CPSP 279K The Victorian Connection
Science and Social Change in Victorian Britain

Orientation Materials

UMD Supervising Faculty:

In the UK:

Program Coordinator:

Course Website: Your at it!

Basic Itinerary:

  • Dec. 9, 6-7:30, CCC 1200: Preparatory meeting
  • Dec. 9-Jan. 3, wherever you are: Readings, preparations for departure (and final exams, and enjoying the holidays and your break!)
  • Jan. 3, 3-whenever, CCC 1100: Orientation for course; icebreaker activities
  • Jan. 4, 9-whenever, CCC 1100: Course lectures in morning and afternoon
  • Jan. 5: Final packing, arrive at Dulles Airport by 4 pm
  • Jan. 6: Arrive at Heathrow Airport
  • Jan. 6: Travel from Heathrow Airport to:
    • International Student House (ISH)
      • Visitor's Entrance: 229 Great Portland Street, Regent's Park, London W1W 5PN UK
      • Postal Address: 1 Park Crescent, Regent's Park, London, W1B 1SH UK
      • Phone: 020 7631 8300
  • Jan. 6-Jan. 21: Activities in London and surrounding region
  • Jan. 22: Check out of ISH, travel to Heathrow Airport
  • Jan. 22: Arrive at Dulles Airport
  • Jan. 31: All Class Materials must be turned in

This course involves materials from a broad set of disciplines. The readings are chosen to reflect this. Some of these are by writers of the 19th Century; others are by modern workers examining issues covered by this time. Some of the readings will be provided as Xeroxed packets to be made available to you prior to the end of finals. However, you should pick up your own copies of the following required (which are available at many book stores, on online outlets, and the like):

  • Dickens, Charles. 1838. Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress. (There are numerous paperback copies of this book available; make certain that you get one that is "complete and unabridged.")
  • Dugard, Martin. 2003. Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingston. Broadway Press. ISBN 0767910745
  • Winchester, Simon. 2002. The Map that Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology. Perennial Press. ISBN 0-06-093180-9
The additional readings include:
  • Atkins, Peter W. 2003. Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science, Chapter 1 "Evolution: The Emergence of Complexity" (especially pp. 5-30), Chapter 3 "Energy: The Universalization of Accountancy", and Chapter 4 "Entropy: The Spring of Change".
  • Darwin, Charles. 1883. The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Second Edition, Volume I, Introduction. (Concentrate on pp. 4-14, which lays out Natural Selection in a concise form.)
  • Carlisle, Rodney. 2004. Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries : All the Milestones in Ingenuity From the Discovery of Fire to the Invention of the Microwave Oven, Part IV "The Industrial Revolution, 1791 to 1890." (DON'T try to memorize this chapter; just skim through it and familiarize yourself with the technological advances of the era.)
  • Desmond, Adrian. 1976. The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs: A Revolution in Palaeontology, Chapter 1 "The Crown of Creation." (Concentrate on pp. 7-24, which deals with the discovery of a fossil world up to the creation of the Crystal Palace dinosaur exhibit.)
  • Sagan, Carl. 1995. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Chapter 23 "Maxwell and the Nerds."

Packing Suggestions:
Start with the basics: Tickets, Money, Passport

  • Tickets: Self Explanatory
  • Money: Expect that you will need about 255-300 for food for the course of the trip (breakfasts are covered). At the current exchange rate of approximately 2 $/, you should expect to bring about $500-600 for food alone. This should not be all in the form of cash: a combination of traveler's checks, and sufficient funds in credit cards and ATMs drawing on credit cards is far safer. Add to this however much more you might want to bring with regards to buying gifts, going on non-programmatic outings (extra sites, theatres, etc.), and so forth.
  • Passports: Make two Xeroxed copies of the main page of your passport. Leave one copy with your home contacts (e.g., parents), and give the other copy to the faculty so that they can have a set for the files while in London. (You are entitled to have this sheet back after the trip is over, should you wish.)
  • Additionally, don't forget your International Student Identification Card.
  • Also, if you have any special medical conditions (esp. allergies, asthma, and the like), you must inform the faculty and inform them where on your person or gear you stow any necessary medications.

The key to international travel is packing lightly. All you bring should fit in one (1) checked rolling bag, and one (1) carry-on bag (preferably a daypack or similar bag). Note: you might also have a small personal carry-on item, like a camera case or a purse.

NOTE: Please keep your most valuable items, and one day's worth of your absolute necessary toiletries and change of underwear and socks, with you on your carry on. Trust Holtz on this one...


  • Moderately heavy coat/rain jacket. London in January is not typically very cold (average highs are 35-43F), but is wet!
  • Umbrella
  • 1-2 Sweaters
  • 2-3 Pairs of pants (jeans plus one or two non-jeans for dressier occasions)/skirts
  • 2-3 Shirts/Blouses that don't wrinkle much
  • If you are interested in going out to a fancier restaurant or show, dress/sports jacket and tie
  • A decent supply of underwear and socks
  • 2 pairs of shoe (one dressier)
  • Sleepwear
NOTE: There is a coin-operated 24hr laundry associated with the International Student House.


  • A guidebook (some possibilities include Eyewitness Travel Guide: London (DK Publishers) or Time Out London (Penguin), but there are many many options)
  • Camera, and appropriate supplies
  • Toiletries and medicines
  • Electric adaptor! (The UK is on 240V and use three pin plugs; if you have US equipment, you'll need an adaptor)
  • Journal, writing implements

NOTE: Before bringing your cell phone, find out if it is compatible with the European system (most US phones are NOT!!)

Some final thoughts on packing: On the one hand, you can buy pretty much anything in London that you might want to bring with you, so you can save on packing space that way. On the other hand, it will almost certainly be more expensive to buy it there than here.