Director Fall 2014: Professor Morgan T. Davies, Department of English
London is the increasingly multicultural metropolis of what has always been a multicultural island. It is also a place with a deep and varied history — a history that can be read in the very fabric of the city. We will be involved in studying and experiencing London in both of these aspects. Through the study group's academic program, we will work on developing a concrete sense of the physical and cultural contexts of British literature, both medieval and modern, and of why these contexts matter. We will also, hopefully, come to an understanding of London's place — cultural, political, and spiritual — within both Britain itself and its former empire. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the rich and vibrant life of one of the world's greatest cities.
Required Courses English 308Y: Periods of British Literature. Instructor Morgan Davies
What do we mean when we speak of British literature? To ask this question is to enter into the current debate over what constitutes British identity — a debate that has generated a good deal of controversy among contemporary British historians and intellectuals, and that has been raised to a new level of urgency by developments in the nationalist movements of Scotland, Wales, and even Cornwall. The roots of this debate extend deep into the Middle Ages, when Britain (and “British” literature) was a patchwork of different nations, cultures, and languages. In this course, we will consider the literary topography of medieval Britain, with special attention to the intersection of nation, language, and identity. We will also spend some time exploring how more modern writers and thinkers have read and recast the British Middle Ages through the lenses of Medievalism, Celticism, and the heritage industry.
Readings will include the work of English, Welsh, and Scottish authors.
English 389Y, Survey of British Fiction: The London Novel (M. Davies)
In this course, we will be exploring the place of London in fiction written between the middle of the 19th century and the present day. We will be concerned with the city as both a creation and a source of the literary imagination — the city imagined in fictional representations and the historical city standing behind those representations. We will also consider how the place of London in its larger contexts — as the metropolis of Britain, as the global city of empire — has helped to determine how it figures in literature.
English 332Y, Contemporary London Theater and Culture (M. Punter)
For this course, students will be seeing and studying 10–12 plays currently in production in London; the focus will be not only on what the specific productions can reveal about contemporary London or British theater and culture, but also on what they can reveal about technical and theoretical aspects of contemporary theater more generally.
History 349, History of the City of London (K. Layton-Jones)
This course in the history of the city will include weekly walking tours led by Dr. Layton-Jones.
We’ll be taking a week-long trip to southwestern England and Wales, where we will tour a variety of historically and archaeologically important sites — castles, monasteries, hill-forts, and megalithic monuments — that form the backdrop, or even the source, for much of the literature we’ll be reading in English 308Y. This trip will give us the opportunity to consider the relationship between literature and place, and to arrive at a richer understanding of some of the cultural differences (and tensions) that have helped to define the British experience right from the beginning. It will also give us the opportunity to take a break from London’s crowded urban scene and experience some of the most glorious open country in the entire island. Needless to say, London itself has an especially prominent place in the academic program of this study group; in addition to our regular attendance at London theater productions, we will also be visiting together as a part of our coursework a number of sites of historical, cultural, and literary significance within the city and its environs.
Classrooms, Libraries, and Other Facilities
Classes will be held at Florida State University’s London Study Centre, an academic complex in the heart of Bloomsbury just a couple of blocks west of the British Museum. Privileges at other archives or libraries will be arranged as needed for history and literature projects. Students will become members of the University College London Student Union, which will entitle them to a range of opportunities.
Students will reside in five- to six-person flats in Bloomsbury, about a five-minute walk from the FSU Centre. Each flat has a bathroom, kitchen, and common room.
For details of student expenses on this study group, please see the Off-Campus Study Office website
. The website also gives information about average personal travel costs.
Prerequisites and Selection Criteria
Application to the London Study Group is open to all Colgate students who have completed or plan to complete at least two English courses at the 200 level (or their equivalent) by the end of the academic year 2012–2013. Priority will be given to declared majors in English from the class of 2015. Along with the application, academic and administrative references and an interview with the study group director will be required.
Calendar and Deadlines
The deadline for applications has already passed.
Passports and Visas
You must confirm that your passport is valid through December 2014. All students participating on the London English Study Group will be required to obtain a U.K. student visa. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with U.K. government visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 Lathrop, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop Hall, to learn as much as you can about the regulations. For some students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.
London English Study Group program dates: same as Colgate’s semester, August - December 2013
All information sessions for this program have passed.
For more information, contact Morgan Davies
by email at email@example.com