Notre Dame London Global Gateway, campus partners, launch new program exploring London through song.

Author: Joanna Byrne

Mc 10

The Notre Dame London Global Gateway, along with six partners from across the University of Notre Dame campus, has launched the next in the London Book Club series, an interactive, educational enrichment program featuring Notre Dame’s expert faculty. 

The program, entitled “London in Song,” is led by Ian Newman, Assistant Professor of English and Fellow of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

“As one of the central nodes of the global entertainment industry, London has a long and complex relationship to song, and much can be learned about the cultural life of the city through its song cultures,” said Newman. “‘London In Song’ explores the history of London by examining the popular music that it inspired.

“London in song” includes  songs, explainer videos from Newman, short essays, a LinkedIn discussion group and weekly interactive Zoom sessions, starting in January. The program is free and open to all, and it is hosted exclusively on ThinkND, Notre Dame’s open, online learning community brought to you by the Alumni Association. 

In addition to offering the opportunity to learn from and interact with Notre Dame’s expert faculty, the program allows participants to engage more deeply with United Kingdom culture through the London Global Gateway and offers unique insight into the University’s presence abroad. 

“Music is a universal language, beyond time and space. It invites us into a deeper understanding of persons and places, also in times of virtual encounters. The opportunity to discover more about London through song with the guidance of Nanovic faculty fellow Ian Newman is an invitation to enter the global city of London through the door of art. This event will kindle further the anticipation of future explorations when travel resumes,” shared Clemens Sedmak, interim director of the Nanovic Institute and Professor of Social Ethics. “The program designed by Ian Newman exemplifies the Nanovic Institute’s aspirations to bring Notre Dame to Europe and Europe to Notre Dame in unusual and deep ways, through intentional engagement with culture and creativity, art and history. The Nanovic Institute enthusiastically supports this initiative.”  

The first week of “London in Song” explores Jack Hall (aka Sam Hall), a traditional British folk song dating back to 1707, with the initial Zoom discussion on Tuesday, January 12 at 11:30am (EST). In the remaining weeks, participants will look at songs, “The London Waterman,” “Jerusalem” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” While the Book Club is presented as a four-week experience, participants are invited to join for any session.

“It is with great delight that we welcome Ian Newman as the next presenter in the London Book Club. Ian brings further evidence of the diversity and expansiveness of the kind of research and scholarship that the Notre Dame faculty is doing in London and all over the world. On this occasion, Ian will give focus to the history of London through the songs that it inspired over time.” said Fr. Jim Lies C.S.C., interim senior director for academic initiatives and partnerships at the London Global Gateway. “The London Global Gateway is honored to host Ian for the LBC, and to welcome all who might wish to travel with us on this musical history tour!”

Partners for the London Book Club include the College of Arts & Letters, ND International, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, the Nanovic Institute, the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, ND Learning and the Notre Dame Alumni Association.


Originally published by Joanna Byrne at on December 10, 2020.