Courses

Summer 2017

Session One
June 5–July 14, 2017

Queenship and Female Power from the Tudors to the Modern Age (BRST 188)
Lisa Ford, Assistant Director of Research, Yale Center for British Art

This course will explore the nature of British queenship and female power, as it evolved from the first incidences of female rule in England and Scotland through the election of a female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, and up to the recent change in succession, which gave first-born royal females the right to rule. Without focusing on biography, the lives of queens will be used as a means for examining the legal, religious, social, and political issues pertaining to the power and status of female rulers and political leaders. This class will also examine the role of consorts, particularly through engagement with the exhibition Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World, which will be displayed at the Center in spring 2017 and subsequently at Kensington Palace, London, during the summer session. A three-day field trip will be part of the course, and the class will also visit sites, in and around London, pertinent to the rule of these women, such as Hampton Court and Kensington Palace.

Modern British Drama (BRST 478)
Sheila Fox, Freelance critic and BBC producer

This course will study representative works of twentieth and twenty-first century British drama, based on current productions on the London stage, with attention to the social issues the plays address, as well as theatrical conventions developed by playwrights and actors on the fringe and in the mainstream of the West End of London. Weekly visits to a variety of productions, which will be staged at London theaters, are an essential element of this course.

Session Two
July 3–August 11, 2017

Photography in Victorian and Edwardian Britain: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics (BRST 150)
Sean Willcock, Postdoctoral Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

The aesthetic and political impact of photography on Victorian and Edwardian society will be examined in this class. While being anchored in British art history, this exploration will necessarily be international in scope. This course will cover the Anglo-Gallic rivalry over the competing methods of early photographic production, which were developed by Englishman Henry Fox Talbot and Frenchman Louis Daguerre; the fast-paced spread of the protean image-making technology throughout colonial territories; and tales of British photography during the nineteenth century and beyond, which is a resolutely global one in comparison to the rest. This program aims to harbor an awareness of the diversity of photographic practices, agents, and audiences. It will look at how the daguerreotype, the calotype, the wet-plate collodion process, and the eventual development of point-and-shoot dry film all worked in various ways to transform the nature of art, science, journalism, and travel for nineteenth-century Britons, as well as for multifarious colonial populations. A consideration of the work of key photographers such as Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Clementina Hawarden, Henry Peach Robinson, Roger Fenton, Felice Beato, Lala Deen Dayal, and numerous other commercial and amateur practitioners, will enable an assessment of the heterogeneous ways that photographs were produced, consumed, and exhibited within and across boundaries of nationality, class, race, and gender.

The British Empire and its Imperial Hub (BRST 151)
Jonathan Wyrtzen, Associate Professor of Sociology, History, and International Affairs

At its height, the British Empire encompassed a quarter of the world’s surface and a fifth of its population. London, the imperial capital, constituted a hub of diplomacy, trade, transport, finance, and culture, becoming quite literally, the center from which global space and time were measured. This course will analyze the rise, dominance, and decline of this unprecedented global system of political rule, military activity, and economic and cultural interactions, by employing a two-pronged approach: 1) thinking about London through the lens of empire, and 2) thinking about the British Empire through the lens of London. The course will start with Britain’s expansion into the Atlantic world from the late sixteenth century and conclude with decolonization in the mid-twentieth century, considering the empire’s legacies in contemporary British life. Field trips explore and unpack sites where empire, and its memory, have been embedded into the fabric of London, from its built environment to monuments, archives, memorials, drink, foodways (i.e., from tea to tikka), and more.

Summer 2012 students discussing works in the Tate Britain, London; photo courtesy of YIL students

Past Courses

Each year new courses are added to the curriculum, and some courses may be repeated in later sessions. Syllabi are provided as links, when available, below. Here is a sample of recent Yale in London courses:

Chaucer and Medieval London (BRST 198)
Ardis Butterfield
Professor of English, Yale University

Medieval Biography (BRST 199)
Ardis Butterfield
Professor of English, Yale University

Modern British Drama (BRST 478b)
Dr. Sheila Fox
Freelance critic and BBC Producer

British Art and Landscape (BRST 177b)
Martin Postle, Deputy Director for Collections & Publications
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Politics and Society in Great Britain, 1688–1832 (BRST 322b) (pdf; 35 kb)
Dr. Leslie Mitchell
University College, Oxford (retired)

Americans Abroad (BRST 175b) (pdf; 44 kb)
Professor Susan Chambers
Department of English, Yale University

The London Stage (BRST 176b) (pdf; 64 kb)
Professor Susan Chambers
Department of English, Yale University

Society and Culture in London from Stow to Hogarth c. 1560–1760 (BRST 173c) (pdf; 220 kb)
Professor Keith Wrightson
Department of History, Yale University

William Morris: The Theory and Practice of Craft (BRST 497c) (pdf; 144 kb)
Professor Edward Cooke Jr.
Department of the History of Art, Yale University

Modernist London: Literature and the Arts (BRST 171c) (pdf; 72 kb)
Professor Pericles Lewis
Department of English, Yale University

London Theatre: The Contemporary Scene (BRST 180) (pdf; 118 kb)
Professor Paul Walsh
School of Drama, Yale University