Travel Course

Engl 372/Engl 372H: Arts of Medieval & Renaissance Britain travel course

Great Britain Spring 2018 with Prof. Rosanne Denhard
Active learning on campus & in England during our spring break travel component
(PREREQUISITES: ENGL 250; sophomore status or above; instructor's permission. 
Students pay travel fees.)

Travel Dates for Spring 2018:
Depart MCLA Friday morning, March 09; return to MCLA Monday evening, March 19


Crossing Millennium BridgeFrom plays to portraiture, music to museums, castles to cathedrals, and food to fashion, this course contextualizes the literary arts and their relationship with the visual and performing arts, studying all within the cultural and historical heritage of Great Britain.  Our wide chronological focus spans from the early medieval period of Anglo-Saxon culture through the 17th century period of the English Civil Wars through the Restoration.

Our Spring 2018 base location for the travel component: London, England—one of the world's great capital cities—with history, arts, and culture, and an intriguing mix of old and new.  London embodies global diversity in the 21st century.

This full-semester, 3-credit interdisciplinary course incorporates a Spring Break travel component to explore medieval and Renaissance British literature, history, and culture through on-site experiential learning and research.  On campus the class engages in extensive reading, writing, discussion, and research work; on-site during travel, we extend our learning.  

Group Photo

Throughout the travel component, the class experiences the cultures of medieval and early modern Britain—and their contemporary legacies—through exploration of landscapes and cityscapes.  In addition to our days in London, including active learning at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, numerous other sites, and traveling on the River Thames, the 2018 class traveled out of the city by train for a full-day visit to York—a city in North Yorkshire with a fascinating Roman, Viking, Medieval, and Renaissance heritage. Prof. Denhard designs the travel component as an integrated part of the full-semester course and works closely with the class to maximize experiential and collaborative learning both on campus and during travel.  Note: All events subject to considerations of overall safety, weather, scheduling availability, and transportation.


Tea Time in York

The Arts of Medieval & Renaissance Britain is well suited to students from all majors who have interests compatible with the course focus, commitment to collaboration and sustaining a positive group dynamic, and strong work habits.  This course is designed for mature and committed students and is cross-listed as an Honors course.  Please note that this course includes significant walking, stair-climbing, and a busy schedule during travel.  Students need to be energetic, have the ability to be attentive to surroundings, be able to follow oral and written instructions accurately, and have the capacity to respond with flexibility to unexpected situations during travel.  The more prepared you are in the “at home” phase of the course, the more you’ll be able to immerse comfortably and productively into the travel experience later in the semester. 

Within the English/Communications Department, the course may be taken as fulfillment of the “Texts in Contexts” requirement or as a departmental elective.  Interested students could also apply to use this course to fulfill the Core Capstone requirement. 

Globe Theatre

Travel Fee for 2018; $3,475. per MCLA student traveler.  This is the same price as 2016.

Participation is by permission of instructor only.

*Full payment schedule for Spring 2018 (Students make payments to Student Accounts Office):
$275. First payment at time of sign-up
Second payment due within three weeks of signup or no later than September 29
Note: signups may be extended if class group is not full by end of September.
Third payment by December 8
Fourth (final) payment by January 29

*All payments are considered non-refundable, except in the case of MCLA's cancellation of the entire trip, unless the student's place is taken by another paying traveler.  

Tower of London

Price for 2018 travel included: round-trip airfare (Albany, NY is our home airport) and travel to/from

Albany International Airport; rail passes and local transportation in England; 9 nights London hotel accommodations, including daily full breakfasts; daily lunch or dinner, including several special meals; airport snacks/light meals during travel days; all tickets for theatre/concerts/special events and admissions for museums, historic sites; guidebook & course materials; some fun “extras”; and a cushion for emergencies, unforeseen expenditures, and special opportunities.

Students Relaxing

Funding & Scholarships: 

Westminster Abbey, London

Travel Course Scholarships

Student Research & Creative Project/Travel Grants

Students from this course have successfully applied for these merit-based scholarships and research grants in the past.  Interested students should explore these options and then speak with Prof. Denhard as soon as possible upon committing to the course, since these opportunities are competitive and applications for the Travel Course Scholarships and Student Research & Creative Project Grants require faculty sponsorship/recommendations. 

