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Dr. William A. Nericcio, bio
Director, MALAS | Professor, English and Comaparative Literature

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24, May 2016 | TUESDAY

Filled with excitement and anticipation, we board our respective jets in Los Angeles, San Diego, and other U.S. cities for our trip 'over the pond' to London, England--be sure to get plenty of sleep if you can, tomorrow will introduce you to a brave new world!

25, May 2016 | WEDNESDAY

Mildly jet-lagged but still excited the majority of us stumble our way off our transatlatlantic teleportation vehicle and onto the offramps at Heathrow anticipating the cheerful greeters in the British immigration services!

Those of us meeting at the Heathrow Terminal 3 "Meeting Point" for the Underground trip on the Piccadilly line will consult Twitter and/or our private Facebook group page to ensure no one gets left behind.

Do yourself a favor and DO NOT take a nap when you get into your home! Try to stay up as late you can the first day and go to sleep at a normal time after the sun goes down--stay away from caffeine or you may not adjust to London time quickly!

FIE already has stuff planned for you today:

Residence life meeting & local amenities walking tour
 @6:00 pm Convene together in your Hyde Park Gate Flat 2 living room
•    Meet fie’s residence life supervisors
•    Tour the local area for tips on shopping, transport, eateries, things to see and do

Fun planetary fact! London is in a much different spot on the globe than San Diego--when we get to town sunrise is at 4:55am and sunset is at 9:00pm.
26, May 2016 | THURSDAY

9:30 AM


27, May 2016 | FRIDAY

First (and only) Eye/I on London classroom meeting @ FIE Headquarters, "Foundation House," in the Beatrix Potter Room
Try to read a little of the Barthes and the DuBord before coming to class today!

12noon to 2pm

Your first meeting with Professor John Makey from 12pm - 2pm
for British Life and Cultures in the Beatrix Potter Room.


Field trip to the British Museum with Professor Makey

cineTREK™ 1

The adventure begins with cinTREK™ 1! Free!!!!!! cineTREK™ Numero Uno! Friday, May 27, 2016

I will meet you at the outdoor steps of your gorgeous home at Hyde Park Gate at 5:50pm as we join together to walk over to the famous London Natural History Museum for one of their LATES nights.

You know how museums in the US are expensive places with priceless artifacts that you have to pay a ton of money to get in and see?  Not in the UK--here, most of the major institutions are free to the public and rather than silence, you are more likely to encounter live music and bars.  Our adventure as Cultural Anthropolgists begins tonight.  If you choose to write about this outing on our collective blog, , focus on your experience as an outsider--write about things you see that surprise you, eavesdrop on other patrons and record what you see and hear.  Of course this is one of the treasured, august, respected, and visited institutions in all of Europe, but tonight, also, it becomes a scene (not quite a rave), but fun all the same.

Here's their promotional blurb:

Are you ready for:

Make Your Own Antennae
Learn how to tell a butterfly from a moth, meet some fascinating specimens from the Museum’s Lepidoptera collection with curator David Lees, and have a go at making your own realistic antennae.
Location: Fossil Marine Reptiles.

Plant Aromatics Game
Discover a world of invisible chemical signals as navigated by butterflies. Learn about the aromatic diversity of plants and the biological importance of different plant species with one of the Museum’s botanists. Test your sense of smell by trying to identify different plants from their scent in the same way butterflies do.
Location: Outside Dinosaurs gallery.

Flying Colours
See butterflies through a scanning electron microscope. Explore the beauty of butterfly anatomy up close and in minute detail with Museum imaging specialists.
Location: Earth Hall.

Be a Citizen Scientist
Learn how you can be part of the Museum’s latest scientific study, Earthworm Watch, with researcher Victoria Burton. You will also discover the role earthworms play in carbon storage and improving your garden’s soil health.
Location: Lasting Impressions.

Fabulous food and drinks--Our bars serve a range of delicious refreshments, including cocktails, Prosecco, red and white wine, alcoholic milkshakes, pale ale, lager and soft drinks. Refuel with tasty wraps, baguettes, sandwiches, at the Main Café in the Blue Zone or head to the The Kitchen in the Red Zone for gourmet hot meals. Just after a snack? Crackers and crisps can be purchased at the bars.

See more at:

If you choose to write about this event, you are free to come up with your own concept/focus--don't be shy about incorporating your photographs into your blog postings.  Deadline: Thursday, June 2, @ midnight.
28 May 2016 | Saturday
10:00 AM (Meet outside METROGATE)



Saturday!!! cineTREK Numero Dos!!!! May 28, 2016

It's Saturday and your addled, jet-lagged professor oversleeps and misses (first time in my 8 tours of London with SDSU students!) your motor coach tour of the sites of London--one of the many extras FIE treats students to over here in London.

