Notre Dame London Global Gateway, campus partners, launch new program on Hitchcock’s adaptations of London-based novels

Author: Joanna Byrne

Pall Mall Matt Cashore

The Notre Dame London Global Gateway, along with five partners from across the University of Notre Dame campus, has launched the London Book Club, an interactive, educational enrichment program featuring Notre Dame’s expert faculty. Throughout the year, relevant themes will be selected, and participants will be invited to join four weekly meetings to discuss books, excerpts, films, and other materials.

London’s first program, “Hitchcock in London,” is led by Susan Ohmer, the William T. and Helen Kuhn Carey Associate Professor of Modern Communications in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.

"Alfred Hitchcock's films are well known for their creative use of locations and the films we will watch illustrate how he explored the artistic possibilities of London,” said Ohmer. “Hitchcock was born in London, and this series gives us a chance to see how his career developed in the city. The series will also enable us to look closely at the imaginative ways that directors and screenwriters work with literary sources to adapt them for the screen.”

“Hitchcock in London” includes excerpts of books the iconic director adapted for film, film viewings, explainer videos from Ohmer, a LinkedIn discussion group and weekly interactive Zoom sessions. 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. 

“So many of our alumni studied abroad—for a semester or for a full year, in Tokyo, Sydney, London, or dozens of other locations—as a way to experience new cultures, new people, and new mindsets,” said Dolly Duffy ’84, executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association. “Whether you studied abroad, traveled overseas, or want to use literature and film as your guide around the world, we hope the London Book Club will provide our alumni, parents, and friends with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and appreciation for different cultures.” 

“Exploring London, a city that is both global and European, through film and novels enriches our understanding of this important place and its culture,” shared Clemens Sedmak, interim director of the Nanovic Institute and Professor of Social Ethics. “In this moment when travel to London is complicated, the Nanovic Institute enthusiastically joins this collaboration to share the insights of Professor Ohmer, who consistently enhances our appreciation with her keen insight and whose experience in London will enrich our understanding of the city and these works.”

The first week of “Hitchcock in London” is an introduction to Marie Belloc Lowndes “The Lodger,” which Hitchcock adapted for his film of the same name, with the initial Zoom discussion on Wednesday, September 9. The remaining weeks take a closer look at Hitchcock’s “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog,” “Secret Agent” by Joseph Conrad, and Hitchcock’s adaptation of this, entitled “Sabotage.”  While the Book Club is presented as a four-week experience, participants are invited to join for any session.

“I am delighted that the London Global Gateway is collaborating with ThinkND on this wonderful Hitchcock in London project with our friend and colleague Professor Susan Ohmer,” says Josh Copeland, executive director of the London Global Gateway. “This is a great opportunity for alums and friends to join together in thinking about London and its place in the history of literature and film. I look forward to learning alongside the rest of the ThinkND community as Professor Ohmer leads us along this journey through Hitchcock's London.”

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


Originally published by Joanna Byrne at on August 19, 2020.