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. Writing poetry from visual art
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lawrence Bradby
    Art has inspired some of the world’s greatest poetry. This course will show you how to draw from visual art when writing your own poems.



    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
  2. Focus on: British printmaking in the late 19th and early 20th century
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Discover the work of the significant artist-printmakers who worked in Britain from the late 19th century through to the Interwar period: the printmaking processes they used, and the ways they variously responded to tradition and modernity.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  3. Ways of reading: understanding literary theory
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 28 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

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

    Tutors:  Jenny Stevens
    This course explores the critical perspectives which have shaped literary study in recent decades. We will focus on key developments in literary theory and the influence these have had on how literary works are read and interpreted. We examine a range of theoretical approaches and consider the numerous connections that can be made between them. We also explore how thinking about literature has been informed by different disciplinary areas such as history, philosophy, linguistics and psychoanalysis.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  4. Exploring East Asian cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This course introduces you to the cinema of Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. We will consider the history and development of cinema in the region, its key films, filmmakers and movements, and a range of representative genres and film styles, while also thinking about its international critical reception and cultural function as both national and transnational cinema.



    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 £64.00
  5. Writing the poetry of migration
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wardle
    Migration is a topic that has inspired poetry for thousands of years, and in our current age of political and environmental upheaval it is arguably more pertinent than ever. This workshop will help you to write your own poetry of migration.



    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
  6. England, Scotland and the Irish Plantation System
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Although the kings of England had claimed overlordship of Ireland since the late 1100s, it was during the Reformation era that that the system of ‘planting’ English and Scottish settlers began to take place. How did these settlements come about, what impact did they have on the social, political and cultural landscapes of Ireland?
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. A Star is Born: The birth of Hollywood stardom
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann-Marie Fleming
    Once cinema began to develop, Hollywood began to promote stardom. Starting with Florence Lawrence, the industry began to capitalise on star personalities and encourage fandom. This course will examine how the Hollywood star system began and evolved. The course will begin by examining the ‘picture personality’ in 1912 through to the collapse of the traditional star system in the 1960s.



    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
  8. Writing and rewriting fairytales
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mary Victoria
    Once upon a time there was a City Lit workshop all about writing fairytales. The quest: to inspire writers to pen stories of love, fear, forests, revenge, dragons, witches, kings, queens, frogs and magic.



    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:
    98% of 100
  9. Submitting your short stories to magazines
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jonathan Barnes
    This is a fast-track course to help you hone and prepare your short stories for submission to magazines and publishers.



    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:
    84% of 100
  10. Focus on: David Hockney
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    In 2011 David Hockney was voted most influential British artist of all time in a poll of over 1000 artists. Explore how Hockney’s career as painter, photographer and writer has evolved over six decades.



    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
  11. Writing women in the 21st century
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Celebrate strong women for International Women's Day with this inclusive one-off session on how to create your own, powerful fictional women. Please note: this course will have a 2-hr break from 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
  12. Cutting it fine: collage in modern & contemporary art
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Immerse yourself in an exploration of the history of collage going as far back as ancient China to international contemporary art today. This engaging study day will enhance your knowledge of the roots of this fascinating media, and illustrate how collage techniques have been pivotal to major modern and contemporary art movements, from Cubism, Dada and Surrealism to photomontage and digital art.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  13. Britain: The rise of the Institution : the workhouse, the prison and the asylum
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Join us for a four-week course in which we will explore the history of three key institutions – the workhouse, the asylum and the prison. Why did institutions become so systematic in the 1800s and what was life like for people who lived and worked in them?



    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 £45.00
  14. Animals in Renaissance art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Beasts are everywhere in the art of the Renaissance. Discover why they are there and how artists created the painted and sculpted menageries of both real and imaginary creatures that populate Renaissance art.



    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 £45.00
  15. Partition in the Middle East: Palestine & Cyprus
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Martin Jorgensen
    This course examines the unmaking and partition of the Near East by focusing on the rise and creation of Israel and Cyprus (1948-1974).



    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

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