Academics

Students take two to four seminars each semester in addition to The London Experience. The number of seminars taken is dependent upon whether or not a student is participating in the internship track. Each course typically meets once each week for 2.5 hours. The program’s resident faculty director teaches one course in his or her area of expertise and London-based faculty drawn from local universities teach five or six additional seminars. Each course uses London as part of the classroom, taking full advantage of museums, galleries, archives, architectural sites, and other resources.

Students on the program will choose one of the following three tracks:

  • Honors Semester in London with Internship
    • Take three Honors seminars while interning with an organization in London tailored to your interests and skills. Open to all UNC students meeting eligibility criteria.
  • Honors Semester in London without Internship
    • Take Honors Seminars satisfying your major and general education requirements at UNC’s Center for European Studies at Winston House in Central London. Open to all UNC students meeting eligibility requirements.
  • Shuford Honors Semester in Entrepreneurship in London – available during spring term only
    • Spend a semester living, studying, and working in London, considered the 3rd best startup city in the world (behind SF and NYC).  You will live in central London and be based at Carolina’s own Winston House.  Along with your Honors classes, you will take a class focused on what we love about London’s innovations in fashion, tourism, food, fintech, sports, auctions, art, and social enterprise. Company visits have included Matchesfashion.com, Monese, McLaren’s Technology Center, Sotheby’s, Founders Factory, The Ivy, and Greenhouse Sports. You will meet founders, innovators, company builders and UNC alumni.

All participants remain enrolled at UNC, earning graded Honors Carolina course credit for a full semester’s work. Courses count toward fulfillment of general education and major requirements. There are no prerequisites for any course. Students on the internship track receive credit for the internship and take three academic courses in addition to the internship.

Courses

 

DRAM 120H | Contemporary London Theatre and its Origins (3 Credits)

Professor Clive Perrott
Approach: Visual and Performing Arts (VP), North Atlantic World (NA), Communication Intensive (CI)

These classes will demystify the theatre and allow it to be fun and accessible. We will consider theatre as a craft rather than an art form. We will look at the practicalities of putting on a show: the choice of play, the venue, the director, the stage design, lighting, sound, the cast and marketing etc. Let us explore all the choices and decision making that goes into theatre production. We will apply these practicalities to aspects of our course work.

Let’s discover, for ourselves, why certain plays and playwrights endure. For example: Why are Shakespeare, Brecht and Pinter held in such high esteem? We will take classic, legendary and seminal plays off their historic pedestal, discover them for ourselves, deconstruct them and make them our own. Let us also look at the job of being an actor. We will, for example, find out how verse works. We will learn how to speak it and listen to it with pleasure and with insight. We will ask other questions: Just what is ‘Method Acting’? What is plot and subplot? What, for that matter, is subtext? What is Sense Memory and how is it used? What is ‘Endowment’, in a theatrical context, and when should the performer give or take focus?

Let us experience the challenge of deconstructing a play, building a character and making the playwright’s words our own from both the actor and the director’s POV. Theatre is visceral, vibrant and alive. So, let’s learn by getting up on our feet and doing it. We will take a text, place it in its social and historic context, read it, deconstruct it, understand and enjoy it and then, when we are ready, we will rehearse a scene or two as if preparing to perform.

When we have made the play truly our own, we will take a trip to the theatre and see how a professional company have faced the challenge of bringing the same play to life. We will then write a review and, love it or loathe it, we will write with authority and insight.

AMST 225H: Comedy and Ethics (The Ethics of Stand-Up Comedy)(Spring 2023)

Professor Michelle Robinson
Making Connections: Philosophical Reasoning (PH), North Atlantic World (NA)
IDEAs in Action: FC-AESTH, FC-VALUES

The Ethics of Stand-Up Comedy” will explore the historical, sociocultural, and legal significance of twentieth and early twenty-first century stand-up comedy. We will consider comedy as public voice; examine the ways humor constructs and disrupts identities; and discuss the ethics of the creative process, performance and reception in contemporary life. Our syllabus will include scholarly articles to guide our study but will primarily focus on the work of comedians such as Moms Mabley, Joan Rivers, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Margaret Cho, Mitch Hedberg, Chris Rock, and Hari Kondabolu, among many others. While on campus, this course explores comedians from the United States, in Spring 2023, we will also study non-American English language comedians like James Acaster, Ismo, Rose Matafeo, Bridget Christie, Romesh Ranganatham, and Jim Jefferies. If circumstances permit, we will also spend time in London’s comedy clubs.

