Academic Program

Courses are offered to undergraduates and graduates and are cross-listed in several departments. Independent study and research options are also available. Graduate students in all disciplines are encouraged to register for Research Hours through the program, to take advantage of the great British research libraries and archives. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note: Students must take both of the courses offered for a total of six credits.

The courses offered on the program are designed to maximize the learning environment by combining lectures and activities with site visits.
• Monday–Wednesday, classes conducted at St. Michael's Hall
• May also involve local field trips to Oxford sights.
• Thursdays, three full-day excursions to off-site locations relevant to course material and mandatory for all students.
• Two courses for six ASU credits.

2018 Summer Courses

If you wish to enroll in research hours for this program, please contact the ASU Graduate College to review the requirements and process.

A Distant Mirror: Fourteenth-Century English Literature and its Discontents

  • offered for English and History credit:
  • ENG, HST 494 or 598 (3 credits)
  • Oxford Faculty Member - Prof. Ralph Hanna, Keble College, Oxford

The continuous English literary tradition we still celebrate emerged, in perhaps unlikely circumstances, during the period 1370-1400. We will read some introductory fourteenth-century history, a mirror in its persistent wars, pandemics, and efforts at regime change. And we will assess the representation of this historical surround in three foundational English poems, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Langland's Piers Plowman, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Italy & English Drama: From Shakespeare to Shelley

  • offered for English and History credit:
  • ENG 494/598, THE 494/598 (3 credits)
  • ASU Faculty Member - Prof. Mark Lussier, ASU Department of English

“Italianate drama of the Renaissance[, Restoration and Romantic traditions] may be regarded as the most significant case[s] of appropriation of an alien culture, relying upon a protean myth which could easily be moulded to the dramatic needs of every playwright,” --Michelle Marrapodi, Shakespeare’s Italy

Across the 200-year span separating the dramatic works of William Shakespeare and Percy Bysshe Shelley, ample evidence can be found in support of Michelle Marrapodi’s claim of cultural appropriation (above). This course will perform (through an archaeological methodology) an excavation of these stratified epistemic layers of appropriation. Beginning with Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and extending to Shelley’s The Cenci, our class will proceed in chronological fashion to explore the function of those dramatic appropriations within discrete yet varied aesthetic, cultural, historical, political and social contexts. Playwrights often appropriated Italian models and texts for adaptation on the English stage (e.g. Fiorentio’s Il Pecorone as source for The Merchant of Venice). Just as often these writers used Italian settings to project ‘local’ political complexities onto ‘global’ stages that distance those issues and therein reduced potential censorial and legal complications with governmental authorities (e.g. Thomas Otway’s Venice Preserv’d). The plays themselves will be ‘clustered’ in ways to support both critical/theoretical and geopolitical issues and should thereby underwrite examinations of the layers within a particular historical ‘moment’ and a specific cultural situation.