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London & Florence: Arts in Context

London, England & Florence, Italy
In association with the Beloit College Florence Program

Art Historian Andrew Kennedy Joins ACM Program Staff in London

Published: January 13, 2012

Featured in ACM Notes

Dr. Andrew Kennedy, an art historian with nearly two decades of teaching experience, has joined the staff of the London & Florence: Arts in Context program as Instructor of the "London as Visual Text" course.

The spring semester program uses those two great cities as "texts" to give students an interdisciplinary view of the arts and history in Europe. Participants study for seven weeks in each city, with a one-week break between the two segments for independent travel.

Kennedy received both his PhD and MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London, and also holds a BA in English literature from the University of York. He has taught a variety of courses in art, history, and visual culture – including classes for college students from the U.S. – at Kingston University, the University of East London, the American Institute for Foreign Studies, and elsewhere.

Andrew Kennedy

Andrew Kennedy

"In Dr. Kennedy, we have found a worthy successor to Sarah Cochrane, who taught the course on 'London as Visual Text' so splendidly for the past 15 years," said Carol Dickerman, ACM Director of International Study Programs. "So we bid farewell to Sarah, who wishes to devote more time to her scholarly interests, knowing that our students will continue to enjoy an insightful introduction to London’s art and architecture."

One of two courses students take during the London portion of the program, "London as Visual Text" looks at the city across the sweep of its history, from Roman and medieval times to the present. In keeping with the program's "place-based" curriculum, Kennedy and the students will frequently be out and about in the city, holding classes on site.

According to Kennedy, the course "will look at stories about the city told via buildings, public spaces, sculpture, paintings, maps, documents, and institutions such as museums and city government. We focus not only on historical 'facts,' but on how narratives of London's history are continually reshaped in the light of economic, political and cultural change. We will see how history is never simply about a 'dead' past, but is always about the stories we tell ourselves now."

The Visiting Faculty Director in London this semester is Dr. Natania Rosenfeld, Professor of English at Knox College. She will teach "Immigrant, Hidden, and Sinister London: Theatrical and Literary Representations," a course focusing on ways that London's geography, sociology, and politics have been portrayed in English theatre and literature.

The ACM program in London is located in Earls Court, a vibrant and multicultural neighborhood adjacent to the Tube stop of the same name. Students on the program live in apartments on two floors of a house, with the primary classroom, a library, and some computer facilities housed in a small building on the same property. The academic program emphasizes using the resources of the city, so students attend numerous plays and will visit museums, churches, public buildings, and neighborhoods across London.

 

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Grace Donahue I chose to be a part of the ACM London & Florence program because it was the farthest out of my comfort zone I ever could have gone. Living in a flat in an enormous city, navigating the public transportation, going to the theatre multiple times a week, learning the history of London, learning Italian, taking a drawing class, living with an Italian host family, and exploring the Renaissance of Florence first hand were all things I had never done before, as I imagine is true for many. These experiences were some of the most invaluable of my life thus far, as well as eye-opening, thought provoking, and enjoyable. The experiences I didn't anticipate and that aren't listed in the manual - making some of the closest friends I will ever have, falling in love with two of the most beautiful cities in the world, and finding myself in a program so far from what I knew - are the experiences that made the London & Florence program one I will never forget, and one I highly recommend.

—Grace Donahue, London & Florence, Spring 2013

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