Odyssey to Oxford 2023

Two Weeks of Lifelong Education Abroad University of Oxford, England



Dear Alumni and Friends,

Imagine yourself in a world where whispers of great thinkers envelop you. Imagine learning from tutors in an intimate classroom setting. Imagine being a part of an exclusive group who experience the magic of a storied English university first hand.

This is the MSU Alumni Office Odyssey to Oxford experience.

From Aug. 20 – Sept. 2, 2023 we’ll host our most popular lifelong education abroad program, now in it’s 38th year, and I invite you to be a part of it. Immersing yourself in the majesty of England while expanding your mind is something that every Spartan should experience. This year, we again have some outstanding programming – we’ll trace the development of crime and detective fiction during the Victorian era and look at its connection to the most infamous crimes of the period; explore the development of medieval English and Welsh castles from their foundation by the Normans to their evolution into country houses; examine some of the most controversial events in British history, their impact and their legacy; and delve into the revelations and breakthroughs of British scientists and inventors that shaped much of the modern world. I hope you’ll consider joining us in Oxford for what promises to be another incredible year. Don’t wait too long to decide, though, as this program fills quickly. Application opens Feb. 8, 2023 and you’ll find details in this brochure.

With regards,

Elizabeth Wheeler Director of Alumni Programs


Odyssey to Oxford

Additionally, each of the program tutors presents an open lecture. Evenings after dinner permit you time on your own to explore Oxford. Or you might choose to partake in impromptu trivia nights and movie nights with other participants.

forerunner of alumni travel-study programs throughout the nation.

the incredible achievements of Britain’s World War II codebreakers in the place where it happened. Participants will also have the opportunity to experience evensong. Evensong traces its origins to the daily cycle of services of the medieval church and is a sung evening service that consists of choral music, scripture readings and prayers. Evensong services are open to anyone, whatever their religion, background or beliefs. A highlight of our second week is a reception and dinner at Brasenose College, which is located in the heart of Oxford and has amazing views of Radcliffe Camera and University Church. An educational hall, also called Brasenose, was on this site in the 13th century, but Brasenose College dates from 1509 when it was founded by Sir Richard Sutton and William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln. Tradition has it that the college takes its unusual name from its original 13th century door knocker (now in the college dining room), shaped like a snout, or nose.

Odyssey to Oxford is a two-week lifelong education abroad program that takes you on a rare adventure to Oxford—“City of Dreaming Spires”— and to the University of Oxford, famous as a great center of learning since the 12th century. This is truly a unique educational opportunity. Participants enroll in one noncredit course of study taught by an Oxford tutor and enjoy the relaxed but intellectually stimulating atmosphere of small courses and course-related excursions. A typical day’s schedule includes classes in the morning with free time or excursions in the afternoon. The course-related excursions are planned by the program tutors to enhance the curriculum and are available only to those enrolled in the course—participants cannot attend another course of study’s course excursion. Additionally, there are several group excursions planned for all participants. During our first week in Oxford, the group will take a day trip to Wiltshire for a visit to Salisbury and Stonehenge.

Salisbury Cathedral has been an iconic figure in the landscape of southwest England for centuries. Discover a medieval masterpiece—the U.K.’s tallest spire, largest cloisters and biggest cathedral close, as well as the best-preserved of the four surviving original copies of 1215 Magna Carta. Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous landmarks. During our visit, you’ll experience the unforgettable atmosphere of the stone circle and have time to learn more in the world-class exhibition and explore the monuments and mysteries of the wider Stonehenge landscape. Later that week, we’ll visit the Oxford Artisan Distillery, which is the first certified organic “grain-to-glass” distillery in the U.K. Hear how a chance encounter with an Oxford-based archaeobotanist led to this distillery being the only one in the world to use sustainably-farmed populations of ancient heritage grains to produce their full range of spirts. During a behind-the- scenes tour, you’ll learn how their award-winning vodka, gin and rye whisky is made and have the opportunity to

taste some spirits. Even if you’re a teetotaler, you’ll likely appreciate the story of this local Oxford business. An optional excursion to Bletchley Park is scheduled for your weekend enjoyment. Bletchley Park was the principal center of Allied code-breaking during World War II. During this period, the estate housed the Government Code and Cypher School, which regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers—most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. The intelligence produced at Bletchley Park shortened the war by two to four years and without it, the outcome of the war would have been uncertain. The team devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, culminating in the development of Colossus, the world’s first programmable digital electronic computer. Codebreaking operations at Bletchley Park came to an end in 1946, but until wartime information was declassified in the mid-1970s, no one who

More than 400 MSU alumni and friends have journeyed to Oxford to study at the oldest university in the English-speaking world and arguably the most prestigious worldwide. Today, Odyssey to Oxford is one of MSU’s most noteworthy lifelong education programs and we invite you to join us for a memorable experience in 2023 and take your place in history.

