We are finalizing some exciting new features and courses for the program in Fall 2014. The following is the new curriculum: 

Program core courses: 

HIST 231: History of London: The Making of Modern London (2 cr.) 

Dr. Katy Layton-Jones 

Course Description: The course proceeds chronologically through the history of London, from its Roman foundations to the impact of the Blitz and the ‘Swinging Sixties’. Using an array of primary and secondary sources, ranging from diaries to court proceedings, maps, newspaper journalism and paintings, we will trace the physical, social, cultural and political evolution of this historic city and the people who have populated it. Although we will begin with the origins of London, we will focus on the modern era, particularly the long nineteenth century. This will provide you with the opportunity to locate and observe evidence of the city’s history in the buildings and streets that surround you today.

POL 295: Governing Britain and its Regions: The Politics of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (4 cr.)

Dr. Julianna C. E. Füzesi

Course Description: This course introduces students to the institutions and politics of the United Kingdom and its regions. We will seek to understand the historical processes that shaped UK politics, and establish the basic components of the Westminster system. Building on this we will delve deeply into the history and resurgent politics of its regions: Scotland, which is on the brink of a referendum for independence; Wales, which is finding new assertiveness towards London; and Northern Ireland, which still recovers from conflict through its ongoing Peace Process. In order to bring readings and theory alive we will visit some of London’s many relevant sites, among them the House of Commons, the offices of a Member of Parliament, the Royal Courts of Justice. We may even visit Scotland’s capital Edinburgh around the time of its historic vote for independence in October 2014. With Britain at such a crucial juncture there has rarely been a more exciting time to study British politics. This course has no prerequisites except your curiosity and desire to develop your critical thinking skills.

ENG/THE 275: The London Stage (4 cr.) 

Prof. Donna Vinter

Course Description: This course will explore professional British theatre in all its variety, taking advantage of the unrivalled richness and diversity of the London stage. At its heart will be careful consideration of productions in the current London repertory, with plays ranging from classical to contemporary, and venues including subsidized, commercial and fringe theatres. We’ll think about theatre as a live performance art taking place in real time and space and, in those terms, all the different ways that theatre can be theatre. Course work will also include reading a selection of the plays we see, so as to cultivate students’ facility in analyzing dramatic texts of different styles and genres as they present human beings in significant action. Finally, since drama holds the mirror up to nature, we’ll have the opportunity to discuss the larger social, moral and political themes with which the plays are concerned – windows onto contemporary Britain and the wider world.

(Fall 2015) ECN 295: London as a Global Economic Centre-before and after the Financial Crisis (4 cr.) 

Prof. Bill Ferguson

Course Description: For centuries London has served as a hub for innovation, international trade, and global finance as well as the location for a vibrant urban economy.  The 2008-10 financial crisis disrupted London’s economy, but it has recovered somewhat. This course will investigate how London operates as a large urban economy that also serves as a center for international trade and finance; how London’s economic dynamism has also generated enormous inequities in the distribution of income and wealth; and how the financial crisis affected all of these interactions. Using economic location theory, this class will investigate how London became such a vibrant economic hub of innovation, trade, and finance. With attention to distinctions by class, race, ethnicity, nationality, and immigration status, this class will investigate London’s contemporary disparities in income, wealth, and access to opportunity. With attention to all of these matters, this course will address changes in the London economy since the 2008-2010 financial crisis. To what degree has the London economy recovered, and to what degree has the crisis caused lasting damage?

(Fall 2015) MUS 201: Topics in Music and Culture: From Das land ohne Musik to the British Invasion (and Beyond) (4 cr.)

Prof. Eric McIntyre

Course Description: German critic Oscar Adolf Hermann Schmitz's 1914 essay, Das Land ohne Musik (The Land Without Music), was yet another stinging barb aimed at England's apparent deficit of "great" composers since the death of Henry Purcell in 1695.  Yet, by the middle of the twentieth century music by Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams, and Britten was being performed with great regularity around the world, and by the end of that century English popular musicians had taken rock and roll by storm.  Today London is often touted as the "world's greatest musical city."  In this course we examine the remarkable rise of British music in the twentieth century with a focus on how London's unique position as an international crossroads, center of economic, colonial, and political power, and locus of national identity led it to its current position as a major hub of and primary exporter of music for the world.

(Fall 2015) MUS 295: Special Topics: Music and the British Crown (4 cr.)

Prof. Eric McIntyre

Course Description: Henry V was a great lover of music and a composer in his own right. Queen Elizabeth was regarded as a virtuoso keyboardist credited with saving music from purges of the Reformation. Queen Elizabeth II was famously invited by John Lennon to "rattle your jewelry" rather than clap at a Beatles performance.  The Sex Pistols provided their own take on "God Save the Queen." And Elton John performed at the funeral of Princess Diana.  In this course we examine the rich history of the British monarchy and the ways musicians and musical ideals have reflected the shifting values and struggles of the nation itself.  Students will explore 600 years of British history through the ears of musicians and monarchs and examine the music with which they surrounded themselves (or chose to banish) and what that music reveals about their priorities and the state of the nation. 

(Fall 2014) REL 295 Living Indian Religions in London (4 cr.) 

Prof. Timothy Dobe 

Course Description: Many parts of today’s London resemble Islamic Pakistan, Sikh Punjab or Hindu India far more closely than they do postcard-ready icons of England such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace or St. Paul’s Cathedral. The course will explore the contemporary realities, histories and current issues that shape the “practice of everyday life” in these traditions, communities and urban sites. Using anthropological approaches grounded in building relationships with people in specific religious sites, the class will explore the ways studying religion “on-the-ground” can challenge dominant academic, cultural and political perspectives. Throughout the course we will leave the classroom in order to seek out and participate in the vibrancy—the tastes, sounds and sights—in and through which religion is lived and alive for so many thousands of London’s citizens.

