Previous Visiting Faculty

Feel free to contact the professors listed below to learn about how you could benefit from spending a term in London! If you don't see your major represented below, contact the Off-Campus Programs Office at offcampusprograms@lawrence.edu to find out how your major applies to life in London!

Marcia Bjornerud - Fall 2004

Department: Geology

Why is London a great place to study for a Geology student?

Although there are no rock outcrops in London itself, the UK was the birthplace of modern geology, and the world's first professional geological organization, The Geological Society of London, has its headquarters in Piccadilly.  It as a fantastic library and hosts many public lectures throughout the year.  Also, the Natural History Museum in South Kensington has a fabulous collection of rocks, minerals and fossils, and entry is free everyday.

Which locations in and around London are ideal for a Geology student to explore?
In addition to those mentioned above, Down House in Bromley (Darwin's home);  The 'Jurassic Coast' of Dorset, especially Lyme Regis, where Mary Anning found the first plesiosaurs and many other swimming reptiles; the White Cliffs of Dover (Cretaceous chalk); Land's End in Cornwall

If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?
Walk and walk; all around Hyde Park;  through Hampstead HeathKew Gardens ; along the south bank of the Thames.  Really anywhere  - there is always something new to see and that will make you think differently about the world.

Garth Bond - Fall 2015

Garth Bond in front of Westminster AbbeyDepartment: English Literature 

Why is London a great place to study for an English Literature student?

In addition to the amazing literary history of London--and of Bloomsbury in particular - London offers some of the best bookstores and libraries in the world.  The British Library is open to all and has an unparalleled collection.  Their treasures of the library exhibition is unbelievable.

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for an English Literature student to explore?

The British Library has an amazing collection and exhibitions, but I would also want to go see a play at the Globe Theatre, rebuilt to recreate Shakespeare's original.  Walking tours are a fantastic way to learn about London's literary history, as many of them are organized around authors or literary themes.

If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?

Go support West Ham United football club.  Seriously, everyone should take in a game.  Then I would try to go to a play somewhere, since London is possibly the best theatre city in the world.  Oh, and I'd try to get to as many different restaurants as possible.  Could I make it a long weekend?

 

Beth and Bart de Stasio - Fall 2008

Beth DeStasio in DowneBeth deStasio Linneaus Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department: Biology/Science

Why is London a great place to study for a Biology/Science student?

(I would add pre-medical to the list of student types who should be interested in London).
First off, all students should want to broaden their experience of the world, regardless of their major or career plans.  London is cosmopolitan city itself and it is a great point of departure for explorations of the UK, Continental Europe, or North Africa.

Specifically for Science and Pre-Health students:
There is so much science and medical history on display in London.  One can track the cholera epidemic and the work of John Snow, see where Charles Darwin lived and worked outside of London, see where the idea of Natural Selection was first presented for peer review (the Linnean Society), and see where penicillin was discovered at St. Mary's Hospital.  There is something to be said for seeing for oneself where these historical events occurred.  St. Bart's Hospital also contains an interesting medical museum.  There is also a highly recommended Museum of the Mind.  Another must-see for pre-medical students is the Hunterian Museum (closed currently until 2021) at the Royal College of Surgeons, the Florence Nightengale Museum, the Old Operating Theatre and the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Physiology (also housed at the Royal College of Surgeons and closed until 2021 for renovations).  There are so many wonderful science museums!    

There is also the opportunity to see current science in an international context through internships and museums and to experience a socialized system of health care through internships.  Many students have compared US and UK health care as part of their senior experience projects after spending time at an internship in London.

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for a Biology / Science student to explore?

Travel to Cambridge to visit The Eagle and Child pub where Francis Crick first announced that he and Watson had solved the structure of DNA; there’s a newer plaque there also commemorating the contributions of Rosalind Franklin, whose data were used to build the DNA model.  In London, there is an institute in Crick's honor, The Francis Crick Institute, that continues scientific study and education.  There is also a bust of Franklin on at Newnham College, where she studied chemistry and where her letters are stored in the archive.

The Natural History Museum is AMAZING.  The collection of plesiosaurs discovered by Mary Anning are stunning and must be seen.  Her contribution to palaeontology is often overlooked, but is celebrated at the Natural History Museum.  Be sure to spend a good amount of time looking at the outside of the building; it is beautiful and full of wonderful gargoyle-like representations of the diversity of life. 

