University of California, Riverside

UCR Study Abroad - UCR Summer Abroad Program

2011 London, England

Shakespeare's World: Society, Religion, and Politics in England

Ever thought to explore historical and modern day London without the confines of a classroom, to cross the London bridge afoot and witness the famous changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, or stand up with the other "Groundlings" at the famous Globe Theatre in London?

  • General Program Information

    You can do all of these and so much more this summer during a five week stay in the heart of London:

    > Thrill to the blinding speed of London buses!
    > Marvel at the charity with which the Tudors entertained their rivals!
    > Puzzle over the correct way to use a fork!
    > See why the appalling service at the Banqueting House made Charles I lose his head!
    > Savor culinary delicacies like Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, and Spotted Dick!
    > Discover what was up with Liver Comwell and his warts!
    > Comprehend why James II came to loathe oranges and William III moles!
    > Understand why the locals like their showers cold, their beer warm, and the curries hot!

    The Study Abroad Program "Shakespeare's World" takes advantage of Dr. Thomas Cogwell's celebrated walking tour of London and his expert knowledge, as well as the excellent company of his trusty assistant, Ned Cogswell.  The fun begins on July 25 and ends on August 27, 2011 for a total of five weeks .

    The goal of this program is to use four performances at the Globe Theatre as well as London itself to introduce students to the religious, social, and political history of Shakespeare's era and beyond. Designed for intellectually curious students, this course requires no prior knowledge of early modern or medieval history.

  • Accommodations in London

    Students will be housed in the International Hall of the University of London from July 23 - August 27th. Students should plan to depart from London on Saturday, August 28th, or make arrangements to stay elsewhere in England until their flight leaves the country. There are many safety features in place to keep the building and its guests secure your own room with a sink (shared bathroom facilities are just down the hall)

    • daily breakfast and dinner each day that you are on site
    • launderette
    • squash court
    • TV room on each floor
    • internet cafe and free internet with cable throughout
    • ideally situated in the heart of Bloomsbury, a few blocks east of the British  
      Museum and a few blocks south of the British Library and King's Cross Station.    
    • You will be half a block from Brunswick Centre, a newly refurbished shopping centre with a large grocery store, a lovely Asian noodle shop, an art-house movie house, and a Starbucks.
  • Courses & Syllabus

    Tudor England (4 units)
    HISE 155 

    Prerequisite(s): upper-division standing or consent of instructor.  Examines sixteenth-century England with particular attention to the impact of the Reformation, the "price revolution," and the development of the state. 

    Special Studies (4 units)
    HIST 190/299

    To be taken with the consent of the chair of the department to meet special curricular problems.  Coruse is repeatable to a maximum of 16 units.

    Required Texts
    [all available on Amazon]

    W. Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part One
                               Henry IV, Part Two     
                                    Henry VIII
                               Merry Wives of Windsor
    [for these, please get the Folger Shakespeare Library edition]

    Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost, Further Explored (Routledge) 
                             [used ones are just fine] 

    A streetwise London map (laminated city center street map) is highly recommended!

    Optional Texts 

    Conrad Russell, The Crisis of Parliaments (Oxford UP)
                                   [used ones are quite cheap]

  • Faculty Letter

    Shakespeare's World: Society, Religion, and Politics in England

    Dear Prospective Student:

    If you want to understand English society and culture in the early modern and modern period, if you want to become well acquainted with a true ‘world city’ like London, and if you want to see Shakespeare performed in his theatre, then join me this summer for an unforgettable five weeks.    

    London will be our classroom. While we will gather a few mornings a week for background lectures and discussions, we will often be on the move, traveling around the metropolis on foot and by bus. In order to make sure that no one is ever left behind, my seventeen year old son, Ned, a London veteran, will help me squire you around the town.  But in short order, you too will become adept at navigating about the city.

    The historical and cultural sites in and around London will keep us very busy.   We will visit ‘world class’ venues like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace as well as relatively modest, but utterly fascinating places like Knole House, Ham House, and Osterley House.  We will inspect famous collections in the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery.  [For more details about these and other excursions, see the attached list.]  

    Doubtless the highlights of our stay will be our nights at the theatre.  First we will read and thoroughly discuss four classic Shakespeare plays -- Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and both parts of Henry IV.   The following night we will troop off to the Globe where we will lean on the front stage to watch the plays performed a few feet away from us.  You will be so close that you may well be involved in the action.  In the 2006 UCR London term, the hero in Coriolanus died a properly theatrical death collapsing into the crowd, and a Riverside undergrad emerged beneath the actor’s legs.  Likewise the stage blood from the various executions in Titus Andronicus splattered onto UCR students [it’s washable].   Without any question, you will never feel, hear and smell as well as see better Shakespearean productions.

    On many afternoons and evenings as well as on the weekends, you will be free to explore London on your own and with your colleagues.   And you will periodically have to do so, venturing to museums either to answer questions on cultural scavenger hunts or to research a more in-depth analysis of your favorite museum.   You will find this easy to do since you will have a free pass to ride all London buses and free admission to many of the sites.  

    In addition, you are free to join me on various optional excursions.  My favorite things to do in the city are go to movies and other plays and to rummage thru various street markets for odds and ends, everything from clothes, shoes and hats, old and new, to pictures, prints, albums, magazines and bric-a-brac.  While a movie will cost you about $12-15 and a play from $15 to $30, it is free to inspect the markets.  Why not tag along?  

    You will live the life of an average British undergraduate, staying in International Hall, a “hall of residence” [read dorm] of the University of London where Mick Jagger reputedly stayed when he was an undergrad.   You will have a private room with wash basin; toilets and showers are down the hall.   Each floor has washing facilities and a television lounge.  Downstairs is the restaurant where you will dine three times a day.  While your meals there are covered as part of your package, you will be surrounded by a wide array of tempting restaurants, running the gamut from cheap sandwich shops and “chippies” [fish and chips counters] to Asian noodle shops and Italian and Indian restaurants; doubtless you will try some of them.  Far and away, the best part of International Hall is its location in the middle of Bloomsbury, a delightful residential district within easy walking distance of most places in central London.  

    Please feel free to e-mail by clicking directly on my picture to ask questions about the program or contact the Summer Study Abroad Office.  (All pdf pages above have been compiled into one file - please read them.)

    Thomas E. Cogswell, Ph.D.

    History Department
    Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
    former Keeley Fellow of Wadham College Oxford
    former Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute
    former Fulbright-Hays Fellow, University of London
    former Chair of the UCR History Department
    former Chair of the Academic Senate

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General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Education Abroad
0321 Surge Building

Tel: (951) 827-4113