Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/29/23: Dark Academia (Campus Locations)

Bodleian Library at Oxford University. The quintessential Dark Academia setting. (The rounded hexagonal stars at the top are windows, not occult symbols.)

Dark Academia is one of those -punk subgenres/aesthetic styles, but without the punk in its name. It deals with, basically, anything you’d see at the site of a old, respectable university in Europe or the U.S. — a library full of weighty tomes and classic literature, old money, gothic architecture, dark wood, leather seats, well-kept secrets. I would call it Hogwarts + Goth, as the aesthetic came into its own during the heyday of the Harry Potter movies, shortly before that cinematic universe drewto  ts close. Also like Harry Potter, it leans into the years 1930 – 1959, before the social and intellectual upheavals of the 1960s, which “ruined” it forever.

In fantasy literature, it truly blossomed with Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House urban fantasy thriller, but it’s been hanging around, if unnamed, for decades: Donna Tartt’s  novel The Secret History (1992) and the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) being two examples. Of late, the monied private school for monstrous offspring that Wednesday Addams attends in Wednesday (Netflix, 2023) is Dark Academia at its finest.

Of course, a Dark Academia setting means dark-sounding names, of which these are but a few.


Dark Academia, Locations on Campus

Thomas Joast Memorial Drive

Yeever Cultural Center

Svorof Observatory

Falkendon West

Chelsius Hall

Teasweep Gardens

Sylvanus Chank Memorial Wing

Wisdoror Cafeteria

Tundyne Health Sciences Center

Ringsalter Library

Devray Pavilion

Lockendon Garden

Ubretto Playhouse

Esther Burn Square

Gracielle Moorcock Student Center

Fornheart African Art Gallery

Edeltroud Lawn

Purity Verneeve Science Hall

Drylands Avionics Research Center

Schlussglot Lab

Myrtle Herrit Faculty Building

Spunglunt West

Raknieves Quad

Dallestorm Archive

Sylvanus Chank Science Building

Ever Granger Art Gallery

Sophia Boscomb Student Union Building

Carthrot Lecture Hall

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