The Hunterian Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in medical care. Here you can see the entire human nervous system, the early surgical equipment of Lister (who figured out that equipment should be sterilized); Down House is a must-see for all biologists and it is a fun exercise in mass transit outside the city as well.  

The Wellcome Collection is quirky and cool.

Kew Gardens – an amazing botanical garden with Victorian glasshouses, a great treetop walkway, and The Hive  which allows one to experience life as a bee.

The Linnean Society – where Darwin and Wallace’s papers outlining Natural Selection were read to scientists of the day.  Also where most of Linnaeus’ collection of books and botanical specimens are housed (see attached photos).  Classes can make an appointment for a tour.

Ben Franklin’s home.

We used Brompton Cemetery in our course last time, to study human demography.

Greenwich – getting there by boat gets students on the Thames!

The Francis Crick InstituteRoyal Bethel Hospital/ Museum of the MindSt. Mary’s Hospital (Fleming’s discovery of penicillin), The Lake District (to discuss conservation biology), the Science MuseumMillenium Seed BankBorough MarketSpitalfields City FarmDown House: Darwin’s home, greenhouse, and garden.

Possible trip sites (need prior exploration): Upminster Tithe Barn and Agricultural Folk Museum, Museum of English Rural Life (in Reading), Garden Museum (Lambeth Palace), Hughenden Kitchen Garden (National Trust, near High Wycombe). River Thames: Field trips on-shore and on water to sample this central ecological habitat. Green Chain sites: Exemplar movement counteracting urban sprawl with mixed land use. Railway Fields Nature Reserve: How reclamation of a formerly developed area (e.g. railway good depot) can create an ecological oasis in the middle of a densely population location. Trust for Urban Ecology sites (e.g. Greenwich Penninsula, Stave Hill Ecological Park)  

If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?

Only a weekend????  Sigh.  First stop: Borough Market and the cheese shop/dairy nearby. I’d go to the Natural History Museum (personal favorite spot in London – particularly to see the outside of the building!) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (the latter because we spent too little time there).  I’d get some southern Indian food, see a theater production (great memories of everything we saw in London!), and walk and walk and walk.  If there was time and weather – Kew Gardens would be high on my list – want to see the new Hive!

Marty Finkler - Fall 2014

Marty Finkler and his class in the Olympic ParkDepartment: Economics

Why is London a great place to study for an Econ student?
London is a global financial center as well as a center for Fintech (financial technology.)  Historically, of course, it has transformed economically in many ways, and it will continue to do so post Brexit.

 

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for an Econ student to explore?

The Bank of England, Campus London (run by Google), the Crystal (for those interested in environmental sustainability), and  the Brunel Museum (and its director Robert Hulse).  In addition there are many events at LSE that students could attend and hear some very interesting presentations.


If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?
I would go to Greenwich and Hampstead Heath as well as the village of Hampstead.  It depends upon one’s interests.  There are many fascinating pubs including Blackfriar, the Mayflower,  the Queen's Head and Artichoke, and the Citie of York

 

Jake Frederick - Fall 2016

Jake Frederick on the top of St Pauls CathedralDepartment: History 

Why is London a great place to study for a History student?
London is a palimpsest. The city itself is layer of history over layer of history. You literally find roman ruins between a seventeenth century church and a twenty-first century sky-scraper. There isn't a street, building, or tube station that is untouched by history. And it's not all just incidental, waiting to be found by the curious. The history is recognized and highlighted across the city so that it's easy to find. But for the historian who wants to look further, there is an endless well of museums, libraries, and archives; the best in the world. I used to prepare for lectures in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and research at the British Library, and various archives. Because England became a colonial empire, there are few topics that can't be studied with the tools available in London.

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for a History student to explore?
 
History students should explore every square inch of London, then go back and do it again. But if I had to cut it down to a few places that a history student should see while they are there I'd say see the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London, the Museum of London Docklands, Kew Gardens, and then just walk around the center of the city, a lot. It's the old core of the city and it's known as the square mile. It's not that big, and a whole year there wouldn't give you half the time you need to see it all.
 
If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?

If I could spend a weekend in London I would eat at Kanada-Ya, where they have the greatest ramen I have ever eaten. I'd visit Dartmouth Street where all the old guitar shops are, including the one where the Rolling Stones recorded there first two albums. I'd spend an evening in the East End. I'd visit Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, eat at Tocino which is a restaurant built into the arch of an old bridge. I'd climb to the top of either The Monument or St. Paul's Cathedral, have a pint at Tapping the Admiral, have a pint at the George Inn, have a pint at The Atlas, then have a nap in the yard outside of St. Bartholomew the Great. I would also make sure to visit my friends at the Lawrence London Center, then I would take my return ticket home from London and set it on fire.

