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.

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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. The Silk Roads
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Silk Road was the central nexus of commercial, cultural, and political exchange in Eurasia and China for many centuries, and still has a profound influence on the world today.



    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 £50.00
  2. Crusade and Reconquest in Medieval Spain
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Schraer
    Through interactive lectures and discussions Investigate the ideologies, events and motivations as Christian kingdoms conquered the territories of Muslim Al-Andalus, culminating in the fall of Granada in 1492 and the end of Islamic Spain. Tutor: Michael Schraer.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  3. How to get published
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 14 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Neil Arksey
    So you've finished your novel. What's next? This short course provides guidance in submitting to agents and publishers, and helps you to tailor your work to maximise its potential in the marketplace.



    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. 'Furious Giants Looming over Europe': World War 1 In continental poetry
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    How did poets in continental Europe respond to the unprecedented events of World War I? Representing four countries, this innovatory online course examines the powerful, distinctive work of Guillaume Apollinaire, Anna Akhmatova, Giuseppe Ungaretti, and Georg Trakl.



    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 £38.00
  5. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023 (and 7 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. 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 £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  6. Writing sonnets
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wardle
    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Or would that be a bit cliché? Explore new avenues with this old form in our inspiring workshop, designed to help students push their sonnet writing beyond the traditional lines set by Shakespeare and Petrarch.



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  7. The Exorcist at 50
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    A landmark film, The Exorcist brought a new level of terror to the big screen; nothing like it had been seen before in mainstream cinema - and nor has it since. This course offers a detailed analysis of the film and its key themes, its production, critical and popular reception, and its influence on the development of the demonic possession film, and horror cinema and popular culture in general.



    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 £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Writing the family
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    A thought-provoking workshop designed to tackle the challenges of writing about family life and offer guidance on shaping personal stories into coherent, engaging narratives.



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. The philosophy of Machiavelli
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Goff
    “ … in constituting and legislating for a commonwealth it must needs be taken for granted that all men are wicked and that they will always give vent to the malignity that is in their hearts when opportunity offers.”.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  10. Autobiography into fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    Learn how to turn real-life experiences into gripping fiction in this fun short course for fiction writing beginners and experienced writers. Develop your writing skills and explore techniques for transforming personal stories into strong narratives. This course has a 2-hr break (12:30-14:30).



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Television and Streaming's Brave New World: What's on the Box Set?
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Did you binge in lockdown but are now more selective? Where and how do you watch your preferred TV series or movies? With current inflation price rises will you let your subscription lapse? The Culture Secretary wants Channel 4 to be more like Netflix, but that model appears to be faltering and it covers no news. We may lose BBC 4 and Radio 4 Extra, but the new generation of viewers don’t use BBC or even television, so perhaps it’s not a problem for them. Let’s come together to discuss the contemporary small screen, our viewing preferences and our favourite TV series and films to see where we stand on the matter.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  12. Craft focus: voice in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    All fiction must speak to us as readers. It must communicate atmosphere and plot, character and layers of meaning with a unique 'voice'. In this one-day course learn what 'voice' really means in fiction and how to develop this complex identity for your story.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  13. The pre-Socratic philosophers: philosophy in the beginning
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Goff
    The beginnings of philosophy and science are found in the thinking of early Greek, ‘Presocratic’, philosophers. Who were they? Why is their thinking still relevant?



    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 £50.00
  14. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023 (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 £65.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  15. Current affairs
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    Do you want to find out more about the issues in the news in an online setting? Enrol early for lively and informed online discussion on current events in Britain and the world. Tutor: Michael Bloomfield.



    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 £50.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100

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