After that is over, those of you who wish to (and who have bought tickets in advance online, see below) are free to join me to a screening of a new film based on the work of English treasure, Jane Austen.

We will meet on the steps of your posh digs at Hyde Park Gate at 2pm for our ride over to the epitome of brutalist architecture, the Barbican. 

The film is called LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and stars Kate Beckinsdale.  We are going to this screening, however, as the director, Whit Stillman, will be answering questions after the film.

More on Stillman here:

For those of you into indy cinema, this is a great chance to hang with a celebrity director known for creating intimate, coming-of-age masterpieces.

Read the following info carefully. Be sure to take advantage of all student discounts. ticket/event link (still some seats available).

Bloggers who seek to chronicle this event as a writing assignment are urged to focus on some connection between the movie you have screened and words of the artist, the Director Stillman, who guided its conception.  Perhaps something he will say will change your reading of the film--or, perhaps, you will ask a question, that he responds to in a surprising way.  Perhaps also you might write a critique of the director and of his film if it was not to your liking.  The sky is the limit.  Deadline, Friday, June 3, at midnight.

* * *

Natalie had suggested a visit to the photographic exhibition going on their presently, STRANGE AND FAMILIAR--and you are welcome to do that as an additional cineTREK on your own (let's call it cineTREK™ Numero 2A)... but do be warned there is an additional £8 charge student fee that should be booked in advance).

29 May, 2016 | Sunday

cineTREK™ Number 3! "God Edition"

It can be argued that all spectacle, all theater, all performance, began when clusters of our peculiar species, mostly hairless primates, took to worshipping together.  In a sense then, all performed art owes a debt to religious spectacle.  That's the idea today as we venture out to St. Paul's Cathedral for a choral mass. You need not be Christian to attend, though, of course, everyone is welcome to as well--St. Paul's is the "Vatican" of the Anglican faith, the branch of the Catholic church when King Henry VIII took to divorcing (and beheading) wives with all the alacrity of, dare I say it, the Donald!

We will leave at 10:10 sharp from the steps of Hyde Park Gate for the ride out to St. Paul's and the 11:30am services--we are leaving a bit early to get a good seat near the choir and to allow you, in groups, saving each other's seats, to get a chance to explore the grandest "theatre" of spirituality this side of the Vatican.

Do please dress appropriately for this event as we are attending a mass.

If you choose to write about this outing on the blog--focus on the idea of spectacle.  A-level grades will go to writers who work to incorporate ideas/findings you have come across in Barthes, Berger, or DuBord that you have adapted.  Writing due date: Sunday, June 5, at noon.

cineTREK™ Number 4!
The Tate Modern

cineTREK™ Four takes place right after mass--I will walk you over to the one and only TATE MODERN, the most important collection of Modernist and Contemporary Art this side of Paris's Louvre.  Inside, I will give a brief lecture on the history of the structure--a transformed power station--and the relationship between public art, commerce, and culture. After my brief holding forth, this will be a largely self-paced, self-structured cineTREK™ as you wander all the floors and (free!) galleries--you are not compelled or expected to purchase admission to any of the featured shows going on their now, but if you are a total artsy, no one will hold it against you if you devour all the galleries.

Folks who blog about this cineTREK™ should select TWO works of art that contradict each other--you are welcome to bring outside research materials to assist you but they must come from peer-reviewed, scholarly sources on JSTOR or Project Muse and be properly cited (MLA or Chicago or APA, your choice)--some idea you pilfer from wikipedia or a bright 7nth grader essay you found online (don't smirk, it happens) should be discarded as beneath you.  If you don't want to bring two works of art, two artists, into conflict, you are also welcome to write about a work you stumble across in the Tate Modern in any way you see fit.  In either case, do please be sure to include a picture of the work you are talking about, and its artist, in your blog posting. Deadline: Monday, June 6, 2016, at midnight.

31 May, 2016 | Tuesday
Your British Life and Culture Class runs from noon to 2pm in the Oscar Wilde Room with Professor Makey--the focus will be on UK Media and preparation of the first newspaper exercise.

