As one of the Penn Summer Abroad centerpiece programs for over 30 years, the Penn-in-London Program offers students the opportunity to study literature, theater, art, and culture in of the most diverse and exciting urban centers in the world.
Students will elect two courses from those offered: The London Theatre Experience, The Cultures of Collecting, and Jane Austen.
All three courses involve field trips, attending world-class theatrical performances, and a variety of on-site, hands-on experiences. Each course also fulfills a gen ed and English major requirement.
General Eligibility Requirements
Penn Summer Abroad programs are available to undergraduate students at Penn or another accredited US institution. To take part in a Penn Summer Abroad program, all students, including Penn and visiting students, must complete an online application and maintain a strong academic standing.
Personal Conduct and Academic Integrity
In order to qualify to study abroad, you need to be in good academic standing at Penn. In addition, your disciplinary status may affect your eligibility to study abroad. You may not be eligible to study abroad if you currently stand charged or are charged prior to the beginning of your study abroad semester with a violation of a University regulation under the University of Pennsylvania's Code of Student Conduct or Code of Academic Integrity, or if there is a pending, current, or outstanding disciplinary matter (academic integrity or conduct). When the charge results in a warning or reprimand, the student may be eligible to study abroad pending a review of the situation. When the charge results in probation, suspension-not-imposed, suspension, or any sanction as serious as or more serious than probation, students are not eligible to study abroad during the period of the sanction.
Students who have received a sanction of probation or suspension-not-imposed may be eligible to study abroad during a future semester after the expiration date of the sanction. However, students must provide confirmation from the Office of Student Conduct that the terms and conditions of their sanction have been met before receiving Penn Abroad approval to study abroad. If there are new charges during the period of the sanction, approval to study abroad may be rescinded.
All students register for a total of two course units (c.u.)*. Course offerings are subject to change. Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit the required pre-departure documents.
The Cultures of Collecting
- Taught by Whitney Trettien
- Fulfills requirements: Sector 4 of the College’s General Requirement: Humanities and Social Sciences; Sectors 1 and 6 of the English Major
In this course, we’ll examine the chaos of memories contained in London’s extraordinary libraries. We’ll begin with the British Library, the largest national library in the world and the fount from which much literary research today springs. Working directly with early printed books and literary manuscripts, we’ll explore the Library’s rare treasures and learn how its staff use the latest technologies to make these important books accessible to a new generation of readers. At the same time, we’ll turn a critical, historical eye on the British Library as an institution, tracing its origins back to eighteenth-century imperialism and linguistic nationalism. How have the institution’s Enlightenment values shaped what “counts” as literature? Who decides what texts are saved and read? With this history in hand, we’ll consider counter-archives where individuals have, over the centuries, saved what otherwise would have been lost. Roaming the back alleys of London, we’ll visit small zine libraries and collections of political ephemera, taking a different view on the chaos of memories. Throughout our discussions and site visits, we’ll keep an eye on the ethics of collecting and the passions that drive it. Students will collaborate on producing their own digital collection and through that process gain experience in planning, implementing, and coding a digital humanities project.
At once acutely aware of popular culture and a product of it, Jane Austen read and wrote in popular forms, from epistolary fiction to Gothic horror to realism to raucous satire to popular theater. We'll survey her in most if not all of these guises, reading five of Austen's works during our time in London, including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. On the way, we'll pay special attention to Austen's achievement as an innovator within the larger history of the novel. To that end, we'll focus on her experiments with form, voice, genre and geography—particularly the relationship between country and city and the role that specific parts of London play in her novels. Among our activities outside the classroom will be (weather permitting) to Chawton House in Hampshire, where Austen wrote most of her fiction.
The London Theatre Experience
ENGL 103 (1 c.u.)
- Fulfills requirements: Sector 3 of the College’s General Requirement: Arts and Letters; Sector 6 of the English Major
London is one of the most exciting theater centers in the world, and the focus of this course will be on live performance. We will attend theatrical productions 2-3 times a week, seeing a wide range of plays produced by companies such as the Royal National, the Royal Court, and the Royal Shakespeare, and staged in spaces such as those as well as in the West End (London's equivalent of Broadway) and in Fringe Theaters (what would be off-Broadway in New York City). Every Thursday we will be joined by Times theatre critic Samantha Marlowe, who will lead those sessions and share her knowledge as a theatre critic and practitioner. Tickets will be arranged in advance. Readings for the class will consist of responses to plays and productions. The class may also participate in field trips to other sites of theatrical interest, such as the Royal National Theatre and the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Penn-in-London organizes a number of group excursions and tours throughout the program to the following locations*
The British Museum
London City Walks
Bath and the Bath Theatre
The Black Cultural Archives
The Feminist Library
The John Soane Museum
Various London theatres
The National Portrait Gallery
The East End Women's Museum
*locations subject to change
Students are housed in a private student residence in London.
Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.
Tuition and fees for 2020 will be posted in Spring 2020. Please use 2019 costs listed below as general estimates only.
- Tuition for summer 2019: $8,784
- Program Fee for summer 2019: $2,800
Includes accommodation with theatre tickets, cultural activities organized by the program, and administrative costs.
For more details about Penn-in-London please visit our website
or attend one of our info sessions:
Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 3:00pm location TBA
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 5:00pm location TBA
Monday, January 20, 2020 at 5:00pm location TBA