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English Literature

Course 1

Building Storyscapes: Medieval Texts and Fantasy Receptions

In our first course, you will explore the fascinating ways in which medieval English texts have formed a foundation for and inspired a canon of modern fantasy and receptions works. How did medieval authors draw the boundaries of their worlds, and how did those worlds later develop in the minds of modern authors to become the worlds we know from fiction?

Your engagement with the works will be multi-disciplinary: in addition to gaining secure foundational knowledge of seminal works written in Old and Middle English, You will enrich your understanding with visits to the medieval works at the Ashmolean and the ‘Stories and Gifts’ exhibition at the Weston Library Museum.

Course 2

Shakespeare Plays with Emotions

In our second course, you will look into the plays of perhaps the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare. We will introduce students to the complexities and subtleties of his poetics. You will learn how to interpret the range and variety of Shakespeare’s plays through critical textual analysis that focuses on his exploration and imagination of human emotion.

Outside the classroom, you will view Oxford’s remarkable collections of Elizabethan and Jacobean artworks to place Shakespeare’s work into a wider artistic and cultural context, an opportunity that only exists here.

Course Photos


Subject Tutors

Clare Mulley, St Hugh’s, Oxford

Clare Mulley completed her Master’s degree in English Literature (British and Commonwealth) in 2012 at the University of St Andrews. She then went on to study her PhD in English Language and Literature/Letters at the University of Oxford in 2020. Clare has a deep interest in female poets and her thesis was on The influence of Old Norse poetry upon women poets from the 1950s onwards.

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