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Summer School - Poetry and Politics, 3 - 10 August 2019, University of Oxford, UK

Publish Date: Jan 17, 2019

Deadline: May 01, 2019

Event Dates: from Aug 03, 2019 12:00 to Aug 10, 2019 12:00


What relationship should exist between poetry and politics? Do poets face a moral imperative to warn of and respond to major crises, or should they look beyond the political moment? If they confront political issues, do they risk lapsing into didacticism or propaganda? Course participants will examine poems from many periods and cultures which reflect on these topics, including 1930s Britain, Poland during and following the Second World War, Russia under Stalin, the Caribbean since decolonisation, America during the Vietnam War, Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and post-1990s Britain.


Programme Fee (No Accommodation - inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner): £820.00
Programme Fee (Standard Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1430.00
Programme Fee (Superior Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals): £1540.00


Michael Parker is a freelance writer and academic, who works as a Part Time Tutor for the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. His most recent publication was an edited co-translation of Andrzej Franaszek’s Milosz A Biography(Harvard UP, 2017) and he is currently completing Seamus Heaney: Legacies, Afterlives, a study of the poetry, drama and translations, which also explores the factors and influences that shaped their making.

Course aims

This course aims to explore the responses of poets to political and economic crises, and how the different strategies they employ in meeting their responsibilities as artists.

Course Objectives:

  • To give students a fuller sense of the richness and diversity of British, European, American and Caribbean  poetry
  • To deepen their knowledge and understanding of the strategies poets have employed to address politics during the twentieth and twenty- first centuries
  • To consolidate a sense of confidence in their own authority as readers of texts

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be experienced to:

  • be able to convey through their oral and written work a sound understanding of a range of poems, demonstrating their ability to analyse and evaluate their themes and formal qualities.
  • be able to evaluate the different strategies employed by poets in addressing political and personal concerns
  • be able to recognise the significance of the particular cultural, political and historical contexts in which texts have been produced.

Assessment methods

Students are assessed during the summer school by either a 1500 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. There is also a pre-course assignment of 1000 words set. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing a student's ideas and therefore its completion is mandatory.


Early enrolment is advised as many courses fill before February.

Enrolment Online

  • Prospective students may enrol online by navigating to the desired course page and then clicking the 'apply online' link at the bottom of that page.
  • Closing Date:
    • Enrolments will be accepted up to 1 May 2019.
  • Payment:
    • Online enrolments require payment in full at the time of registering.

Enrolment by Post, Fax or Email attachment

  • Those who do not wish to register online or who have specific requirements (e.g. disabled suite accommodation) should contact the Programme Administrator directly.
  • They should complete the application form, link below, and send it to the Programme Administrator (address shown below).
  • Although we try to honour students' first choice of course, sometimes a course fills-up rapidly. Please therefore indicate a second choice of course on your application form.
  • Confirmation will be sent to you with an invoice which may be paid either online or by bank transfer, credit/debit card or cheque/banker`s draft.
  • Closing Date:
    • Enrolments will be accepted up to 1st May 2019
  • Payments:
    • Participants are required to pay the full fee within 30 days of the invoice date.
If English is not your first language you must supply suitable evidence (an original certificate that is not more than two years old and issued by a responsible body) that you have reached the Standard overall score, plus the additional requirement before you may be offered a place.

Confirmation and Further Information

Enrolment Online

Successful enrolments will be confirmed automatically.
The full description of the course, which includes recommended prior reading, is available on the website.
  • A 'Further Information' email will be sent to you within 3 days of your online enrolment. This is important, as it contains the details of the essays you need to write. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail folder and then email us.

Enrolment by Post, Fax or Email attachment

Confirmation of your registration will be sent by email (or post if you do not use email), along with a copy of the full description of the course, which includes recommended reading.
  • A 'Confirmation of Enrolment' email will be sent to you within 3 days of your online enrolment. This is important, as it contains the details of the essays you need to write and your invoice. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail folder and then email us.

Further Information

Joining Notes/Travel Advice Notes which provide information on how to get to Rewley House, arrival and departure times etc will be made available on our website. Those who enrolled through the Programme Administrator, and hence may not have access to the Web, will receive a printed copy by post when available.English Language Requirements.
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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