The London Program
Welcome to FSU English Department's London program! Each fall, English majors from FSU travel to London, UK, to take upper-division courses in writing, editing, and literature. The London backdrop offers opportunities to visit the settings and homes of great literary works and celebrated authors, as well as the chance to tour world-class museums, see West End plays and musicals, and enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the most fascinating and diverse cities in the world. Included in this semester are day trips to various UK landmarks. Past trips have included visits to castles, Stonehenge, and other UK cities such as Bath, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. For information, please visit the FSU Study Abroad Website or call FSU International Programs at 850-644-3272.
"To open your window and see the place where Virginia Woolf might have been inspired, inspires you to understand her." --Angelica Martinez, Student at the London Program
"A kind of resonance occurred when I was sitting in Russell Square or standing in the Globe that went far beyond the experience British Lit had given me in my Tallahassee apartment. Anyone who loves British Literature would love being here." --Melissa Rosenow, Student at the London Program
Fall 2014 Course Descriptions
ENL4333: Shakespeare (Dr. R. M. Berry) Shakespeare's plays were written during the period when Western modernity was acquiring its distinctive form, and many of the problems we now experience every day took shape—if not originally, then memorably—in his plots. In this course we will read and discuss eight of his plays, all of which we will also see in performance. Our first task will be to understand how the rapidly changing attitudes toward religious, political, and parental authority in Elizabethan and Jacobean England manifested themselves in dramatic conflicts over race, nation, and sexuality. Then, after attending performances at the Globe, at the National Theater, in London's West End, and by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon, we will try to determine how these new attitudes and their often violent conflicts produced our modern understanding of theater itself. No prior study of Shakespeare is required to take this course, but for students already familiar with Shakespeare, the opportunity to compare the plays as written texts with the plays as innovative theatrical performances will disclose a new dimension of meaning.
ENL4273: Modern British Literature / ENG4815: What is a Text? (Dr. R. M. Berry) Virginia Woolf famously announced that around 1910 all human relations changed, adding that "when human relations change there is at the same time a change in religion, conduct, politics, and literature." Although there was at the time—and continues to be today—little agreement about how to describe this change, in few other locations was it more conspicuous than in London's Bloomsbury district. The London writers, artists, and intellectuals most closely associated with the change were called the Bloomsbury group, and in this course we will study their work and influence. In class, we will discuss novels by Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster, essays by Leonard Woolf and John Maynard Keynes, art criticism by Clive Bell and Roger Fry, biographies by Lytton Strachey, and excerpts from the philosophical writings of George Moore, among others. We will also explore some of the areas of Bloomsbury and London where these figures lived and to which they referred in their writings, and we will see examples of the art they produced and championed at the Courtauld museum and elsewhere. Finally, we will give particular attention to the operation of the Hogarth Press, which, under the guidance of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, published so much of the work that revolutionized early 20th century cultural life.
ENC3416: In Search of Hidden London: Writing and Editing in Print and Online (Dr. S. E. Gontarski) The act of writing an essay, like the writing of fiction, requires a blend observation and intuition, research and rumination, in order to convert raw data into meaning. In this course, we will read a series of London based stories and essays to see how professional writers handle such assimilation of the environment into writing, and we will explore un- or under-explored London, the London that rarely makes it onto the tourist itinerary but remains of interests to locals and, especially, savvy travelers. In response to these texts and to our own touring of "Hidden London," students in this course will compose written, visual, and/or auditory texts, using a variety of technologies; that is, students will be expected to create texts (1) for the page (2) the screen, and (3) a digital environment. Each text will also be edited in accord with its medium and become part of an on-going blog of the undiscovered, the unusual, the out of the way. Such a blog will also constitute something of a digital portfolio.
LIT3383: Women's Writing in the British Isles (Dr. S. E. Gontarski) Course Description: From as early as the second century AD, the British Isles were personified by a beautiful and powerful goddess named Brittania, who, we are told "rules the waves," and a rallying point for British nationalism and patriotism. See Sarah Connoly, dresses as Lord Nelson, perform the work in Royal Albert Hall at what's called the "Proms." Similar in appearance to the goddess Minerva, Brittania, often seated, was both martial and motherly, but always female, even dresses as Lord Nelson. This course will focus on the intersection of national and "female" identity in British literature. We will focus all the while on the ways women are represented in literature and particularly on how women represent themselves. Reading such writers as Virginia Woolf, Pat Barker, Elizabeth von Arnim, Zadie Smith, and Monica Ali, among others, we will pay particular attention to how women interact with Britain herself. In addition we will explore such popular television programs such as "Selfridges" and "Downton Abbey" to examine the changing roles of British women in the early 20th Century. How do these texts and films represent specific spaces and landscapes in the British Isles? How they represent female national identity, be that English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or just "British?" And in an age of gender fluidity, what new meanings might the word "female" takes on today in Britain?
ENC3310: Essay Technique (Dr. David Parkes)