UPEI and MUN students spending fall semester studying in England
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.
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.