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Students will not only learn about literary analysis and criticism, but will also learn the key to structuring a strong Oxbridge-style essay – a skill that will be of immense value in their future studies. A wide variety of different lesson styles and approaches will be used in order to keep all students engaged, including lectures, readings, drama activities, multi-media clips, textual analysis, written tasks and discussion work. Students will be expected to contribute to the class by sharing their written work and by engaging in lively in-class discussions and debates.
The first week will focus on William Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest, and teach students how to approach drama as performance as well as text. As a ‘problem’ play, The Tempest spans several narrative genres, and is thus the ideal launch-pad for a discussion of different genres including comedy, romance and post-colonialism, demonstrating how approaches to Shakespeare’s work have changed over the centuries.
The second week begins with authors and texts from the Modernist period, including James Joyce, TS Eliot and Virginia Woolf, to encourage more sophisticated literary analysis including consideration of narrative form and structure and use of criticism to inform interpretation. The week will conclude with a discussion of postmodern literature, including Kurt Vonnegut and Tim O’Brien, looking at how modernism led into postmodernism over the course of the 20th century. A particular highlight of the second week is the chance to engage in an Oxbridge-style tutorial discussion, which will hone your ability to present and justify your arguments in a highly effective and challenging context.
This subject is part of the Broadening Horizons course at Oxford Royale Summer Schools’s Oxford summer school.
The Broadening Horizons course, for students aged 16 to 18, is suitable both for those who are trying to decide what to pursue in further education, and for those who simply want to learn about a variety of interesting subjects - 30+ study options are available!
Students choose two morning classes and one afternoon workshop to provide a diverse and stimulating curriculum that is tailored to their needs, allowing them to pursue areas of interest or try out something new. Students studying Broadening Horizons in Oxford get the chance to live and learn in a college of the University of Oxford or in our 17th-century manor house, Yarnton Manor.
Students of this class will have in common a love of reading and a curiosity about literature. Students should have some familiarity with Shakespeare’s language (though not necessarily any formal schooling) and a desire to read a lot during these two weeks.
Students who are interested in exploring some background reading before taking this class may wish to look at any of the following, though it is by no means essential and the course will not rely on students having done so:
Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which will be studied in depth in the first week of the course
Any of Shakespeare’s comedies: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing or As You Like It are all good fun;
Modernist literature: Joyce’s Dubliners or Virginia Woolf’s short fiction are particularly accessible;
David Bradshaw’s A Concise Companion to Modernism;
Peter Barry’s Beginning Theory, for students who want a challenge.
The Broadening Horizons programme - our flagship Oxford summer course - allows you to combine different subject options to enable a flexible, tailored programme that best suits your academic needs
To view other options, select your choice of options and apply, please visit the main Broadening Horizons Programme page
With the Broadening Horizons Programme you also get:
What our students have to say
Read how Sara has returned year on year, experiencing different summer courses in Oxford and Cambridge.Read Sara's story
Read how Mifta's experience with us introduced her to lifelong friends from across the world.Read Mifta's story
An aspiring cinematographer, Rebecca joined us at the ISC for our Future Filmmakers Gap Year Programme.Read Rebecca's story
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Oxford Royale Academy is a part of Oxford Programs Limited, a company registered in England as company number 6045196. Registered office: 14 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4EF. The company contracts with institutions including Oxford University for the use of their facilities and also contracts with tutors from those institutions but does not operate under the aegis of Oxford University.