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. The City of London: the Square Mile
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Oct 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Explore the City’s development from Roman and medieval times through to the Tudors and Stuarts.



    This course will comprise of 10 walks starting with Roman London.



    First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side. First meeting place at Monument station on the Monument side.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Creative non-fiction: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 29 Oct 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    This engaging taster course will introduce the key features of creative non-fiction. Explore narratives such as memoir and the non-fiction novel. You'll also get the chance to take part in practical writing exercises.



    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:
    90% of 100
  3. Exploring Medieval Literature: Shakespeare and the Medieval Age
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Shakespeare is seen as the great writer of the Renaissance period in England, yet he was influenced by the literature and culture of preceding centuries. On this course we will consider several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, and various history plays, exploring various aspects of his writing to discover just how influential the medieval world was on his thought, language, and subject matter.



    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
  4. The Art of the Essay: women essayists and the bending of genre
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through a variety of women essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between memoir, confession, nature writing, elegy, sermon, polemic and mystical/religious experience through key women essayists including Virginia Woolf, Simone Weil, Audre Lorde, Clarice Lispector, Kathleen Jamie, Anne Carson, and Claudia Rankine.



    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
  5. The Soviet Union and the Second World War
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course focuses on the Soviet experience of the Second World War, dating from the diplomacy of the late 1930s to the defeat of Germany and Japan in 1945.



    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 £57.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Introduction to journalism
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021 (and 2 other dates)

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

    On this course students will explore the basic skills a freelance journalist needs to write and sell news and features to newspapers and magazines. From developing ideas and identifying outlets to interview skills and approaching editors.



    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:
    97% of 100
  7. Anthropology: what is anthropology?
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This introductory course gives you the basic tools for an elementary understanding of anthropology. We will identify methods and areas of concern that distinguish it from sociology, history and other disciplines.



    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 £57.00
  8. Writing for magazines
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.



    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
  9. Nature writing - in collaboration with the British Library
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the techniques of nature writing, connect to the world around you and start to produce your own work on this short course, developed in collaboration with The British Library.



    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. Ways into poetry: a gentle pace
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you brand new to writing poetry? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners in the craft? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a poet.



    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 £36.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.



    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 £36.00
  12. The European city in contemporary literature
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Reading our way through Paris, Madrid and Berlin, in this course we’ll be taking in some of the standout works of urban literature to have been written since 2000: texts that tell us about places, identities and contemporary life, and which prompt us to question how we think about, inhabit and visit cities.



    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
  13. How to read a film: a beginner’s guide to cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.



    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
  14. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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:
    93% of 100
  15. Women of the Bible in Art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This module will look at the reception of the stories of biblical women in the visual arts, using a variety of tools from narratology, feminist interpretation, sociology, politics and visual exegesis. We will look a number of biblical texts where women appear as central or marginal and will examine the ways in which their story is depicted. We will look at the ways in which paintings will sometimes fill a gap in the story, or indeed diverge from its biblical model. The range of paintings will range from the medieval period, passing through the Renaissance to contemporary art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00

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