London Course Info


Stephanie Raia -

Pat Mulloy -

This course is designed to take the classroom outside into London.

As a historical focal point and a modern metropolitan city, London can serve as an incredible classroom.

During our twelve week trimester in the winter of 2006-7, students will work with Ms. Raia and Mr. Mulloy to complete an intensive study of the history and lierature

Students will be expected to:
• Read primary and secondary source material
• Write extensively on various topics including literature, history and film
• Conduct independent research will in London and America
• Compose a research paper due at the end of the school year
• Keep a travel journal while in England


A General Syllabus

Week 1 - Roman Conquest and the establishment of Londinium—

• Peter Ackroyd’s London—selected chapters
• How did the Romans view London? (Simon Schama & Edward Rutherford)
• Why did they “give up” the city?”

Weeks 2 & 3 - Medieval London

Weeks 3 & 4 - Elizabethan Era

Weeks 5 & 6 - Age of Enlightenment and Romanticism

• Architecture of “modern Paris” and “medieval London”—after the Great Fire of 1666 London rebuilds, but decidedly rejects the new modern plan of Paris
• Poetry of Swift “Description of City Shower,” “Description of Morning”
• Keats “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” “On Seeing the Elgin Marbles”
• Wordsworth “London,” “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,” “Tintern Abbey”

Weeks 7 & 8 - Victorian London

• Dickens’ novel ???
• Social political and historical issues—Peter Ackroyd—issues of London’s poor
• Oscar Wilde play: The Importance of Being Earnest—discussion of the “idle and rich” Victorian lifestyle
• Matthew Arnold—“Dover Beach”—in Poets’ Corner

Weeks 9 & 10 - WWII London

• T.S. Eliot’s “Wasteland’
• Auden—“Musee des Beaux Arts” –in Poets’ corner
• Dylan Thomas—“Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”—in Poets’ Corner
• Life under siege of Nazi air raids
• Churchill

Weeks 11 & 12 - Contemporary London

• Readings from Ackroyd’s London
• How and why has the once former empire of London/England moved to the capital?
• How has London’s society changed and diversified with this influx? (Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses)
• How are traditional London neighborhoods affected by this influx?
• How is this new city represented in film and literature? (Geoff Nicholson, Ian McKewen, Martin Amis and the Brit-Lit 'enfant terrible')
• What is the status of the new Muslim minority in London? (Film Dirty, Pretty Things)
• Punk Music

Art and historical studies

• Online and research based analysis of Tate Modern, Britain and National Gallery collections
• Online and research based analysis of British Museum’s collections

* Thanks to Mike Spillman for his help in constructing this syllabus