Where are you, what are you doing, and with whom are you doing it?

I am in London, England, taking two courses that focus on science, medicine and engineering in Victorian England.  In the facilities of Imperial College, our group comprises eight Harvard students, one Princeton student, two professors–Anne Harrington, Chair of the History of Science department at Harvard; John Durant, Adjunct Professor and Director of the museum at MIT–and our Teaching Fellow, Melissa Lo, a doctoral student in the History of Science at Harvard.  We are studying together here in London through August 21.

What is the Victorian era, and why are you studying it?

I’m glad you asked.  I’ll answer the second part of the question first, if that’s OK.  The short answer, which is the only one you will get, is that I heard of this study abroad opportunity in February while taking Prof. Harrington’s course Madness and Medicine, applied, received funding, and decided to come.  I have also decided to join the History of Science department at Harvard as an undergraduate concentrator, and these courses will go to that end.  In week 5 of this program, we will be studying psychiatry in Victorian England and visiting Bedlam, about which I am very excited.

According to my notes from the first day of class, the Victorian era, strictly defined, refers to the years during which Queen Victoria was on the throne: 1837-1901.  Of course, as is the case with any historical period, the Victorian era is part of a larger story that began before 1837 and continued after 1901.  For more information, the wikipedia article is a good starting point, as is the Victorian Dictionary and the Victorian Web.

How can I reach you while you’re in London?

The best way is by email: seth dot riddley at gmail dot com.  I have disabled my American cell phone for the duration of my time here.  I can also receive incoming calls on my UK mobile phone: 07760229563.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: