Winter 2021


English Literature, Theater, and Art in London

Literature, theater, and the arts flourish in London. The city has an incomparably rich literary and cultural history is arguably the world’s pre-eminent city for theater. The goal of the London program is to provide Carleton students with an immersive experience in this exciting milieu, with a focus on the life and times of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, encompassing literature, theater, art, music, architecture, and history. 

Learning Goals

  • To deepen students’ appreciation and understanding of all aspects of theater
  • To learn about the historical and aesthetic interrelations of the literature, art, and architecture of Tudor and Stuart England through observation, writing, experience, and original artistic production
  • To gain new trans-historical and cross-disciplinary perspectives on the English Renaissance
  • To help students challenge their own literary, aesthetic, and personal values
  • To expand students’ curiosity and ways of thinking through exposure to new ideas, environments, and another culture
  • To engage in a grand thought experiment to imagine and absorb the world of the English Renaissance


None. The seminar is open to Carleton students of any major.

Course of Study


This course concentrates on the relationship between the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the world in which they lived, and hte vitality of performance. Particular attention will be paid to Tudor and Stuart historical sites as students explore England throught he lens of Renaissance literature and the literature through the lens of Renaissance England.

Instructor: Pierre Hecker

Graduation requirements fulfilled: Literary/Arts analysis; International Studies (IS); Writing Rich 2 (WR2)

English major requirements fulfilled: Historical Era Group 1 (HE1), Traditions 1 (T1)

Medieval and Renaissance Studies requirement fulfilled: MARS core course; Capstone Research Experience possible with permission of instructor.

Theater major requirements fulfilled: 5. 6 additional credits, in literature, criticism, or history

ENGL 282: LONDON THEATER (6 Credits)

Students will attend productions of both classic and contemporary plays in London and Stratford-on-Avon and do related reading. Class discussions will focus on dramatic genres and themes, dramaturgy, acting styles, and design. Guest speakers may include actors, critics, and directors. Students will take backstage tours, keep a theater journal, and work on theater criticism and reviews.

Requirements fulfilled: Literary/Arts Analysis, Writing Rich 2

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


In this introductory course, devised for all skill levels, students will explore England through on-site observational drawing, watercolor, and mixed media. The critical observation and artistic rendering of England’s artifacts, artwork, architecture, gardens, and landscapes will afford students a window into British culture as they acquaint themselves with the country’s visual vocabulary. The course will address the technical aspects of drawing, including how to use line, value, composition, and color effectively. Additional components will include journaling, tours of historical sites, and museum and gallery visits (including the National and National Portrait Galleries, Hampton Court Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, etc.).

Requirements fulfilled: Arts Practice, International Studies (IS); EUST Country Specific Course; six-credit courses with a 2-D emphasis

Instructors: Juliane Shibata [and staff]

Faculty Director

Pierre Hecker is Associate Professor of English at Carleton College, where he also teaches for the Medieval and Renaissance Studies and European Studies minors as well as the Pierre Hecker-London W21Summer Humanities Institute. He is particularly interested in the intersections of literature, visual culture, and performance. Courses taught include Shakespeare, Christopher MarloweRevenge TragedyDrama, Film, and Society, and Murder. He has directed Carleton’s OCS programs in England and Ireland. He received his M.F.A. in Film from Columbia University and D.Phil in Renaissance Drama from the University of Oxford.   


Students will live in central London throughout most of the program. On excursions, accommodation may be in hotels, hostels, or university residence halls.


In addition to frequent class meetings at London museums, theatres, National Trust properties, and other sites of literary, theatrical, and historical interest, group excursions will include trips to places such as Oxford, Canterbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, Windsor, Hampton Court, Chastleton House, Greenwich, and others. A mid-term break will allow time for individual travel.


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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