The city of Oxford is rich with cultural and leisure

activities, offering a variety of museums, bookstores, theaters, restaurants, pubs, shops and natural settings to visit. Free time during the two-week program offers participants many opportunities to explore Oxford and the university’s 38 colleges, home to gifted men and women such as Walter Raleigh, Christopher Wren, William Penn, Edmund Halley, Cecil Rhodes, T.E. Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Sayers, Charles Dodgson, Jonathan Swift, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Aldous Huxley, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, John Ruskin, William Fulbright, Richard Burton, Dudley Moore, Hugh Grant, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Odyssey to Oxford was the first noncredit, alumni residential program at Oxford and a

“The world surely has not another place like Oxford; it is a despair to see such a place and ever to leave it, for it would take a lifetime and more than one to comprehend and enjoy it satisfactorily.”

worked there was allowed to talk about it. Discover




COURSE DESCRIPTION Castles were the great power houses of the Middle Ages. They were the centers of conquest and oppression, the seats of government and the luxurious homes of the ruling classes. In this course, we’ll look at the castles of medieval England and Wales, from their arrival with the Normans in the 11th century to their evolution into country houses in the 16th century. We’ll explore their architectural development and the balance between fortification and domesticity. We’ll also think about how to attack and capture a castle and how to defend one and learn about the peaceful domestic lives of the owners and their servants. We’ll think about the organization of households and learn how to be a model servant according to contemporary training manuals, and we’ll also give some thought to the education of children within these establishments. We’ll learn about the complex codes of chivalry in the male-dominated world of the medieval household, about the knight and the lady, and also explore the reality of women’s role in this society. Our sources include the standing remains of these once-proud buildings and the written evidence of poets, chroniclers and clerks, as well as delicate imagery taken from medieval illuminated manuscripts. Together, they form an exciting picture of power in the Middle Ages.

COURSE EXCURSIONS Full day: Goodrich Castle and Raglan Castle Half day: Broughton Castle TUTOR Dr. Gillian White specializes in the history and visual arts of late medieval and early modern England. She previously worked for The National Trust as curator/collections manager at Hardwick Hall. She taught for many years in the Centre for the Study of the Country House at Leicester University and has been a member of the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education tutor panel for more than a decade. She also undertakes freelance teaching and lecturing and has contributed to the V&A’s course on the history of textiles.

Murder Most British: Victorian Detective Fiction

COURSE DESCRIPTION Though the mention of Victorian detective fiction

COURSE EXCURSIONS Full day: The City of London Police Museum or the Museum of London and the Charles Dickens House Museum Half day: Ingatestone Hall TUTOR Dr. Emma Plaskitt is a graduate of Merton College, Oxford. She has taught English literature 1640–1901 for various Oxford colleges as well as Oxford University’s Continuing Education Summer Programmes. Having

instantly brings to mind an image of Arthur Conan Doyle’s deerstalker-clad detective, in fact, Sherlock Holmes followed in the investigative footsteps of many earlier sleuths, both male and female, serious and humorous, amateur and professional. Between 1800 and 1900, roughly 6,000 pieces of crime fiction were published in English and were devoured by an enthralled audience of what Thomas de Quincey satirically called “Murder-Fanciers.” Today, crime and detective fiction remains a popular staple in literature, film and television. In this course, we’ll trace the development of the genre to discover why it was and remains so fascinating, especially when connected with that most heinous of crimes — murder. We’ll look at its connection to the most infamous crimes of the 19th century. We’ll study the origins of crime and detective literature and its relation to other transgressive subgenres of fiction: the penny dreadful, the gothic novel and the novel of sensation. We’ll simultaneously track the development of the amateur or unwitting detective into the professional sleuth — the honor of creating the first such professional going to American writer, Edgar Allan Poe. In addition to works by Poe and Conan Doyle, we’ll discuss Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, as well as true accounts by members of the constabulary and condemned criminals. What was the relationship between authors and the London police force and how were real crimes, including murder, utilized in bestselling novels? How did the Victorian middle classes view the police and what was their response to crime and criminality? Above all, why were they so fascinated by crime and detective fiction, particularly those stories dealing with murder, and why do we continue to be so?

worked for the “Oxford Dictionary of National

Participants will receive a suggested reading list for this course prior to the program.

