Wheaton in England

Take a literary pilgrimage through the ancient paths and contemporary motorways of Great Britain.

Program Overview

The Wheaton in England program provides students the opportunity to immerse themselves in literary narratives, historical realities, and visual culture as they experience the richness of British culture and its global connections. In the unifying seminar, students read select literary offerings that offer the chance to practice spiritual and academic reflection on how language and place mutually constitute each other.

  • Sponsoring Department: English
  • Program Leaders(s): Dr. Dyanne Martin and Dr. Tom Martin
  • Term: Summer 2024
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Eligibility: Open to all Wheaton College students, regardless of their major. All students must be in good standing to participate.
  • Highlights: Study English literature and writing (and earn CATC credit) while being immersed in British culture. Led by full-time Wheaton faculty members, this program highlights early 20th-century British literature and history, the long tradition of the religious lyric, multiple connections among writers from the Caribbean, Africa, North America, and Great Britain, and the power of visual metaphor and narrative.

Program offering is subject to internal approval, minimum enrollment, and ongoing evaluation of local conditions, including enhanced health and safety reviews.

Course Offerings

The courses offered meet requirements for the English major and minor. 

All students will take:

  • ENGL 445: Literature and Place (2 credits) ENGL 445 is designed to help you engage deeply with English literature and culture of the past and present. During our time on the Wheaton-in-England Program, we will consider how our reading practices shape our habits of attention, how our interpretive practices are connected to place and space, and how various genres (e.g., the map, the guidebook, TripAdvisor, the walking tour, the poem, the novel) influence how we see places, ourselves, and others. Paying especially close attention to the intersections of place, literature, culture, and identity, we will reflect on and write about what it means to be a traveler, a tourist, a wayfarer, and a pilgrim.

Students choose six to eight additional hours from the following course offerings:

The estimated program cost includes a total of eight credit hours of tuition (ENGL 433 plus 6 credit hours). Students choosing to take 10 credit hours (ENGL 433 plus 8 credit hours) will be charged an additional fee for two credit hours at the standard summer tuition rate for Wheaton College.

  • ENGL 352: Transatlantic Crossroads in Modern Literature (4 credits) GP tag  ​​​​Twenty-first century technology makes commonplace the marvel of near-instant globalization. We take for granted the syncretic nature of our connected world as the Internet and the media create seemingly instantaneous “contact zones” among nations, spreading various aspects of different cultures far and wide. But globalization is not a new phenomenon. Although it occurred at a much slower pace in modernity than it does now in our post-modern era, it did create in earlier times much more cultural upheaval as peoples and their literatures moved across the transatlantic from regions as diverse as the Caribbean, Africa, North America, and Great Britain. In this course, we will examine the intersections between assorted writers from these varied regions and England, and we will focus on the ways in which these narratives and people influenced global culture, political environs, and history. We will look especially at how certain Christian writers made the most of these crossings and maintained their distinctive witness in new cultural surroundings.

Meets post-1800 British/Global requirement

  • English 433: The Inklings and Literary Apologetics (2 credits)  The Inklings and Literary Apologetics invites you to embark on a captivating exploration of the lives, works, and legacy of the Inklings. This unique academic adventure will transport you to the heart of their literary world, as we delve into the rich tapestry of creativity woven by this extraordinary group of writers and thinkers. Imagine stepping into the same Oxford pubs, libraries, and streets that served as the backdrop for the Inklings’ gatherings and discussions. Picture yourself strolling through the landscapes that inspired C.S. Lewis’s Narnia or the intricate, otherworldly realms imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien. Envision engaging in spirited debates and discussions with fellow students against the backdrop of these historical and literary landscapes. Our journey will take us deep into the intellectual and creative ferment of the twentieth century, a period marked by profound societal changes, world wars, and a quest for meaning and imagination in the face of adversity. We will also explore the profound ideas and debates that emerged from the Inklings’ discussions about faith, theology, mythology, and the power of storytelling.

  • ENGL 421: Religious Lyric: Studies in Poetry and Devotion (4 credits) ​​​​​​​Religious lyric may begin with the impulse to praise or even with a cry of pain, but in either case it is the outpouring of the soul to God. Religious lyric may also be the poetry of meditation, as it ponders the meaning of the holy in a commonplace world. We start with the Psalms, which open with either tragedy or triumph, but, raising a prayerful voice to God, end with consolation in the encounter. In what ways do later religious lyricists follow that movement of verbal ascent and gain a divine view of the world? We look at some classical forms, move to the medieval, then into early modern, modern, and even postmodern forms of religious lyric. Of particular interest in this course are the following questions: How do the best religious poets avoid the sentimentality of the traditional-faithful who indulge in emotion rather than recreate it for the reader, on the one hand, and the transgressive frisson of the avant-garde who lay waste to sacred symbol or recast it to the poets’ own glory rather than God’s, on the other? How does religious lyric capture fresh glimpses of the divine in God’s work of creation and redemption? How might that poetry be written today? Students will cover the tradition of religious verse, visit famous sites associated with religious verse, and write some of their own as part of the devotional component of the course.

  • ENGW 444: Visual Rhetoric (2 credits)  This course will introduce students to persuasive techniques in images and to the use of visual metaphor and visual narrative. We will perform close readings of images and create our own visual arguments, using composition fundamentals (e.g., color, shape, direction, texture, light—or its absence) and figurative elements (e.g., metaphor, synecdoche, metonymy, hyperbole, and personification). Throughout the semester, we will analyze and design images and consider the ways in which visual representations are manifested in various fields of study as we survey images from disciplines that include graphics/information design, fine arts, art history, advertising, and cultural studies. Theorists will include Mariani, Saussure, Peirce, Tufte, Bolton, Grusin, Newbold, Barnes, Patterson, Gunther, van Leeuwen, Golombisky, Hagen, and Lester.

Learn More

If you have questions or would like to know more about the program, review the English Department's Wheaton in England program details or contact wheaton.in.england@wheaton.edu for further information.

How to Apply

To apply, visit GoGlobal, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships.