Quick Info

  • York, England
  • Summer
  • : Panther Program
  • : English (including Literature, Writing, and Creative Writing)
  • : June 29, 2018 - August 11, 2018
  • : In-State: $5,799; Out-of-State: $5,999
  • : January 28, 2018
  • : 2.75 GPA (2.5 for engineers), Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record


All students will enroll in this special version of Myth and Folktale.  In addition, students will choose from Medieval Imagination, or Bible as Literature for a total of six credits this summer. Each student will be paired with an artisan to learn about crafts such as cathedral stonemasonry or arts including folk music and dance. One credit of Professional Writing is optional, focused on producing an online guidebook for students and travelers.  Courses may count towards UCIS Global Studies certificate 

Need to fulfill a general education requirement?  We've got courses for that!  Take a look below:

Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences:

2nd Lit Arts or Creative Expression:  Medieval Imagination
Literature:  Myth and Folktale

This program satisfies the 3 foreign culture requirements.

Pitt Business:

This program satisfies both foreign culture requirements.

*All students will take the Myth and Folktale course

When many modern people think of witchcraft, they probably recall either the gothic turrets of J.K. Rowling or the specter of ‘medieval’ torture devices. But the witch only became a powerful cultural icon during the Renaissance, when learned men dueled over the nature of magic as well as the nature of man. Early modern people knew a few things about witches: they were supposed to copulate with the devil, celebrate perverse midnight rituals, and use magic to punish those who offended them. Witches were figures of dark potency; they were the very image of fear. But for modern interpreters, the witch has also served as a prime example of the paradox of feminine power and powerlessness, and has been a cipher for the more general difficulties of female identity in a patriarchal world.

We will examine some of the complex problems of gender and power represented by the lasting myth of the witch, drawing on the resources of early modern pamphlets, plays (The Witch of Edmonton, Macbeth), and witch-finding ‘guides’ (such as Malleus Maleficarum) in order to understand how woman and witch came to be identified with one another. Finally, we will examine how the dark and terrifying image of the witch has been changed and recuperated in the modern world, becoming a figure of fantasy and desire that Shakespeare would hardly recognize.

Students will choose 1 of the 2 following courses:

This course ranges across 800 years of literary and cultural history, from a lyric inscribed in stone on an English cross to dramas Shakespeare might have seen as a child. The scope befits the topic: medieval imaginations ranged across the universe of knowledge, sacred and profane, reaching back to classical antiquity for roots and forward into the very institutions, ideas, and habits that make us modern. While the course covers a good deal of what we consider “literature” today—including lyric poems, chivalric romances, drama, and selections from The Canterbury Tales and Piers Plowman—it also views those texts in the wider frame of the liberal arts, approaching them as many readers approached them in their time: as practical, relevant meditations on big questions such as how to be happy, how communities flourish, how to deal with evil, how to love and be in love. Special attention will be given to texts that originated in Yorkshire, using York and London archives to explore their manuscript history. 


The Bible may be the greatest of great books in the Western literary tradition, but it was not always an actual book, nor did medieval and early modern Christians even think it should be a book. “Blessed are those who hear my words and do them,” Jesus had said, so Christians often considered the performance of scripture at least as important as the written text. In this course, we will consider literary and dramatic ways that people have performed the Bible, and their relationship to ethical performance in everyday life. We will read portions of the standard Bible as most modern people know it, but we will also explore the myriad reinventions of its stories, poetry, and wisdom in English verse, drama, and visual art. At the same time, we will use York archives to study the many forms in which people have encountered the Bible, focusing on medieval manuscripts and early modern printed books.  

Details coming soon!

On-Site Faculty And Staff

Hannah R. Johnson earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University after receiving an M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of York (UK). Her teaching and research interests encompass medieval historical writing and modern historiography, medieval Jewish-Christian relations, and the literary aspects of medieval cultural forms committed to truth-telling projects, such as saints’ lives and travel narratives.

Ryan McDermott tries to bridge the divide between medieval and modern worlds. His first book, Words into Works: Literary Ethics and Tropological Imagination in England, c. 1350-1600, tracks changes and continuities in vernacular religious literature across the intellectual and cultural watershed of the English Reformation. A second book project, The Drama of Vernacular Theology: The Bible, Literature, and the Origins of Modernity, complicates influential narratives that locate the origins of modernity in late-medieval intellectual developments. More on both these projects, and a current CV, may be found on his Academia.edu page.



Students will stay in shared dorm accommodations on campus at the University of York.  In London, you will stay in shared guest dorm accommodations as well.

Pricing And Dates

Summer 2018

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$5,799 $5,999
Arrive in York Depart London
June 29, 2018 August 11, 2018

Keep in mind that dates may change +/- at the end depending on London housing availability.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

Please Note: All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for this program will be on: February 10, 2018 at TBD in TBD. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!


Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6-7 credits
  • Housing for the duration of the program
  • International health insurance
  • Train tickets from Manchester to York & York to London
  • Friends of Yorkminster Card
  • Public transportation passes in York
  • Weekend excursion to Edinburgh and the last week in London
  • Cultural activities

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Pitt study abroad administrative fee $300
  • International airfare ~ $1300
  • Meals and personal expenses ~$1200 - $1500
  • Passport fees $120

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Tim Crawford

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.