UPEI and MUN stu­dents spending fall se­mes­ter study­ing in Eng­land

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - Features/community -

Seven­teen stu­dents from the Uni­ver­sity of Prince Ed­ward Is­land and seven from the Memo­rial Uni­ver­sity of New­found­land are spending the fall se­mes­ter ex­plor­ing in­ter­sec­tions be­tween lit­er­a­ture, art and re­li­gious thought at MUN’s cam­pus in Har­low, Eng­land.

En­ti­tled Faith, Love and Lore: Lit­er­a­ture, Art and Re­li­gion in Eng­land, this in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­gram is a co-op­er­a­tive ef­fort be­tween MUN and UPEI. The pro­gram is be­ing taught by Dr. Cather­ine Innes-Parker, pro­fes­sor of English at UPEI, and Dr. Kim Ian Parker, pro­fes­sor of re­li­gious stud­ies at MUN.

“ This pro­gram grew out of our ex­pe­ri­ence of cre­at­ing an in­ter-cam­pus learn­ing com­mu­nity through teach­ing a linked course to­gether,” says Innes-Parker. “In Eng­land, the stu­dents will take four tightly in­te­grated cour­ses organized around weekly themes and aug­mented by field trips. It is more than just a set of cour­ses: it is a learn­ing com­mu­nity and a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The four cour­ses fo­cus on the themes of lit­er­a­ture, art and re­li­gion, and the links be­tween them. One course fo­cuses on English lit­er­a­ture from the me­dieval pe­riod, and a sec­ond ex­plores women’s de­vo­tional writ­ing in Eng­land.

A third course ex­am­ines the re­la­tion­ship be­tween re­li­gion and the arts, while the fourth fo­cuses more specif­i­cally on the in­flu­ence of the Bi­ble on west­ern cul­ture and par­tic­u­larly English lit­er­a­ture. The stu­dents will re­ceive cred­its for all four cour­ses.

To com­ple­ment their course work, stu­dents will take two field trips each week to his­tor­i­cal sites, in­clud­ing Sut­ton Hoo, the site of an An­glo-Saxon ship burial; Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral, the site of Thomas Becket’s shrine and the des­ti­na­tion of Chaucer’s pil­grims; Nor­wich Cathe­dral and the shrine of mys­tic Ju­lian of Nor­wich; Ely Cathe­dral, fa­mous for its oc­tag­o­nal tower; and Cam­bridge, home of King’s Col­lege Chapel and Choir.

They will also travel to Lon­don to visit the Bri­tish Mu­seum, the Bri­tish Li­brary, the Na­tional Gallery, and the Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum.

Gavin War­ren, a fourth- year English stu­dent, ac­tu­ally grew up in Bournemouth, Eng­land. He trav­elled around the south of Eng­land with his fam­ily on hol­i­days. But af­ter hav­ing ex­plored many ar­eas of the world, in­clud­ing Canada, he re­al­ized that he did not know much about his home coun­try.

“ This pro­gram will help me to con­nect what I have learned about English lit­er­a­ture at UPEI to my own life.”

Fourth-year English stu­dent Alyssa Gau­thier, of New Glasgow, P.E.I., and fifth-year stu­dent Jen­nifer Tasker, of Brack­ley Beach, are looking for­ward to putting the great works of lit­er­a­ture and art they have stud­ied at UPEI in the con­text of the land­scape and his­tory that in­flu­enced their creators.

The stu­dents are keep­ing weekly read­ing logs and jour­nals, record­ing their re­ac­tions to the sites vis­ited and in­te­grat­ing field trips with ma­te­ri­als cov­ered in their cour­ses. And they are post­ing blogs about their ex­pe­ri­ence at har­low09.up­eiblogs.ca. They are in Har­low un­til Dec. 3.

Sub­mit­ted photo

UPEI stu­dents Jen­nifer Tasker, Gavin War­ren and Alyssa Gau­thier and English pro­fes­sor Dr. Cather­ine Innes-Parker, are ex­cited about spending the fall se­mes­ter in Har­low, Eng­land, where they are tak­ing part in a three-month in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary study pro­gram called Faith, Love and Lore: Lit­er­a­ture, Art and Re­li­gion in Eng­land. The pro­gram is a co-op­er­a­tive ef­fort be­tween Memo­rial Uni­ver­sity and UPEI.

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