Death & Ritual in Victorian London
Unearth London’s secrets by studying the rich history of Victorian-era death in literature, art, science, and philosophy.
Scientific knowledge about the human body and the process of death expanded hugely in the 19th Century, at the same time that increases in urban populations in England gave rise to the problem of what to do with all the bodies. Concurrently, English explorers in other parts of the world were finding evidence of “buried” civilizations, and construction workers for the Thames Embankment and the London Underground were digging through London’s own buried past. Death—and in particular the dead body—became a nexus of anxiety: individual, social, scientific, and historical.
In this Global Seminar, we will trace a number of Victorian responses to these new kinds of knowledge: funeral practices, public dissections, anatomical museums, fears of premature burial, cremation, vampirism, armchair anthropology, and the particular problem posed by the dead female body. Our core text will be Bram Stoker's Dracula, with some accompanying short stories and poems.
Housing & Meals
Live in shared housing with other program participants. Welcome and farewell meals are included in the program fee. Additional meals can be prepared in the housing or taken at local eateries.
Excursions in London may include:
- Westminster Abbey
- High Gate Cemetery Tour
- Jack the Ripper Tour
- Old Operating Theater Museum
- Discover Medical London
- Museum of London
- Haunted London Tour
- Tower of London
Excursions in Edinburgh may include:
- Anatomical Museum at the University of Edinburgh
- Blood and Guts: The Twists and Turns of Edinburgh's Medical History walking tour
- Mary King's Close
- Surgeon's Hall Museum
All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.
It might be possible to deviate your return flight. Inquire with your program contact if interested.
- Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
- Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
- Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches
Faculty & Staff
This Global Seminar is led by Ann Tandy-Treiber, Faculty in the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.
One 3-credit course
Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:
- Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
- Small groups of 15–25 students
- No prerequisites or language requirements
- Included excursions and cultural activities
- Instruction in English
London and its vicinity provide an incredible range of sites to visit, many of which will also play roles in our readings and discussions. Our excursions will be grouped around two overlapping themes: The Dead in the City (visiting churches, tombs, and cemeteries); and Science and Medicine (attending talks and exhibitions at the Old Operating Theatre Museum, University College London, the Wellcome Collection). We will hear from experts on the role Victorian sites play in the modern experience of London, and we will use our literary readings to reflect on the landscape around us.
Your work for this class will involve informal writing, briefly presenting on historical subjects, and creating a "travel blog" as a class.
Receive credit for: ENGL 3092
Liberal Education Fulfillment: Literature core
Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
|Term||Program Dates||Priority Application Deadline*||Final Application Deadline|
|May Session 2022||May 14 – June 5, 2022||February 1, 2022||March 1, 2022|
Program dates are subject to change.
Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.
Orientation Dates & Locations
Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.
See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.
|May Session 2022||TBD||TBD|
If you apply by the priority deadline and confirm within the allotted time you will receive the published program fee. Applying after the priority deadline and/or not confirming within the allotted time means you may be subject to an airfare increase.
May 2022 Cost of Participation Forthcoming
Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, the program fee ranges from $5,500-$7,500. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.
If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.
Billing & Payments
Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.
Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.
After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:
- Application Essay
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit an additional essay. It will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when it has been added.
After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
For further information or questions about this program, email