After 2pm, we will venture out for the BRICKLANE British Life and Culture tour led by Professor Makey--don't eat a huge breakfast because the meal we will experience on this field trip will blow your mind (and stomach!)

cineTREK™ 5

Imperial College is not just the home of inexpensive pints and boisterous young scholars from all over the planet--it is also the home of fine cinema.  Tonight we venture out from your doorstep at 6 pm sharp for a short walk over to Imperial College for a screening of High-Rise, a cinematic adaptation of a novel by British scoundrel-of-fiction J.G. Ballard--note as we are coming back from our field trip from the East End/Bricklane, timing may be dicey and up to chance.  More info on the screening is here.  The cost of the film is £4 tops--maybe £3 with student concession (not sure).  Ballard is a dystopian writer and this film, adapted by British director Ben Wheatley, promises to capture the dark, edgy, cynical wit that was Ballard's signature.  This likely will not be an easy film to witness, but its dark meditations on human nature are surely going to leave us something to talk about.  Time permitting, and the Imperial College gestapo allowing, maybe we can have a pint in the pub and talk about our reactions to the film

Do a little research on the ideas of utopia and dystopia--in 500 words or so make an argument for the category High-Rise best fits under; be sure to include a close reading of two specific key scenes or images or ideas that etched there way onto your memory (ie stayed with you or disturbed/moved/provoked you). Due to be posted by June 6, 2016 @ 2pm.

1 June, 2016 | Wednesday

British Life and Culture with Professor Makey--class is from 10am to 12noon in the Oscar Wilde Room with a class on the role of the monarchy in the UK. After class we will depart for a field trip to Southall and a visit to a Sikh gurdwara.  Be sure to dress comfortably and also modestly--Makey may go over this in class but here is a link I found online.

cineTREK™ 6--Public Spectacle/Folly

Rumor has it that many of you will be engaged later today on a self-paced cineTREK™ sans your stalwart Professor!--a visit to the remarkable London Eye. As one of you made the good case for said structure being the perfect site for an Eye/I on London cineTREK™ (someone buy Jamie a pint!), I have succumbed and agreed that this visit makes for a perfectly legitimate and provocative opportunity to not only visit a public spectacle in London but to become part of it itself--oddly enough, it echoes something along the lines of the phenomena I lectured on with regard to the architecture of St. Paul's cathedral where one literally becomes part of the Christian cross when inhabiting the confines of the church/cross itself--this shot, opposite, of York Cathedral from a hot air balloon makes this clear.

Blog Assignment, post here: Carefully bring yourself up to speed on the history and background of the public phenonema of Ferris Wheels: here, here, and here. Incorporating one other historical source (please site via link or footnote) that you find on your own, and your own experiences today on the London Eye, write a new brief essay on the public role of "follies" like the London Eye--do they have a broader meaning, a more dynamic role in the way a city shapes a vision of itself for itself and for its visitors?

2 June, 2016 | Thursday

We meet on the steps of your flat at 9:20am sharp for our field trip out to Parliament--I am filling in for Professor Makey who has a scheduling conflict.  This is NOT a day to dress especially poorly nor to bring any bags, etc. Security is tight and anything you bring with you will merely delay us as we pass through inspection! The Houses of Parliament at Westminster are arguably the incubator for democracy as we know it in the West.  Watch here for a recent debate during Prime Minister's Questions

After our tour of Parliament, it is time for cineTREK™ 7--another FREE cineTREK™ as we venture from the tube station at Westminster north to the Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 Experience At Kings Cross Railway Station! What was once a low-key place to take a souvenir picture has evolved into a bit of a production and we will be lucky if the queues are short and we can actually grab a snapshot!  Read more here.

... of course a trip to a luggage carrier embedded in a wall does not a cineTREK™ make, this despite the wonder the global grosses for the Harry Potter phenomena have been. No, today, we are off to the famous British Library--one of the greatest libraries of the world for the Punk Rock exhibit!

After a brief presentation, this will be a self-paced cineTREK™ with you prowling the exhibit searching for something or two you have passion for nestled within its holdings! Following on Rock, Punk came on the scene as an anarchic challenge to the status quo--a slap in the face to Society and Culture filled with fire, chaos, madness, and excess.  How odd to now find it housed here in the British Library and yet also, how perfect.

Before the tour be sure to watch and read (and read about) this classic banned Clash song: God Save the Queen!

Blog Assignment--as you prowl the PUNK exhibit try to find one or two or three particular artifacts/items that really speaks to you (even, imagine, that move you!). In your blog posting, write a personal memoir wherein you attach some element of the punk movement to some experience you've had whilst an inhabitant of the planet.  The challenge will be to write in such a way that you fuse the personal, your past, with the exhibit, the analytical.  Due to be posted by 8 June Wednesday at midnight.

After a long day at Parliament and the British Museum, your day ends at the Baden Powell House--out your front door to the right, right at Queensgate, and down to the corner of Queensgate and Cromwell, for your FIE Summer Reception!  BBQ, 2 drinks and more all for free! Let's hope it does not rain!

