Place Studies 2023: DelVal’s English professors take students on a tour of Magical UK

By Zaida Martin, Full360 Reporter

DelVal’s spring break of 2023 was an extra exciting time for the students of the English department’s Place Studies course as they were whisked off to fantasy lands in England and Scotland. The trip was led by Dr. Brian Lutz, Associate Professor of English and head of the department, along with Dr. Michael Stamps, Professor of English. We also enjoyed the benefits of some amazing travel agencies and tour guides.

Dawn over the country of Scotland

As an English major, this trip provided course credits and E360 experience, and the opportunity of a lifetime! The Places Studies class is open to all majors, and it united a lively group of strangers for the chance to see just a little bit more of the world – a journey I will cherish for a lifetime.

In the previous weeks, we had been reading literature from different parts of the United Kingdom, and on Feb. 28, we took off for Scotland and England for 12 days. Our curriculum consisted of five different novels depicting different aspects of fantasy based in their travel locations. The titles were:

  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
  • The Rivers of London by Ben Arronovich
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
  • The Buried Giant by Kazuro Ishiguro

All of these titles gave a glimpse into the wonderous world of Scotland and England, and asked us as students, what exactly is place?

The group began their adventure by visiting Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. There, we visited monuments and statues, castles and lakes. Pictured below are snippets from Edinburgh Castle, the city itself, and Loch Lomond – Scotland’s largest body of water.

From there, it was just a short plane ride to the England portion of our travels, starting in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the famous birth and burial place of William Shakespeare. We then explored Stonehenge, Oxford University, Glastonbury, and the city of Bath before moving onto London for the last leg of the trip.

London was full of new discoveries, as we saw landmarks like Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and even Windsor castle. We were lucky enough to see the coat of arms flying over the castle, a sign that the soon to be King Charles the third was at home.

After a long and busy trip, the students returned pleasantly exhausted and ready for more adventure – eagerly awaiting what Place Studies had to offer next.

To see more photos from the adventure and keep updated on opportunities, check out the official DelVal English Instagram!

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