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Cultures of London

30 Credits

This third year course studies literary representations of London from the Renaissance through to the present. It focuses primarily on Anglophone literature that is set in or reflects upon London, and which engages with issues of race, ethnicity and/or regional and national identity.

Cultures of London is envisaged as a counterpoint to the North American course, which is also taught in the third year; in the North American course, students are encouraged to think across the literature of a whole continent, while in the Cultures of London course they are encouraged to think and read much more locally, and to reflect upon the changing city around them.

Cultures of London is centrally about the relationship between place and literature: about how literature helps to form an idea of place through different time periods, how place in turn can determine, inspire, or condition the literary works produced in it; how context changes our reading of literary works; and how we might see London as what Benedict Anderson calls ‘an imagined community’.