Bill Hixon - Fall 2017

Bill Hixon with Lord Aton and class as ParliamentDepartment: Government

Why is London a great place to study for a Government student?
 
Politics is on display and in the air all over London, from the well-known historical sites to contemporary forums for political discussion and demonstration, and even in the city’s layout, architecture, and art. 
 
London allows an up-close view of politics at many levels, from borough and city to national and international, as well as a wide range of policy issues and debates over big questions.
 
With some work and a little luck, students can not only watch but interact with participants and experts as well.

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for a Government student to explore?
 
Government students in London should definitely explore Parliament, from many angles.  Tour the outside of the building and area, including Whitehall where the major government offices are located, take a separate inside tour offered by Blue Badge Guides when Parliament is not in session, and come back during a session to attend a debate.  Take the chance at least once to get into a high-profile debate.  I got in to Prime Minister’s Question Time both times I tried.  Where else does one get to see a world leader face off against her opposition?
 
I’d also recommend attending a session of the London Assembly Mayor’s Question Time is accessible and would allow students to see one of the most visible, important mayors in the world in action.

The Churchill War Rooms at the Imperial War Museum is also an interesting place for Government students to explore.
 
 
If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?
 
...spend at least part of it in the neighborhood we stayed in.  Part of the joy of living in London for a term was getting to know our neighborhood.  I’d want another look at the iconic views – Westminster, Tower Bridge – and would divide my indoor time between the National Gallery and British Museum.  And there would have to be a pub dinner, with at least some time spent dreaming about my next visit to this fantastic city!

 

Rob Neilson - Fall 2012

Rob Neilson in Piccadilly CircusDepartment: Art

Why is London a great place to study for an Art student?

London, for centuries a leading center for arts and culture, has, since the late 1980's, become the world capital of contemporary art with a particular emphasis on sculpture, installation art, and public art. From the emergence of the New British Sculpture group (Anish Kapoor, Tony Craig, Richard Deacon, et al.) to the even more prominent 1990's artistic movement known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs: Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Rachel Whiteread, et al.) sculptural media has assumed the predominant role in contemporary British art. According to an editorial from the Daily Telegraph entitled Our Sculptors are National Treasures, “Sculpture is something that Britons do best. We are living through a golden age of British sculpture.” (Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2010)
My obvious bias towards sculpture and public art notwithstanding; London has more kinds of art from more eras of a higher quality per square kilometer (it’s like a mile only smaller; you’ll get the hang it once you’re there) than any other place on Earth.

Art and artists make the front page of the newspapers; they’re on the nightly news. The level and knowledge of London people… ask to your taxi driver about which artist should win this year’s Turner Prize and they will have a firm opinion.

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for an Art student to explore?
 
Have a walk through the Brompton Cemetery.
 
Do not miss the Fourth Plinth; I don’t know what’ll be there when you get to Trafalgar Square but I do know it’ll be worth the walk. And now that you’re standing in front of the National Gallery you should certainly check that out too.
 
British Museum (if for no other reason than it is literally the greatest museum in the world.) Make sure to visit the Print and Drawing Study Room (where you can ask them to pull out a drawing by Leonardo or Michelangelo for no other reason than you’d like to look at close up.)
 
Sir John Soane Museum near the Inns of Court – Ask to see Hogarth’s suite of paintings “A Rake’s Progress”: You’ll miss them if you’re not sure where to look.
 
Head east and visit Anish Kapoor’s monumental ArcelorMittal Orbit, Britain's largest piece of public art.
 
Walk around completely around St. Paul’s Cathedral and then make your way to the Millennium Bridge; cross the Thames and hit the Tate Modern; specifically, Turbine Hall for whatever world class contemporary installation is up at the time you visit.
 
Wander through Borough Market in all its colorful (in every sense of the word) glory.
 
There’s no reason to leave London --to paraphrase Samuel Johnson if you’re bored of London, you are bored of life-- BUT… if you have a great deal of time, ambition, and curiosity: Visit the world’s most under-rated world class city: Glasgow. Among other things, check out the Glasgow School of Art: This school has produced 25% of the nominees for the UK’s most prestigious art award, the Turner Prize.

