Programme overview

Blockbuster History: Architecture, Artifacts, and World Class Heritage Sites

Spring 2015

The 15th offering of the English Cultural Landscape programme will take place during the spring semester of 2015.

The programme will consist of four courses taught by 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 these eight UNESCO World Heritage sites: Canterbury, the Tower of London, Greenwich, Stonehenge, Bath, Blenheim Palace, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Many 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 important to Newfoundland (and Canadian) history: 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. There will be six weeks of lectures in St. John’s prior to the departure for Harlow in late June. No classes will be held in the UK; rather, the time there is focused on three full-day field trips planned for most weeks. These field trips are the central component of the programme, and will enable students to examine firsthand the subject matter of the courses. 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.

Students will thus have four-day weekends where they can pursue their academic projects, as well as have the option to travel to easily accessible destinations such as Dublin, Paris, or Amsterdam.

All lectures will be recorded in Lecture Capture and available through the D2L website. Those students who are unable to attend class lectures before departure will be able to view these online whenever convenient. This means that anyone living anywhere can view the lectures online, and then meet us in London or Harlow for the six-week field component of the programme. Anyone can take part, those who are not Memorial students only need to apply to Memorial.

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 any academic unit may apply.

For further information contact Dr. Jerry Pocius at 864-8366 (office ED 4041), email