Biography,” where she was responsible for writing many

articles on 18th- and 19th-century women

writers, she now focuses on teaching for the SCIO Study Abroad Programme and for Stanford University. Though a specialist in the literature of the 18th century, her research interests include the Victorian novel — particularly the gothic novel and novel of sensation.

People and Power: Medieval Castles in England and Wales

Participants will receive a suggested reading list for this course prior to the program.



COURSE DESCRIPTION A nation’s development is often closely bound to the work of its scientists and inventors, and nowhere is this clearer or more significant than in British history. Beginning in the 19th century, science and engineering not only helped build and maintain Britain as a global superpower, but also shaped much of the modern world. Experimentalists and theoreticians such as Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell and J.J. Thomson uncovered chemical, optical and electromagnetic processes which transformed the everyday and extend the technology on which the British empire depended. Moreover, they inspired and informed later breakthroughs in physics, such as the Special and General theories of relativity. During the same period, Charles Darwin lifted the veil on life itself, throwing into question religious and philosophical certainties and paving the way for radical reinterpretations of biology, in particular Francis Crick’s decoding of the DNA sequence in the 1950s. In the early years of the 20th century, Ernest Rutherford and others at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge demonstrated the structure of the atom, opening up the quantum world and anticipating CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. In this course, we’ll delve into these revelations and breakthroughs, along with many others in medicine, cosmology, photography, television, radar, aircraft design and weaponry. We’ll explore their historical context, meeting a vast and fascinating cast of characters, from Stephen Hawking to June Lindsey, from Jocelyn Bell-Burnell to Alan Turing, and from Barnes Wallis to Arthur Eddington.

COURSE EXCURSIONS Full day: Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge Half day: The Royal Institution

Religion, Rebellion, Magic and Murder: Early Modern Controversies, 1500-1800

TUTOR Dr. Tim Barrett lectures in

political history and the history of science and has been a tutor for the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education for fifteen years. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at Keele University, Staffordshire.

COURSE DESCRIPTION The Reformation and the Tudor monarchs, witch hunting, the English Civil Wars, the Regicide of 1649, the Plague and the Great Fire of London, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and slavery. All controversial events in British history. And, each of these events had a profound impact on British history, either religiously, legally, socially, politically, or a combination of all of them, and the effects can still be felt in modern Britain today. In this course, we’ll examine and discuss each topic in depth, drawing our own conclusions about these events. Do you agree with what happened? Do you disagree? Do you think there might have been an alternative? What legacy do you think these events had for Britain and the wider world?

COURSE EXCURSIONS Full day: Hampton Court Palace Half day: Hailes Abbey TUTOR Dr. Charlotte Young earned her Ph.D. in early modern history from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has previously worked as an early modern contributing editor for Northamptonshire Victoria County History, and as a postdoctoral research assistant with the Civil War Petitions project, first at the University of Leicester and then with the University of Oxford. She has taught students at universities in London and Oxford as well as California and Oregon. She’s currently writing a biography of John Bradshawe, the judge who sentenced Charles I to death in 1649.

Participants will receive a suggested reading list for this course prior to the program.

Participants will receive a suggested reading list for this course prior to the program.

Shapers of the Modern World: Two Centuries of British Science and Invention



Fees and Application

FEES $6,800 per person based on double occupancy WHAT’S INCLUDED · Tuition for course of study · Full and half day course-related excursions · Accommodations at Rewley House for 13 nights · All meals except lunch and dinner Aug. 26 · Coffee/tea breaks · Welcome reception and dinner · Reception and dinner at Brasenose College · Closing reception and dinner · Four evening lectures by the program tutors · Guided walking tour of Oxford · Group excursion to Wiltshire —Salisbury and Stonehenge · Optional group excursion to the Oxford Artisan Distillery · Optional group excursion to evensong at an Oxford college · Professional group photograph · Bus transportation to Heathrow Airport Sept. 2