3 June, 2016 | Friday


It's 11:15 on Friday morning and we bound off your doorstep at Hyde Park gate and on to the South Kensington Underground station for our trip north today (where it should be chilly--but dry).

Our first stop today is Primrose Hill, the highest point in London and the best place to get a panoramic view of the city (and its clouds!); after Primrose, we will make our way back south to Camden Market--the true home of punk culture in all of London (don't get me started on the British Library version of the same!), there I will let you loose for hours of shopping and hanging out in one of the largest, most notorious public markets in London (it's set atop canals and locks which also makes it one of the more picturesque).

After Camden--around 4pm, we will head, if you wish, north to Hampstead, a lovely village in the North of London that feels like a small town, but is still part of greater London.  There, we will visit my favorite pub in London, The Holly Bush,  for a pint (or whatever) and a light snack--maybe on me, I am working with FIE to see if we can swing it!

Your blog entry for today can focus on any aspect of your discoveries during our travels out and about today--perhaps a particular vendor at Camden Market captures the spirit of antagonism to be found in the prose of DuBord or Berger or Barthes, maybe Primrose's bucolic grandeur will speak to you?  Who knows--this is an open ended writing assignment, so surprise me.  Of course, feel free to weave your photography and web-research (via links) into your writing.  500 words tops, that's about two pages double-spaced typed. The deadline for this posting is Friday, June 10 at midnight.

4 June, 2016 | Saturday

I am giving you the day off today, Saturday!  Enjoy the break!

5 June, 2016 | Sunday

cineTREK™ 9 @ BFI--the British Film Institute

Imagine some mad fusion of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars), the Smithsonian Institute, and a Hipster pub/restaurant (with cool indy booksellers outfront by the Thames on the Southbank) and you begin to conjure an image of BFI Southbank, the headquarters of the British Film Institute.  Today we venture out from your house at Hyde Park Gate at 1:50pm for the 2:50pm screening of Steven Spielberg's classic CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (arguably Spielberg's best film). 

The BFI is hosting a month-long retrospective of the American filmmakers greatest works and we are on hand to join the party.  As of a few minutes ago there were plenty of tickets but you never know with BFI--so if you are unsure go ahead and book online with the student concession.  It is not cheap, but it's not cheap to protect the history of cinema in a nation where some of film's greatest innovators come from--think Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell, Christopher Nolan, and Sam Mendes just to name a few.

Two choices for your blog posting: a close critical analysis of what you view to be the most significant moment in the film--with specific evidence to back your contention up OR ...  A documentary memoir wherein you juxtapose your experience as a filmgoer in the U.S. with your experience here in the UK, using your BFI trip as your point of departure.
Due Sunday, June 12 at midnight.

Here, again, is the ticket link--be sure to purchase the right showtime, 2:50 (here they say 14:50 as they use a 24 hour clock), for our screening.

6 June, 2016 | Monday

cineTREK™ 10

We are up bright and early for our quick trip east to the National Gallery in Trafalger Square--for a fast cineTREK™ to assuage those of you concerned there won't be enough time to get your 13 junkets out of the way! No worries, my friends, we are here for knowledge and pleasure not anxiety, not grief.  We will leave your doorstep at Hyde Park Gate at 9:30am for the quick trip out to Trafalger--tip your hat to Lord Nelson's statue whilst you are there.

London's National Gallery is yet another large repository of world art  like the Tate Modern--but where the Tate Modern concentrates on contemporary world art, the National Gallery is more a repository of all Art History; in this regard, it has enough wonders to delight even the most fastidious, art-loathing visitor.

Please prepare for your aesthetic junket by reviewing the art and artists housed there using the link above. I will lead you on a brief lecture on a couple of paintings, but the bulk of your time here will be a self-guided exploration in the history of art.  As with your cineTREK to the Tate Modern, I want you to focus on two paintings, any paintings, your choice.  At the Tate Modern, I asked you to write about two works that "speak against each other" or that "contradict."  Blog posting due 13, June, Monday @ midnight.

For those of you who are super art-lovers, the National Portrait Gallery is right behind the National Gallery as is a gallery of shops selling collectable antiquities: books, music, movie posters.  You are welcome to tag along with me if you want to check out these sites after we listen to the National Gallery lectures.  If works of art speak to you more at the National Portrait Gallery than the National Gallery, feel free to write about that instead.

(Note: I understand some of you have a date for a noon-time tea--this cineTREK™ should NOT conflict with that time certain.)

cineTREK™ 11

It's Monday night and we venture out into the dark only to remain, ultimately, in the dark for two reasons: 1. we are going to a movie theatre and 2. the movie we are going to see is the epitome of cineastes/cinephiles (aka movie lovers/scholars) call film noir,  Charles Vidor's striking classic Gilda.  We will meet at 7:20pm in front of your posh Hyde Park Gate flat for the walk out to Gloucester Road station where will will hop on an East-bound District/Circle line train bound for Victoria Station, where we will switch to the Northbound Victoria Line for Oxford Circus station and the theatre.

