What is Eurospring?
In days gone by, an “educated” person was required to travel in order to round out his or her education. Minnesota State University Moorhead provides the opportunity for students to broaden their education by offering a semester-length humanities program which includes:
• A five-week study of British society at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, with organized field trips and a theatre performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-Upon-Avon.
• A three-week study tour of key cities throughout Europe with organized city tours and visits to museums, art galleries, cathedrals and other important sites, and ample free time to pursue individual interests.
• A required on-campus preparatory course, as well as assigned readings and research.
• Pre-departure orientation sessions held during fall semester.
Students earn 15 upper-division credits through their Eurospring experience. 6 credits are earned through coursework under the direction of Oxford Professor Allan Chapman and his colleagues at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. Students can choose from a variety of classes addressing the year’s chronological theme, “The Early Industrial Age.”
3 credits are earned in a course focusing on preparation, execution, and evaluation of cultural experiences and the study tour component.
6 credits are earned as two MSUM Dragon Core/LASC classes: one in the humanities (area 6, cross-listed into area 8, Global) and one in the social sciences (area 5), which includes a writing intensive designation. In these two courses, students synthesize their overall experience and meaningfully answer broad thematic questions central to the liberal studies learning outcomes. Student experiences include prep course briefings about museum visits and cultural background, field trips and weekend trips in England and Europe, personally tailored museum and archive visits, and the Grand Tour. This flexible and dynamic assessment allows students to pursue individual interests under the guidance of the tour leader, while experiencing the relevance and connectivity of the liberal arts first-hand.
This year’s Eurospring faculty leader is Tom Brandau, Film Studies.
Instruction & Academic Program
All students take the main lecture course and select two classes for credit. Students may audit any of the remaining classes.
Instruction will be provided in Oxford by carefully selected British faculty, who will set and grade examinations. Examinations will be held on the last day of classes at Oxford. Students must be prepared for a full day’s examination schedule. No rescheduling is permitted. All examinations are hand-written. Grading results are final.
The faculty leader is Tom Brandau, Film Studies (477-2950, firstname.lastname@example.org), who will act as resident director and advisor in Oxford, and will be responsible for grading pre-and post-departure assignments. Students will be required to keep and submit a daily journal for grading and complete papers on topics chosen in consultation with Professor Brandau. This work will be based in part on observations and material collected during the study tour.
Students must participate in all Oxford field trips, which are generally held on Saturdays. There will be time for students to pursue individual interests, such as spending time in London and other locations.
Pre-departure coursework & assignments
In addition to the academic coursework in Oxford, students will be required to complete all assigned pre-departure coursework and attend orientation sessions; write an autobiographical essay at the end of fall semester; attend a mandatory on-campus preparatory course lasting one week during spring semester (February 10 - 14, 2014); keep a daily journal while in Oxford and on tour; visit a minimum of two historic sites, museums, and/or other cultural events in each city on tour; and turn in written work following completion of the program.
Courses while in Oxford
The Early Industrial Age, 1780 - 1914
MAIN LECTURE COURSE
Dr Allan Chapman, M.A., D.Phil., D.Sc., D.Univ., F.R.A.S., University of Oxford
In 1780, the fastest conveyance was still the horse, as it had been in the days of the ancient Greeks, and life expectancy was no longer than it had been in Egyptian times. Yet the period we shall be looking at created the world that we know today. By 1914, a revolution had taken place which saw the aeroplane and modern medicine beginning to change the whole scale of human expectation. The nineteenth century had witnessed a massive increase in the wealth and prosperity of Britain, which became the world’s first modern industrial nation. Many of the traditional bonds of society broke down, as businessmen rose up to become Lords and women made their first impact on public life. It was also an age of ‘tender conscience’, as politicians, clergy, authors, and philosophers first identified what we now call human rights issues, and saw the need for social reform. This course will examine the dynamism of Britain in the nineteenth century, along with its relations with the wider world. It will pay particular attention to the lives and activities of the people who, on all social levels, made the age.
Though the course will be taught from an English historical perspective, it will contain a great deal about what was going on in Europe and the wider world.
There will be a lecture on the origins, history, and present-day workings of Oxford University, and on student life within it. Before each field trip there will also be a full lecture; in addition, there will be a background talk on the Shakespeare play to be seen in Stratford-upon-Avon.
CLASSES (course list subject to change)
The following classes are offered. Each student must register for TWO classes for credit, though all classes are open for audit. Book lists will be provided to participants during fall semester.
1. English Art and Architecture
This course will cover art in Britain from 1780-1914, from the beginnings of Romanticism in the late eighteenth century to the British adoption of Impressionism in the late nineteenth, looking at the growth of different genres and the work of British artists such as William Blake and J.M.W. Turner. It will examine the development of painting techniques, including the establishment of a school of watercolour painting and the achievements of the watercolour artists Samuel Palmer, John Sell Cotman, and Thomas Girtin. There will also be a discussion of printmaking in Britain during this period. In architecture, the course will review the continuing interest in classical building and the discovery of Greek forms, along with the revival of aspects of Gothic architecture. These developments will be set into a European context leading up to the First World War.
