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You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
All students must take six credits but the courses may be selected as follows.
Heart of the Original London (3 credits)- ENGL402, 199 or 499 taught by Richard Doyle (select one)
Working with contemporary British writer Steve Aylett's Heart of the Original, a short 2015 book accurately described by graphic author Alan Moore as "force fed with ideas until its liver explodes", this course will leverage its London location to explore the history of the notion of originality and authenticity through the lens of the British writers that played a role in its invention in the 17th century. Whileaisthetics driven by the percption of Greek and Biblical ideals of exegesis strove fidelity to a tradition of beauty and, often, masculinity, Romantic notions of originalitymanifested by the Lake School valued the breakdown of tradition and the emergence of novel eruptions of the eternal. Reaings ranging from Wordsworth, Shelley, Coleridge and De Qincey find resonance in the "make it new" modernism of Pound's Blast period as well as the renegotiated tradition of Eliot as well as Huxley's quest for the eternal spiritual narrative of his The Perennial Philosophy and the neo-gnostic compositions of Swedenborg, Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besante, all negotiating a subtle dialectic betweeen tradition and innovation that would momentarily culminate in the novel punk return to intensified rock and roll.
Working in dialogue with local writer Aylett as well as the extensive bibliography implicit in his most recent work, students will investigate the genealogy of the notion of originality and its kin, authenticity, taking up the closely coupled investigation of what Aylett describes as a public "phobic" originality. Besides the opportunity to work closely with a world class contemenporary author, this course will offer an intensive wiriting option in order to fulfill University writing requriements as well as 16th-18th century requirement for the English major.
2015 course will soon be updated with 2016 offering. Avant-garde Movements in London (3 credits) - ENGL 455, 199 or 499 taught by Matthew Weber (select one)
“On or about December 1910, human character changed,” wrote Virginia Woolf in her essay “Modern Fiction.” This famous declaration alludes to an upheaval in a medium other than writing: England’s first exhibit of Post-Impressionist painting, something that previously didn’t even have a name. In the same spirit of newness, this course will immerse us in a new place, and in various versions of “the new” that have come to exemplify British modernism. Although “modernism” serves as an umbrella term for a lot of writers who experimented and broke boundaries all over the globe, the avant-garde movements out of London alone are extremely diverse.
While we explore the vast collections of Post-Impressionist visual art in London’s museums, we will also read examples from Imagism and Vorticism, two (mostly) literary avant-garde movements, along with manifestoes from those movements and others. Our survey will send us into the archives of modernism and its “little magazines,” where we will bear witness to the circulation of polemic and experimentalism among tight-knit—and often quarrelsome—groups of artists and intellectuals during a crucial moment in aesthetic history. The course will conclude with a look at one contemporary avant-garde collective, Tom McCarthy’s International Necronautical Society, who are very weird and funny and obsessed with death (see necronauts.org). Students will give presentations about found objects and write their own manifestoes.
Artists and Writers: Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, H. D., Wyndham Lewis, Mina Loy, F. T. Marinetti, George Orwell, Tom McCarthy.
Excursions: Monk’s House (Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell); the Courtauld Gallery (Impressionism and Post-Impressionism); Tate Modern (Vorticism, propaganda); the British Library (Little Magazines, Orwell’s propaganda collection); an array of contemporary art galleries (TBD).
Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
Successful applicants will complete pre-requisities for the program
All students must hold a passport which is valid until six months after the last day of the program (or date of return to U.S if students is extending travel)