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Biography of a City: London

Biography of a City: London
Examine London's ancient past and exciting present on this spring break program.
London, England
Language of Instruction: 
Spring Break
Academic Disciplines: 
Program Type: 
  • Explore the city of London through city walks, visiting markets, and attending a theater production
  • The program also includes a semester long class studying the city of London
  • Earn 3 credit hours
Program Summary: 

London is over 2000 years old and in that time has witnessed lives unfold and events take shape that have, in turn, shaped the city itself and  the world beyond. This class will examine London’s ancient past and exciting present through study of texts and images of the place that many call the  “world’s capital.” We will view maps, read chronicles, diaries, plays, novels and memoirs that record the life of the city, and look closely at boroughs, monuments, ghostly haunts, stunning architecture and eccentric nooks and crannies of this timeless locale. Course work includes readings noted below, short writings and a research project on the city that may be completed as part of a spring break study abroad option in London.


For the Study Abroad Program, we will tour The British Museum, The Museum of London and the Docklands, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The New Globe Theater, The Victoria and Albert Museum among others. We’ll visit city markets, attend a theatre production, and take many walks through historic areas of the city.


Academic Information: 

Courses Offered

Each student enrolls in one of the following three cross-listed courses for the spring semester:

HWC 600: Biography of a City: London

HIST 660: Biography of a City: London

ARCH 600: Special Topics in Architecture: Biography of a City: London

Readings include selections from the following works:

Allinson, Architects and Architecture of London
Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year
Dickens, Oliver Twist
Hazlitt, Metropolitan Writings
Oldham, Memoir of London in the 1960s
Samuel Pepy’s Diary
Shakespeare, Henry IV part I
Thompson, The London Blitz Diaries


Students and faculty will stay at the Royal National Hotel, a Bloomsbury neighborhood hotel. Accommodation is double and triple occupancy. A full English breakfast will be provided at the hotel each day.


Open to all KU students. Minimum 2.5 GPA required (exceptions considered after submission of a petition).

Further Reading: 

For more information contact:

Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer
Humanities and Western Civilization
303-H Bailey Hall
tel: 785-864-3012
e-mail: arcs@ku.edu

Kent Spreckelmeyer
Architecture, Design and Planning
415 Marvin Hall
tel: 785-864-3164
email: kents@ku.edu


Deadlines Extended for Summer, Fall and Academic Year Programs.

See list of programs below:


Study Abroad Financial Advising

The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 pm and Thursday afternoons from 12:30-1:30 pm in room 203 Lippincott Hall.  For those that can not attend the weekly Info Sessions, we also offer individualized study abroad financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students.  Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.

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More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
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Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
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