This course will help you to learn more about London, Europe’s largest and most culturally diverse city. We will explore the history and development of the city from Roman times, through the Middle Ages and the Great Fire, the Blitz and the Swinging Sixties, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic games in 2012.
Our journey will take us from the financial centre of the City to the ethnically mixed East End, the traditional home of the Cockney, where successive waves of immigrants arrived. We will move on to the fashionable West End with its theatres, luxury department stores and fine restaurants. We will also stroll through London’s Parks and along the banks of Father Thames, call in at London’s world-famous museums, art galleries and well-known sights and historical monuments, as well as study some of the most recent buildings that ‘starchitects’ have designed for the city. Don’t worry, we won’t forget London’s sporting venues for football, rugby, tennis, cricket and horse racing. We will also look at the way London is portrayed in films, literature (short stories and poems), songs and paintings, both by Londoners and visitors from abroad.
You will be encouraged to draw comparisons with Paris (or other great cities) wherever possible and will make oral presentations in class on topics linked to London and famous Londoners. You will also be required to do reading and writing tasks, as well as internet-based research, at home and in class.