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 long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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  1. Friday lates: art and maps
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 26 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Maps have a long and fascinating history, yet it was really the 20th Century that saw them come alive as an artistic medium, as artists turned to them to explore their place in a disoriented world. Discover the many ways artists have worked with maps, from Surrealism through to Digital Media.



    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 £12.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  2. Global encounters: Europe and Africa, 1300-1600
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Explore European perceptions of Africa and its inhabitants: from misconstrued tales of monstrous races and the legendary Prester John, to the charting of the west coast and rise of the slave trade.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  3. Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £19.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Mews, monuments and museums: exploring SW7
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 28 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    This circular walk explores the alleys lanes, squares and delightful mews houses and passes a disused tube station in the mainly in the Knightsbridge conservation area and contrasts with the grand museums, institutions and monuments built in South Kensington (Albertopolis) developed with profits of the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park in 1851.



    Meets outside the main entrance to the V&A ends outside the Natural History Museum. Meets outside the main entrance to the V&A ends outside the Natural History Museum.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  5. Friday lates: the body as image and material in 20th century art
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore the representation of body and body-related practices by prominent modern and contemporary artists of the twentieth century.



    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 £12.00
  6. Richard III: a medieval whodunit
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    Who was responsible for the death of the princes in the Tower has to be the most publicised debate in British history. Does being a nice guy in the North mean you can’t be ruthless when the opportunity arises?
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  7. City gardens of the Blitz
    Last Few Places, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Discover the delightful gardens of the City of London created from WWII bomb sites. Revealing the history of the sites - including past industrial buildings, Roman ruins, and the sites of a former Wren churches and a Roman bath house - this walk spans the length of the City.



    Starts Outside Café Nero Moorgate Station end St Dunstan in the East Garden. Starts Outside Café Nero Moorgate Station end St Dunstan in the East Garden.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
  8. Archaeology of London gardens
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jill Hummerstone
    In this course we explore the archaeological evidence used to uncover some of the hidden secrets of significant designed gardens in London and its outskirts, which has led to the attractive restoration of some of the parks and gardens enjoyed today.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  9. The US and immigration
    Course start date:  Mon 13 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Dale Mineshima-Lowe
    Join us for a short workshop exploring the issues of migration and immigration in modern American history.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  10. Keats and eternity
    Last Few Places, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    In the house where many of them were written, we will explore why Keats’s poems are regarded as exceptionally beautiful. How did he achieve this? We will see that it wasn’t luck or simply inspiration, but the result of choices which reflect important aspects of Keats’ personality. Includes ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, Ode to a Grecian Urn’ and ‘To Autumn’.







    This course will take place at Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 2RR.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  11. The US and poverty
    Course start date:  Mon 20 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Dale Mineshima-Lowe
    In this course we will examine the historical changes to poverty in the US and begin to unpick the causes and effects of poverty in one of the world’s wealthiest nations.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  12. Lunchtime lecture: Reading Old Master Drawings - an art historical insight
    Course start date:  Wed 22 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    What is drawing and what is its unique place in the history of art? Come to understand this special medium through an exploration of some of the greatest draughtspeople in Western European art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £7.00
  13. Sanctuary in the city – public art by refugees and immigrants
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Come on a walking tour of public art through the City of London created by Refugees and Immigrants. We will explore artworks such as the 17th century carvings on the Monument and a Victorian plaques relocated on to the post Modern Number One Poultry by economic immigrants to the country as well as looking at mainly works by 20th century artists from refugee backgrounds who were either commissioned to make art works for site specific places or their works have been bought or moved to their locations.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  14. Looking for the Golden Fleece: Jason and the Argonauts
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Maria Contos
    Come and explore the journey of the Argonauts and discover Jason.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
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