Spring 2019


London is a global center for the literary arts and theater, as well as for music and the visual arts. Using London itself as a text, along with literature, theater, art, architecture and cultural history, students will combine reading, classroom discussion, group excursions in and outside the city, and individual exploration to write about London both creatively and critically. The program will include:

  • Seeing 2–3 theater performances per week
  • Examining the roles that London has played — and the way the city has been represented —as cosmopolitan focus of national and world culture; as capital of nation and Empire
  • Exploring themes of class and gender, ideas of nationhood, nature and industry, civilization and society, art and life as manifested in literature and museum displays
  • Discovering continuities and contrasts with present-day London

Learning Goals

  • To understand how London is and has been imagined and constructed as metropolis, national capital, and center of Empire in literature, art, museums, and architecture
  • To understand aspects of theater by seeing several plays each week in a wide range of venues, styles, and historical periods, and writing brief reviews
  • To write creatively about London
  • 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: Reading London, Writing London (6 credits)

The course will center on the neglected genre of the non-academic essay, also referred to as creative nonfiction.  Students will also have opportunities to experiment by including poetry and prose fiction with their essays.  We will read and discuss historical and contemporary British essayists for a deeper understanding of rhetoric and aesthetics, for insight into London, and as models for writing.  Each student will write a series of creative nonfiction essays (and some poetry and/or prose fiction, if they wish) based on cultural artifacts and sites from various periods in London’s history, as well as the present.  In the tradition of the essay, the writing for this course will combine both personal and critical perspectives.  Through workshops and revision, each writer will learn strategies for effectively establishing their own literary voice.

Instructor: Greg Hewett

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 multicultural 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 290: Directed Reading (3 credits)

Students will read selected material in English history, literature and culture, and do short presentations, in either pairs or small groups, based on the readings.

Instructor: Greg Hewett

Language of Instruction


Faculty Director

Welcome Back - Fall 2014Greg Hewett, Professor of English

Greg Hewett has taught a wide range of courses in both creative writing and literature, including Romanticism, Modernism, Irish Literature, Virginia Woolf, Creative Writing in Ireland, and Reading London, Writing London.  He is the author of five volumes of poetry.


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


Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, the Lake Country


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 Winter Term 2021:
April 20, 2020

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