And this is not just ANY theatre--this is the site in all England where British Cinema was born, the REGENT STREET CINEMA, where, according to the lore: "Built in 1848 and housed within the Polytechnic Institution on London’s Regent Street, the cinema was the first in the country to show moving pictures. In 1896, the cinema showcased the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe to a paying audience, and, as the curtain fell, British cinema was born."

Visitors then to the eye of the storm, an "eye on London" epicenter, our presence commemorates the advent of cinema in the United Kingdom--not one to miss.  Be sure to buy your tickets IN ADVANCE--you are welcome to tag along and buy the tickets at the theatre as well, but you never know when one of these events will be sold out (your call!).

Take a little time to read up on film noir and perhaps even to take a few minutes to gloss my published findings with regard to Rita Hayworth, Gilda's star, and Charles Vidor's memorable film.  Your blog posting for this outing can move in at least two directions--500 words keying in on two scenes that establish Gilda as the epitome of film noir OR a piece about the history of cinema in London focusing on the Regent Street cinema and your walk back into time tonight to see an American movie classic (in London).  Or... make up your own prompt! (Just don't let it be something along the lines of "Tonight I went out from my dorm in the underground and saw an old movie in an old theatre and it was interesting"--and YES, students turn in "analyses" like that all the time). Blog must be posted by Friday, June 13, by 8pm.

7 June, 2016 | Tuesday


It's an amazing all day affair as we head out via train for the wilds of Oxford University and the city of Oxford.  This is both a British Life and Culture day and a Eye/I on London cineTREK™.  We will meet at 8:45am on your front porch--please be on time. Our goal is to hop on the 9:50am Express train out of Paddington Station (where the Beatles filmed A Hard Day's Night--watch the making of clip below).  From there we zoom northwest to Oxford where we will rendevous with John Makey at 10:47am (sharp! if we are lucky!) We will be walking through Hyde Park to Paddington and all over Oxford so please do wear comfortable shoes for today.

Professor Makey will take the lead in Oxford with regard to our itinerary, agenda, and tours.

For your writing assignment with regard to Eye/I on London, your UK Cultural Studies class with me, you are asked to do a blog posting focused on cultural/architectural/design differences you sense between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where your Hyde Park Flat is situated, and Oxford where we have ventured today.  If that prompt does not float your boat, send me an email with a proposal for an Oxford-focused blog posting of your own design.  Either way, your blog posting is due Tuesday, June 15 @ midnight.

Here is that Beatles/A Hard Day's Night making-of video I promised--watch for Paddington Station so you will recognize it Tuesday morning:

8 June, 2016 | Wednesday

British Life and Culture class focused on Parliament and Politics--in the Oscar Wilde room from 2pm to 4pm in the afternoon.

... then, later the same day! it's cineTREK™ 13

It is Wednesday evening, 8 June 2016 and at it 6:45pm at the front door of your flat, where you meet proxy professors Veronica, Katie (Grad), Jamie, and Jason, for the trip out to the Roxy Bar and Screen for a 8pm screening of Alejandro González Iñárritu's Oscar-winning masterpiece, The Revenant! This magnificent quartet of proxy-profs are filling in for me as I have a reception with FIE bigwigs!

The Roxy is a London legend--one part night club, one part disco, one part cinema.  One can never tell what's going to happen at the Roxy. The fee is only £5 and they have a reasonable menu as well. Click here and you can pre-book both the film and a dinner OR just the dinner itself (it is HIGHLY recommended that you pre-book online as students who have waited in the past have been disappointed in previous years).

Your cineTREK blog posting for tonight should focus on the night culture of London--how does seeing a movie in a club change the dynamics of cinema. How does the site where we "imbibe" the spectacle alter our experience of the same?  OR  You are welcome to focus on your reading of Iñárritu's masterpiece itself--try to find (and cite) at least two detailed interviews (here's a good one to start with) with the Mexican director and weave selections from them into your reading of some specifice aspect/scene/image/motif of the film.

9 June, 2016 | Thursday


Today we are herded around the British countryside as we venture out to Stonehenge and the City of Bath--one of the oldest cities in London with a working Roman-era bath. London, as you have found out by now, was a major outpost during the age when Roman emperors 'ruled the world' (maybe they learned something from them?).  

Here are the trip details--you must get up early (the bad news); you can sleep on the bus (the good news)!!!!