ADDITIONAL FEES SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT $630 O PTIONAL EARLY ARRIVAL $100 check in at Rewley House Aug. 19 and breakfast Aug. 20 OPTIONAL EXCURSION TO BLETCHLEY PARK $170 APPLICATION Application opens Feb. 8, 2023 at 10 a.m. ET. Online application is strongly preferred. To apply online, go to go.msu.edu/OTO-23. If you do not have access to a computer, you can apply by mail. To apply by mail, send a completed application form which is available by contacting Elizabeth Wheeler at (517) 884-2106. The submission of an application does not guarantee a spot in the program. This is a popular program that frequently sells out. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Mail-in applications do not receive any preference and they are processed when application officially opens. When you apply, be sure to select both a first choice and a second choice for your course of study.

The MSU Alumni Office will review applications as they are received and we will contact you within three business days of your submission to let you know if your selected course of study and requested accommodations are available. A $500 per person deposit is required to secure your place in the program and this will be due shortly after we confirm your course of study and requested accommodations with you. We will provide you with information to pay your deposit—for applications done online, we will send you instructions to pay with a credit card, and if you applied by mail, we will provide you with information to pay by check.

All online transactions are handled through the university’s secure, PCI-compliant server.

We cannot accept credit card information over the phone for this program. The balance of the fee is due May 15, 2023 and we will send you a statement in regards to this as the date approaches.



Terms and Conditions

ELIGIBILTY The program is open to adults, both alumni and friends, of Michigan State University. PROGRAM ACCOMMODATION We strive to treat all participants fairly and equally and keep everyone safe while enjoying the program. To fully benefit from this experience, participants must be able to keep pace with the group. This program will be challenging for anyone who has difficulty walking, other mobility issues, visual impairments, some pulmonary or cardiovascular conditions. Excursions involve walking that may range, over time, from one to three miles, less than half an hour to a couple of hours and may necessitate walking on uneven, steep or hilly ground, uphill terrain, unpaved surfaces or climbing steep and narrow stairs. England is not ADA accessible to the extent that the United States is—ramps and elevators are not common and walking to a destination is often required. Oxford’s historic city center has many cobblestone streets and walkways and the age and layout of many buildings in Oxford can make them challenging to traverse as well.

All participants should also be prepared to abide by all required safety protocols at their origin, destination and any points of transit, whatever these protocols may be at the time of the program. The MSU Alumni Office reserves the right to decline to accept or dismiss any participant from the program should their physical or mental condition, action or attitude impede the operation of the program or the rights, welfare or enjoyment of other participants. The MSU Alumni Office and Oxford cannot provide any ongoing assistance to participants. Any requested accommodation and/or physical or mental condition that may require special assistance or medical attention must be reported in writing at the time of application. Requested accommodation must be approved prior to travel and the MSU Alumni Office and Oxford cannot accept responsibility for any participant who does not communicate such requests prior to the program. This will ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the program for all participants.

condition will be kept confidential and shared only with relevant MSU Alumni Office and Oxford staff to ensure that the requests are met to the best of our ability. The well-being of participants is our highest priority. We respectfully request that prospective participants honestly consider the physical requirements and whether this program is a good fit for them. Prospective participants should also carefully consider their own health, including whether they are at increased risk for illness, and assess their personal risk tolerance. If there are any questions, we encourage prospective participants to contact the MSU Alumni Office prior to applying for the program. ACCOMMODATIONS Participants stay in Rewley House, the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education residential center, which is located in the heart of historic Oxford. Rewley House offers twin rooms with private bathrooms attached, telephone, coffee/tea kettle, hair dryer, color television and wi-fi. Rewley House also has its own dining room, reading/library room, lecture rooms, common

room and bar, computer room and laundry facilities.

arrangements to Heathrow Airport for flights departing earlier than this, for any flights departing from Gatwick Airport or for other transportation options. CANCELLATION/REFUNDS Cancellations and requests for refunds must be received in writing by the MSU Alumni Office. Refunds will be made in accordance with the following per person cancellation penalties: · Feb. 1 – March 30, 2023: $250 administrative fee · April 1 – May 14, 2023: $500 administrative fee. · Cancellations made after May 15, 2023 will result in forfeiture of the entire program cost. The MSU Alumni Office is not responsible for any fees incurred for cancelled flight arrangements. For your protection, we strongly recommend that participants purchase travel insurance. The MSU Alumni Office and the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education reserve the right to cancel the program prior to departure in which case a full refund will be given without further obligation on the part of the universities. No refund will be

made for the unused portion of any part of the program.

