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Summer School: Lewis Carroll’s Oxford and the Surprising Histories of Alice’s Wonderland

The University of Oxford again organises a Summer School course about Lewis Carroll and his works. This year’s course is called “Lewis Carroll’s Oxford and the Surprising Histories of Alice’s Wonderland”

This one-week course is part of The Oxford Experience, a residential summer programme aimed at non-specialists.

The course will explore Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ books, their origins in Oxford, its architecture, personalities, hidden histories and controversies. It will also cast a look beyond Oxford, to reimaginations in art and popular culture, science and politics, and take a look at the question of why Alice is still so fascinating to us.


Each weekday morning there are seminars. The afternoons are free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the city and its surroundings.

An exploration of the lives of Alice, and Lewis Carroll in the context of the place in which the Alice books originated: Christ Church, and the city of Oxford.

Exploring the origins of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Following the path from the story’s first telling to manuscript and publication, it will re-examine the story’s plot and characters in a fresh light.

Uncovering insights to the author, his times and opinions, through the book Through the Looking Glass.

Alice and its cultural history: reconsidering the contribution of the ‘Alice’ books to the genre of children’s literature, but also to Victorian culture, in which Alice’s author wore many hats. Was Alice really just a children’s book?

Exploring Alice’s adventures beyond her novels, from her immediate sojourns onto the theatrical stage, to political caricature, to silent film, its role in the world wars – and recovery from them, to modern multimedia popular culture, videogames and music. Why, more than 150 years after its creation, are we still so fascinated with the book?

Course details

Date: Sunday 17 July – Saturday 23 July 2022
Location: Christ Church, Oxford (UK)
Application closing date: 1 May 2022

More information can be found on the course page.

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