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. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Charlotte Heather
    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:
    96% of 100
  2. Introduction to the Wallace Collection
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Each week, we'll explore a different aspect of the Wallace Collection looking at its fine and decorative art objects, including paintings, furniture, porcelain and even arms and armour. #wallacecollection #arthistory.



    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
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  3. The art of writing the personal essay
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Feb 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Da Cunha Lewin
    Follow in the footsteps of Dorothy Parker, George Orwell and Zadie Smith with this taster course on the personal essay, a continuously thriving genre of autobiographical 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
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  4. Picture book writing
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Lou Kuenzler
    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    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:
    98% of 100
  5. Developing your fairytale
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nicole Acquah
    Already devised a cunning plan for your own fairytale? This fun workshop coaches students on how to add an extra dash of magic into the cauldron while writing in the fairytale genre.



    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:
    93% of 100
  6. Craft focus: grammar, syntax and style for creative writers - a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 1 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Park
    Great poetry and prose begin when the writer puts the right words in the right places. Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new 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 £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  7. Cause and effect: a philosophical investigation
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Oliver Josiah
    This course introduces students to contemporary philosophical debates concerning the nature of causation, how we identify causes, and whether we should even understand the world in causal terms at all.



    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 £89.00 Concession £39.00
  8. From the silent era to the talkies: the transformation of cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 6 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    By the end of the 1920s cinema had reached a peak of creativity with films such as Sunrise which it was thought the 'talkies' might undermine. But the late 20s and early 30s saw a flourishing of imagination in the use of sound in films like M, and sparkling dialogue in films such as Trouble in Paradise. Explore the world of silent cinema and early sound film through these and other landmark films.



    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 £89.00 Concession £54.00
  9. Women behind the camera: in Hollywood and beyond
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Cheshire
    Did you know that the first fiction film was directed by a woman? That there were more women working behind the camera in the first 30 years of cinema, than in the last 30? That only one woman has won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival? In this Study Day we will explore the careers of women directors from the past, those working today, and those whose careers are in their early stages.



    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
  10. Focus on: Degas
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore Degas’s extraordinary legacy as ‘one of the founders of Impressionism’. His dynamic paintings and sketches of everyday life and activities, and his bold colour experiments will be examined throughout this informative weekend art history course.



    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
  11. Masters of Cinema: early Fellini
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 8 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    Federico Fellini: cartoonist, journalist, humourist, screenwriter, director. Come on a journey of film discovery with Italian cinema’s most celebrated film-maker; from coastal Rimini via war-torn Rome to the international awards circuit.



    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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  12. Spectacles of the Ancient world
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 12 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    This course explores some of the most elaborate and powerful displays of the Graeco-Roman world. Designed to entertain, inform, and elicit support, often at times of great political or religious significance, they were unforgettable, and have long exercised an influence on our own understanding of the nature of power.



    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 £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £54.00
  13. Dickens' London
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 14 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Molly Rumbelow
    'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' Enjoy this introduction to Dickens' work and the London of his time. Morning lecture at City Lit followed by a walk in the area of the city connected to his work.



    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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  14. In my end is my beginning: the meaning & potential of growing old
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    This innovatory course will present a wide range of poetic explorations of the experience and significance of growing old and the approach of death. While acknowledging the inevitable difficulties and challenges of the last phase of life, the emphasis will be on illuminating the scope and potential of old age while reflecting on the interdependence of life and death.



    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
  15. Rulfo, Borges and Marquez: masters of Latin American storytelling
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Óscar Salgado Suárez
    We explore the main short stories from Borges' 'Labyrinths' (1962), together with Marquez's novella 'No one writes to the Colonel' (1961) and Rulfo's novel 'Pedro Páramo' (1955), investigating their unique approach to storytelling that shows the diverse and complex cultural and social context they originate from.



    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

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