WAIT LIST If your course of study is

Accommodations are similar to those of a college or university. This is not a hotel, so the amenities associated with a hotel are not always available and rooms are small and a bit spare. Many rooms are on higher floors—as many as four—and are accessible by stairs, or a combination of stairs and elevator. Participants are required to stay in Rewley House for the duration of the program and should not plan to stay elsewhere in Oxford. The location and fellowship among participants more than compensate for any lack of luxuries. FLIGHT ARRANGEMENTS Participants are responsible for making their own flight arrangements as well as transportation from Heathrow Airport or Gatwick Airport to Oxford upon arrival. Information on bus and train transportation and schedules will be provided in advance. Bus transportation from Rewley House to Heathrow Airport for return flights will be available Sept. 2 for flights departing no earlier than noon. Participants will be responsible for making their own transportation

full, we will be maintaining a waiting list in the event of a cancelation. If space becomes available, you will be notified. No deposit is required. TRAVEL AND MEDICAL INSURANCE It is strongly recommended that participants purchase travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation/interruption, delays, baggage loss or damage, evacuation, medical emergencies or accidents incurred while traveling. Participants should also confirm that their medical insurance covers expenses while in England or arrange for alternative medical insurance. It’s suggested that participants review travel insurance options in advance of applying for the program. Many insurance companies suggest that you enroll as soon as you’ve booked your trip for maximum benefit and some plans feature time- sensitive benefits including “Cancel For Any Reason.” For many insurance companies, “booking” is considered the date your initial trip payment/ deposit is received.

Any requested accommodation and/or physical or mental



The MSU Alumni Office is affiliated with USI Affinity Travel and information on their services is available at select.travelinsure.com. USI also offers a “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage should you want to cancel for reasons related to terrorist or pandemic activity. Additional costs and time-sensitive purchase apply. Participants are free to use their own company. The MSU Alumni Office cannot make recommendations as to the type of insurance that will be suitable for you.

Department for Continuing Education, their respective employees, officers, agents, servants and representatives (henceforth referred to as MSUAO/OX) are acting only as agents for the Odyssey to Oxford travel and study program participants with respect to travel services and shall not be responsible or liable for changes of flight times, missed carrier connections, fare changes, dishonor of airline, housing or other reservations, cessation of operations, airline or travel agency bankruptcy or insolvency, mechanical or construction defects or failures, failure or negligence of any nature caused in connection with any accommodations, restaurants, meals, transportation or other services, acts or defaults of any person or entity engaged in conveying participants or in carrying out other arrangements of the program. MSUAO/OX shall not be responsible or liable for damages, injuries, deaths, loss or damage of baggage, damage or injury to person or property, accidents, delays, inconveniences, cessation of operations, acts of God, acts or omissions of any person or

entity engaged in conveying participants or carrying out any other arrangements in connection with the travel and study program, or any other event or occurrence beyond the control of MSUAO/ OX. MSUAO/OX shall not be responsible or liable for losses or additional expenses incurred by any participant due to sickness, disease, quarantine, local laws, strike, civil/social/ labor unrest, acts of terrorism, war, weather, acts of God or any other event, action or omission. By embarking upon their travel, the participant voluntarily assumes all risk involved in such travel, whether expected or unexpected. Participant is hereby warned of the above risks as well as possible travel industry bankruptcies and medical and climatic disruptions, and the possibility participant may be unable to travel as scheduled because of personal emergency. Participant is advised to obtain appropriate insurance coverage against these risks; information is available through the MSU Alumni Office regarding travel insurance.

Participant’s retention of tickets, reservations or booking after issuance shall constitute consent to the above and an agreement on their part to convey the contents hereto to their travel companions or group members. QUESTIONS Please contact Elizabeth Wheeler at szufnar@msu.edu or (517) 884-2106.


Itineraries and programs, as contained in this brochure, are subject to modification and change by the MSU Alumni Office and the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. We reserve the right to substitute accommodations of similar quality. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned. Participants who register for this program

accept in full all of the conditions set forth.

RESPONSIBILITY MSU, the MSU Alumni Office, the University of Oxford and the Oxford University






Application opens Feb. 8, 2023. Don’t delay in applying as course sizes are limited and the program fills quickly.


Page 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter maker