Coffee Talk London
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the birth of the coffee house in London, and it was in these social hubs that Sir Joseph Addison and Richard Steele conceived The Tatler and The Spectator, publications which observed and speculated on the “minor morals” of the day. The periodical essay format was later imitated by others such as Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith and Horace Walpole. It is this model students will study and imitate, using London’s rich social settings as catalysts for their writing: coffeehouses, pubs, historical landmarks, churches, theatres, parks, transportation systems and neighborhoods. The study of the periodical essay will begin in the fall in Birmingham’s own popular coffee houses and students will analyze Addison and Steele’s work and consider the ways of observing our own culture’s “manners and morals.” Students will utilize their study and their own observation and writing to come to a greater understanding of cultural similarities and differences. Students taking this course will take detailed notes in London and will later write in the periodical essay format after excursions to various assigned spots in London. Each day’s assignment will focus on a subject that Addison and Steele highlighted in their essays, which might include relationships, fashion, mannerisms, conversation, religion, entertainment and others. We will end the day with late afternoon “coffee talk” at London coffeehouses to discuss and interpret the day’s observations. Students will use observation notes to develop three periodical essays (one in Birmingham, two in London) and these will be compiled into Samford’s own version of The Tatler and The Spectator.
*Can count for Social Science or Humanities Gen Ed
Professor: Dana Basinger (email@example.com)
* Includes airfare from Atlanta to London, entrance fees and activities, health insurance