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Quarter Programme > Spring 2014> Courses

Spring 2014 - Dates of Term: 30th March - 14th June 2014. Mid-term break: 5th - 9th May.


You may select three or four of the following:

  Graphic Novels and Cultural Theory
Elizabeth Wheeler, Associate English Professor, University of Oregon

Syllabus tbc


"This course surveys the graphic novel through some of its most popular and important artists, including Neil Gaiman, Marjane Satrapi, and Craig Thompson. The course’s international theme—“The Middle East through Eastern and Western Eyes”-- inspires our field trips to the British Museum, the Cartoon Museum, and Middle Eastern culture and cuisine in London. Through family stories like Persepolis, graphic novels offer a window into the Middle East and its complex history. We’ll also look at the Middle East through the eyes of its British colonizers. We’ll study orientalism, the European concept of the East as exotic, sensual, and submissive, and as an object of study, occupation, and possession. We’ll experience 19 th century orientalism through writings of the British Romantics and the amazing Middle Eastern and Egyptian collections of the British Museum. We’ll read British and American graphic novels, and examine the United States as a neocolonial power."


  Twentieth Century Literature: Post-colonial British Literature Since 1945
Elizabeth Wheeler, Associate English Professor, University of Oregon

Syllabus tbc


"The writers of color explored in this course bring hilarity, rage, introspection, music, and stylistic invention to multicultural London literature. London owes its racial diversity to successive waves of immigration since 1945. Many new Londoners have come from British colonies or former colonies. The 1948 British Nationality Act gave British citizenship to all people living in Commonwealth countries, and full rights of entry and settlement in Britain. Our course surveys the vibrant urban literature emerging from Britons of Jamaican, Barbadian, Trinidadian, Nigerian, Indian, and Bangladeshi descent. We begin with fiction and poetry from
the first wave of immigrants, who came for education, arranged marriages, a better break, or military benefits and faced the challenges of racism and culture shock. We move through the revolutionary reggae and spoken-word poets of the 1970s to end with contemporary novelists struggling with feminism, sexuality, fundamentalist Islam, and the complications of identity when your parents are from somewhere and you are from somewhere else. On London field trips we will attend poetry slams, hip hop and reggae concerts, Afro-Caribbean theater and Indian films, and visit Bangladeshi restaurants and art galleries in Brick Lane and
Caribbean food stalls at the Brixton Market. The assignments for the course include creative writing. Students will write their own reflections on being newcomers to London and perform their own spoken-word poetry."


  British Art of the Last hundred years
Carole Machin, art historian

Syllabus tbc

"The aim of this course is to introduce British twentieth century art and architecture and place it in the wider context of Western European art and architecture of the same period. Because of the range of styles and media incorporated into the art of this century, emphasis will be placed on trends in art rather than studying the work of individuals.
London provides an excellent selection of public and commercial galleries from which to study work from 1900 to the present day."



Modern British History from 1939 to 2007
Judy Dobbs, historian

Syllabus tbc


"This course is a survey of the United Kingdom from the outbreak of World War II in 1939 to the resignation of Tony Blair in 2007.  It highlights some of the important political, social economic and cultural developments of this period.  The course is conducted through lecture and discussion and is supplemented by outings to such places as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Museum in Docklands.  The course provides context not only for the experience of a term in London, but also for understanding the literature, theatre, film and television of the period."



  London Theatre
Althea Stewart, theatre historian and actress
Syllabus tbc

"This course will examine some of the key elements in the development of British and European theatre through a study of plays and dramatists whose work is currently being performed. The study of theatre as a performance art will be emphasized throughout the course. We plan to see six plays throughout the term. While the precise shape of the course is dependent on the plays that are on stage at the time of your visit, we will endeavor to include a range of periods and styles. As well as seeing the plays performed, we plan to tour some theatres and/or theatrical institutions (Shakespeare's Globe, National Theatre) and, if possible, invite guest speakers to our classes."



Writing 123
William Driscoll, Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Oregon
syllabus tbc


"Welcome to London, a city with a story on every corner. Some of those stories may be hundreds of years old — the tales evoked by the ancient Roman Walls that still stand at Tower Bridge and Barbican, for example. Others may be more recent — such as the fantasies built around the so-called “London Eye,” a 135m tall Ferris wheel originally constructed to for the millennial celebrations, but also used as a transmitter by an invading alien consciousness in the popular Dr. Who Television series. These and other similar stories will be the main fabric of this class. We will dig beneath your modern London experience and uncover an archeology of stories that will deepen your experience, and maybe even reshape your world view. We will also explore the travel genre as a means to help you develop your research and writing skills. As a traveler and travel-researcher you will develop your own “London story”; you will identify the significant questions and themes of this story, formulate them as a reasoned thesis, and expand your ideas into a clear and focused research paper. You will learn how to hunt down references, evaluate the reliability of sources, compose a research proposal and annotated bibliography, and finally present your work to an academic community."




  Inter Cultural Experience (mandatory, not-for-credit)
Martin Upham,
political historian
Syllabus tbc


"You've chosen London as your study abroad location. Your course options reflect your interests and perhaps your need for certain credits. The Inter Cultural Experience (ICE) covers other aspects of Britain and its culture which your course options do not address and gives you the background to your major excursions.
This term the ICE is themed and organised to maximise your interaction with London. We begin with the theme of the North of England, then move to Kingship, War, the Media and finally Politics. These won't be conventional classes: there will be a lot of travel, and while there won't be written work you will be expected to volunteer your opinions in discussion."




