Fall 2009 Program
Professor Paula Closson Buck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4 Bucknell Hall, 577-1848
Professor Karen Morin (email@example.com)
106 Coleman, 577-1793
- Examine how the city is created and recreated by travelers, novelists, travel writers, dominant culture groups and subcultures, artists, intellectuals and ordinary people.
- Explore the contemporary notion of "place-making" through fieldwork to everyday sites in London - monuments, workplaces, and shopping centers -as well as tourist and heritage sites within and beyond the city.
- Travel throughout England on excursions tailored to your courses and your personal interests, and make a week-long journey by train to the continent.
- Experiment with writing the personal essay as a way of exploring culture, place and the wonderful predicament of being foreign.
- Enjoy British theater, art, architecture, cafés and markets.
The Courses - 2009
(All three required)
London's Cultural Landscape: Virginia Woolf to Present
(English 281, Geography 281, Univ 281),
Morin and Closson Buck
This course begins with a critical context for understanding relationships between geography (place/space/landscape) and gender (women's and men's socially defined roles and relations). Critical readings will set the stage for students' field work as they explore "gendered spaces" and the processes through which gender norms - both masculine and feminine - are produced. The second portion of the course is a case study of the work of Virginia Woolf, whose essays and novels epitomize the major literary and social upheavals of the early 20th century. The course considers the gendered landscapes of Woolf's writing, as well as Woolf's constructioin of self through the places within which she moved and wrote. Emphasis will be on close reading of texts.
This course satisfied a CLA human diversity requirement and is a W2.
British Culture: Art and Architecture
(Art 215), 1 credit
This course provides a background and context through which to view changes in British art, architecture and design from ancient to medieval, to modern. It will illustrate how technical, social, cultural and political developments 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.
The London Stage
(English 393 or Theater 264), 1 credit
This course on one of the highlights of British cultural life introduces students to all aspects of the London Theater. They will read several plays that will complement the semester focus. Students will gain familiarity with the various aspects of production from staging, through designing sets, props, costumes, lighting and special effects, to acting in "backstage" visits to Shakespeare's Globe, the National Theatre production facilities and the Museum of Theatre's costume and make-up shops. Students will see one play each week, keep a theater journal of the plays attended and participate in and lead class discussions. Students will also write short essay examinations and complete a theater project that integrates aspects of their study and fieldwork in London.
This course satisfies a CLA humanities requirement.
ELECTIVE COURSES (Choose one)
Travel Writing & Place: 19th & 20th c. British Travel Narratives
(Geography 310), 1 credit
This course explores the importance of travel writing as a cultural product that is involved in the highly contentious and political process of place-making. The course develops ways of thinking about the role of travel writing in producing meanings of place and personal identities, which often have at their core a number of cultural, economic, or political ends. Students will be exposed to a range of primary travel texts from the 19th adn 20th centuries, as well as a number of critical works from geography, history and literary criticism. The writings will span the Grand Tour in the Age of Empire, including narratives of Africa and the colonial South Pacific; works of the famous British Victorian "Lady Travelers"; narratives such as those dealing with the first (British) conquest of Mount Everest in 1953; and later 20th century British travel writing by the likes of Jan Morris and Peter Mayle.
This course satisfies a CLA human diversity requirement and is a W2.
Creative Writing: Essays in Foreign Places
(English 210), 1 credit
This writing course in creative nonfiction will give stuents a chance to process the experiences they have both in England and on the continent. The essay is an opportunity to tell stories, search the self, try on philosophical wardrobes, process history and comment on culture, all the while savoring words and their potential to entertain and inform. Taking as models a variety of books and essays (emphasizing travel and place) by modern and contemporary writers, we will aim to broaden our ideas of what an essay can be, opening up the vision and possibilities of our own work. At the same time, we will become more conscious of craft and more articulate and insightful in the feedback we give one another. A good deal of the course will be spent in workshop mode as we consider one another's work in prgoress.
This course satisfies a CLA humanities requirement and is a W2.
Independent Study -- Students may arrange independent study courses, contingent upon faculty participation and approval.
Internships -- It may be possible to arrange an internship for course credit during the London semester in place of one of the elective courses.