London, England | 2014 Summer
Whether you are inside or outside the classroom, remember that studying abroad can be more invigorating, meaningful, and long-lasting simply by its nature. You are more alert, curious, and willing to explore because you are in a new place. That eagerness extended to your studies could make you a different kind of student; take full advantage of this opportunity.
Taught in English
You may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits. This list of courses is subject to minor changes; course availability is conditional on student interest and enrollment.
- Art in London (ART, 400/600-level, 3 credits)
- British Film and Literature (ENGL/ART/FILM, 400-level, 3 credits)
- Comparative Economic Systems (ECON, 300-level, 3 credits)
- History of London through Architecture: From Past to Present (HIST/ART, 400/600-level, 3 credits)
- How to Run a Major City: London’s Government (PSC, 400-level, 3 credits)
- Literary London, 1910-1940 (ENGL, 400/600-level, 3 credits)
- Theatre in London (ENGL/THTR, 400/600-level, 3 credits) This course has an additional fee for admission to plays.
Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following US professors are also teaching as Visiting Professors.
Prof. Solina Lindahl | California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
Course offered: Comparative Economic Systems
Prof. Solina Lindahl (MS, Colorado State) brings a unique combination of experiences to her teaching. She studied development economics and works in education technology when she is not teaching at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Prof. Lindahl was awarded the Economics Instructor of the Year for the past two years. She loves soccer, dancing, and travel; she is dedicated to helping students reach out of their comfort zones.
Dr. David Schecter | California State University, Fresno
Course Offered: How to Run a Major City: London's Government
Dr. Schecter earned his PhD in political science from the University of Florida and his main research interest is state and local politics. In the mid-1990s he served for four years as a City Councilman in his hometown of Ormond Beach, Florida. As an undergraduate at Florida State University he spent six months in their London Abroad program in 1986 and in 2006 he taught a semester abroad in London. He received the Provost's Award for Faculty Service in 2011.
Art in London
Summer (Art, 3 credits, 400-level)
Taking advantage of London’s museums and galleries, the course covers a wide spectrum of British art. While exploring art the past to the present day, the aim is to provide a stimulating and enjoyable introduction to some of the most significant themes and movements in British art, looking at key figures from the past as well as the work of contemporary artists.
Amongst other themes we consider the emergence of portraiture as a signifier of class, the strong landscape tradition within the context of industrialisation, the arts and crafts movement, pop art of the 1960s and the ‘YBA’s” - Young British Artists who dominated the art scene in the 1980s and 90s. Through the works and collections encountered, we discuss the degree to which art represents the history, struggles and aspirations of a nation. Scrutinising some of apparently enduring tendencies in British art, we consider how these could be understood in relation to specific social and historical contingencies from the reformation, the ascendancy and decline of the British Empire to post-colonialist discourses that have shaped more recent art practices.
During the course students will be introduced to different art historical approaches. We appraise work from a ‘formalist’ perspective; thinking about use of medium, scale and degree of naturalism. We consider a ‘social art history’, thinking about relationships between art and the wider social, philosophical and economic conditions in which it was made. What insight does this the art under scrutiny offer into British culture of the past to the present day?
Definitions of art and expectations of art and artists and changing attitudes to site and medium are addressed throughout the course. We consider the nature of the different collections and art spaces in the city and the role of patron and collector. Recent tendencies in the British art scene will be discussed and we will consider the degree to which an ‘international’ art language now prevails.
British Film and Literature
Summer (Art, English, 3 credits, 400-level)
Beginning in the post WWII period, and finishing during the present era, this course addresses the extent to which British culture and political life have been reflected in the nation’s cinema; a cinema whose dominant aesthetic has traditionally been – and arguably remains – ‘realist’. To properly contextualize this study of an essentially visual medium, the course will examine British cinema’s relationship with literature and, to a lesser extent, theatre.
Comparative Economic Systems
Summer (Economics, 3 credits, 300-level)
We will study the key distinctions between free market capitalist and socialist style economies as they apply to modern European and/or American economies by examining their philosophical/historical roots and current manifestations. We will also investigate how globalization is impacting local and international economies, especially how the financial crisis, trade blocs, currency unions, exchange rate regimes, foreign debt, and environmental issues exert their influence and ultimately shape (and limit) a society’s decisions.
History of London Through Architecture: From Past to Present
Summer (Art, History, 3 credits, 400-level)
The course examines the main periods and events in the development of London, ranging from its settlement by the Romans to its present status as one of the world’s major cultural, political, and financial centres. Students will examine the arrival of the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings, and the Normans and assess their influence on London. The physical landscape of London will be explored after such events as the Great Plague, the Great Fire and the Blitz. Works of major architects, artists, royal and political figures will be considered in their historical context and analysed as to their impact on the evolution of the city. Readings from popular and scholarly sources as well as historical walks around the city, museum visits and field trips will help the student understand the chronology of the city’s growth. The course will include fieldtrips to important historical sites such as the Priory church of St Bartholomew the Great, the Houses of Parliament and Somerset House. The majority of these classes are held at various locations througout London. Therefore, students should anticipate purchasing an Oyster card (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/oysteronline/2732.aspx) with a monthly fee for unlimited travel for transportation to/from these locations.
How to Run a Major City: London's Government
Summer (3 credits, 400-level)
This upper-level special topics course will prepare students to understand the complexity and power of the City of London. Students will:
1.) Understand the modern history of London, its tremendous diversity and how basic services are provided to millions of citizens and visitors.
2.) Study the basic institutions of London's government, such as the role of the Mayor and City Council and how they interact with a staff of thousands.
3.) Visit numerous sites associated with city government including, but not limited to, the transportation system (the Tube and the Tube Headquarters facility), public safety (police and fire), sanitation (sewer/water/refuse), social services, finance and housing.
4.) Write about the actual workings of London's government and relate what is found at the local level through observation with theories of governance detailed in our readings and class discussions.
5.) Consistently compare and contrast London with American cities of similar size, scope, and diversity (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, etc.)
6.) Use current events and articles to understand such substantial topics as the current budget situation in the city, how the city is coping with terrorist threats, economic development, tourism and growth.
Students are expected to quickly get up-to-speed on these topics and be able to debate them in class on a daily basis.
Literary London, 1910-1940
Summer (English, 3 credits, 400-level)
This course focuses upon London life and culture as represented by two British novelists, E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf, and an anglo-American poet, T.S. Eliot. The texts to be studied will enable students to understand the transition, in literary terms, from "Edwardian" to "Modern." The cultural impact of the First World War (1914-1918), and issues of class and gender will be addressed.
Theatre in London
Summer (English, Theater, 3 credits, 400-level)
In this course students are introduced to the huge variety of performances staged in London, in venues ranging from the National Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe to smaller scale, intimate theatres dedicated entirely to new writing, such as the Royal Court and Soho Theatre, and some new, experimental, non-theatrical spaces. The course examines the relationship between theory and practice, and text and performance. Theatre visits and performance analysis will be underpinned by class discussion, reading, some practical workshops and individual research. Group visits scheduled include Backstage Tours of the National Theatre and the V&A Theatre Galleries as well as a number of matinee or evening performance