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.
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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- Explore the areas around London's newest transport linksCourse start date: Mon 11 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Off SiteTutors: Diane BursteinExplore areas adjacent to our newest London stations. Head south for Battersea and Nine Elms, east to Barking Riverside and along the Elizabeth Line to Farringdon, Bond Street, Whitechapel, Abbey Wood, Custom House, Ealing and Southall.
First meeting place: Monday 11 September at 11am: Meet outside Battersea Power Station tube.Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
- Key texts of 20th and 21st century drama: George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams, Harold Pinter and Lucy PrebbleCourse start date: Mon 18 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Jenny StevensThis course will explore the concerns, styles and influences of four dramatic texts from the 20th and 21st centuries and how they reflect the social, political and cultural conditions in which they were written. It focuses primarily on G.B. Shaw’s Mrs Warren’s Profession, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, and Lucy Prebble’s Enron, making multiple connections between them as the course progresses.Full fee £239.00
- London at war 1914-19Course start date: Tue 19 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Mike BerlinThe Great War changed lives across the globe. For Londoners, material gain was coupled with emotional uncertainty and grief. What were their experiences on the Home Front, at work, at home and at leisure? And what was the legacy of these years? Explore these issues in this interactive lectue course.Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
- Contemporary British and international fictionCourse start date: Wed 20 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Aamer HusseinJoin us for a fascinating exploration of contemporary novels in English, including Burntcoat, Sarah Hall's exploration of love in the days of lockdown; Diving for Pearls, Irish novelist Jamie O'Neil's sweeping saga of wealth and poverty in modern day Dubai; Kashmiri-British Mirza Waheed's Tell her Everything, an examination of conscience, guilt and fatherhood, set in London and the Middle East; and Julian Barnes's intriguing and complex recent novel, Elizabeth Finch.Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
- Writing fantasy storiesCourse start date: Wed 19 Apr 2023 (and 2 other dates)
Location on this date: OnlineTutors: Mary VictoriaBuild fantastical worlds, fill them with compelling characters and learn how to structure innovative plotlines in this perfect introduction for those with a passion for fantasy.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.Full fee £209.00
- The art and culture of 17th century LondonCourse start date: Fri 22 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Off SiteTutors: Julie BarlowDiscover the 17th century: a time of upheaval in Europe, intercontinental trade, religious schisms and a wide range of artistic styles. See its art, architecture and design in London’s galleries and museums. #arthistory #explorelondon #walkingtour.Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £162.00
- Stories of the islesCourse start date: Mon 25 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Julian BirkettTake a journey round the British Isles to discover the best of modern writing from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland - and find how writers living hundreds of miles from literary London have found their own way of telling stories and imagining their worlds. Includes James Joyce to Claire Keegan, Dylan Thomas to James Kelman and Shena McKay.Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
- Great novellas from Turgenev to MarquezCourse start date: Tue 26 Sep 2023
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Julian BirkettAccording to Ian McEwan “the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction”. The novella (or long short story/short novel) was one of the most successful and intriguing literary forms of the 19th and 20th centuries. Find out how and why some of the greatest modern writers including Ivan Turgenev, Edith Wharton and James Baldwin used the form to create work that was concise, resonant, enigmatic and often ground breaking.Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
- Make it new: European and American modernismCourse start date: Thu 28 Sep 2023
Location on this date: OnlineTutors: Woody RiverModernism was a period defined by radical thinking boldly proclaimed in manifestos and expressed through a variety of different art forms. Within literature, pre-conceived notions of narrative and syntax were challenged, characters were developed using insights drawn from psychology, and poets explored the visual representation of their words on the page. As boundaries were extended, new ‘isms’ were born. Through following the development of Modernist literature in Europe and America, this course will compare the changes in the written word to the changes occurring within art, architecture, music and film.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £229.00 Concession £149.00
- Introduction to the V&ACourse start date: Fri 29 Sep 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Off SiteTutors: Julia MusgraveExplore the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum. We visit different galleries each week looking at the decorative arts, paintings and the transfer of design ideas across the centuries.Full fee £249.00
- Looking at paintingsCourse start date: Fri 29 Sep 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Off SiteTutors: Julia MusgraveLook at masterpieces in major London galleries in this introduction to European painting. Explore different painting techniques and genres (landscape, portrait and history painting) for a basic understanding and increased enjoyment of Western art.Full fee £249.00
- Introduction to art historyCourse start date: Tue 3 Oct 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: OnlineTutors: Sarah JaffrayAre you interested in art and want to get more out of looking at art and exhibitions? Want to know what an art historian does? Develop your interpretative skills by exploring at how art is made and what social and cultural factors construct our understanding of it.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.Full fee £229.00
- National GalleryCourse start date: Wed 18 Oct 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Off SiteTutors: Leslie PrimoDiscuss a differently themed group of paintings each week in front of the pictures. An opportunity to understand our national collection in greater depth.Full fee £249.00
- Archaeology of LondonCourse start date: Wed 3 May 2023 (and 1 other date)
Location on this date: Keeley StreetTutors: Jill HummerstoneExplore the archaeology and history of London through its cultural monuments, topography and material remains to more fully appreciate the rich archaeological evidence of the capital.
Tutor: Jill Hummerstone. Tutor :Jill Hummerstone.Full fee £259.00
- The great philosophersCourse start date: Mon 8 Jan 2024
Location on this date: OnlineTutors: Oliver JosiahExplore the ideas of major philosophers from Plato to Sartre. How does Western philosophy differ from religion
and science? What problems have the great philosophers tried to solve?
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £239.00 Concession £155.00
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