2. Music and Culture
This course will examine the history and evolution of the main musical forms for the period 1780-1910. This was an age in which many well-known forms of music developed or established themselves, such as the symphony, Church music, folk music, and popular entertainment music. Cheap pianos and gramophones also carried music into millions of homes by 1900. No musical knowledge will be required for the course.
3. From Aristocracy to Democracy
In 1780, only a small number of people could affect the government process in Britain, but by 1919, all men over 21 and all women over 30 could vote. This course will examine how the growing industrial wealth of nineteenth-century Britain created the world’s first big middle class: a class which gradually eroded the ancestral power of the aristocracy, so that by 1880 the highest office in the land – that of Prime Minister – was held by an elected member of the middle class. At the same time, however, the British monarchy adapted to a constitutional role, and all was achieved without bloodshed.
4. Science, Invention, and Discovery
It was the nineteenth century which created the modern world of science and technology that we take for granted today. Pre-nineteenth-century scientific discoveries had been largely intellectual, and had not much affected the way in which people lived. But the discovery of bacteria, the rise of modern medicine, electricity, rapid transport, industrial chemistry, and photography were all products of the Victorian age, and without them we would have lacked the momentum necessary to do what we do today. This course will not require any prior scientific background.
5. The Quests for the East and for the Past
The nineteenth century was intrigued by discoveries from the East and from the past. As for the past, the millionaire Heinrich Schliemann used his fortune in the 1870s to excavate in Turkey the site of Troy, and discovered the actual remains of the heroes of Homer’s Iliad. Later, another millionaire, Sir Arthur Evans, who became Curator of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, discovered an ancient civilisation in Crete, the Minoan, which preceded and influenced Schliemann’s early Greeks. The Ashmolean Museum has the best displays of these finds outside Greece. The course will study the Iliad, both as a rousing and heroic war story, and as a record of this Mediterranean world unearthed by nineteenth-century archaeology.
As for the East, another nineteenth-century adventurer was Sir Richard Burton, who brought from his escapades in India his famous translation of the Karma Sutra. He also explored Arabic culture and, heavily disguised, managed to visit the forbidden city of Mecca. He became famous through his twelve-volume translation of the Arabian Thousand and One Nights, and the class will study some of its stories for their literary qualities, and also to glimpse an Arab world very different from the modern view of it as a place of Puritanism. Artefacts from India and Arabia are also displayed to great effect in the new-look Ashmolean Museum, and the class will be encouraged to make a time-journey through its floors.
6. The Theatre, Romantic and Real
Nineteenth-century theatre included both the romantic and the realistic, and subjects could vary from wild tales of gods, giants, and fairies, to everyday family dramas, concerned with marriage, forging cheques, and running out of money.
The class will study how late-nineteenth-century plays use the realistic ‘fourth wall’ type of theatre setting in order to explore social and psychological issues, such as a marriage wherin the wife is treated as a ‘squirrel’ and yet plumps for a larger role in Ibsen’s early feminist play of 1879, and where an aristocratic Russian household which can’t get to grips with the debt on its estate opts for playing games of billiards and holding dances and picnics in Chekhov’s 1904 masterpiece.
Meanwhile, the heights of romantic imagination are encountered in the theatre of Wagner’s operas and Tchaikovsky’s ballets, with their stories of princes, witches, dwarves, and Germanic super-heroes. The class will study these as influential products of imagination – Wagner’s Ring was the chief inspiration of Lord of the Rings – and also as works which amalgamated the highest developments of nineteenth-century music, literature, and theatre.
7. Women Novelists of the Nineteenth Century
This course will examine the lives and writings of selected women novelists from the Regency through the Victorian period. Though many of these female authors enjoyed commercial success, they nonetheless faced criticism for venturing outside the domestic sphere, and their published works often deal with themes that reflect these anxieties. The course will focus on novels by Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and will place each text in its cultural and historical context. Topics under consideration will include public versus private writing, professions for women, sexuality and gender roles, identity and selfhood, and guilt and transgression.
1. Avebury, Stonehenge, & Salisbury
2. City of Bath & the Roman Baths, via Burford & the Cotswolds
3. Portsmouth Dockyard Museum
4. Anne Hathaway’s cottage & walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon, performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the evening
Each of the main field trips will take place on a Saturday except that to Stratford. Students have a mini “spring holiday” from Oxford in late March or early April. During this break students can travel and explore for themselves. Students must attend classes and lectures through mid-afternoon on the Friday of break and should not book holiday reservations that require them to leave Wycliffe Hall before 3:00 PM on that day.
The three-week study tour this year will include Paris, Avignon, Rome, Siena, Florence, Venice, Milan, Prague, and Berlin. Guided sightseeing tours will be planned and group entrances are sometimes included in the cost, but students will also be expected to visit other important historical sites on their own. Transportation to and around Europe will be via train, airplane, and bus.