Penn State Altoona May 2023 London Calling Dashboard





ENGLISH 299, 499 or HISTORY 199


Drs. Laura Rotunno & Douglas Page                   



"By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show."


"You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

—Samuel Johnson


After this immersion in London, you may, very well, echo Johnson's sentiments. This course lets you, at the very least, test his ideas, because this Study Abroad experience will provide you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and understanding of British literature, history, and culture through visiting key sites in the Greater London area. That is, a goal is to aid in your recognition of and ability to critically discuss the interrelationships between and cultural significance of British historical events, not just for Britain but for the rest of the world.

Designed to supplement and complement the readings and discussions undertaken in English 225N (WMNST 225N), 403, or 452 OR History 066 or 103, the course will explore different aspects of British historical and literary culture, ranging from the architectural to the intellectual. During the 1-credit spring course, we will do much in terms of practical preparation for the trip; however, beyond that, we will also challenge you to consider your goals in this travel and preparing you to be travelers who are curious about the sustainability efforts, efficiencies, and inefficiencies of the sites. While there will be numerous sites that will show us environmental sustainability efforts at work or needed, we’ll also be explore sites that will help us think about sustainability in terms of the sustainability of cities and communities (two of the UN Developmental Goals). Further goals for the summer/trip portion of this course include: 1) Undertaking international travel as a respectable representative of the U.S. and Penn State Altoona as well as a curious student of British history and culture; 2) Engaging elements of a familiar, yet foreign culture in a hands-on fashion; 3) Evaluating materials you have read in your prerequisite course(s) in respect to experiencing the sites, pieces of art, etc. that you will see in London; 4) Exercising your research, presentation, and writing skills.

Galleries, Timelines, and Maps

There is no content in this group.

Individual Entries

Chronology Entry
Posted by Noah Meckes on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:50
Posted by Margaret Wetzel on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:50

Russell Square was established in 1801 by Francis Russell, the fifth Duke of Bedford. It was the centerpiece of Russell’s development plan for Bloomsbury to increase economic activity. This plan was extremely successful. Russell Square was the largest square in London at the time, and one of the most desirable places to live in. Russell Square quickly became home to the highest of society...

Posted by Noah Meckes on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:50

The location of the new Barracks in Knightsbridge constructed in the 1790s were found on the south end of Hyde Park, as a way to keep the troops in the city and isolate them from any revolutionary influences. 

Chronology Entry
Posted by Noah Meckes on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:33
Posted by Noah Meckes on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:32

This is the site of Harrods in Knightsbridge. This iconic and influential department store has been located here ever since its founding in 1849. It is located right in the heart of Knightsbridge, surrounded by many other luxury stores because of the reputation that Harrods has defined for Knightsbridge as an affluent and wealthy district of London. 

Posted by Allison Schroeder on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:11

: London Astoria was situated at 157 Charing Cross Rd, London, which was and is a busier city area of London. The venue would see 2,000 spill out onto the streets after a show had finished, flooding the already bustling city with people. 

Astoria was originally a Crosse and Blackwell Warehouse for their food products, and was rebuilt as a movie theater in the 1920’s. 

Astoria 2, which was smaller, was practically next door to Astoria at ...

Chronology Entry
Posted by Allison Schroeder on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:10
Posted by Allison Schroeder on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:04

 The London Beer Flood occurred in St. Giles rookery, a poor neighborhood that is now part of the Borough of Camden. This part of St. Giles was a particularly poor area of Camden, where the effects of this event would have a grave financial impact. It was described as being on the verge of collapse, socially and economically, so the flood had a great impact on the people living here.

The Brewery itself, which covered around 103,000 square feet, stood at the intersection of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. Today there is a London Underground Tube Station at this junction (one which is close to our hotel and will be taking!).

Despite this event having a grave financial impact on the company, it continued to be one of the largest producers of beer in London during the nineteenth...

Chronology Entry
Posted by Allison Schroeder on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 11:02
Posted by Allison Schroeder on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 10:57

The Kenwood house sits in Hampstead, London north of the Hampstead Heath, an area of park land. Due to its stately nature, it sits in a more rural part of London, which was likely the appeal to the Earl of Mansfeild, who bought the estate. 

While it was built before the 1700’s, it was acquired by the Earl of Mansfieldin 1754, not before going through several other owners. The house would be passed down to the 6th Earl of Mansfieldbefore being donated to the public and opened as an Art Center. 

Its location made it possible for the estates' orangery, which would need a large and rural space to accommodate its gardens. The whole estate, including the house itself, and the surrounding land accommodates 112 acres, all which can be explored today through the English Heritage Center. This includes the house itself, but also its extensive art collection and the...