08.00            Depart 37 Hyde Park Gate, London, SW7 5DW
10.30            Arrive Bath for walking tour ending with entry to Baths/free time
12.30            Entry to Baths (guide will have entry voucher)
14.15            Depart Bath for Stonehenge
15.30            Entry to Stonehenge (guide will have entry voucher)
17.00            Depart Stonehenge
19.30/20.00   Arrive London

In and of itself, Stonehenge (do read up!) is the ultimate and original "Eye/I on London" spectacle--while its origins are still much debated, we know it to be a central meeting/sacred site for ancient britons. No culture would have invested so much time and and effort (and research and precision) in constructing successive monoliths to no end.  Still a space of magic (and a major tourist draw) Stonehenge emerges as a compelling public spectacle for the 21st century.

For your blog writing, should you choose, incorporate your own photography as you meditate on the purpose of "ruins." What does it mean to visit a public artifact? How, in fact, do carefully maintained ruins from the past, like those maintained at Bath and Stonehenge, impact on what we think of as the past, present, and future.  Don't be afraid to eavesdrop today, listening in on fellow travelers and scribbling down quotes as you, yourself, pretend to be a mere tourist! Deadline for this posting, Wednesday, 16 June 2016.

10 June, 2016 | Friday

Your mid-semester exam is due TODAY--we will have a 1:30pm departure for our British Life and Culture field trip to the Olympic Park.
click to enlarge

cineTREK™ 15

All that follows is predicated by what time we get back from the Olympic village by ideally this is what we will do for our date tonight with the bard, William Shakespeare!

cineTREK™ 15

We will meet at 6pm in the lobby/foyer of Gloucester Road underground station for the voyage out to the Southbank and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre--which is, funny enough, newer than the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park back home.  The story behind it is worth a read. Tonight we witness THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, Shakespeare's famous meditation on the war between the sexes.  It will save you some grief if you are not a fan of Shakespeare to familiarize yourself with the play (here and here). Why grief? Because tonight, we are 'groundlings' standing throughout the performance of the play.  Why? In order to imagine what it might have been like hundreds of years previous, before snapchat, vimeo, netflix, and hulu, to give ourselves over to entertainment--not just on the stage but amongst us in the pit. YARD - STANDING tickets are just £5 but, of course, you can pay more if you wish--only order your tickets NOW as they go very fast!

In your blog posting write a dispatch that connects some element of the play--its themes, ideas, images--with your experience in the audience of Shakespeare's globe. The magic of live theatre is the synergy between the actors and the audience; author a piece that somehow fuses your experience as audience and your reading or interpretation of Shakespeare's goals in authoring this infamous classic. Due 16 June 2016, Thursday by 8pm.

11 June, 2016 | Saturday

It's your choice today for cineTREK™ 16 as you have the chance to...

1. Queen Elizabeth celebrate her 90th birthday with the Trooping the Colour parade...


2. can indulge in global cinema by hanging out with Director Stephen Frears and actress Isabelle Hupert at the Institut Français!

1. Trooping the Colour

The morning arrives and it is Queen Elizabeth's 90th Birthday--giving the annual Trooping the Colour event a special meaning.  This is a free-form cineTREK with you leaving your flat and heading for the mall (no, NOT like a California mall!) as early as you wish to secure a prime place to witness history. Good instructions here. Check out the black dotted marks for the best places to witness the parade/pageantry:

For your writing assignment (and as I will be in another part of the city) be sure to take at least two clear, good photographs that prove you were at the event!  For your blog posting, due Friday, 17 June 2016, you are to compose a brief essay that focuses on what you perceive to be the purpose of this annual trooping.  A-level marks will go to students who purposely warp/adapt ideas/concepts/phrases lifted/quoted from DuBord, Berger, and/or Barthes, and weave them into their response.

cineTREK™ 16 OPTION 2 for 11 June, 2016 | Saturday

This option is only recommended for diehard lovers of global cinema...

France in England cineTREK™

Isabelle Huppert is the Meryl Streep of France--her cinema appearances are events as she combines an uncanny melange of sensuality and intellect in all of her performances; check out this scene and this trailer showcasing her work in THE PIANO TEACHER:

We are at the Institut Français today for a conversation between Huppert and Stephen Frears (director of High Fidelity). I wanted to give the London Rocks group the day off today so today's event is only for diehards and cinema-fetishists.  If you choose to come let me know via the Facebook group contraption.  I will meet you here at the Institut for the event--it is just out your door and then to your right on Queensgate very near the South Kensington underground station. Ticket details are here!

Your blog posting for this event is due Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 5pm.  For this posting I will expect you to find and screen a movie by Isabelle Huppert and then to draw some connection between what you experience in the live conversation and your screening of said film.

