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HISTORY 4L03 Cultural Hist Of Mod London

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Heathorn

Email: heaths@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 621

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24850


Office Hours: Tues and Thurs 11:30-12:30 and by appointment

Course Objectives:

This advanced researcc course examines the social and cultural experience of London during the period c. 1750 to c. 2000.   Topics that may be covered include: housing, architecture and sanitation; issues of governmentality; leisure activities; cultures of class and gender in urban neighbourhoods; London as centre of empire; sexuality and urban spectatorship; consumption; spectacle and public life, and warfare and the city, among others.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Roy Porter, London: A Social History (2000 or later edition)

Reuel Golden, London (2008 or later edition)

Method of Assessment:

Seminar Participation:                                                       25%

Leading Seminar:                                                              10%

Paper Prospectus (3 Oct.):                                                5%

Paper draft turned in on time (7 Nov.):                              10%  (Note: this is an all or nothing mark)

First Drafts feedback (last three weeks of seminar):         10%

Research Paper (12 Dec.):                                                40%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students should be aware that some course components are time-sensitive.  Acceptance of a late assignment is entirely at the discretion of the instructor and, except in exceptional instances, a penalty will be imposed (3% per day).  With a documented excuse the late penalty may be reduced or waived.  Note that paper drafts MUST be turned in on time (7 Nov.) to receive the turn-in mark.  Unexcused late drafts will receive a zero; you may NOT use your MSAF for this assignment. 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

AO = Available online at the A2L course shell

Additional supplementary reading materials may be placed on A2L as the course progresses.


Sept. 12 – Intro to course

For background, quickly read chapters, 1 through 5 in Porter.


Sept. 19 – The long 18th Century

Core Reading:

Porter, chapters 6 & 7.

Topic Reading: Reporting on London’s 18th Century Criminal Underworld

Peter King, “Newspaper Reporting and Attitudes to Crime and Justice in Late-Eighteenth- and Early-Nineteenth-Century London” Continuity and Change 22:1 (2007): 73-112.  AO

Norma Landau, “Gauging Crime in Late Eighteenth-Century London” Social History 35:4 (2010): 396-417.


Simon Devereaux, “From Sessions to Newspaper? Criminal Trial Reporting, the Nature of Crime, and the London Press, 1770-1800” London Journal, 32:1 (2007): 1-27.

Robert Shoemaker, “The Old Baily Proceedings and the Representation of Crime and Criminal Justice in Eighteenth-Century London” Journal of British Studies, 47:3 (2008): 559-80. AO

Robert Shoemaker, “Forty Years of Crime in London (Journal)” London Journal 40:2 (2015): 89-105. AO


Sept. 26 – Explosive Growth in the 19th Century

Core Reading:

Porter, chapters 8, 9, 10.

Topic Reading: Commercial London

Erika Rappaport, “'The Halls of Temptation': gender, politics, and the construction of the department store in late Victorian London,” Journal of British Studies, 35 (1996): 58-83.  AO


Erika Rappaport, “Art, Commerce, or Empire? The Rebuilding of Regent Street, 1880-1927,” History Workshop Journal, 53 (2002): 94 -117.  AO

David Gilbert and Fiona Henderson, “London and the tourist imagination” in Pamela K. Gilbert (ed.), Imagined Londons (2002), pp. 121-36.


Oct. 3 – Efforts at Reform and Improvement

Core Reading:

Porter, chapters 11 & 12.

Topic Reading: Outcast London

Gareth Stedman Jones, “Working-class Culture and Working-class Politics in London, 1870-1900” Journal of Social History, 7:4 (1974): 460-508.  AO

Andrew August, “A culture of consolation?  Rethinking politics in working-class London, 1870-1914” Historical Research, 74:184 (2001): 193-219.  AO


Ellen Ross, ‘“Fierce questions and taunts”: married life in working-class London, 1870-1914,’ in David Feldman and Gareth Stedman Jones (eds.), Metropolis - London: histories and representations since 1800 (1989), pp. 219-44.

Anna Davin, Growing Up Poor: Home, School and Street in London, 1870-1914 (1996).

Prospectus Due


Oct. 10 Midterm Break


Oct. 17 – The Early 20th Century

Core Reading:

Porter, chapters 13 & 14.

