The Henry Bellmon Office of
Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research
invites applicants for the
2015 “Cowboys in Cambridge” Program:
Discovering Dickens’s England: Travels with the Nicklebys
(Dr. Jeffrey Walker, Professor of English | July 5-18, 2015 | 3 Credit Hours)
In July 2015, the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research’s “Cowboys in Cambridge” program will celebrate its 12th anniversary at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. The program involves two weeks of study on a course prepared by OSU’s top faculty, with completion of the course project in mid-October for fall semester honors (if applicable) or general credit (3 hours). The program is popular with OSU’s outstanding students and known for its exceptional academic benefits at a remarkably low cost. All successful applicants will attend a thorough travel orientation pre-departure and be assigned texts for study in May and June to prepare for this experience. This year’s trip will include a two-day bus tour into northern England and a class visit to London.
2015 Course Information
The first of nineteen monthly installments of Charles Dickens’s widely popular The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby appeared on 2 April 1838 (the year of Queen Victoria’s coronation) and sold for one shilling. Wrapped in an attractive paper cover and bound with advertisements for everything from new books and telescopes to false teeth and miracle pills, each affordable installment contained two detailed illustrations by Phiz and the next episode in the Nicklebys’ captivating adventures. The first installment sold 50,000 copies, and the growing popularity of each subsequent number, shared and shaped by the audience who read it, led to incredible success for Dickens, who delivered the final installment a year and a half later.
In this course you will read and respond to Nickleby as did its 19th-century readers and follow in the footsteps of its hero with trips to the countryside Dales where he discovers firsthand the horrors of Yorkshire boarding schools and to London where he works to blunt the poverty, class pretensions, and legal machinations of his money-laundering uncle. Dramatic readings with a stage adaptation of a scene from the novel by the class highlight the fortnight’s entertainment—one chiefly designed to address the comic novel, the Dickensian fascination with the world of the theater, the role of the book in Victorian society, and the way readers responded to the novel in serial and helped shape what happened next. By reading Nickleby, part by part, you may find yourself weaving the world of fiction into your own real world as did the novel’s contemporary readers. For as the novel and its characters progressed over a year and a half, so, too, did the reader’s life progress. Readers frequently saw the change and growth in their life through the lens of the fictional character’s development, blurring the lines between literature and life.
Undergraduates in all majors are encouraged to apply for this unique course, which is designed to help students not only enjoy Nicholas Nickleby, one of literature’s greatest comic novels, but also investigate the educational, legal, political, economic, social, and historical problems that beset Dickens’s England in the 1830s—problems that continue to exist here and everywhere almost two centuries later. Successful applicants will participate in a thorough orientation and be assigned readings for study in May and June to prepare for a journey through Dickens’s England.
Readings include Charles Dickens’s novel Nicholas Nickleby (Penguin), Robert Douglas-Fairhurst’s biography Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist (Harvard), and a package of secondary readings on education, law, economics, melodrama, and iconography in the Victorian age, as well as discussions of how readers respond to what they read.
2015 Course Costs and Scholarship Support
The actual program fee is $3,600, however, all students accepted will receive substantial scholarship support ($1,500) bringing the cost down to $2,100. An additional scholarship of up to $500 may be available to students requesting it by submitting an optional short essay describing exceptional financial need. Further, the OSU Office of Study Abroad has additional scholarships that students may apply for. The cost INCLUDES 3 OSU credit hours, guest lecturers, single room and board (free breakfast daily), a formal dinner in one of Cambridge’s ancient colleges, a group photograph outside the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, a two-day bus excursion to northern England, transportation and admission to Castle Howard, a one-day bus excursion to London with admission to the Dickens Museum and the Foundling Museum, and tickets to an outdoor Shakespeare play in Cambridge. Note that all items are subject to change.
The cost EXCLUDES travel expenses to Cambridge, miscellaneous personal expenses, and any costs associated with travel before or after the course. Scholarship support is made possible by The Lew Wentz Foundation and The Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research’s Cowboys Scholars Society. All tuition and applicable program fees, along with the scholarship support you receive, will appear on your Bursar account at the beginning of the fall semester in August 2015. No OSU tuition waivers are usable for this course. Note: May 1, 2015 is the deadline to drop this course with no financial penalty. After that date, you will be responsible for all the course costs, including tuition, even though it will not appear on your Bursar account until August.
Download the 2015 “Cowboys in Cambridge” Application
(Deadline: Jan. 30, 2015)