The Kenyon-Exeter program was established more than forty years ago, with the first group of students attending The University of Exeter in 1975-76. The Department of English at Exeter is part of the larger College Humanities, which also houses the departments of Archaeology, Art History and Visual Culture, Classics and Ancient History, Drama, Film Studies, History, Modern Languages, and Theology and Religion.
The College of Humanities is based at the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus, a lively academic community of about 10,000 undergraduates and 2,600 postgraduates, situated on beautiful grounds at the city’s edge. Our program is based in the Department of English, which offers such diverse courses as Crime and Punishment, American Independent Film, Charles Dickens and the Condition of England, The American Novel Since 2000, Romance from Chaucer to Shakespeare, and Modern American Women Poets. Kenyon-Exeter students typically enroll in a total of three Exeter English courses, one course outside the major, and the year-long Kenyon Seminar.
Exeter is a city layered with history, from Roman ruins to a stunning medieval cathedral to quays that evoke the great seafaring traditions of Britain’s southwest, Exeter is also a vibrant commercial center whose 100,000 residents enjoy clubs, pubs, art house cinemas, museums, and a professional theater company. London is just over two hours away by rail, and train and bus links to major British cities are numerous. Plus, Exeter’s airport offers inexpensive air links to European destinations, perfect for those who wish to travel to the continent independently.
The Kenyon Seminar capitalizes upon the extraordinary opportunities for cultural and travel experiences in Britain. The first semester seminar includes plays in production (program-sponsored attendance at productions by such world-acclaimed companies as the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as by theatrical innovators like Punchdrunk and Headlong), and the second semester’s topic is Literature and Landscape (explorations of the landscapes, movements, and artworks crucial to British culture).
Travel--both curricular and co-curricular--is perhaps the richest and most exciting aspect of the Kenyon/Exeter Program. With London just over two hours away by train (and Stratford nearly as close), theater-focused trips are the heart of the program’s study of plays in production. The south coast of England, with beautiful cliffwalks and both shingle and sand beaches, is a mere half-hour by train from campus. Lyme Regis, Dartmoor, Bath, St. Ives, and Tintagel (the legendary birthplace of Arthur) are favorite destinations for day and weekend trips. Program travel during spring break in recent years has taken students to Scotland, Ireland, or Wales, and each year the program makes at least one major trip to the Lake District.