The London & Lake District Field School will focus on the explosion of literary and visual culture that was centered in the British capital and that also emerged in the English Lake District during the Romantic period, from the late 18th to the early 19th century. The Field Work courses will be multidisciplinary, allowing students to engage both critically and creatively with the literature and art, cultural and natural spaces we will be visiting in Vancouver, London, and the Lake District. The Field School will organize excursions to museums, galleries, buildings, monuments, libraries, and other public spaces, and will liaise with international institutions including the Vancouver Art Gallery, British Museum, National Gallery, and the Wordsworth Trust, to provide custom-designed workshops to facilitate direct engagement with historical artifacts. Most of our time in Vancouver will spent in lectures and discussions to prepare us for the extensive excursions and touring we will be doing in London and the Lake District.
The program consists of three four-unit courses, totalling 12 SFU units. All instruction will be in English.
ENGL 379: Colonial Romanticism: Canada and the British Romantic Imagination (1780-1832)
This course will enable students to compare the spaces and literature of Canada (particularly the Pacific Northwest) with our two field school destinations in England, London and the Lake District, as we explore colonial Canada's place, historically and imaginatively, in the literature of the British Romantic Period (1770-1830). We will read journals of explorers; tracts by Canadian abolitionists; feminist accounts of settlement, human displacement, and immigration; and legends and memoirs about the ongoing impact of colonization on indigenous people. Our readings will situate Canada within a global historical context, as we study Canadian texts alongside the works of major British authors, including Jane Austen, Anna Barbauld, William Blake, Lord Byron, S. T. Coleridge, Sir Walter, Scott, Mary Shelley, and William Wordsworth. We will visit sites in Vancouver and London that allow us to understand how the literature of the Romantic period was shaped by colonial encounters in Canada; and how London continued to influence the imaginations of colonial writers, and construction of colonial places. We will be using opportunities presented by our month-long residences, first in Vancouver and then in London, to engage in an intense comparative study of these cites, currently and historically.
This course has been awarded a FASS Canada 150 award, which will support a series of seven lectures by leading experts on the course's topics in both Vancouver and London, and some admission and excursion costs. The award will also enable students to plan and execute a physical exhibit of materials, at both SFU Special Collections and at the Wordsworth Trust. Students will participate in a digital curation of exhibits and student work, drawn from all three Field School courses, also supported by funds from the FASS Canada 150 commemorative initiative.
ENGL 377: Field School I: The Wordsworth Circle and the English Lake District
Grasmere, our base in the Lake District for two weeks, was the home of the Wordsworths until 1813: it was there that Wordsworth wrote his most famous poems, revolutionizing poetry with his "experiments" in language, his devotion to the natural world, and his sympathetic representations of those displaced by economic and political upheavals. But Wordsworth did not live and write alone - his most famous collaborator was S.T. Coleridge, also one of Britain's most beloved poets, and he worked closely with his sister, Dorothy, and wife, Mary, who were themselves writers. We will be staying in Grasmere, just a short walk from Dove Cottage, the Wordsworths' residence (now a museum and research centre containing the world's largest collection of the Wordsworths' manuscripts and rare printed materials, and art of the Lake District). This proximity to Dove Cottage, as well as to the surpassing beauty of the surrounding lakes and mountains, will afford students an unparallelled opportunity for an intensive study of the lives and writing of the Wordsworths and their circle in the environment that inspired them.
Students will complete the readings of the major works of William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth and S.T. Coleridge at SFU, where they will enjoy access to (and conduct preliminary research on) the print editions of Wordsworth held in Special Collection, and the manuscripts which have been digitized and are available via a SFU library database. This research will allow us to make the most of our two weeks in Grasmere. SFU's partnership with the Wordsworth Trust will enable multiple hands-on sessions in the Wordsworth library led by the curator of the Trust. Our main projects for the course will be to transcribe and research a manuscript and/or rare books and to work collaboratively on an exhibition of materials from the library that relate to our projects. One of the highlights of this close association with the Trust will be a private evening spent in Dove Cottage, where students will be served dinner based on the Wordsworths' own recipes.
FPA 308: Contemporary Arts Field School I (Theory/History): Visual and Material Culture of Romantic-Era Britain
This course is designed to develop students' knowledge of and interest in the history of art and culture in Britain during the Romantic Era. Its purpose is two-fold: to introduce students to the changing ways that histories have been written about the period and to do that historical thinking in relation to the formal, material characteristics of works of art (maritime views, landscapes, gardens, portraits) and visual culture (satirical prints, maps, guidebooks, panoramas) that can be examined first-hand in London. It will cover the traditional issues such as the French Revolution, industrialization, literacy, nationalism, empire, religion, science and technology, and more contentious areas such as the senses, gender, slavery, Orientalism, the environment, visual culture, spatiality and temporality, museum collections, and globalization. Readings in key theoretical and critical texts will be paired with particular works of art or visual culture held in London's public museum and library collections, including the National Gallery of Art, Sir John Soane's Museum, the British Museum, the British Library, Kenwood House, Victoria and Albert Museum and Library, The National Portrait Gallery, the Maritime Museum, and Tate Britain. Through readings combined with the close study of a wide range of visual forms, this course seeks to explore the ways that images shaped understandings of the world during the Romantic Period.
March 4, Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session
May 8 - 31, Sessions in SFU (Burnaby/Vancouver)
June 4 - July 3, Study in London
July 3 - 14, Study in Lake District
July 15, End of Program
These dates are provided as guidelines and are subject to change.