Director: Prof. Kira Stevens


The London History Study Group is an enriched curriculum designed to offer British and Imperial history as taught by historians based in the United Kingdom. The history department has organized its program in London to equip our students to approach British and imperial history with skill and understanding.  Its second purpose is to enable history students and other concentrators to write a paper based upon research in London’s extraordinary research repositories.  The director and instructors from leading British university history departments guide the students in a semester of first-hand writing of history, using the archives, libraries and museums visited by professional historians.  Finally, the study group allows students—both collectively and as individuals—to explore the cultural institutions of one of the world’s most fascinating cities.


Required Courses:

History 349: Britain in the Twentieth Century.  A lecture course offering broad coverage of the major political, economic and cultural events and patterns of British and Imperial history in this century, taught primarily by lecturers from British universities.  No pre-requisites.


Guest Lectures:

Dr. David Brooks, Queen Mary and Westfield College

Prof. Kathleen Burk, University College,


Dr. Michael Kandiah, Institute for

Contemporary History, London

Dr. William Knox, St. Andrews University,


Dr. Brendan O’Duffy, Queen Mary and


Mr. Peter Simkins, University of Birmingham

Dr. Kevin White, University of Portsmouth


History 482: Seminar in Modern British History.  Close examination through reading and discussion of selected topics in British imperial history with emphasis on research techniques and writing skills. Prerequisite:  History 342.


History 491: Independent Study in British History.  The director serves as mentor for each student’s major study.  Many students choose a topic in English or Commonwealth history, but other fields and subjects are encouraged.  Using a combination of primary and secondary materials, the student produces a paper of at least 20 pages.  Students are strongly advised to consult with the director about this paper soon after acceptance into the program to discuss a topic and begin research in and secondary sources available in the United States.  This paper often serves as the basis for an honors or high honors thesis in history.  Prerequisite: History 201 or equiv.


English 332: Contemporary London Theater and Culture.  An intensive study of London’s world-famous theater, cinema and dance worlds through readings, guest lectures, discussion, and attendance.  Students will receive a ticket subsidy to help cover the costs of the course but may expect to spend something additional out of pocket.



Upon acceptance into the program, history concentrators should enroll in HIST 342: Modern Britain and HIST 201 during the Fall 2002 term.  These courses provide a useful introduction to the themes covered in History 349 in London, and to the skills needed for archival research.





Classroom Facilities:

Colgate hires classroom space at the Florida State University at the London Study Centre.  The center also has a small library, study space and limited computer facilities.


Library and Research Facilities:

Colgate purchases, for each student, a reader’s ticket at the University of London’s Senate House Library, which permits student’s access to the library and borrowing privileges.  Funds are also available on a limited basis for passes to the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, the British Film Institute, and similar institutions.  The Public Record Office at Kew is the archive most heavily used by Colgate history students.  The director arranges an orientation at PRO and entrance tickets for all students. For particular research topics, access to some of London’s innumerable other archives and libraries may be necessary. The Director will advise students and help them to gain access to such institutions. In the past, LHSG students have worked at the Guild Hall, the Feminist Library, the Courtauld Institute, the Marx Library, the Society of Friends Library, the Wellcome Institute Library, and many others.  


Field Trips:

Excursions may include a 3-day trip to Scotland, a visit to the Ieper/Ypres World War I battlefields, and a visit to Stratford-on-Avon to attend performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company and to hear lectures by critics and actors.  In addition, we will make local trips to the Courtanld Gallery, the Tate, the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Victorian and Albert Museum, and smaller museums such as the Sir John Soane and the Linley Sambourne Houses.  Traditionally, several pub sessions have allowed distinguished speakers informally to discuss aspects of contemporary British society with the study group.


Student Living Arrangements:

Housing in London is more costly than in Hamilton, but Colgate has made arrangements with an agency in London to provide students with reasonably affordable, centrally located apartments.


Costs to Students beyond Normal Tuition and Fees:

London will cost more than Hamilton.  A fluctuating pound sterling can cause havoc to a carefully arranged budget.  Additional costs include transportation, though weekly and monthly passes can be a bargain.  Food and entertainment vary according to one’s taste; it is possible to eat well at home by cooking.  In arranging roundtrip airfare, be aware that student rates are often a better bargain than standard charges. (An international student identity card can mean reduced rates on train travel and admission tickets to theaters, museums, and cinemas). Orientation sessions for the study group will further discuss this topic; a Colgate handbook on living in London will be distributed to each student.


Standards of Conduct:

Colgate students are expected to abide by the standards of conduct stated in the Colgate Student Handbook.  Although the director is quite willing to discuss sympathetically personal as well as academic issues, she is not a psychologist, lawyer, or bondswoman.  Students violating British law will, at the minimum, be asked to leave the program and return home.


Application Procedure:

Further questions may be addressed to the Director, Professor Kira Stevens. (Alumni Hall, 307 or, or to Prof. R. M. Douglas, the Director of a recent Study Group.   Applications are available at the History Department and in the Office of Off-Campus Study.  There will be informational sessions on November 3rd and 18th. Full applications should be submitted by December 8th, 2003 unless other arrangements are made. Decisions about the group’s membership will be made expeditiously, by the end of Fall term if possible.