Queen's University


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Instructor: Dr Peter Lowe

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In this class we will consider the ways in which a wide range of writers have ‘mapped’ the territory of the first metropolis of modernity: London.  We will examine the different ways this city has been conceptualized and represented in literature in order to think about the inflection of the urban landscape by issues including gender, class, and race.  We will read and discuss texts written in a variety of genres and from a variety of standpoints.  We will also discuss some key theories of cultural geography in order to understand the ways ‘subjective’ literary representations of urban space can counter ‘objective’ mappings by cartographers and other ‘official’ agents.  This will help us to generate responses to a key issue: in what ways does the built environment of the city produce new subjectivities?  Is there, in reality, a ‘London Breed’ of people uniquely linked to the city?

Available as part of the specialized program Global Project Management in the 21st Century: Engineering in an Interdisciplinary Age in Summer 2018.

PREREQUISITE    A grade of C in ENGL 100/6.0

The course will mix classroom work with experiential learning as we read a range of texts and locations in class and on field studies.  We will think about what certain sites tell us about the city’s capacity to generate literature, and the relationship between the literature produced about the city and the city itself.  The readings will be supplemented with screenings of films relevant to our themes that will enable us to think comparatively about the different representations of the city that have contributed to the city’s cultural identity.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will have:

  • Read and analysed a variety of literary and non-literary London texts
  • Studied and discussed certain key moments in the city’s cultural and social history

Students will also have developed skills in:

  • Reading, interpreting, and deconstructing textual and media representations of the city
  • Reading a cityscape on a walking tour
  • Using primary materials in an academic paper
  • Thinking critically about a museum space and guided walking tour

Experiential learning opportunities

To be confirmed, but are likely to focus on various walking tours of London. 

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
Fax: +44 1323 834499
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
Fax: (613) 533-6810
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