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London & Florence: Arts in Context

London, England & Florence, Italy

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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Zachary Peterson Racing to catch the next tube to Russell Square and dodging Italian drivers on the crowded streets of Florence are daily occurrences that ultimately turned into memories that will stick with me as I continue on my other journeys through life. Looking back, I'm not the same person I was before I left for London, now I'm even more eager to push the boundaries of my comfort zone, in search of unknown possibilities. This program provided me with an experience of a lifetime that in return gave me lifelong memories, new connections and opened my mind to the foreign and unknown. Spending a semester in Europe may not have been easy but I wouldn't give up the experiences I had for anything.

—Zachary Peterson, London & Florence, Spring 2015

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