London, England
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London Courses - 2019 Summer

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.


Taught in English
You will enroll in at least three and up to six credits. At least one 3-credit course is required in all summer sessions. This list of courses is intended for informational purposes and does not guarantee availability or descriptions. Courses are subject to minor changes resulting from on-going curricular review, faculty assignments, and, program revisions. Course availability is conditional on student interest and enrollment.

To request a course syllabus:

Course Descriptions

To obtain a complete course list and course syllabi, click on the link(s) below and follow the prompts to specific course information. The course information for study abroad students will be under the “What can I study” tab. Please Contact the USAC Student Information department if you have difficulty finding the information.

Course Descriptions

A History of London: From Roman Foundation to the Blitz

Summer (History; 300-level; 3 credits)

Beginning with its foundation as a Roman centre and finishing with its destruction through fire in 1666 this course examines the history of London and the Londoners over a 1,500 year period. It does so through a mixture of classes that approach the subject both chronologically and thematically, as well as two field trips and study of literary texts. Among other topics, classes will examine what life was like for the women and children of medieval London, the lived reality of religious life in the city, how the citizens had fun and the nature of civic crime, punishment and rebellion. At all times the history of London will be set firmly in the context of wider trends in contemporary history.

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Art in London

Summer (Art; 400-level; 3 credits)

Taking advantage of London’s museums and galleries, the course covers a wide spectrum of British art. While exploring art the past to the present day, the aim is to provide a stimulating and enjoyable introduction to some of the most significant themes and movements in British art, looking at key figures from the past as well as the work of contemporary artists.

Amongst other themes we consider the emergence of portraiture as a signifier of class, the strong landscape tradition within the context of industrialisation, the arts and crafts movement, pop art of the 1960s and the ‘YBA’s” - Young British Artists who dominated the art scene in the 1980s and 90s. Through the works and collections encountered, we discuss the degree to which art represents the history, struggles and aspirations of a nation. Scrutinising some of apparently enduring tendencies in British art, we consider how these could be understood in relation to specific social and historical contingencies from the reformation, the ascendancy and decline of the British Empire to post-colonialist discourses that have shaped more recent art practices.

During the course students will be introduced to different art historical approaches. We appraise work from a ‘formalist’ perspective; thinking about use of medium, scale and degree of naturalism. We consider a ‘social art history’, thinking about relationships between art and the wider social, philosophical and economic conditions in which it was made. What insight does this the art under scrutiny offer into British culture of the past to the present day?

Definitions of art and expectations of art and artists and changing attitudes to site and medium are addressed throughout the course. We consider the nature of the different collections and art spaces in the city and the role of patron and collector. Recent tendencies in the British art scene will be discussed and we will consider the degree to which an ‘international’ art language now prevails.

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British Film and Literature

Summer (Art, English; 400-level; 3 credits)

Beginning in the post WWII period, and finishing during the present era, this course addresses the extent to which British culture and political life have been reflected in the nation’s cinema—a cinema whose dominant aesthetic has traditionally been (and arguably remains) ‘realist’. To properly contextualize this study of an essentially visual medium, the course will examine British cinema’s relationship with literature and, to a lesser extent, theatre.

By the end of this course the student will be conversant in modern British cultural history and the forces that shaped it. The student will have applied observations made in and around London to the concepts presented in class and in the reading and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between British literary tradition and film. The student will have seen over 10 films, read one play and two novels, taken two essay examinations and conducted an oral presentation about one of the topics covered during the course.

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British Government and Politics

Summer (Political Science; 400-level; 3 credits)

The course aims to introduce students to the key institutions and processes of British politics, and to expose them to a range of debates about the strengths and weaknesses of the British system of government.

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International Management

Summer (International Business, Management; 400-level; 3 credits)

The course critically appraises the current global context in which businesses move operations and resources across the world. Firstly we review trends about the world becoming more integrated and national borders becoming less significant. We then examine issues emerging from the growing economic interdependence worldwide – long-term competitiveness and sustainable growth – which impact on business organisations, focusing on the strategic and operational viewpoint. With the emergence of global regional trading blocs the business community often sees those marketplaces as launch pads to internationalisation. It is therefore relevant to understand how businesses operate, organise and manage their supply chains within these blocs and beyond. A special reference to the European Union (EU) may be made in relation to how policies are framed to govern business activities. At the same time and in contrast to the global model of organisation, transnational management of business recognises the importance of flexible and responsive country-level operations – not least because of observable differences in cultures, laws and the approaches to managing human resources and logistics.

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Literary London, 1887-1940

Summer (English; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course focuses upon London life and culture as represented by two English novelists, E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf, and an Anglo-American poet, T.S.Eliot, writers associated with the “Bloomsbury Group”. The texts to be studied will enable students to understand the transition, in literary terms, from "Edwardian" to "Modern". The cultural impact of the First World War (1914-1918), and issues of class and gender will be addressed.

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London's Architecture: A History from Past to Present

Summer (Architecture, History; 400-level; 3 credits)

London, like many American cities, is a rich and complicated place. Unlike most American cities, however, it has been continuously occupied for about 2000 years. Almost every epoch of its history can be detected in the city’s architecture and street patterns. Our course will flow through London’s districts and townscapes, some of the most varied of any city in the world, finding echoes of the past whilst surrounded by the din of a modern metropolis in the midst of change, re-structuring and growth.

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Theatre in London

Summer (English, Theater; 400-level; 3 credits)

In this course students are introduced to the huge variety of performances staged in London, in venues ranging from the National Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe to smaller scale, intimate theatres dedicated entirely to new writing, such as the Royal Court and Soho Theatre, and some new, experimental, non-theatrical spaces. The course examines the relationship between theory and practice, and text and performance. Theatre visits and performance analysis will be underpinned by class discussion, reading, some practical workshops and individual research. Group visits scheduled include Backstage Tours of the National Theatre and the V&A Theatre Galleries as well as a number of matinee or evening performance

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