The Sun Never Sets
on the English (Department)
by Gretchen Johnston
Every summer, WCU's English and History departments journey to Great Britain, where both students and professors travel the continent searching for adventure and knowledge. The sites and landscapes of the British Isles become the classrooms, and the travelers are both teachers and students.
In southeast England, you may visit Canterbury (the inspiration for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales) and the great battleground of Hastings. In Scotland, you can get acquainted with the legendary might of Rob Roy, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, while discovering connections between Scotland's history and its literature. Before you leave Scotland, take a snapshot of the Loch Ness monster.
After you've conquered the north country, you'll scale the walls of York and visit with the Bronte sisters (at least in spirit). Walk the moors that inspired Wuthering Heights, and discuss the character development and setting in the novel.
In Haworth, cross the Pennines, and take on Wordsworth and Coleridge in the Lake District. Surrounded by pastoral beauty, you'll visit Tintern Abbey and read for yourself the poem it inspired. Before heading to London, you can visit museums, gothic cathedrals, and the ruins of the great Abbeys.
And what would a trip to England be without Shakespeare? You can see Shakespearean plays performed in his home town, Stratford on Avon, and in London, at the New Globe theater. Find out what life was like in the Elizabethan Era, and discuss how the period's economic and social forces shaped its literature.
To end the adventure, you will tackle the streets of London. Lined with museums, galleries, theaters, parks, and pubs, London's streets become the link between the present and the past. Walk in the footsteps of Chaucer, Jonson, Spenser and Shakespeare in the shadows of Buckingham Palace.
This two-month trip begins in June and ends in August. Exhausted but contented, you'll return home with six credit hours and a wealth of experiences that will last a lifetime.
Dr. Karl Nicholas, the genius behind the trip, likes the camaraderie that grows between travelers best of all. "Men have learned how to cook on this trip as well," he jokes. The cost of the trip includes everything but meals and souvenirs, and to keep costs down, travelers often stay in flats with kitchens. Will this year's Hoof and Mouth epidemic discourage this year's travelers? "Certainly not," Nicholas laughs. "We'll just have to eat a lot of chicken."
Summertime will never be the same. If you'd like to know how to conquer the British Isles, check out the English Department's web site.
Summer in England