UC Davis Summer Abroad


Status: Closed for 2017

Info Session: Watch on Vimeo

Oxford — Portal to Fantasy 

Oxford, United Kingdom

Arrive Date: June 24, 2017    End Date: July 22, 2017

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, Deborah Harkness, 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 each author, considering how the “City of Dreaming Spires” has shaped their work and question how these fantasies themselves have shaped the modern imagination and why they have become so central to our times. We will also visit the world of fandom, taking in Harry Potter tourism, visiting webworlds, and even trekking through landscape that inspired Narnia and the Shire.

Instructor:  Karma Waltonen

Taught in:  English

Max Enrollment:  30

Program Coordinator:  Sarah Wiens


English (ENL) 163S. 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 in a 16th century college in the center of town.
  • See what inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the Narnia books, float the river that Mole and Rat spend their days on, visit Lyra’s home, and discover the many wonders of Oxford, a city rich in history and culture.
  • Walk into the halls of Hogwarts at the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
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