studios.

    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
  2. Travel writing workshop
    Course Date:  Mon 5 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Make travelling pay. Find out what travel editors of newspapers and magazines look for, and learn how to get a commission, write a saleable article and get your trip financed. Receive practical advice on identifying suitable outlets and contacting editors.

    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 £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. City Riverside: Cannon Street to Blackfriars
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 6 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Since the City opened up its river path, the lesser known north bank of the Thames between Blackfriars and Cannon Street stations and beyond provides fabulous views of Bankside and on the City side you discover a hidden monument to Shakespeare, several historic Livery Halls, colourful mosaics at an ancient landing place, an art nouveau decorated pub, a famous boys’ school and more!

    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
  4. 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
  5. Spies in Modern Literature: John Le Carre, Javier Marias & Graham Greene
    Evening
    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
  6. Philosophy of art
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 10 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Why do we value art? For the pleasure it gives us, the emotion it expresses, its truthfulness, its form? In this introduction to the philosophy of art we will consider various approaches to these questions and others.

    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Jewish characters in 20th century Italian literature: Ginzburg, Bassani and Morante
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 10 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover how some Jewish characters have been portrayed by Italian novelists of the 20th century. We will read and comment on extracts from Ginzburg, Bassani and Morante.

    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
  8. Writing flash fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 11 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A sideways glance: succinct, powerful. This short workshop on the essential components of flash fiction will teach you to tell a complete story in very few words. Please note: this course will have a 2-hr break from 12:30-14:30.

    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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. How to write a short story
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Through a series of inspiring and practical exercises, you'll be encouraged to tap into your imagination and draft a short story from beginning to end in four days.

    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 £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. 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
  14. Aesop's fables: an introduction
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Aesop’s fables have been used through history to clarify important issues within society. Investigate their perseverance through history and why they continue to be relevant today.

    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
  15. Writing poetry: experiments in chance and choice
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore interesting, off-beat and diverse approaches to generating verse on this one-day course. Try out cut-ups, found lines, experiments in meter and rhyme, and much more.

    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:
    100% of 100

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