Summer Abroad UK - Oxford

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Oxford — Portal to Fantasy 

Oxford, United Kingdom

Arrive Date: June 27, 2020    End Date: July 25, 2020

Program Overview

Ever since Alice fell down the rabbit-hole on the grounds of Christ Church College, Oxford has been at the center of modern fantasy literature. Oxford was home not only to Lewis Carroll, but also to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Diana Wynne Jones, and Philip Pullman. Even J.K. Rowling is rolled up in the Oxford mythos, since the Potter films use many Oxford locations. We will read novels from these authors, considering how the “City of Dreaming Spires” has shaped their work and question how these fantasies have themselves shaped the modern imagination and why they have become so central to our times. We will also visit the world of fandom, taking part in Harry Potter tourism, visiting webworlds, and even trekking through landscape that inspired Narnia and the Shire.

Taught in:  English

Max Enrollment:  28

Program Coordinator:  Sarah Wiens


English (ENL) 163. Literary Study in the British Isles (4 units)

English (ENL) 198. Directed Group Study (4 units, P/NP)

Program Highlights

  • Live like an Oxford student, staying at one of the oldest universities in the world.
  • See what inspired Wonderland, Narnia and the Shire.
  • Float Ratty’s river, visit Lyra’s home, and find Howl in the stacks of the Bodleian.
  • Walk through the gates of Hogwarts and down Diagon Alley at the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
  • Discover the many wonders of Oxford, a city rich in history and culture.

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