12 June, 2016 | Sunday

We leave your flat at 5:20pm sharp this fine London Sunday for a ride over to Camden Town for some pub theatre at the Etcetera Theatre/Pub.  We are there to experience the Rapture--a well-received new theatrical work that ponders our London now by peeking into the future.  Get your tickets here

Here's the theatre's teaser for the show: " What is the point of you? In a world where most diseases can be cured, living is no longer a human right. You have to earn it. The world cannot sustain its growing population. People just aren't dying like they used to and the UK needs to downsize. Across the country thousands are being selected to appear before a board to justify their continued existence. Never mind what L'Oreal says, are you worth it? In this psychological drama, five very different people have to give the interview of their lives."

Fill in the blanks and complete an online posting--Due June 19, 2016 at noon.

Lisa McMullin's Rapture focuses on several issues troubling the planet, and England, these days including ________, __________, and __________________. However, the most compelling problem she addresses in her new play at the Etcetera Theatre has to be ______________________________.  In the words that follow I will explore key elements of Rapture that support my argument focusing on two memorable scenes/moments/symbols (pick one) in the play.

13 June, 2016 | Monday


We have an 11am British Life and Culture Talk/Tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre so we meet once again on the steps of Hyde Park Gate at 10:10am for our walk down to the Gloucester Road Underground Station for our ride down to Blackfriars Road Underground Station--and then a quick jaunt out over the Millennium Bridge to the house that Shakepeare built (actually, it's the house that Sam Wanamaker, American TV star/producer, built, but you'll find out all about that today).

After our tour of Bard-land, we will jump into the Thames--jump onto a boat in the Thames--for a quick River ferry journey over to the staid, older cousing of the Tate Modern, the Tate Britain, "Home of British Art from 1500 to the Present Day." Rumor has it that a camera-crew will be following us around for this so dress up or dress down accordingly! Are you ready for your closeup? Mr. DeMille is!

At some point during our joint British Life and Culture/Eye on London class outing today (to Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Britain), you will have encountered a camera capturing your every glance, your every movement--write a blog posting that captures what happens to you when you know you are being photographed or, perhaps worse still, when you realize you have been photographed without having known it was taking place. Should you elect to do this writing assignment, I ask that you read this brief excerpt from Susan Sontag's ON PHOTOGRAPHY to get your mind in the right orientation (A-level postings will incorporate a key quote or two directly from Sontag's essay).  So often the hunter with your smartphone's camera, what happens when you become the 'prey'/target of the leering lens?  Due Monday, June 20th @ noon.

14 June, 2016 | Tuesday

It is Tuesday morning and we meet on the steps of Hyde Park Gate at 9:45am sharp for our walk over to our only mandatory cineTREK™ of the semester at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the V&A--one of the finest collections in the world focused on design, technology, and fashion. FIE has dipped into their resources and sprung for our adventure this morning (saving us £10 each!) as we visit the rather infamous and cheeky and well-received exhibition named UNDRESSED: A Brief History of Underwear. In their own words, "this exhibition explores the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion and its role in moulding the body to a fashionable ideal, with cut, fit, fabric and decoration revealing issues of gender, sex and morality." That's right! A show focused on knickers--as the Brits call them!
I am not entirely sure whether or not photography is allowed (I doubt it), so you may want to take good notes and research photos online afterwards.  For your writing assignment, I want you to focus on a cultural consequence of underwear that had never occurred to you before the exhibition OR select a particular designer that catches your eye and write a brief profile of their life/work/art.  Due June 20, 2016 at midnight.

Class with Professor John Makey, Oscar Wilde Room, 2pm to 4pm.

15 June, 2016 | Wednesday


Once again I am impersonating the great John Makey as I lead you on a joint British Life and Culture class & Eye/I on London cineTREK™-- today we leave your Hyde Park Gate flat at 3:45pm SHARP (yes I am talking to you, Jake!, with your Oyster Card) for our odyssey out to Hackney and the Crate Brewery & Pizzeria--we are totally lucky, in that Rachel, of FIE fame and infamy, will be leading us to our appointed rendevous! Without beer, the English empire would have never ascended to the place it holds in planetary history--if you don't believe the hype, click here and here. And though our home of San Diego can now rightly claim the mantle of Best Brewing City in the Solar System, there is something to be said about taking a tour of a brewing facility here in London, as the American craft beer explosion alters the terrain of British breweries!