Also, see Financial Aid Office for information on student loans and financial aid.

Prof. Denhard near Tower Bridge, London

Rosanne F. Denhard, Ph.D., Professor of English

English/Communications Department
Office: Mark Hopkins 103-C

Faculty Webpage

Special thanks to all of the students and alumni who have contributed content and photos over the years.  Additional photos by R. Denhard and C. Denhard.

  • Cambridge
  • Cambridge
  • London
  • London
  • London
  • London
  • York stained glass window


Learn More, See More


On-Site Learning

Student Research and Creative Projects

Faculty Quote:

"Learning is always an adventure, but academic travel takes the concept of "adventure" to new places, new people, and new experiences. We study what is "old" in ways that bring the past to life in vivid detail and give us insight into our present and future.  The benefits are enormous."

Prof. Rosanne Denhard, English/Communications

Student Quotes:

"The combination of the academic class and the travel component has helped me greatly in becoming a more experienced scholar-traveler.  Through this experience, I was able to recognize my capabilities and therefore give myself a little more confidence which will only help me become a stronger student, citizen, and teacher in the years to come."

Jesse McMillan
MCLA 2014
Teaching Assistant, Spring 2014

“Traveling with a small group of fellow students really gave all of us the opportunity to bond and get to know each other—not only as scholars, but as people. . . Everywhere we went there was something from the past that took my breath away, whether it was an old portrait or a replica Viking ship.  It’s an experience you can only get by participating in a course such as this one.  The things that can be learned are endless.”

KiLee Fortier, MCLA 2018
Teaching Assistant, Spring 2018; Class member 2016

 "It was a rewarding experience on all fronts, and prepared me for what may be a possible teaching assignment one day. I was gratified to have this opportunity to travel to Great Britain once again and lend my experience to a fine class of students and a great professor. I learned a great deal on this trip and it has been one of the defining experiences of my college career."

Alex Marshall
MCLA 2012
Teaching Assistant, Spring 2012

"Finally it dawned on me: I would research both of the Elizabethan theatres we had visited, the reconstructed Globe and the still-struggling-to-be-preserved Rose and compare and contrast their histories both in the time period and their reconstruction efforts in recent memory, and then I would create my own production of The Tempest. This project felt almost too perfect: the things which had driven me most passionately while I was in England fit neatly together to make the actual research portion of the course not a struggle, but an excitement. I had discovered a subject which captured me fully as a scholar, driving me on to do the work."

Tyler Prendergast, MCLA 2013

 "London was where my research really took off. At the National Portrait Gallery I was able to see the actual paintings of portraits I had only seen in books, a room filled with paintings of Elizabeth I from her coronation to her later life. When I finally found the portrait of Shakespeare it was a crowning moment. Being face-to-face with one of my biggest inspirations was very meaningful to me and during the visit I kept going back to his portrait just to look him in the eyes. . . What I learned most about myself as a scholar-traveler is that there is always something more to learn. That's what I love about being a student: to be able to just keep learning. I'll never satiate my knowledge for things Shakespeare, Elizabethan and England and it reinvigorate my need to learn as much I can about theatre and acting history. It is just another step in my desire to become a Theatre professor."

Elizabeth Cardaropoli, MCLA 2012 

"In England, I researched Medieval and Renaissance "common place books."  I incorporated on-site learning at historic sites/museums and archival library research.  Common place books, or miscellanies, were a way of compiling valued information: letters, recipes, prayers, scholarly work, etc.  In my archival research, I examined materials at the library of York Minster, the British Library, the archives at Westminster Abbey, and the British Museum. "

Lyndsay DeBord, MCLA 2008


 "I learned the confidence and know-how in order to travel on my own.  Using the experience from the class, I've prepared a second trip to London, England and also to Ireland.  This implies creating an itinerary, but the ability to intellectually prepare myself by learning context before travel is the real benefit.  I am also using my return to London as an opportunity to revisit Westminster Abbey and other sites in order to deepen my connection and understanding further so that I may bring my project further, make it worth sharing at more conferences, and possibly even go on to publish."

Kimberly Domanico
MCLA 2013