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Memorial University Will Offer an English Cultural Landscape Field School in Spring 2015

Tuesday, August 19, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Associate Administrator
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The 15th offering of Memorial University’s English Cultural Landscape field school programme will take place during the spring semester of 2015, with a series of field trips based at Memorial’s campus in Harlow, Essex, halfway between London and Cambridge.

The programme will consist of four courses taught by Dr. Jerry Pocius of the Department of Folklore and an instructor from the Department of Archaeology. Two courses will deal with architecture in all its forms, from the castles and mansion estates of the wealthy to the ordinary vernacular housing of the urban and rural poor. One course will examine English material culture, including ceramics, furniture, glass, and other household items. The fourth course will examine how English heritage and culture has been put on display in museums and historic sites, and how the interpretation of English heritage has changed over the years.

Within this overall framework, the 2015 offering will be focusing on exceptional heritage venues, including UNESCO's World Heritage Sites located in southern England. Field trips will include eight UNESCO World Heritage sites: Canterbury, the Tower of London, Greenwich, Stonehenge, Bath, Blenheim Palace, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Besides these, other outstanding heritage sites will be visited: Roman Verulamium; St. Albans and Ely Cathedrals; the mediaeval timber-frame architecture in Lavenham; Hampton Court (including its living history program); the first conservation area in the UK (the town of Stamford); 17th and 18th urban townhouses; specialized museums with collections ranging from stained glass and local history to antiquarian curiosities. Finally, a two-day trip to the Continent will visit the World War I battlefields of Beaumont Hamel, Vimy, and Ypres.

There are two components to the courses: classroom work before the UK trip and six-weeks of field trips based at Harlow. The first part of the semester consists of six weeks of daily lectures at Memorial’s St. John’s campus. However, these lectures will also be available online, and thus the programme is open to students anywhere. Those students from outside the St. John’s, Newfoundland, area can join the group in London or at Harlow.

Field trips are the central component of the programme and will enable students to examine firsthand the subject matter of the courses. Participants will depart for the UK around June 29th. Students will maintain a field book in which they will record things seen and reactions to the observed material world, as well as complete a field project as part of their course work.

The English Cultural Landscape Programme provides a unique opportunity to understand English culture as it is reflected in the material world of the past and present. There are no prerequisites and students from anywhere with any background can apply. These courses are regular Memorial University courses open to anyone, so those students from elsewhere would first apply to Memorial University for student status.

For further information contact Dr. Jerry Pocius at 709-864-8366, email, or visit the English Cultural Landscape website at:

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