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A Model Island

Michelangelo Reloaded: AI Meets the Renaissance

Required Course

From Summer 2021 the Oxford Program will require all participants to take ENGLISH 66 ‘A Model Island’ prior to their quarter abroad or during their quarter in Oxford. This 2 unit course is taught by Oxford faculty Dr Ilya Afanasyev as a distance learning module for those not on site, an in person for those in Oxford. The course can be taken for a letter grade or credit/no credit. Prospective students may take this course at any time prior to the program. Admission preference will be given to Oxford applicants who have completed the course. This new requirement has been introduced to meet student demand for more structured study of the UK and more academic preparation for their quarter abroad. BOSP Oxford is delighted to have secured Dr Afanasyev, whose research critically examines British cultural history, to design and teach this engaging course for us.

More about A Model Island

‘A Model Island: Britain in Historical and Cultural Perspectives’ aims to help Stanford students interested in enrolling or already enrolled in the BOSP Oxford programme to understand and engage with the context in which they will be studying, that is, Britain today. This course does not treat ‘British culture’ as a given – a fixed singular phenomenon that can be catalogued as a set of stereotypes—instead, our very purpose is to interrogate notions of ‘culture’ and ‘Britishness’, to understand how they came about historically, and to appreciate how they are reproduced in contemporary contexts. This is achieved by a set of critical readings that focus on such topics as empire, nation, race, class and gender. These readings consider distant and recent history and tease out these topics in relation to contemporary issues, such as, for example, Brexit, Black Lives Matter in the UK or the ongoing debate on the fate of historical monuments across the country.

If you would like to explore some of the digital resources for this course check out Stanford House library’s resources page here.

Experiencing Britain Today

In addition to ENGLISH 66, OSPOXFRD 66 ‘A Model Island in Practice’, will be offered on site in Oxford as an optional 1-credit course. This practical course, taught exclusively on campus in Oxford, consists of experiential learning – trips, walks (in and beyond Oxford), observing art, guest lectures – and personalized reflexive research. The practical elements of OSPOXFRD 66 have been planned in conversation with the themes from ENGLISH 66, and the two course complement each other. Depending on planned commitments, students who have chosen to complete the requirement prior to studying abroad can build on their learning on site. Students who fulfill the requirement while in Oxford can opt into an additional unit of practical experiences. Students who plan to study away for two terms, can take the courses sequentially or even repeat OSPOXFRD 66 for credit in their second quarter abroad.

Plan and build your own study of the UK

 Dr. Afanasyev

These two courses will help students develop a sound basis for exploring and understanding the United Kingdom and to create an individualized meaning for their study abroad experience in Oxford. The modular design of these courses should enable maximum flexibility for students to study before or during their time in Oxford –whenever suits them best. For more information please contact Dr. Afanasyev.