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.

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  1. In my end is my beginning: the meaning & potential of growing old
    Last Few Places, 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
  2. 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
  3. Melodrama, Fantasy and Realism: British cinema in the 1940s
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 21 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    The 1940s saw major developments in British films and filmmaking matched by record numbers of cinema-goers and lively critical debate. Explore this 'golden age' of British cinema through films such as Millions Like Us, Brief Encounter and The Red Shoes, and themes including national cinema, realism, melodrama and fantasy, while assessing its critical reception and impact on British film culture.



    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
  4. Focus on: Lucian Freud - paint as flesh
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 22 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Lucian Freud was a key figure in British Art for nearly seventy years. Uncompromising, ferociously unsentimental with a “cruel” gaze – a realist or painter of the truth? Explore Freud’s fascinating career through his paintings, etchings and drawings.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. The art of writing the personal essay
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 29 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Helen Cox
    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
  6. The Evolution of the Western: American Mythology
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 29 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    The first narrative film in 1903 was a Western and eventually major directors were attracted to this most American of genres, famously John Ford. His landmark Stagecoach (1939) was an exciting ride into an imaginary space between the Red River and the Rio Bravo. The Western celebrates but also rewrites US history, given the hold that the myth of the Frontier has over the American psyche. “This is the West. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”.



    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
  7. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Rosie Fiore
    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
  8. Introduction to the Wallace Collection
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    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.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £60.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100

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