DIRECTOR: Deborah J. Knuth


Goals of the Program:

 (1.) to read and experience the literature of Britain and specifically of London in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with a self-conscious effort to regain the original context for that literature;

(2.) to read and experience nineteenth and twentieth-century drama, fiction, and non-fiction through traditional modes of analysis and also through a feminist perspective;

(3.) through curricular and extracurricular activities, to experience and try to analyze contemporary London history and culture.

Academic Program

All students must enroll in the following four courses:


English 308Y: Periods in British Literature. Taught by the Director.

This course will be a fraternal (300-level) twin to the on-campus course, English 436, Johnson and his Circle, a seminar that has been offered only rarely in recent years.  Readings from Samuel Johnson include poetry, biography, philosophy, periodical prose, the monumental Dictionary of the English Language, etc.  We shall read two volumes of James Boswell's Journals as well as selections from his biography of Johnson.  Plays and a novel by Oliver Goldsmith will be included among other readings. Pre-1800 Concentration Credit in the Department of English.

English 305Y: The Female Protagonist in London. Taught by the Director. 

Coming-of-age fiction set in London by authors including Maria Edgeworth, Fanny Burney, Charles Dickens, and others. Concentration Credit in Women's Studies or post-1800 Concentration Credit In the Department of English.

English 332Y: Contemporary London Theater and Culture.  Taught by Redell Olson. 

This course will offer directed viewing of approximately ten plays currently in production in London, with a special emphasis on fringe and physical theater.  Guest presentations professional actors, designers, producers, and playwrights will supplement the class discussions of the productions and the individual student's journal of theatergoing. Theatre Concentration Credit, or post-1800 English Concentration Credit.

History 349Y: Britain in the Twentieth Century. The fourth course will be taught by Professor Raymond Douglas of Colgate University and Professor Kevin White of the University of Portsmouth, supplemented by prominent historians from the University of London, Cambridge University, and many others. Concentration or Distribution Credit in History.


Calendar:  The Group follows the Colgate calendar, including a week-long spring- break, from mid-January through early May.  Arrival three days before classes begin will help students recover from jet-lag.


Classroom; Housing: Classes are held in a 250-year-old building in Bloomsbury, one street over from the British Museum.  Students live cooperatively in well-appointed apartments in Central London, ordinarily in the Clerkenwell area, arranged through the Acorn agency. 


Costs of the Program:  Costs above those of a regular on-campus term include airfare and monthly passes for public transport in Central London.  If you can bring additional funds you can plan extensive weekend and spring-break travel within the U.K. and to the Continent.  Food expenses vary as well; cooking frugally and cooperatively with one's flatmates is highly recommended. 

Buying in the U.S.A. whatever clothing one will need for the Spring is also recommended. Be prepared to find prices higher in the U.K. than in the U.S.A.


Prerequisite Course Work and Selection Criteria: Though the Group is not strictly limited to English concentrators, applicants must have completed English 241, 242 or an equivalent, historically organized, course in English literature, and at least one other English course.  Priority will be given to concentrators in English from the class of 2005. Students must be in good academic standing and receive good references from academic and administrative referees. To be successful, an applicant must demonstrate flexibility of taste and the general comfort levels of daily life, to enhance the Group's sense of harmony and good will.  London, in other words, is not Colgate.


A Special Note about the Application Process: Because the Department of English will have London Groups in both Fall, 2003 and Spring, 2004, Professors Hudson and Knuth will consider the applicants for both Groups together. Each Group is limited to 18-20 students. Students who wish to study seventeenth-century literature will normally take Professor Hudson's Fall Group, and eighteenth-century studies and women's studies students Professor Knuth's.  Any other basis for a preference for Fall or Spring should be explained in the application.


Application Deadline: The deadline for application to either Group is December 13, 2002.