Fall 2006 Program
Professor Mark Spiro, Biology
Professor Spiro teaches courses in biology as well as a foundation seminar course on evolution and society.
Professor Duane Griffin, Geography
Professor Griffin teaches courses on Earth science, biodiversity, and human-environment interactions.
As we approach the 150th anniversary of the theory of evolution by natural selection—Darwin’s dangerous idea—we will investigate how scientific and geographic exploration transform people, places, and ideas.
London will be your classroom as you:
Experience for yourself how travel and discovery can transform perspectives and world views.
Take part in lively discussions on the role of exploration and empire in the development of the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Explore the profound social, cultural, and scientific transformations the theory of evolution brought about.
Investigate the interdependence of nature and society through elective courses in Plants, People and the British Empire and Global Environmental Change.
Travel on excursions tailored to your courses to locations throughout England and along the Rhone Valley from its headwaters in the Alps to Marseille on the Mediterranean.
Enjoy British theatre, art, architecture, cafés and markets
150 Years of Darwin’s Dangerous Idea - Spiro and Griffin (UNIV 279 or BIOL 319, 1 Credit)
This course will investigate the process of exploration and discovery, how it can produce transform our worldviews, and the potential danger inherent in such transformations. The theory of evolution announced in 1859 by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, stands as one of the great "dangerous ideas." However, it is unique in the degree to which it has come to be universally accepted in the sciences, but remains controversial in the social realm. In this course, we will focus on the theory of evolution by natural selection, the historical and social context within which it arose, its scientific development and social and cultural impact over the past century and a half, and differences in public perceptions of evolutionary theory between the U.S. and Europe. This course satisfies a CLA natural science requirement and can be taken as BIOL 319 to satisfy an upper-level biology credit for biology majors and minors.
British Culture: Art and Architecture - Conner (ART 215, 0.5 or 1.0 Credit)
This course provides a background and context through which to view changes in British art, architecture and design, as the society, environment, and economy moved from ancient to feudal/medieval, to modern. It will illustrate how technical, social, cultural, and political developments influenced by empire are reflected in the practice and content of the arts. Each class session begins with a historical background/overview briefing with selected slides followed by a walking tour of a museum, historical areas or nearby sites.
This course satisfies a CLA humanities requirement.
Special Studies in Theatre: The London Stage - Sullivan (THEA 264 or ENGL 217, 0.5 or 1.0 Credit)
All aspects of London theatre are integrated into this course including aspects of staging, designing sets, props, costumes, lighting and special effects, and acting in "backstage" visits to Shakespeare’s Globe, the National Theatre production facilities, and the Museum of Theatre’s costume and make-up shops. Classes will focus on contemporary as well as historic plays and playwrights including some that complement both the theatre course and the semester focus. Students will see at least one play each week (from the best of West End, National and "Off-West End" theatre), keep a theater journal of the plays attended, participate and lead class discussions.
This course satisfies a CLA humanities requirement.
Plants, People and the British Empire - Spiro (BIOL 150, 1 Credit, Lab Science)
The British Empire was built largely upon wealth generated by plants introduced from all corners of the world. Through a combination of exploration, espionage, and ingenuity, crops such as coffee, quinine, rubber, sugar, tea, and opium poppies became indispensable ingredients of industrialization and conquest. This course will focus on the biology and cultural ecology of these products and other plants that Imperial Britons used for food, fiber, stimulants and medicine. In the lab portion of this course we will explore the cultivation, processing, and use of plants primarily through field trips, taking advantage of the remarkable resources available in and around London including botanical gardens, museums, research institutes, and markets.
This course satisfies the CLA laboratory science and natural and fabricated worlds requirements.
Global Environmental Change - Griffin (GEOG 257, 1 Credit)
The Industrial Revolution began in Britain, but it transformed human societies, culture, and the physical environment on a global scale. This course explores the physical and social causes and consequences of these transformations and the role that London and the British Empire played in bringing them about. Planned excursions in London, southern Britain, France, and the Swiss Alps will provide opportunities see the results of past and present changes in climate and ecology and to understand their implications for the future.
This course satisfies the CLA natural and fabricated worlds requirement.
Independent Study– Students may arrange independent study courses (contingent on faculty participation and approval).
Internships – It may be possible to arrange an internship during the London Semester for course credit in place of one of the elective courses.