(Fall 2014) GDS 295 Maintaining the Empire: Foreign Aid or Imperialism? (4 cr.) 

(Fall 2014) HUM 295 British Identity and Religious Diversity (4 cr.) 

Program tracks (all students choose only one): 

Internship (limited to 15 students): 
SST 195: The British Parliament (2 cr., limited to 3 students, paired with SST 300) 
SST 295: Understanding Work in the UK (2 cr., limited to 12 students, paired with SST 300) 
SST 300: Internship (4 cr., limited to 15 students, paired with SST 195 or SST 295) 

Course at Queen Mary, University of London: 
Students choose one 4 credit “module” (course) from the full range of academic departments at Queen Mary, University of London. Advising assistance will be provided by IES Abroad. Taking a course at Queen Mary avails a GIL student of all the student organizations and clubs at the London university with the most active student campus. This track presents a great opportunity to meet British students and learn about a different part of London --the East End-- at a British university well-regarded for the quality of its teaching. For some ideas on what you might take, consider our suggestions below. 

Grinnell-in-London courses may be used for major credit or for cognate credit toward a major in a number of departments - please contact your major adviser with any questions regarding major credit. As with any off-campus program, once you make a four-year plan with your adviser, you are likely to discover that your time off-campus can serve academic purposes other than earning credit toward your major.

Themed suggestions for courses ("modules") at Queen Mary

The following modules are suggestions for what to consider taking at Queen Mary. A complete directory of this year's modules can be browsed here. Students may register for any QM course for which they have sufficient background.

Students following the Queen Mary track are encouraged to build a list of about six possible modules. Final selection will be made in London in early September during registration at Queen Mary, with the assistance of IES Abroad London staff.

  1. Theatre, Film, & Opera

DRA234          Costume Drama: The Past Performed

DRA304          Culture, Performance and Globalisation

DRA201          Experimenters of the Twentieth Century

DRA307          Feeling It: Emotion and Sensation in the Theatre

DRA112           Languages of the Body

DRA109          London/Culture/Performance

FLM004         Auteurism: The European Tradition

FLM300          French Film after Auschwitz: Testimony, Memory, Mourning

FLM005          Introduction to British Cinema

HST5305         British Horror: Film, Television and Literature


  1. Environment, Development, & Sustainability

ECN370          Development Economics

ESH356          Literature and Ecology in the Postcolonial World

GEG4102        Environment, Nature and Society

GEG6101         Gender and Development

GEG6208       Geodiversity and Geoconservation

GEG4205        Global Environmental Issues

GEG5111A       Spaces of Uneven Development

GEG6111         The Politics of Development

POL244A        The International Politics of the Developing World I

POL245A        Theories of State, Economy and Society


  1. Gender & Sexuality

DRA112           Languages of the Body

ESH381           DH Lawrence: Controversy and Legacy

ESH389          Feminist Thought: History, Criticism and Theory

GEG6101         Gender and Development

HST5340        Gender and Politics in Britain since 1870

HST5332A      Victorian Values: Religion, Sex, Race and Deviance in Nineteenth Century Britain

HST5100         Women and Gender in Medieval Islam

LIN602           Sex, Gender and Language


  1. Peace & Conflict Studies

ESH256          Writing the First World War

FLM300          French Film after Auschwitz: Testimony, Memory, Mourning

HST5308        Disraeli, Democracy and Empire

HST4306A      The Road From 1945: Britain since the Second World War

POL322           Case Studies in Ethnic Conflict: Northern Ireland

POL351           European Politics: National Identity and Ethnicity

POL365           The Politics of the Post-Colonial Middle East

POL241A         War and Security in World Politics


  1. European Union & the Global Economy

ECN231           Economics of Social Issues

ECN367          Experimental Economics

ECN222          Financial Markets and Institutions

ECN102          World Economy

GEG6115         Cultures of Regulation: The Globalisation of Environmental Governance

GEG6108        Regional Economics and Policy

POL243A        British Politics

POL330A        European Integration and the European Union as a Political System


  1. History & Literature of Europe

ESH383          Fin De Siecle London

ESH314           James Joyce’s Ulysses

ESH315           Late Victorian Literature

ESH264          Terror, Transgression and Astonishment: the Gothic in the Long Nineteenth Century

ESH270           The Crisis of Culture: Literature and Politics 1918-1948

GEG6117         Victorian London: Economy, Society and Culture

HST4300        An Age of Revolution: Europe 1750-1820

HST5200        Architecture in London 1 1600-1837

HST5308        Disraeli, Democracy and Empire

HST5309        Early Modern Art in the Twentieth Centrury, 1900-1950

HST5330A      The Left in Western Europe since 1945

HST5332A      Victorian Values: Religion, Sex, Race and Deviance in Nineteenth Century Britain

COM401         The Romantic Experience in Europe (1800 - 1840)


  1. Science, Health, & Society

SBS726U         Aquatic Systems: Science, Policy and Management

SBC141           Brain and Behaviour

SBS118           Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics

ECN369          Health Economics

ESH356          Literature and Ecology in the Postcolonial World

GEG6115         Cultures of Regulation: The Globalisation of Environmental Governance

GEG4102        Environment, Nature and Society

HST5101          The Black Death

COM210          Madness, Past and Present

LIN602           Sex, Gender and Language

PHY116           From Newton to Einstein