In London, politics as usual has disappeared. You witness the changes from a seat in Parliament when the prime minister is challenged by the opposition. Gone too are the stuffy British arts. When you talk with painters, catch a band in a pub, or question writers, composers, actors, and directors in your classroom, you detect a new artistic generation emerging. The spit-and-polish at Buckingham Palace still dazzles, but a few blocks away a market’s aroma’s and accented opinions expose the new British identity being fashioned by immigrants with little concern for royal traditions. Nothing in London is usual anymore. The modern mixes with the medieval as the global grapples with the provincial.
The London Semester is offered every fall semester. It starts in early September with an orientation program in London. There is a week long mid-term break, and the program ends in early to mid December.
2014 Resident Director
Professor Wendy Kolmar
Department Chair and Professor of English, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
The London Semester allows students to explore political and social change in Great Britain. Participants enroll in a total of sixteen credits, including a required colloquium, taught by the program’s resident director, a Drew faculty member. The other classes are taught by a continuing staff of distinguished British faculty. Courses focus on the interplay of British history and politics, and literary and theatrical portrayals of social and political themes. Field trips to political meetings, party conferences, theaters, and museums, along with guest speakers from British political, literary and theatrical life are a regular feature of the academic program.
Did you know that with an additional course taken on campus,
London Semester participants can complete a European Studies minor?
Interested students should visit the European Studies web page for details.
ENGL 380/PSCI 380/THEA 380/HIST 380 British Experiential Research Tutorial (4 credits)
The course, taught by the on-site Drew faculty member, introduces students to contemporary British society, the arts, and politics through an interdisciplinary course theme chosen by the instructor. Past themes have included “Britain & America,” “Changing British Identity,” and “Multicultural London.” These themes will be explored through field trips and guest speakers, as well as normal class readings. Each student also conducts a research project in one of the sponsoring disciplines of the course. The research will encompass both field work and library investigation.
ARTH 383 Art and Architecture in London (4 credits)
This course will present a broad chronological survey of the art and architectural histories provided by London museums, galleries, and monuments. By studying works of art on site in such museums as the British Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Tate Britain, and Tate Modern and experiencing architectural landmarks such as Westminster Cathedral and the Tower of London, students will become familiar with both the general history of art and architecture and the specific significance of these histories in London.
PSCI 381/HIST 381 Contemporary British Politics (4 credits)
A discussion and analysis of current issues in British politics, with emphasis on the impact these issues have on the functioning and development of the British political system. Such topics as the roles of Parliament, cabinet government, the Prime Minister, political parties and interest groups are explored within the context of the modern, developed political system. Outside speakers and field trips are an integral part of this course.
PSCI 382/HIST 382 The History of Modern Britain (4 credits)
A study of the historical and practical forces that have shaped today’s Britain, with primary emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. The course will focus on various themes – e.g. the evolution and the role of the monarchy, the emergence of the welfare state, the rise and fall of the Empire, the relationships between Britain and America as well as Britain and Europe.
THEA 383/ENGL 383 British Political Drama (4 credits)
Much British theatre of the latter half of the 20th Century has been characterized by strong social and political commitment. This course focuses on the major politically inclined dramatists of the past 40 years, including John Osborne, Arnold Wesker, Edward Bond, David Hare, Howard Benton, Caryl Churchill and others. It may include some historical examples of the genre, such as Shakespeare’s histories, Henry Fielding’s satirical plays, and G.B. Shaw’s philosophical comedies. Plays are viewed in production whenever possible; the specifics of the course depend to some degree, on the range of current productions available in London (including those at the fringe and pub theaters, as well as those by major companies.)
ENGL 384 Studies in British Literature: London Literature (4 credits)
For this course, we shall become London flaneurs, walking the street and interpreting the signs of the city as if it were text. We shall read a range of 19th and 20th century writing, including classics such as Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, and lesser known works. Through Amy Levy (Reuben Sachs), Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway) and Jean Rhys (Good Morning, Midnight) we can explore the changing role of women in the metropolis. In Alexander Baron’s The Lowlife we can glimpse the East End’s historic importance as a home to refugees and see how it turned into Bangla Town in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. In Conrad we find London as the center of Empire and in the work of Sam Selvon and Monica Ali we have examples of how the Empire has written back. By paying close attention to both text and context, we shall achieve a lively appreciation of the works in and of themselves and as part of the cultural life of London.
To particiapte in the London Semester, you must:
1. be a junior or senior;
2. have a minimum GPA of 3.0;
3. be in good disciplinary standing.
Applications are due by March 10.
Tuition for the London Semester is the same as on-campus Drew tuition. In addition, there is a program fee which covers the cost of a furnished flat in central London; a Travelcard for local transportation for the entire semester; cultural programs and field trips; and access to local health services. International transportation, meals, books and incidental expenses are not included.
All of your Drew University financial assistance, whether merit or need-based, may be applied to all Drew-sponsored semester programs.