Winter 2020


London is one of the most historic, diverse, and culturally rich cities in the world. Using London itself as a text, students will combine reading, classroom discussion, group excursions in and outside the city, and individual exploration to learn about London past and present. The program will include:

  • Seeing 2-3 theater performances per week;
  • Exploring the city and its portrayal in 19th century literature;
  • Discovering continuities and contrasts with present-day London.

Learning Goals

  • To understand how London has been imagined and represented in selected works of 19th century literature, and to learn from the “living text” of London itself
  • To appreciate and understand all aspects of theater by seeing several plays each week in a wide range of venues, styles, and historical periods
  • To understand the historic and global significance of London by exploring the city and designing an independent project
  • To develop visual literacy by observing and interpreting material culture throughout the city
  • To challenge and expand our cultural, aesthetic, and personal values through exposure to new ideas and environments


The seminar is open to Carleton students of any major. Participants are urged, prior to the start of the program, to take a 100-level English course.

Course of Study

18 Credits

ENGL 282: London Theater (6 credits)

Students will attend productions (at least two per week) of classic and contemporary plays in a range of London venues both on and off the West End, and will do related reading. We will also travel to Stratford-upon-Avon for a 3-day theater trip. Class discussions will focus on dramatic genres and themes, dramaturgy, acting styles, and design. Guest speakers may include actors, critics, and directors. Students will keep a theater journal and write several full reviews of plays.

Instructor: Jane Edwardes, former Theater editor for Time Out [London]

ENGL 281: Romantic London (6 credits)

The Romantic era (1785-1830) was a time of extraordinary political, intellectual, and social volatility, and vitality.  With London as our classroom, we will explore the life of the great city at the hub of Romanticism by means of its magnificent public and domestic architecture, fashion and décor, dances, fine arts, journalism and political satire, and literature, including the poetry of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, the essays of Hazlitt and Lamb, and the novels of Austen.  Field trips will include visits to the Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Library, Sir John Soane's Museum, the Pump Room and Costume Museum at Bath, and the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.

Instructor: Constance Walker

ENGL 279: Urban Field Studies
(3 credits, S/CR/NC)

A combination of background readings, guided site visits, and personal exploration will give students tools for understanding the history of London. Starting with the city’s early history and moving to the present, students will gain an understanding of how the city has been defined and transformed over time, and of the complex cultural narratives that shape its standing as a global metropolis.

Instructor:  Local Faculty

ENGL 292: London Studies Project (3 credits)

In consultation with the director, students will work in pairs or groups of three to design an independent research project that demonstrates their knowledge of London. The projects will focus on particular London sites chosen by students—a street, a tube station, a city square, a store, a public artwork:  the possibilities are vast. Student groups will design a presentation format (e.g., digital slideshow, poster board, artistic collage, etc.) and present their projects at the end of term.

Instructor: Constance Walker

Faculty Director

Connie Walker photoConstance Walker is the Class of 1944 Professor of English and the Liberal Arts at Carleton College. Her scholarship focuses on British literature of the late 18th and early 19th centuries; she teaches courses on British Romanticism, Jane Austen, and Irish literature. She has previously led eight off-campus programs in the UK and Ireland for Carleton and the ACM.


Students will stay at the Pickwick Hall hostel in central London, and other small hotels.


Field trips within London will range widely, and will include the Museum of London, the Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Keats House. In addition, group excursions will include trips to Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, and Brighton. A midterm break will allow time for individual travel. Students may also wish to travel independently before or after the program as well as on weekends when group travel is not planned.


Program dates roughly correspond to the Carleton academic term. Specific dates will be communicated to program participants.


All Carleton-sponsored 10-week off-campus study programs charge the Carleton comprehensive fee, which includes instruction, room and board, group excursions, public transportation, medical and evacuation insurance, travel assistance, and most cultural events.

Students are responsible for books and supplies, passports and visas (when required), transportation to and from the program sites, and personal expenses and travel during the seminar. Students will receive a program-specific Additional Cost Estimate at the time of acceptance.

Student financial aid is applicable as on campus. See the Off-Campus Studies website for further information on billing, financial aid, and scholarships.

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Application Deadline for Spring Term 2019:
Monday, April 22, 2019

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