For many, London represents crumpets and tea, palaces and the Queen, pubs and pints. But London is also about edgy art and architecture, international business and politics, and multicultural music and cuisine. The city is a rumbling mega-metropolis with all the complexities therein.
As such, Fordham University in London will be offering a series of virtual lectures and classes next semester that will reflect both traditional and contemporary aspects of the city, the U.K., and Europe, said Mark Simmons, interim head and director of academic affairs there. The offerings will be available to all full-time Fordham undergraduates.
“We will be creating an immersive experience, a multidisciplinary approach to what London is about today, one that ranges from subjects on gender and identity in modern Britain to a Bollywood take on Shakespeare to parallels of Brexit in U.S. politics,” he said.
The array of 3-credit courses includes several English courses that delve into the Romantics as well as the Modernists; a history course on 20th-century Europe; a political science course on European politics; and business courses on ethics, legal frameworks, and global investments, as well as a marketing class on global sustainability. There will be virtual tours of the city’s modern and contemporary architecture, and another tour that looks back at the Victorian era. Virtual internships will continue to be on offer next semester.
In addition, two learning series will give students a taste of what Fordham London has to offer.
A one-credit weekly seminar titled Britain Today will feature an ensemble Fordham London faculty on subjects that range from modern UK history and government, media’s role in the U.K., London’s arts and theater scene, the landscape of religion in today’s Britain, and London’s role as a world financial capital.
Simmons said that the seminar provides a sampling of courses on offer at Fordham London but would be interesting to others as well.
“For students who wanted to learn about London this would give you a flavor of British society,” said Simons.
The London Business Speaker Series is a certificate program curated by Meghann L. Drury-Grogan, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and media management at the Gabelli School of Business. The program will run weekly from Feb. 8, to be held every Thursday around lunchtime in New York. The series will tap into established Gabelli School partnerships, including the London offices of Ernst and Young, Bloomberg, and Accenture.
“The program will showcase the relationships we’ve been able to build here in London with various alumni and other established ties that will give students a global experience,” she said. “There will be a plethora of different perspectives that give students who can’t study abroad, for whatever the reason, a chance to learn about the U.K. Now that we have the opportunity of putting on these virtual events, we hope to continue this into the future.”
Geoff Snell, who teaches the architecture courses, said he plans to prerecord his tours during daylight hours and deliver the lectures live.
“When we had to go live this past spring we learned what worked and what didn’t work,” timing-wise, he said. “We want everyone to be engaged with the material.”
Snell’s course, like those in all the disciplines, includes a healthy dose of the contemporary juxtaposed with the modern. The skyscrapers of London’s business district, such as the Shard and the Walkie Talkie, are featured alongside St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Pancreas Station, and other Victorian masterpieces.
“We’ll be jumping from art deco to Christopher Wren to the Gherkin, all different styles, but like so much else in London, every architectural style has something to do with what went before,” he said.
Students should register for classes by Dec. 4; those who had applied to study abroad for the Spring 2021 semester have priority for registration.