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. Constable's Hampstead
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 16 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The artist John Constable rented properties in Hampstead with his family from 1819 until he made it his permanent home in 1827.This virtual walk looks at the Georgian and Regency Hampstead he knew and includes quotes from his letters and points out his favourite places he painted.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £9.00 Senior fee £9.00 Concession £9.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. African history reading group
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 26 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    African history remains a marginalised topic, both within the historical research landscapes and most educational systems across the world. This reflects how history emerged as a scholarly endeavour in the context of European and American imperialism and nationalism. In this course, read and discuss African history to counter this and do our own work.

    Course dates are 26/05, 23/06 and 21/07.

    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 £49.00 Concession £22.00
  3. ‘Full steam ahead’: Britain’s railways in the Second World War
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 29 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course explores Britain’s railways’ national role from Evacuation through to Dunkirk, D-Day and beyond. Other aspects include the railways’ recruitment/deployment of women, response to invasion fears, the passenger experience, the Blackout and the Blitz.

    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
  4. Jesus: what does the evidence say?
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 29 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the evidence in the New Testament and other sources for who Jesus was, what he did and why he was crucified. This will involve developing knowledge of the New Testament and biblical interpretation.

    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
  5. Philosophy for life: happiness, laughter and home
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 3 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course is about trying to interrogate one’s own beliefs and attitudes, especially the attitudes that most shape our life.

    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 £49.00 Concession £30.00
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 'Forth in thy name': overseas Christian mission and the British Empire
    Last Few Places Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course explores the emergence, changing rationale and nature of missionary activity in these years. Considered too are indigenous responses (notably India and Africa), challenges posed, including the role of women, and support at home.

    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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. A walk through N3: Conservation Finchley
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 1 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Finchley Central contains three conservation areas. Starting at the oldest part of the former village of Finchley Church End , this virtual walk stops to admire traces of the old village, Edwardian and Victorian architecture before moving on to the delightful Finchley Garden village and College Farm, the last remaining farm in Finchley.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £9.00 Senior fee £9.00 Concession £9.00
  15. Dressing up: stories about clothes, identity and social class
    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

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