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London History Study Group

Director Spring 2016: Professor Noor Khan, Associate Professor of History and Director, Program in Middle East and Islamic Studies


The London History Study Group offers students a chance to do intensive historical research while enjoying the cultural resources of one of the world’s greatest cities. Drawing upon the extraordinarily rich archival resources available in London and its environs, students engage in original primary-source research and produce a paper capable of making a genuine contribution to historical knowledge.

The group will engage questions related to British-American interaction, and students will be guided in a semester of historical inquiry at the archives, libraries, and museums of London. Student research interests may be centered on British history, but archival materials in London will also support English-language research in a wide range of other historical specialties, including the history of the United States as well as African, Latin American, South Asian, and Middle Eastern history.

This study group has not been designated to satisfy the Core Global Engagements requirement.  Students will need to meet the Global Engagement requirement by enrolling in a designated course offered on campus.

Required Courses

History 349Y: History of the City of London
A lecture course taught by Dr. Katy Layton-Jones, an expert on the social, cultural and architectural history of the city. Weekly walking tours led by Dr. Layton-Jones will enable students to move outside the classroom and explore the city’s varied past.

History 4XX: London as Metropole (Noor Khan)

This seminar course will examine London, and the British Isles, as the metropole of the British Empire.  Readings will look at the spread, administration, and policing of Britain's colonial possessions from London.  They will also look at the influx of people - both British and colonial natives- to the capital as a result of these activities.  The class will take cultural excursions to some of London's immigrant neighborhoods as well as to the newly renovated Imperial War Museum. 

History 491: Independent Study
The director serves as mentor for each student’s major research project. Many students choose a topic in British or Commonwealth history, but other fields and subjects are encouraged. Using a combination of primary and secondary materials, the students produce a 30 to 40-page paper. Students will consult with the director about this paper soon after acceptance into the program to discuss their individual topics and begin research in secondary sources available in the United States. This paper often serves as the basis for an honors or high honors thesis in history. Prerequisite: History 209 and History 300

English 332Y: Contemporary London Theater and Culture (Michael Punter)
A study of drama, both classic and modern, as represented by plays in production in London during the spring of 2016. Students will see 10-12 plays, focusing on theoretical and technical aspects of drama, as well as on what specific productions reveal about British culture or contemporary London.


Students pose along the Thames with the Parliament building in the background.Upon acceptance into the program, history majors must enroll in HIST 300: the London Colloquium in the Fall of 2015. Each student should have taken HIST 200: History Workshop, prior to departure. These courses provide an introduction to the themes covered in History 349 in London, and to the skills needed for archival research.

Classroom Facilities

Colgate hires classroom space at the Florida State University at the London Study Centre in the heart of Bloomsbury.  The center also has a small library, study space and limited computer facilities.  Students will also become members of the University College London student union.

Library and Research Facilities

Colgate students can use the British Library at St. Pancras upon presenting appropriate credentials. The British National Archive at Kew is the archive most heavily used by Colgate history students. The director helps with orientation at the BNA and credentials for all students. For particular research topics, access to some of London’s other archives and libraries may be necessary. In the past, LHSG students have worked at the Imperial War Museum, the Feminist Library, the Courtauld Institute, the National Maritime Museum, the Churchill Archives Centre, the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, the British Museum, and many others.

Field Trips

The group will take three field trips outside of London. There will be an overnight trip to Belgium to visit Great War-era battlefields on the Western Front, and Bruges. Another overnight trip will go to Belfast in Northern Ireland. A third trip will be a day trip to either Salisbury and Stonehenge, or Blenheim and Oxford. 

Student Living Arrangements

Students with an award wreath in LondonHousing in London is more costly than in Hamilton, but Colgate has made arrangements with an agency in London to provide students with centrally located and fully furnished apartments. Students will be responsible for their own meals.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.

Calendar and Deadlines

The deadline for applications to the Spring 2016 London History Study Group is Friday November 7, 2014.   Applications are on the Colgate University Off-Campus Study/International Programs study groups’ websites and are submitted online.  Interviews of applicants will be arranged by e-mail and student notification of selection will take place late December 2014.

Passports and Visas

You must confirm that your passport is valid through December 2015. All students participating on the Spring 2015 London History Study Group will be required to bring appropriate documents so that they can be issued a U.K. student visa when they pass through customs on arrival. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with U.K. visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs, 101 Lathrop, and International Student Services, 103C Lathrop, to learn as much as you can about the visa requirements. For some students there are significant requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

London History Study Group program dates: January 15–May 7, 2016.

Informational Sessions

Tuesday, October 7 at 4:15 pm

Tuesday, October 21 at 11:30 am

Both information sessions will be held in Alumni 333

More Information

For more information, contact Professor Khan,

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