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CAS Class To Be Offered for London Study Abroad

CAS will be cross-listing a course with ENGL next summer in a London study abroad experience!


ENGL 455/262 Mysticism, Magic and the Occult in Literary Modernism

Long before Harry Potter, London was a hotbed of magic, mysticism, and the occult. This course will investigate how these cultural currents (in addition to late Victorian spiritualism and the “new” study of psychology) impacted great works of literature and art produced by "the moderns" between 1890 and the start of World War II. Readings will be selected from such canonical masterpieces as Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw; shorter works by Virginia Woolf, William Butler Yeats, and T.S. Eliot; and selections by lesser known authors such as Ithell Colquhoun, Aleister Crowley, and Mary Butts. London is our classroom, so course excursions will include a walking tour of Occult London; stops at The Atlantis Bookshop, Watkins Books, and/or Treadwell’s; a visit to Virginia Woolf's Bloomsbury and/or Sissinghurst Castle; tours of churches designed by Christopher Wren and built by the “Devil’s Architect” Nicholas Hawksmoor; and a viewing of the “Magical Realism in the Weimer Republic 1919-1933” exhibit at the Tate Modern.* *wands not required


ENGL 473/130 Creating Public Memory in London

*Communication Arts and Sciences students should enroll in CAS 497 so that the course can count toward the major or minor*

How do we remember past events and people, and to what effect? Public memory (as opposed to private recollection) embeds itself in culturally available “texts,” including literary works, monuments, museum displays, music, orations, rituals of remembrance, photographs, quilts, tattoos, films, and so on. How do we “read” museum holdings, memorial structures, and historic sites—and how can we understand the designs those sites have on our values, beliefs, and actions? Anyone acquainted with the news knows that how communities allocate honor and remember the past are topics of intense controversy these days—take, for example, the current debates about what to do about civil war monuments. Loaded with monuments and memorials designed to allow the past to speak to the present, London offers an ideal site to take up questions related to how public memory is created through rhetorical action. In addition to readings and classroom discussion, students can look forward to guided visits to the British Museum (and some of its controversial holdings, such as the Elgin Marbles); to the Globe Theatre and other stages (to see how they construct Shakespeare’s England and individual characters such as Henry V); to Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London; to the National Portrait Gallery and the Imperial War Museums (including the “bunker” beneath London featured in the recent film “Darkest Hour”). Students can also expect outings outside London—perhaps to Stratford to experience how the community wishes Shakespeare (and his times) to be remembered and understood.


To apply, go to: