Program Highlights

Program Dates

mid-May – mid-June 2022

Faculty Director

Jeff Spinner-Halev, Department of Political Science

Program Highlights

Being located in the United Kingdom offers us several pedagogical opportunities that cannot be had in the United States. First, one of the core assignments of the class is a series of interviews that students must do with residents in London (an area that voted to remain in the EU), Durham (a city in northern England in a county that voted heavily to leave the EU) and in Scotland, which presents us with a contrast to English nationalism. In this way, students will really meet the residents of the U.K and they will listen and study their attitudes, something that can only be done in the U.K. Second, we will meet with members of Parliament in both England and Scotland. In Scotland, we will visit a battlefield from the 13th century where William Wallace (“Braveheart”) defeated the British and Scotland became independent, and learn about the origins of Scottish nationalism.

London is filled with nationalist symbols and icons, and we will take advantage to see some of them. We will tour the Houses of Parliament, the Westminster Abbey, and the nearby WWII monuments, all iconic British symbols. We will visit the Imperial War Museum, to see how Britain portrays itself in WWI and WWII. We watch a play at the Globe Theatre and a football (soccer) game, which are all integral parts of Britain’s past and of its identity today. Finally, London is also one of the most diverse cities in the West, and we will take some time to explore that diversity. We will take a tour of London’s East End, the home of many immigrant communities over the centuries, and one of the most diverse places in London today. We will take a walking tour of “Black London” to understand how immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean helped shape London. Our visit to the British Jewish Museum will enable us to help see how Britain become more tolerant of religious diversity, and then moved to acceptance from the 17th century (when Jews were allowed back in Britain after being expelled in the 13th century) to the present day. These experiences will help us think through the interplay between national identity and diversity.