London Internship

The internship option in London is a combination of practical, hands-on experience and academic course work.

Interns carry a reduced academic load while also spending approximately twenty hours per week in an internship placement.

Please note: applying for an internship must be done in advance of your coming to London as there is much planning involved (VISAs, placement interviews, etc).

For more information see our internship page and FAQs, or visit the AHA International internship page

Please Note: course offerings are subject to change at any time without notice, due to on-site availability and total programme enrolment. All syllabuses may change due to new material or excursions.

EXCURSIONS - last year, students went on the following visits, and will enjoy many of the same types of excursions this coming spring term (although every term varies depending on availability and relevance to the programme)

Please note: overnight and day trips are mandatory for all students, as are all theatre performances, but other visits including art exhibitions, museums and tours might be limited to specific courses and not open to all. Check individual course syllabi above for more details.


  • The Master and Margarita
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • The Tempest
  • Conquering Hero and pre-performance talk by theatre director Sam Walters
  • Antigone
  • War Horse
  • Collaborators

Galleries, museums and places of interest

  • Tower of London
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • National Theatre backstage tour
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Wallace Collection
  • Hand and Lock Embroidery tour
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Eastbury Manor
  • Kensington Palace
  • 18 Stafford Terrance/Leighton House
  • Museum of London
  • London College of Fashion
  • Backstage tour of Shakespeare's Globe, plus Elizabethan dressing demo
  • Epsom Ladies' Day
  • Tour of the National Theatre Costume Store
  • Other visits TBC

Major exhibitions

  • Picasso at Tate Britain - all students
  • Lucien Freud at National Portrait Gallery - all students
  • Ball Gowns at the V&A - all students
  • Damien Hirst at Tate Modern - Art students only
  • Bauhaus at the Barbican Art Gallery - Art students only
  • Writing Britain at the British Library

Field trips and other activities (see excursion page for more details)

  • Greenwich (day-trip): including Thames river cruise, entry to the Royal Observatory and the Meridian Line, Queens House, Painted Hall and the Royal Chapel
  • Hampton Court Palace (day-trip)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon (overnight stay): including performance of The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Royal Shakespeare Theatre, visits to Shakespearean properties...coming back via Warwick, to include Warwick Castle, parish church, Lord Leycester's Hospital...
  • Brighton (day-trip): including Brighton Pavilion, galleries...
  • Bath (day-trip): including Bath Abbey, Roman Baths, Fashion Museum...
  • Other trips TBC

Guest speakers

  • Richard Katz (actor) has just filmed 3 episodes of the new BBC drama series PRIVATES and has recently been appearing in THE MASTER AND MARGARITA for Complicite. Prior to that he was working for the RSC playing Touchstone in AS YOU LIKE IT directed by Michael Boyd and Lord Capulet in ROMEO AND JULIET directed by Rupert Goold. Other theatre includes: WAY TO HEAVEN at the Royal Court, FAUSTUS directed by Rupert Goold at Northampton and MEASURE FOR MEASURE for Complicite/ National Theatre. Film credits include SIXTY SIX directed by Paul Weiland for Working Title and ENIGMA directed by Michael Apted and television work includes M. I HIGH, the ITV improv series THANK GOD YOU'RE HERE, HUSTLE, ABSOLUTE POWER and HYPERDRIVE for the BBC and ROME for HBO directed by Julian Farino
  • Jane Malcolm-Davies (author) is director of JMD&Co, a live interpretation consultancy. She managed costumed interpretation at Hampton Court Palace from 1992 to 2004 and was lecturer in leisure management at the University of Surrey until 2005, where she gained her doctorate in heritage interpretation. She has been a research fellow at the Textiles Conservation Centre at the University of Southampton and a senior research fellow at the Centre for Interpretation Studies in Perth. Her current work includes training front-of-house staff for historic properties (including Buckingham Palace). Jane also undertakes interpretation, evaluation and other visitor studies for heritage organisations such as The National Trust and Historic Scotland.



VISITING FACULTY, Spring Term 2014

Elizabeth Wheeler, Associate Professor, University of Oregon
English Department

Graphic Novels and Cultural Theory; Twentieth Century Literature: Post-colonial British Literature Since 1945

Elizabeth specialises in post-1945 American literature, youth literature and popular culture, disability studies, cultural studies, and community literacy. She is currently writing a book called HandiLand: Kids with Disabilities in 21st Century America. The book reveals new understandings of disabled kids in contemporary teen and children's literature, online communities, parents' oral histories, and politicians' speeches. Her popular culture interests include hip hop and graphic novels. Her article "Don't Climb Every Mountain," a disability studies critique of nature writing, will soon appear in ISLE. She directs the University of Oregon Literacy Initiative, a service learning community outreach program. She also teaches courses in prison through the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. 

Publications include the forthcoming "Don't Climb Every Mountain" in ISLE (Interdisciplinary Study of Literature and the Environment) as well as the book  Uncontained: Urban Fiction in Postwar America (a  Choice Outstanding Academic Title), "More Than the Western Sky: Watts on Television, August 1965," and "Outwitting Our Captors." 


For information on submitting an application, on financial aid and refund policy, please see the AHA International website

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