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The London English Study Group

Director Fall 2015: Professor Michael Coyle,
Professor of English

Required Courses

All students accepted into the group will take English 290, an introduction to study in London, 0.25-credit on-campus course in the spring of 2014; and four courses in London. Three of those courses will offer credit in the English Department: English 308Y and English 331Y, both taught by the director; and English 332Y, taught by a resident theater specialist in London.  The fourth course will be History 348, taught by another resident specialist in London. In addition to the four required courses, there will be a series of day and overnight trips, as described below under Field Trips. With minor adjustments, the program will follow Colgate’s academic calendar for the fall semester of 2015

English 389Y: London Fiction Since WWII (M. Coyle)
As this course focuses on 20th century “British” fiction, and on novels set in London, it will consider what it means to be “British” precisely as it considers London as a site for the globalization of the English language. We will read such works as Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, Buchi Emecheta’s In the Ditch, Beryl Gilroy’s Boy Sandwich, George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia, Doris Lessing’s In Pursuit of the English, Andrea Levy’s Small Island, Geoff Nicholson’s Bleeding London, Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners, Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. The course will include visits from some of these writers. Professor Coyle. 

English 338Y: Museum Theory (M. Coyle)
Britain, and London in particular, is the inventor of our modern idea of the museum.  Quite simply, there is no better place in the world to consider what a museum is and does. In the past twenty years or so it has become increasingly obvious that museums do not merely present a sampling of things as they are and have been, but rather play a very active role in shaping not only our particular ideas about history, but also our very sense of what counts as history, and even of what counts as knowledge. Modern museums can be intense intellectual experiences, and they can also be just fun. Our course is designed to make all of you more aware consumers and consulters of the learning gathered in such institutions, and the second half of the course will be largely student-driven. All students will present on some aspect of one particular museum or gallery.

English 332Y: Contemporary London Theater and Culture (M. Punter)

A study of drama, both classic and modern, as represented by plays in production in London during the fall of 2015. All 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 and contemporary London.

History 349Y: History of the City of London (K. Layton-Jones)

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. 

Field Trips

Group poses outside small cottage

The group will take three overnight trips: one to the memorials and museums in and around Ypres, a town in Flanders (Belgium) where three major battles took place during World War I; and a second trip to Bath, with its beautifully preserved architectural history, the magnificent landscape gardens at Stourhead, and the ancient ruins at Stonehenge. In addition to excursions in and around London, the director will also arrange day trips to other sites of cultural, historical, or natural importance, for example to Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford and Winchester.

Classrooms, Libraries, and Other Facilities

Classes will be held at Florida State University’s London Study Centre, a complex in the heart of Bloomsbury, just a couple of blocks west of the British Museum and British Library. The complex also houses a modest library and computer facility, which will be available to students. Students will become members of the University College London student union.  

Living Arrangements

Students will reside in five- to six-person flats in Bloomsbury, about a five-minute walk from the FSU Centre. Each flat has a bathroom, kitchen, and common room.


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

Prerequisites and Selection Criteria

Any Colgate student who has completed or plans to complete at least two English courses at the 200 level by the end of the academic year 2014-15 may apply. Priority will go to declared English concentrators in the class of 2017.

Calendar and Deadlines

The deadline for applications to the Fall 2015 London English Study Group is Friday, November 7, 2014. All applications are on the Off-Campus Study/International Programs website 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 June 2016. All students participating on the Fall 2015 London English Study Group will be required to obtain a U.K. student visa. 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, 103 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

Group poses outside of glass-domed buildingLondon English Study Group program dates: August 28 - December 18, 2015

Informational Sessions

  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. and 
  • Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
    Both sessions will be held in 408 Lathrop Hall

More Information

For more information, contact Linck Johnson at 315-228-7295 or via e-mail at