London, England

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London, England

This program offers students the opportunity to study literature, theatre, art and culture in one of the most diverse urban centers of the world. Students elect two courses from the four offered:

  • The London Theatre Experience
  • Shakespeare: His Life, Art and Times
  • Bodies, Art and Performance: Representing Race, Gender and Sexuality
  • London Fictions

There are a number of excursions during our five weeks, and all students are provided with tickets to all theatre performances whether they elect the Penn Theatre course or not.

Penn-in-London is no longer accepting applications for 2018

Early admission deadline: Monday, January 15, 2018
Rolling admissions continue until the program reaches capacity
Final application deadline: Friday, April 18, 2018


Join us for an information session to learn more about the program:

  • Tuesday, January 16 at 5 p.m. in Fisher Bennett Hall, Room 135
  • Tuesday, January 30 at 5 p.m. in Fisher Bennett Hall, Room 135
Saturday, June 16, 2018 Students must arrive in London
Saturday, June 16, 2018 Program housing first available
Saturday, June 16, 2018 On-site orientation
Monday, June 18, 2018 Classes start
Thursday, July 19, 2018 Classes end
Saturday, July 21, 2018 Program housing last checkout date

Additional events and tours (dates to be confirmed)

  • British Museum
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • East End Women’s Museum
  • Black Cultural Archives
  • National Gallery
  • London City Walks
  • Trip to Bath
  • Trip to Isle of Dogs
  • London Theatre

All students register for a total of two course units (c.u.)*. Course offerings are subject to change. Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit the required pre-departure documents.

The London Theatre Experience

ENGL 068 / THAR 068 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Dr. James F. Schlatter
  • Fulfills requirements: Humanities Elective, English and Theatre Arts Major or Minor Elective, Sector 6 of the English Major

In this course, students attend theatre productions performed across the City of London in major venues such as the National Theatre and the West End as well as intimate spaces often located above pubs. Students have the opportunity to see a full range of productions, from the Classics to modern theatre and brand-new work by international playwrights. The focus of the course is a lively roundtable discussion of all aspects of theatre performance including the script, director, actors, designers, actor/audience space and ideas. Students also write thoughtful responses to their experience of each performance they see.

Note: Tickets and tours are arranged in advance; costs are covered by program fee.

Shakespeare: His Life, Art and Times

ENGL 236 / THAR 236 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Dr. James F. Schlatter
  • Fulfills requirements: Sector 3 of the English Major

In this course, we investigate the work of William Shakespeare within the context of the converging forces—political, cultural, religious and theatrical—that shaped one of the most exciting and transformative moments in theatrical and world history. Dive into the history of London in the 16th and early 17th century as the city became a stage for the contending factions of the Monarchy, the Church, as well as London civic life and government. This course uses the restored Globe Theater as a central research site to examine the live performance event at the time and how the daily lives of playwrights, actors, theatre companies and audiences, together, made such a dynamic space possible.

Bodies, Art and Performance: Representing Race, Gender, and Sexuality

ENGL 096 / GSWS 096 / THAR 096 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Dr. Melissa E. Sanchez
  • Fulfills requirements: Sectors 1 and 2 of the English Major, Sector 4 (Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences) of the College general requirement

What are the politics of art? How do race, gender and sexuality (that of the artist or that depicted in a given art work) affect our response to a work of art? How does the embodied identity of actors—their gender, race and sexuality—affect the performance of a play? How are casting decisions also interpretive decisions about a play’s relationships, power structures and political resonances? How does performance art, which makes the performers’ bodies the medium, draw our attention to the embodied dimension of art, theater and literature? In this course, we explore these questions by studying a range of artistic and dramatic works, from classical antiquity through the present, in conversation with feminist, queer and critical race theory on identity and performance. We visit museums and art galleries and attend theatrical performances to serve as material for analysis of the complex relationship between art and politics.

London Fictions

ENGL 060 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Toni Bowers, PhD
  • Fulfills requirements: Sector 4 of the English major

This five-week course considers how specific places in the City of London are represented in some of the most influential British fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries. We also explore how the City of London itself emerges from imaginative writing. Each student visits and photographs a location relevant to one of our texts, shares their images in class and leads an in-class discussion about the experience. We consider novels and short stories by authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.M. Barrie, P.G. Wodehouse and Virginia Woolf.


Students are housed in a private student residence in London.

Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.

  • Tuition for summer 2018: $8,448
  • Program fee for summer 2018: $2,760
    • Penn Summer Abroad deposits ($500) will be deducted from the program fee amount
    • Includes student accommodations, theatre tickets, cultural activities and administrative costs

Contact Information

For details about the program, courses, or location including academic advising, travel dates, housing and orientation:

Melissa E. Sanchez

Program Director
Melissa E. Sanchez, PhD        
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: (215) 746-3765

For assistance with the application, financial questions, pre-departure or other general information:

Nicola M. Gentili

Penn Summer Abroad Office
College of Liberal & Professional Studies
University of Pennsylvania
3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA, 19104-3335
Tel: (215) 898-7326

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

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3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326

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