Spring 2019 Overseers International Travel Seminar

Victorian Crime
HON 336-XX / HON 346-XX - WR
Dr. Michael Johmann

Important note to applicants: You must read the criteria below carefully before continuing to the application at the bottom of the page. On the application you will be asked to verify that you have read and understand the criteria.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the International and National travel seminars is usually competitive. Generally, the following guidelines are utilized in the selection process:

  • Answers to the questions posed on the application are an important part of the selection process. Please answer them carefully and thoroughly!
  • Students must have completed a minimum of 24 college credit hours at the University of Louisville before the semester of the seminar.
  • Students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.35 at the time of travel.
  • Students must be active members in good standing with the Honors Program. Your application will be stronger with more Honors courses and participation in Honors activities.
  • Students having made significant progress towards the designation of University Honors Scholar will have priority (all else being equal).
  • A student’s major/minor will not generally have a bearing on selection.
  • Second and third-year students are normally considered before graduating seniors depending on the level of Honors activity. Students with a baccalaureate degree will be considered only under unusual circumstances.
  • Students who have previously completed an international travel seminar will have lower priority.

Course Description

Demon Barbers! Cannibalistic Pie-Makers! Reanimated Corpses! Whitechapel Rippers!  Pint-Sized Pickpockets! Pederastic Poets!  Cocaine-Addicted Super-Sleuths!  To anyone familiar with the popular literature of the Victorian era, the greatest age of Britain’s Empire was also a time awash in the sensationalism of crime, both real and imagined.  Newspapers raced to outdo one another in the reporting of crime, murderers attained celebrity status in the course of their trials, audiences swelled to the tens of thousands to witness public hangings, and penny-pamphleteers hawked gallows-confessions even before the guilty had swung.  Divided by class, by education and by wealth, Victorians nevertheless found a common macabre delight in the underworld of crime and so laid the groundwork for the emergence of the world’s first great detective, Sherlock Holmes.  But in the midnight shadows of London’s teeming slums, rippers, thieves and poisoners preyed on the city’s illiterate poor, creating a legacy of horror that defied even the best efforts of Scotland Yard.  This course examines the legacy of Victorian Britain’s fascination with crime and the lasting influence that era has had on both the image of the criminal and the popular culture of crime that continues into the 21st century.  During the semester we will explore the reality of crime in 19th century London, western culture’s first truly modern city, as well as the portrayal of crime in the popular media of the day, including classic literature, penny-dreadfuls, popular melodrama, newspapers, street ballads and song.  We will also take advantage of more modern technologies such as film to explore how the delicious nightmares of the Victorian era remain part of our own world in the contemporary era, continually reworking the old stories to suit our own particular tastes.  At the end of the semester we will travel to London and explore the Victorian legacy of the city that remains as part of Britain’s capital. Exact dates of travel have not yet been determined, but will be immediately following spring finals. If you are a graduating senior, the travel portion may conflict with university commencement in May. In other words, be prepared to miss graduation if you are applying for this trip.

This course will fulfill requirements in the Humanities or Social Sciences. The projected student cost for this travel is $1800.00 - $2000.00 per student. This does not include the cost of passports, international student ID cards or University-required immunizations or health checks.

We are no longer accepting applications for the Spring 2019 Travel Seminar.