CSU professor Dr. Roze Hentschell is currently accompanying a group of students to Oxford University and teaching HONR 392/492, “Shakespeare in Oxford” (3 credits). This CSU faculty led summer program is sponsored by the University Honors Program. Dr. Hentschell and her students arrived at Oxford, one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world and one of the world’s most prestigious and rigorous centers of higher education, on May 24th and will be returning on June 21st. While there, students are enrolled in a 3 credit one-on-one tutorial in their major area of study taught by Oxford-affiliated faculty.
Students are studying four of Shakespeare’s plays and have an opportunity to engage with them well beyond the page. Students have taken or will take field trips to see performances at the Globe Theatre in London, by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and by actors at Oxford University. Students will also visit London, Bath, and Windsor. In Oxford, students will have access to examples of Tudor architecture (including the spectacular Duke Humphrey’s Library at The Bodleian, known by most as the library of Hogwarts), art (at the Ashmolean Museum), and religion (Oxford was the site of the prosecution and execution of Protestant martyrs).
Before students embarked on this journey, they met during the week of finals to prepare for the trip. “It’s hard to think about the experience of a lifetime when you are in the middle of finals at CSU, but we took a break to gather one last time before we meet in Oxford on May 24th. We went over the “Shakespeare in Oxford” syllabus, assignments, and schedule of classes and activities.” (Quote by Roze Hentschell taken from the Shakespeare in Oxford blog)
Here is what students were most excited about:
- Seeing the Shakespeare performances (see the “About” page for links)
- Going to the pub where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis hung out
- Wandering the streets and buildings of the medieval city
- Finding good running routes
- Finding out just what the Oxford tutorial is all about and learning the Oxford professors we will be working with
- Seeking out used books
- Punting on the river
- Exploring great study spots (remember, these are honors students!)
And what they were nervous about:
- Not being able to focus on studying because of all the cool things to distract us
- British/American English language issues (one student recommended watching Dr. Who as preparation)
- Getting lost
- Overpacking and not having room for cool souvenirs
After being there a week, Roze posted this update: “We have been in Oxford since the beginning of the week. The students have: settled into their flats, had orientation, met or set up a meeting with their Oxford tutors, had their first Shakespeare class, visited Windsor Castle, been inducted into their colleges (New College or Christ Church), received library cards at the Bodleian, explored the city and its environs, met other students from U.S. universities, and have basically taken Oxford by storm. Except, they’ve brought the sunshine instead.”
Make sure to check out the class blog to read more updates from the students!