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The London English Study Group

Director Fall 2016: Professor Kezia Page,
Associate Professor of English

The History of the London English Study Group

In 1966, the English Department joined the Economics and the History Department in a modus vivendi, under the supervision of three Colgate faculty, one from each department. Professor Russell Speirs was the English Study Group first director. Similar to the other groups, the professor would teach three courses and supervise a special “intern” experience representing an independent study designed to take full advantage of the English environment. The English Study Group was required to take two or three courses offered by the department and one or two electives from the other departments. The courses depended on the leadership but every academic year, students (English concentrators: juniors and seniors) were required to take the Independent Project based on contemporary English work, such as contemporary English Theater. The courses would be offered simultaneously from September until November when all students would embark upon their Independent Study Project. Until recent years, housing used to be a challenge, students had to make their own travel and living arrangements, which took a long time to find fairly decent housing. After the January Term was no longer continued, the English Study Group in London was moved to the Spring Term. In the spring of 1979, the English Department expanded their study group so that it began operating on a full-year basis. Today, the English Study Group in London continues to operate in the spring semester opened to all students interested, but priority is given to declared/prospective English and English/Creative Writing concentrators.

Program

This study group offers students the opportunity to live and study for a full semester in one of the world’s great cities. In fact, London will be a central “text” of the study group, which is designed to immerse students in the culture, history, and life of the city. Through a study of London novels, including several focusing on immigrants experiencing the dizzying complexity of the city for the first time, students will develop a sense of the physical and historical contexts of British fiction. In a course on the contemporary London theater, students will study with an acclaimed playwright and attend a play each week. Finally, in a course on the social and cultural history of London, which includes weekly walking tours, students will explore the city and study its development from a Roman settlement into a modern metropolis, a magnet for immigrants who have transformed it into one of the most vibrant and multicultural cities in the world.
Students pose for a photo on an English castle wall

Required Courses

All students accepted into the group will take English 290, an introduction to study in London, 0.25-credit on-campus course in the spring of 2016; and four courses in London. Three of those courses will offer credit in the English Department: English 324Y and English 331Y, both taught by the director; and English 332Y, taught by a resident theater specialist in London. The fourth course will be History 348, taught by another resident specialist in London. In addition to the four required courses, there will be a series of day and overnight trips, as described below under Field Trips. With minor adjustments, the program will follow Colgate’s academic calendar for the fall semester of 2016, during which Economics will also have a study group in London.

Students participating in the English study group will satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement by taking English 324Y (see course description below).

English 331Y: Modern British Fiction: Colonization in Reverse (K. Page) Louise Bennett’s poem inspires the title of this course with the statement that captures the politics of the great migration from Britain’s (former) colonies to the motherland beginning in the 1940’s. The primary text of English 331Y will be London itself, and we will study fiction, plays, and poetry to illuminate our exploration of the city.

English 324Y: Periods in British Literature: The Windrush Generation (K.Page) In this course we will explore the writers who have been credited with laying the foundation for Anglophone Caribbean literature in London, during the Windrush period (1950’s-1960’s). These authors include, George Lamming, Sam Selvon, Andrew Salkey, Jan Carew, Edgar Mittleholzer and Una Marson. The course will contemplate issues of migration, race, gender, Englishness and home.

English 332Y: Contemporary London Theater and Culture (M. Punter) A study of drama, both classic and modern, as represented by plays in production in London during the fall of 2015. All students will see 10-12 plays, focusing on theoretical and technical aspects of drama, as well as on what specific productions reveal about British culture and contemporary London.

History 349Y: History of the City of London (K. Layton-Jones) A lecture course taught by Dr. Katy Layton-Jones, an expert on the social, cultural and architectural history of the city. Weekly walking tours led by Dr. Layton-Jones will enable students to move outside the classroom and explore the city’s varied past.

Field Trips

Group poses outside small cottage

The group will take two overnight trips: one to Liverpool where we will visit the International Slavery Museum; and a second trip to Bath, with its beautifully preserved architectural history, the magnificent landscape gardens at Stourhead, and the ancient ruins at Stonehenge. In addition to excursions in and around London, the director will also arrange day trips to other sites of cultural, historical, or natural importance, for example to Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford and Winchester.

Classrooms, Libraries, and Other Facilities

Classes will be held at Florida State University’s London Study Centre, a complex in the heart of Bloomsbury, just a couple of blocks west of the British Museum and British Library. The complex also houses a modest library and computer facility, which will be available to students. Students will become members of the University College London student union.

Living Arrangements

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.

Costs

For estimated details of student expenses on this study group, please see the Student Cost Estimate Sheets.

Prerequisites and Selection Criteria

Priority will go to prospective English, English/Creative Writing and Theater concentrators in the class of 2018. But there are no formal prerequisites for the program, and all Colgate students may apply, regardless of their concentration.

Calendar and Deadlines

The deadline for applications to the Fall 2016 London English Study Group is Friday, November 6, 2015. All applications are on the Off-Campus Study/International Programs website and are submitted online. Interviews of applicants will be arranged by e-mail, and student notification of selection will take place in late December.

Passports and Visas

You must confirm that your passport is valid through May 2017. All students participating on the Fall 2016 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. 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 McGregory Hall, to learn as much as you can about the visa requirements. For some students there are significant requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

Group poses outside of glass-domed buildingLondon English Study Group program dates: mid-September to late May.

Informational Sessions

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. and 
  • Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 11:30 a.m.
    Both sessions will be held in 408 Lathrop Hall

More Information

For more information, contact Kezia Page at 315-228-7268 or via e-mail at kpage@colgate.edu