MLA students and alumni study at Cambridge

Over ten days in September, Stanford MLA students and alumni took MLA 292: The Bloomsbury Group, held at Cambridge University, and taught by Stanford Professor Peter Stansky. The students had intense days of study, with time spent among the College archives, and evenings on their own to explore historic Cambridge. 


"Stanford's MLA summer option at King's College, Cambridge was a delightful and surprising experience. The study program provided me with a much deeper appreciation of intellectual life and culture in England: the incredible history and 15th century buildings, the hallways of art works, the portraits of the great men and women who studied there, interactions with faculty and the other students, the remarkable King's College Library and Archives, memorable tea time at Grantchester with Rupert Brooke's poem, and a farewell dinner fit for royalty. For MLA students who have not chosen a study abroad option, I highly recommend these special travel learning experiences."         - Terrel Hill, MLA student


Course Description

Bloomsbury was the most significant group of English intellectuals, writers, and artists of the early twentieth century. Among its eminent figures were Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Roger Fry, Lytton Strachey, Vanessa Bell, E.M. Forster, and Leonard Woolf. This group had its origin at Cambridge University, primarily at King’s College, where the seminar will meet. Students will have access to the Modern Archive at the College—the world’s leading collection of primary material on the Bloomsbury Group. Through readings of Bloomsbury texts and classroom discussion, students will explore the group and assess its significance.

Peter Stansky is the Frances and Charles Field Professor of History, Emeritus. Professor Stansky has a degree from King’s College and knows it and Cambridge well. He has written on various aspects of modern British history, including Bloomsbury.


King’s College was founded in 1441 by Henry VI and is one of the 31 colleges in the University of Cambridge. The College is full of Bloomsbury art, and members of the course will live, eat, and study where E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, and John Maynard Keynes did the same.