POLI 232H | Contemporary British Politics (3 Credits)

Professor Scott Kelly
Approach: Social and Behavioral Sciences (SS)
Connection: North Atlantic World (NA)
Major Credit: Political Science 232 (Politics in England)

The course aims to give students a basic understanding of the changing nature of the UK state and politics both in a geographic and institutional sense as well as an appreciation of its political culture and values. This covers the way in which UK sovereignty is being eroded by devolution to its national regions and the process of creeping integration into the European Union as well as the transformation of its basic policy consensus from the post war period to the present. The aim is that students should understand how and why reform, change and “modernization” is taking place in a post imperial and global context and how this impacts on constitutional, economic and social issues. The objective is to encourage students to read newspapers, watch TV programmes and acquire an insight into current British politics as well as make use of textbooks, articles and internet for research purposes which should enable them to compare and contrast British political life with that of America and appreciate the similarities and differences. The approach will be to encourage both empathy and critical examination of institutions, policies and issues to promote a facility of independent judgment.

ENGL 283H: Life-writing in London (Fall 2023)

Professor Daniel Wallace
Approach: Literary Analysis (LA), Communication Intensive (CI)
IDEAS in Action Attributes: FC-AESTH, FC-CREATE

It’s been said that there are only two plots in all of literature: a stranger comes to town, or You go on a journey. This semester, we are in the unique position of experiencing both plots – strangers in town, on a journey all our own – so it seems fitting that for this class we should be writing both fiction and non-fiction. We will learn how to write creatively about our experiences in London and local countryside in notes and short scenes – mini-essays – and turn those experiences into short fiction. What is the connection between fact and fiction? How can we use our own experiences as grist for storytelling of all kinds? That’s what this class will explore, because exploration is what it’s all about: of London, of England and of ourselves.

ECON 327H.02S: London Loves

Professor Jed Simmons

The course focuses on life as an entrepreneur and what we love about London. The class explores innovation in areas such as fashion, tourism, food, fintech, sports, art, media, and social enterprise. During the semester students meet founders, innovators, company builders, and UNC alumni. Company visits include innovators like Matchesfashion.com, Monese, McLaren, Sotheby’s, Founders Factory, The Ivy, YouTube, Imperial College, Charlotte Tilbury, OneFineStay, and Greenhouse Sports.

MEJO 447H: Media in the UK (Spring)

Professor Owen Bennett-Jones
Making Connections: Social Science (SS)
IDEAS in Action:
Major Credit: Media and Journalism

An introduction to media in the UK including the history of the press, media law, and the political and social context in which the British media operate. Using examples from recent news stories, the course will also cover ethics and the key journalistic prin­ciples of objectivity, impartiality and balance. Students will explore how stories make it into the news and how they are then treated by papers and broadcast media. There will be a chance to compare the UK and US media and examine how the West treats news from the developing world. The impact of social media and “citizen journalism” on the flow of information to (and from) the public will also be examined.

HNRS 390.01S | The London Art World (3 Credits)

Professor Linda Bolton
Approach: Visual and Performing Arts (VP)
Connection: North Atlantic World (NA)
Major Credit: Art History

This course examines some of the dazzling array of art on view in London’s museums and public galleries, its smaller art centers, commercial galleries and auction houses, and in public spaces. It is possible to see both historic and contemporary art from round the world in London, this most diverse of world capitals, and we will be exploring famous galleries such as the National Gallery and Tate Modern, as well as going to a variety of different London neighborhoods.  Our focus is two-fold: both on the diversity of art on display, and on the nature of contemporary art displays.

By the end of the course, you will be confident about looking at previously unfamiliar art works and discussing them, both verbally in the group and in the journal that is a major component of the course grade. You will be familiar with a range of art terms, will be able to analyze the labels, wall panels and leaflets that accompany art displays, and will have a good sense of what there is to see in London and how best to understand it.

HNRS 390.02S | Imagining Literary London (3 Credits)

Professor Laurence Scott
Approach: Literary Analysis (LA) *pending approval
Major Credit: English and Comparative Literature

This course traces the evolution of ‘imagined’ London as the setting and inspiration for literary works, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. A key theme is the way in which London writers have responded to periods of extreme violence. We will consider, for example, Dickens’s articulation of the French Revolution, Modernist expressions of the horrors of the First World War, and how London writers past and present have represented the rise of European fascism and the subsequent terror of the Blitz. Students will explore the city in ways complementary to course material, while being introduced to important concepts in urban literary studies.

HNRS 378 | The London Experience (1 Credit)

 

HNRS 393 | Internship (5 Credits)

Approach: Experiential Education (EE)