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Quarter Programme > Spring> Courses

Spring 2015 - Dates of Term: 29 March - 13 June 2014. Mid-term break: 4 - 8 May


You may select three to five of the following (check with your home campus for credit details):

Here are the syllabuses for Spring 2015

  Monster City: London, Monsters, and the Nineteenth-Century Novel (2015 only)
Elizabeth Bohls, Associate English Professor, University of Oregon

Victorian London, called "the Monster City" by one visitor, was an apt setting for writers to imagine monsters of various kinds. Using the city as our classroom, we'll revisit Charles Dickens' dirty, dangerous East End, guided by the Museum of London's exhibit on "Dickens' Dark London." We'll tackle an enduring mystery by reading Alan Moore's neo-Victorian graphic novel, From Hell, and visiting the magnificently cheesy London Dungeon tourist attraction with live actors, including Jack the Ripper himself. A key component of the course, in addition to critical essays on the novels, will be students' creative travel writing based on walking tours of London. Other resources include the Welcome Collection for the history of science; the Soane Museum collection of Oriental artefacts; and the British Museum, displaying exotic artefacts from around the globe.

Ideas of the monstrous have much to teach us about nineteenth-century British culture. We'll consider the city as "monster" using travel writing by Henry James, Flora Tristan and others alongside Gustave Doré's illustrated London, A Pilgrimage. Fictional monsters of various kinds include Fagin and Sykes in Oliver Twist, Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Richard Marsh's The Beetle, about a shape- and gender-shifting Egyptian beetle seeking imperial revenge. We'll also study real individuals viewed as "monsters" by 19th-century Londoners. Saartjie Baartman, the "Hottentot Venus," was brought to London from South Africa and exhibited to the public amid the rise of 19th-century racial "science." Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man," was shown as a freak until his rescue by a London surgeon. Finally, Jack the Ripper, the quintessential London monster, is the subject of From Hell, which weaves Victorian history and London geography into an ambitious meditation on the nature of evil. 

This course is equivalent to University of Oregon’s ENG 322, which is an Arts & Letters satisfying for University of Oregon students and fulfils the 1500-1789 requirement for the English Major, as well as counting for upper-division credit.



  The Novel and Colonialism in the Long Eighteenth Century (2015 only)
Elizabeth Bohls, Associate English Professor, University of Oregon

During the long eighteenth century (1660-1832), Britain acquired a global empire, with London at its centre. Tall ships left the Thames for far-flung destinations and brought back cargoes of luxury goods for metropolitan consumers. At the same time, the novel form moved from the margins of English literature to its centre. This course pairs early novels in various forms—first-person, epistolary, historical, Gothic— with postcolonial novels. Reading classic works alongside contemporary re-imaginings, we'll reassess the continuing legacy of early fiction and eighteenth-century imperialism.

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe combines venture capitalism with self-discovery on a deserted island; J. M. Coetzee's Foe (1986) revises Defoe in a meditation on colonial power and the art of storytelling. Slavery is the topic of Aphra Behn's early novella, Oroonoko, and the less well-known Obi, or the History of Three-Fingered Jack. We'll explore the legacy of British slavery in London in the Museum of London's Sugar and Slavery exhibit and a Black History Walk. James Robertson's historical novel Joseph Knight (2003) stars the plaintiff of Knight v. Wedderburn, the landmark 1778 legal case that won limited freedom for enslaved persons in the Scottish legal system.

The British Empire began close to home in the British Isles. We'll study "internal colonialism" in England's northern neighbour, Scotland, in Walter Scott's historical saga, Waverley, and James Hogg's Scottish Gothic novel, Confessions of a Justified Sinner. An overnight excursion to their setting in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, and the Scottish Highlands will bring to life the rich history and culture of England's partner nation in the United Kingdom.

London field trips also include the Denis Severs House, an eccentric "living history" reconstruction of an eighteenth-century London home; a boat trip on the Thames to the Maritime Museum in Greenwich; and the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum to see colonial artefacts from the Caribbean and Pacific (site of Crusoe's fictional and Alexander Selkirk's real islands).

This course is equivalent to University of Oregon’s ENG 321, which is an is Arts & Letters satisfying for University of Oregon students and fulfils the 1500-1789 requirement for the English Major, as well as counting for upper-division credit.



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

"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


"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

"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."








  Inter Cultural Experience (mandatory, not-for-credit)
Susie Thomas


"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.





VISITING FACULTY, Spring Term 2015

Liz Bohls is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oregon, specializing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, with interests in the novel, travel writing, postcolonial studies, and the Gothic. Her most recent book is Romantic Literature and Postcolonial Studies (Edinburgh University Press, 2013), including chapters on "Slavery and the Romantic Imagination" and "Scottish Literature and Postcolonial Studies." Slavery and the Politics of Place: Representing the Colonial Caribbean, 1770-1833 is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press later this year. Professor Bohls also co-edited the anthology Travel Writing 1700-1830 (Oxford); she continues to be fascinated with the history of travel and travel writing and, of course, loves to travel.

In Spring 2015 Professor Bohls will teach two literature courses in London. The first, The Novel and Colonialism in the Long Eighteenth Century, studies the importance of the British Empire to the development of early prose fiction, ranging from Robinson Crusoe's involvement with slavery and colonization to the "internal colonialism" of England's relationship with Scotland in Scottish novels by Walter Scott and James Hogg.  The second course, Monster City: London, Monsters, and the Nineteenth-Century Novel, will consider the "monstrosity" of the rapidly growing metropolis and examine various monsters in Victorian literature, from Mary Shelley's creature and Dickens' grotesque gangsters to Oscar Wilde's Dorian Grey and Alan Moore's neo-Victorian graphic novel about Jack the Ripper. Excursions in London and around the UK, including a trip to Scotland, will add first-hand experience of some of the novels' settings and the historical issues they raise.  



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

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