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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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Artie Foster My choice to participate in the ACM London & Florence program was not merely one of the best choices of my college career, but of my entire life. Even though I had been planning on studying abroad since I was in high school, nothing could have prepared me for the excitement, challenges, and rewards this trip would provide to me. Whether the day’s itinerary involved a walking tour of one of Florence’s many historical sites, a trip across the English countryside, or even something as simple as free time to wander on your own, I can honestly say not a day was wasted during my four-month long stay. The cities were beautiful, the people accommodating, the history rich, and the adventures abundant. And don’t even get me started on the food – I don’t want to make anyone jealous, but I’ll never look at an Olive Garden the same way again. However, it wasn’t just the trip itself, but the company you keep that really defines your experience. The 20 students on my trip, though we come from different backgrounds, homes, and social circles, came to love one another like family (whether we liked it or not). It feels as though I could praise the London & Florence program endlessly, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll leave it at this: simply put, it doesn’t get better than this trip.

—Artie Foster, London & Florence, Spring 2013

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