Living With History: History, Culture, and Contemporary Life in England
Great Britain is saturated in history. At the same time, it is a modern country, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and member of the G-7 group of the world’s leading economic powers.
If you are looking for a short study abroad program in England, than our summer course is perfect for you. This three-week program and four credit, 300-level course provides an overview of British history through classwork and fieldwork in the country’s capital of London as well as ancient city of Exeter. Over the course of the program, you will discuss how the contemporary lifestyle continues to be affected by the shadow of an ancient past visible through the buildings and surrounding culture.
In this program, you will conduct research by discussing with Exonians, city officials and visitors of the cities. You will ask these individuals how history has influenced their lives. Furthermore, you will see a rare original copy of the famous Domesday Book (1086) and find out why new construction is always affected by history.
During the Course You will Meet:
Michael Jecks, Author
As part of the course, you will read one book from a series of historical crime novels by Michael Jecks based in medieval Exeter. His series, The Knights Templar Mysteries, currently consists of 32 titles. He is also the author of short stories, a novel of the battle of Crécy in 1346 and most recently (2014) a spy novel set in modern times. Mike will discuss his passion for medieval history, Devon, and how his understanding of history has influenced his (very successful) career. This talk will be supported by your reading of his novel, partaking in the Medieval Exeter tour and observation of the historical remains of medieval Exeter.
Ben Bradshaw, Exeter Member of Parliament
Ben Bradshaw was first elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Exeter in 1997. Prior to his election, he worked as a journalist. Later, he served as a minister in the government, member of the Prime Minister’s ruling cabinet and as Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. Ben will share what it means to be an MP in the 21st century and how representing Exeter has changed in the almost 800 years since the city first sent a member to Parliament in 1295.
For at least 20 years, a group of dedicated volunteers have developed and run small-group historic tours of Exeter. The tours are free, as the guides are all volunteers. Why do they do it? You will have the opportunity to hear an answer to that question and discuss the historical importance the guides still see in their city today.
Very Reverend Dr. Jonathan Draper, The Dean of Exeter Cathedral
The first Dean of the Cathedral was appointed by the bishop of Exeter in 1225. The dean is the person in charge of the Exeter Cathedral. The position’s various job responsibilities range from spiritual duties to effectively serving as the CEO of several hundred people. Appointed to the position in 2012 by the Queen, Dr. Draper will tell you what challenges he faces as Dean of the Cathedral and why he considers it the best job in the world!
The first known mayor of Exeter was elected in 1207. As a BCA student, you will meet both the immediate past Lord Mayor and the brand new Lord Mayor. Each year, a new Lord Mayor is chosen immediately before elections in May. You will meet them in the Exeter Guildhall, most likely in the mayor’s parlor. The guildhall is the oldest continuously used public building in England. Since 1000 AD, the on-site buildings have been used to govern the city. The current building dates from the 14th century with later improvements. Meanwhile, the ornate front door dates back to 1593.