Write a blog-posting that compares the craft beer culture of San Diego with that which you encounter on this tour--if you are not up on our San Diego craft beer renaissance, read up on it online. Due June 20, 2016 at midnight.
16 June, 2016 | Thursday

2:30 to 4:30 pm Final Exam and Fond Farewells with John Makey. Your last class is to be followed by our LONDON MEXICAN FIESTA!!!!

You walk back from Foundation House, FIE-headquarters, with John Makey in tow, back to your flat at Hyde Park Gate where your intrepid Professor, Bill Nericcio, (subterranean Mexican chef) has been cooking up a world of flavor for you!  FIE is paying for everything, so it is free food and free drinks as we celebrate the end of your BLC adventura with Don Makey de la Mancha (all right, wrong country, but the right language).  We will have only a little time to digest our cavalcade of food when, then, suddenly... it's time for...

... we discover that it is 6:20pm and we jump out your doorstep at Hyde Park Gate for the ride down to the West End for our thespian-laced encounter with British Theatre: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

From the TIMEOUT LONDON review:

Showtime is 7:30 PM @ the DUCHESS THEATRE. We will pick up our tickets at the theatre!

Find a feature theatre review in the Guardian or the New York Times--use it as a template and write a review of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME as if you were a theatre reviewer for these two great newspapers.  You must include a link to the review you ran across that caught your eye in your blog posting!  Due June 21, 2016 at 12noon

Guardian Stage Reviews

NYTIMES Stage Reviews

17, June 2016 | Friday

A day of REST!!!!  Do what you want where you want!  Woo-hoo!

18, June 2016 | Saturday


19 June 2016 | Sunday

Having already experienced the joy and light of St. Paul's Cathedral on a Sunday, we turn now to the largest Catholic Cathedral in London, The Brompton Oratory for their 11am Latin mass. Prepare to be surprised at the differences between the Society of the Spectacle you encountered at St. Paul's and that to be encountered at the Oratory.  We will leave the steps of your flat at 10:20 for the walk over to the center of London Catholicism.

After mass, we will walk over to the haunted pub, the Grenadier, to discuss what we have witnessed and experienced whilst visiting this singular island called England. Watch out for Cedric the soldier ghost, he might follow you home

After the Grenadier, we will walk back to South Kensington taking in the sights/shops of the neighborhood.  After that, we will hop back on the tube to Leicester Square to check out one of the oldest pubs in London, The Lamb and Flag.

Contrast the "spectacles" you encountered whilst at St. Paul's and the Brompton Oratory. OR Research more about the ghost at the Grenadier and write about your own uncanny experience. OR Write about something unexpected that happens to you during the cineTREK.   Posting is due Monday, June 20th, at midnight.

Later that same day it is time for live comedy--we will leave the steps of your flat at 5:50pm sharp for our ride out to our 7pm show! Comedy is really appreciated in the United Kingdom--and they have a strong tradition of producing gifted comic writers (from Ricky Gervais to William Shakespeare; from Jonathan Swift to Monty Python). Tonight we venture out from your flat at 6pm for our ride out to Kentish Town on the Northern line for an American king of comedy--David Cross from Mr. Show and Arrested Development.  Cross is a master standup comedian so brace yourself for some scathing, scabrous comedy. It is not a cheap show, £29, so make sure you really like live comedy before you invest in this one--there are about 60 seats left so get your tickets early.

Post a blog posting that speculates as to the focus of Cross's humor--is he a dark comic, a cynical one?!  What is the best way to characterize his approach to comedy. Due Monday June 20th @ midnight.

20 June 2016 | Monday

It is 9:30am and we gather on your front porch of Hyde Park Gate for our trip out to the NEW TATE MODERN.  Since we last visited, the museum has re-imagined itself with a brand new wing that more than doubles the size of its exhibition space!

For your writing assignment, I want you to visit and study the Louise Bourgeois room--be sure to read all the didactics (the white cards on the wall with the info).  Your writing assignment, due tomorrow at 2pm online, is to finish the following in a picture-illustrated blog posting:

Walking into the Louise Bourgeois room at the New Tate Modern, what strikes you at once is the _____________________________ of Bourgeois's work--the way it moves you to imagine, and then feel,
_________________________________________________. Of all the works in the collection--artifacts, sculptures, etc--the two that cry out for closer observation include ________________________ and

{note: if Bourgeois's work does not speak to you, you are welcome to write about any other artist/work you encounter today}

21 June 2016 | Tuesday

DETAILS TO FOLLOW It is our last day in London--we leave your flat for the last time at 6:30pm for our underground journey to Tower Hill to take in the LONDON WALKS Jack the Ripper tour out in Spitalfields near Bricklane. Afterwards, we go to drown our sorrows where Jack did, at the 10 Bells Pub for a hearty farewell!

22, June 2016 | Wednesday