Topic Reading: Imperial London

David Gilbert and Felix Driver, “Capital and Empire: Geographies of Imperial London,” GeoJournal 51:1-2 (2000): 23-32.  AO

David Gilbert, “London of the Future: The Metropolis Reimagined after the Great War,” Journal of British Studies, 43:1 (2004): 91-119.  AO


J. Schneer, London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis (1999). 

Michael Harry Port, “Government and the metropolitan image: ministers, parliament and the concept of a capital city, 1840-1915,” Art History, 22:4 (1999): 567-92.  AO


Oct. 24 – The Second World War

Core & Topical Reading:

Geoffrey Field, “Nights Underground in Darkest London: the Blitz, 1940-41” International Labor and Working-Class History, 62 (2002): 11-49.  AO

Amy Bell, “Landscapes of Fear: Wartime London, 1939–1945,” Journal of British Studies, 48 (January 2009): 153–175.  AO


Brad Beaven and John Griffiths, “The Blitz, Civilian Morale and the City: Mass-Observation and Working-class Culture in Britain, 1940-41” Urban History, 26:1 (1999): 71-88. 

Mark Connelly, “London Pride has been handed down to us: the blitz, September 1940-May 1941” in his We Can Take It! Britain and the Memory of The Second World War (2004).

Mark Pohlad, “The Appreciation of Ruins in Blitz-Era London” The London Journal, 30:2 (2005): 1-24.  AO


Oct. 31 – Swinging London

Core & Topical Reading:

Porter, chapter 15

David Gilbert, “'The Youngest Legend in History': Cultures of Consumption and the Mythologies of Swinging London,” The London Journal, 31:1 (2006): 1-14.  AO

“Swinging Boutiques and the Modern Store: Designing Shops for Post-war London,” The London Journal, 31:1 (2006): 65-83.  AO


Bronwen Edwards and David Gilbert, “'Piazzadilly!': The Re-imagining of Piccadilly Circus (1957-72),” Planning Perspectives, 23:4 (2008): 455-478.  AO

John Davis, “The London Drug Scene and the Making of Drug Policy, 1965–73,” Twentieth Century British History, 17:1 (2006): 26-49.  AO

Matt Houlbrook, “The Private World of Public Urinals: London 1918–57” The London Journal, 25:1 (2000): 52-70.  AO



Nov. 7 – Contemporary London

Core Reading:

Porter, chapters 16 and 17

Topical Reading: Environment, Commemoration and Urban planning

Stephen Heathorn, “The Civil Servant and Public Remembrance: Sir Lionel Earle and the Shaping of London's Commemorative Landscape, 1918–1933” Twentieth Century British History, 19:3 (2008): 259-287.  AO

Dennis Hardy, “Utopian Ideas and the Planning of London”, Planning Perspectives, 20:1 (2005): 35–49.  AO



Richard Dennis, “Modern London” in the Cambridge Urban history of Britain, vol. III (ed. Martin Daunton)(2000), pp. 95-132. 

Peter Thorsheim, “Green Space and Class in Imperial London” in Andrew Isenberg (ed.) The Nature of Cities (2006).

Patricia Garside, “Politics, Ideology and the Issue of Open Space in London, 1939-2000” in Peter Clark (ed.) The European City and Green Space (2006), pp. 68-98.

Stephen Heathorn, “Aesthetic Politics and Heritage Nostalgia: Electrical Generating Superstations in the London Cityscape since 1927” London Journal, 38:2 (2013): 125-150.  AO

First Drafts of Papers Due


Nov. 14 – Research Presentations

Nov. 21 – Research Presentations

Nov. 28 – Research Presentations


Dec. 12 – Final Paper Due

Other Course Information:

The course is structured chronologically, with readings about London’s general historical development from Porter, and a special topic each week that may transcend the period covered in Porter.  Everyone will read the core readings from Porter and the key topical reading.  Two or three members of the seminar will be responsible for completing all the supplementary readings about the topic and leading, as a team, the discussion of the topic in second hour of the seminar.   Everyone in the class must be part of at least one seminar-leading team.  In the remaining three weeks, students will read drafts of their peers work and collectively comment and provide feedback on them.  Students must therefore start thinking about a topic immediately and start work on their paper early.  A paper prospectus – a short proposal for the paper – is due the first week of October.  Students will work on their papers concurrently with the seminar reading and turn in a draft by the last three weeks of term, have it discussed by the class, incorporate feedback, and turn in their finished papers into me, no later than noon, 12 December 2016.