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. Faith and the senses: ritual and world religions
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    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 £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £15.00
  2. London’s smaller galleries: Dulwich Picture Gallery
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 22 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Dulwich Picture Gallery - a treasure trove of Old Master paintings. Learn about the history of the gallery and key works in the collection.



    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
  3. Playwriting: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 28 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Brian Mullin
    Give playwriting a try in this fun and supportive one-off taster session. Ideal if you want to unlock your imagination and express yourself, but need a bit of encouragement to get started.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  4. Art history taster
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Ever wondered what art history is but don’t want to commit to a whole course? Wonder what's involved in online learning at City Lit? Try this taster session!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  5. Ghosts, witches and uncanny doubles in feminist historical fiction: Sarah Waters’ Affinity, Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate and Rosie Garland’s The Night Brother
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paulina Palmer
    Discuss Sarah Waters’ Affinity, Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate, and Rosie Garland’s The Night Brother, their treatment of sexuality and gender, and their representation of Gothic motifs relating to the supernatural.



    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 £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  6. Writing inspiration jam
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 8 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sue Healy
    This fun, inspiring day workshop explores the many sources of inspiration available to writers in their everyday lives.



    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
  7. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    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
  8. City gardens of the Blitz
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 15 May 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    The City of London was heavily bombed during the period of the Blitz from September 1940 to May 1941. This virtual walk takes us across the City looking bombsites that have subsequently been made into Gardens and the histories that they hold. We end at the magical garden and ruins of St Dunstan in the East.



    Meet outside the Museum of London. Meet outside the Museum of London.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £10.00
  9. Art and objects in Asian faiths: an intercultural tour
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    This comparative course will highlight the art, objects and stories relating to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism as well as Islamic works from the world renowned collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum.



    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 £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £10.00
  10. Constable's Hampstead
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    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.



    Meet outside Wagamama 58-62 Heath Street, Hampstead, London NW3 1EN. Meet outside Wagamama 58-62 Heath Street, Hampstead, London NW3 1EN.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Writing the Oulipo: a taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Terry Freedman
    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
  12. Art Deco London walk
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Diane Burstein
    Travel back to the 1930s to explore the Art Deco style that influenced a variety of designs, from radios and cutlery to places related to travel, entertainment and commerce. In addition to looking at the architecture of the period, your guide will tell stories of life in London from the time these buildings were being erected.



    Meeting outside St James’s Park tube station (Broadway exit) and finishing at the coach station. Meeting outside St James’s Park tube station (Broadway exit) and finishing at the coach station.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £8.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100

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