If I could spend a weekend in London I would… ?
 
Have a cup of tea and then stroll through Hyde Park, stopping at Serpentine Gallery.
 
Go to the Victoria and Albert Museum to spend and few hours in the Cast Courts.
 
Visit the Fourth Plinth and say “Hi” to Nelson’s lions.
 
Gawp at St. Paul’s and then walk the Millennium Bridge, cross the Thames and visit the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
 
Visit the British Museum’s Print and Drawing Study Room (among other things).
 
Visit the world class galleries:
Saatchi Gallery
Whitechapel Gallery
Victoria Miro
Lisson Gallery (both locations)
White Cube
Hauser & Wirth
 
Knock on Rachel Whiteread’s studio door and introduce myself (I chickened out last time!)

Stroll through Camden Market.  Have a curry on Brick Lane. Have a pint of Real Ale.

Jerry Podair - Fall 2011

Department: History

London is a historian’s city. It’s not just the magnificent museums – the National Portrait Gallery, Imperial War Museum, British Museum, Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands, Victoria and Albert Museum, Churchill War Rooms, and many more. It’s not just the best bookstores in the world. It’s not just the Blue Plaques marking and honoring London’s past that appear around every corner. It’s that history suffuses London. It surrounds you everywhere you go. In London you inhabit the past as you live in the present.

Claudena Skran - Fall 2003

Claudena Skran Department: Government 

Why is London a great place to study for a Government student?

London is a great place to study for a student of government, because so many important political events happen there. Students can visit the Houses of Parliament and see one of the oldest democratic legislatures in the world in action.  They can meet with representatives of political parties and attend rallies, speeches and even demonstrations.  As London has an active civil society, students can also meet and observe the activities of human rights, environmental, and numerous other groups.  Students can also get involved in local communities and learn how their residents engage in political issues, especially around housing and land use.

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for a Government student to explore? 
My first stop would be the Westminster area, including the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.  Beyond that, I would definitely go to Buckingham Palace as this shows the importance of the monarchy in the British system, as well as some of the homes of the 'lesser' royals.  In terms of museums, I would head to the Imperial War Museum which has so much information about the military role that the UK has played in world history.
 
If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?

If I spent a weekend in London during spring term, I would spend most of the day walking through the lovely parks and flower gardens, and then perhaps have dinner outside at the Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe.  If I spent a weekend there during the winter months, I would go to the Victoria and Albert Museum during the day, perhaps visit Waterstones bookstore near Piccadilly Circus in the afternoon, and they try to get half price tickets for a show in the evening. 

Tim Spurgin- Fall 2009

Department:  English

Why do you think London is a great place to study for English majors?

If you love books — also theatre, music, and movies — then London is definitely the place for you.  Almost every night of the week, there’s a show or a reading to go to.  On other nights, there are all those museums and bookshops to visit.  No one is ever bored in London!  Teaching at the London Centre was a life-changing experience for me.  Studying there will be — I promise — a wonderful opportunity for you.

What locations in and around London are ideal for an English student to explore?

Tim Troy - Fall 2006

Tim Troy in front of the Theatre Royal HaymarketDepartment: Theatre Arts

Why is London a great place to study for a Theatre student?

There’s no better place on earth to see so much high-quality theatre in such a short period of time. Even better, the diverse and ever-changing slate of cultural offerings, will help bring context to your theatre outings by linking them so easily with museums, dance, film, and music offerings. The amazing thing about London theatre is how deeply they can cast each and every production – from the lead actor to the act II walk-on each role is thoroughly prepared and professionally rendered. Finally, London theatre makers put a high priority on bringing new plays to life. The commitment to new play development in London is the strongest English language world.

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Which locations in and around London are ideal for a Theatre student to explore? 

Spend time at The National where you can see a variety of limited-run, top-notch productions in three different theatres. And the student discounts are great. The Bush Theatre has a great tradition of bringing new plays from the UK’s best playwrights. Pay close attention to what’s happening at the Barbican. They bring productions from around the world you won’t see anywhere else, and the art museum there offers great exhibits so you see great visual art and great theatre on the same outing. Finally, my favorite ‘just outside of London’ theatre is The Orange Tree in Richmond – featuring a literary repertory and excellent actors in an intimate space.
 
If I could spend a weekend in London I would…. ?

 Find a way to fit in two shows, a new museum, and lunch somewhere fun in Camden Town.

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