History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study 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, 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 online now.

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  1. Craft focus: character in fiction
    Last Few Places, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    In fiction, character and plot are inseparable elements of craft. Without characters in stories there can be no action, and without characters acting there can be no plot. In this course you'll learn how to create characters that can drive a narrative forward and deepen its themes.



    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 £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  2. From Page to Screen: Frankenstein and the Phantom of the Opera
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    They say ‘never judge a book, by its movie’. In this spooky Halloween inspired double bill we will explore two classic Gothic novels Frankenstein (1818, Mary Shelley) which could also be considered one of the first science-fiction novels and The Phantom of the Opera (1910, Gaston Leroux). We will have a look at how these two novels have been translated from page to screen by various filmmakers from the past 100+ years of filmmaking.



    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. John Keats: 'The Vale of Soul-Making'
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Keats pursued – vigorously and brilliantly – questions related to ultimate truths. We shall consider a representative selection of his poetry and letters, reflecting on how their creative insights can help to illuminate our own experience and aspirations.



    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. England’s earliest kings 1 : The Sutton Hoo King and the Bretwaldas
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    After the Romans left in the C5th AD Britain was slowly conquered by Germanic tribes dividing the country up into about a dozen small kingdoms. The strongest king was known as the Bretwalda or Britain Ruler. Was the man buried at Sutton Hoo one of them?



    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 £30.00
  5. The haunted screen: German Expressionist Cinema 1919-1933
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 10 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore one of cinema's most imaginative and influential movements through films such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Nosferatu, Metropolis, M and others. We will consider the production context of German cinema in the period 1919 to 1933 and expressionism as its defining style, key filmmakers associated with the movement and critical accounts of both the films and the movement as a whole.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. City Lit reading group (online)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first



    online session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 15/10, 19/11/21, 04/02, 04/03/22.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  7. Developing your fairytale
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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:
    90% of 100
  8. Autobiography into fiction: a taster
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Turn real-life experiences into gripping fiction with this fun and welcoming course for those interested in transforming personal stories into written narratives - realistic or fantastical.



    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
  9. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Oct 2021 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive short course online. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination.



    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:
    95% of 100
  10. Writing photo-fiction: telling stories with words and images
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Photographs are often used as inspiration for writing, but what if you want to include them in your stories? This course will focus on how to blend the visual element of photography with the textual element of writing to create compelling 'photo-fiction.'.



    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:
    100% of 100
  11. Japanese philosophy in a nutshell
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Japanese philosophy extends well beyond Zen, with several philosophical traditions including that of the modern Kyoto School. Developing distinct cultural, aesthetic and political concepts, Japanese philosophers offer a rich field of thought.



    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 £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. Chinese history for beginners
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Oct 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    A beginners' course in Chinese history - looking at China's social, political and cultural history, alongside major events of Chinese history.



    NB. This is a course exclusively for students currently enrolled on HWH48 Chinese history for beginners.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £110.00 Senior fee £88.00 Concession £48.00
  13. European politics for beginners
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 19 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn about the history, institutions and issues that are essential for understanding recent political developments within Europe.



    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 £79.00 Concession £35.00
  14. Lampooning London: Satire in the City
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 20 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Londoners have never taken themselves too seriously & delight in making fun of themselves. This course examines the cultural history of satire in the city from the 18thC to today, from Dr Johnson to Steve Bell & beyond.



    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 £30.00
  15. American political institutions
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 21 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This four-week interactive lecture-based course examines the US political system from its inception to today – reviewing its structure and constituent parts.



    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 £30.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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