UA in Oxford Course Benefits
Please keep in mind that our 400 level courses can satisfy core curriculum Writing (W) requirements and that many professors are willing to offer their 300 and 400 level courses as honors by contract. Our 200 level Fine Arts and English courses satisfy several core requirements, as well. Many pre-requisites can be waived for upper-level courses taken in Oxford. While we try to accommodate all course requests, course seats for all our sections do fill up fast and we ask for some flexibility on everyone's part.
Updated Courses for Summer 2017!!!
UH 210: Honors Fine Arts: The Arts of Oxford (Jones)
Honors Fine Arts: The Arts of Oxford includes literature (Phillip Pullman, Lewis Carroll), architecture ancient and new, art (you’ll love the Pre-Raphaelites), science (see Einstein’s chalkboard), baroque music in baroque chapels, Shakespeare in college gardens, pub food and high tea, and many tours of sights and sites (walk in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll and Alice, Emma Watson, Oscar Wilde, Christopher Wren, and the Oxford Martyrs).
Remember, if you have taken UH 210 once already, you can take it again for credit in Oxford.
This course's major "walks" are open to all program participants, even if you're not registered for UH 210.
EN 215: Honors English Literature I (Pre-modern) (Deutsch)
English Literature 1 (available for honors credit) provides a survey from the Anglo-Saxon period to 1800. While we'll pay special attention to Shakespeare, we'll also consider Beowulf, legends of King Arthur and Camelot, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, racy and witty restoration drama, as well as poetry by John Donne, Mary Wroth, and Jonathan Swift. The course is designed to take advantage of our Oxford summer home and our excursions throughout England.
EN 216: Honors English Literature 2 (Halli)
Honors English Literature 2 provides a survey from 1800 to the present, concentrating where possible on Oxford authors (Oscar Wilde, W. H. Auden), works about Oxford (Matthew Arnold’s “Thyrsis” and “Scholar Gypsy,” the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, and works written in Oxford (W. B. Yeats’s “The Second Coming,” T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”). The course begins with a short novel whose opening scene is set in our college.
EN 311/422: “ ‘Black Sails’ and The ‘Real’ Pirates of the Caribbean” (Smith)
Perhaps no counterculture in world history stimulates the modern imagination more than does piracy. From the recent series Black Sails on the cable network Starz and the ever popular Disney blockbuster franchise Pirates of the Caribbean to modern-day pirates attacking vessels off the coast of Somalia, images of pirate culture abound. I propose a course, then, that will ask students to draw relationships between our modern-day fascination with pirates and some of the original manifestations of piracy, focusing especially on English piracy in the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the course, students will interrogate questions such as the following: Who were the real pirates of the Caribbean and how did they differ from buccaneers and privateers? What place did they occupy in English social circles? What made theirs a “counter”culture? To what/whom exactly were they counter? What was life like for pirates? Laws? Customs? Diet? Conditions aboard the ship and off? Why would anyone want to be a pirate – both in the past and present? Why, today, do we have such a fascination with this historical counterculture?
In addition to the above points of inquiry, we will examine pirate iconography – the black flag, eye patches, swords, and parrots. We will look for the origins of these icons in primary English texts written in the 17th and 18th centuries. To what extent is Johnnie Depp’s portrayal of Jack Sparrow beholden to historical accounts? And how much of the character is the product of present-day pirate mythology? For those pirates raiding the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, are they channeling a historical European counterculture of piracy? Or something else?
We will screen episodes of the Starz television series and the Disney movies. We will read materials from current periodicals about pirate activity in the Indian Ocean, and we will read primary documents written in the 18th century by pirates and English officials, whose policies toward pirates vacillated between rewarding them and punishing them – as suited the needs at any given time of the English crown in the 17th and 18th centuries. Texts will include: Sir Francis Drake Revived (1629), excerpts from The Buccaneers of America (1684) by Alexandre Exquemelin and excerpts from A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates (1724) by Charles Johnson.
(Available at the 300 and 400 level; pre-requisites can be waived for courses taken in Oxford).
History 300/400: Charles Darwin & Jack the Ripper: Science, Medicine, and Society in Victorian Britain (Peterson)
The bodies of two young women were discovered in the early hours of Sunday, September 30, 1888 a few blocks apart from each other in east London. Witnesses reported seeing the victims with a “shabby genteel” man carrying a small leather case. The popular press had already branded the killer “Jack the Ripper” for his gruesome treatment of his victims. But no one ever discovered his true identity, since he was so adept at hiding. Six years earlier, a different “shabby genteel” man who carried a case and who hid from the public in a town southeast of London, while still being the subject of sensational stories in the British press, was laid to rest in Westminster. His name was Charles Darwin.
Aside from circumstantial traits, Darwin and Jack the Ripper shared nothing in common. Yet the two famous, though still shadowy, figures symbolize the upheaval taking place in the relationship between scientists, surgeons, the government, the news media, corporations, and the public in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this History of Science, Medicine, and Society course, we will examine these shifting relations through primary texts and material culture.
History 300: Tudor and Stuart Political and Social History (Sowerby)
The reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII brought substantial changes to English politics and religion. Historians long thought that the Tudors ushered in a ‘New Monarchy’ and that under Henry VIII a revolution in government occurred. Both kings’ reigns were fraught with challenges to their rule from Yorkist rivals and overseas enemies and both Henrys were regarded by at least some of their subjects as tyrants who deserved to be deposed. This course will go beyond the enduring stereotypes of the two Henrys – one a controlling miser, the other an early modern playboy – and look at such issues as whether factional struggles dominated the Tudor courts and to what extent either Henry was really a tyrant. We will also look at the reasons behind, and consequences of, Henry VIII’s seismic marital policies, overthrow of Roman Catholicism and military ambitions, using letters, poems, paintings and other contemporary documents.