Fall 2019 Travel Course Offerings

Fall 2019 Three-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Art, Politics, Landscape: IrelandGee
Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Risk TakingDella Corte
Marketing for Movies (Italy)Miniero
Inventing the Past: The Uses of Memory in a Changing World (Poland)Wiedmer
European Food Systems: You Are Where You Eat (Italy and Switzerland)Steinert Borella
Communication, Fashion, and the Formation of Taste (Italy)Sugiyama
Tourism and the Environment: IcelandHale
History of SwitzerlandPyka
Prague on the Page: Alienation and AbsurdityRoy
Measuring the AlpsPrisner
International Environmental Politics: BotswanaZanecchia
Documentary and Street Photography on Location: MunichFassl

Course Descriptions

AHT 230T Art, Politics, Landscape: Ireland

Professor Gee

This course focuses on the relation between the visual arts, politics and landscape in Ireland. It emphasizes the role played by culture and aesthetics in the shaping of territorial identities on the island. It also looks at the historical evolution of conflicting socio-political configurations, whose modeling of physical and imaginary landscapes will be scrutinized. Singular and interacting identities within the spatial political nexus of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, are explored from the mediating perspective of aesthetic production and consumption. The course looks at early Celtic sculpture, craftsmanship and illuminated manuscripts, the circulation of artistic ideas and artists during the medieval and early modern period, before turning to nascent modernities in art and architecture. Artistic production during the Troubles in the second half of the Twentieth century is finally discussed in relation to the complex negotiation of past and present identities and heritage in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The vibrancy of contemporary Irish art finally provides a platform from which to reflect on current aesthetic syncretisms. The travel component includes in-situ visits in Dublin and Galway.


BUS 105T Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Risk Taking

Professor Della Corte

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts about being an entrepreneur, especially in the high-tech area, and the related concept of risk taking in order to stay competitive in a fast-moving economy. Students will explore preeminent thinkers in the field of entrepreneurship and risk taking, as well as today's leading minds, entrepreneurial visionaries and landmark ideas that have established this innovative area of business. Students will look at the basis of entrepreneurship and at fundamental approaches to creating and building a startup business. Students will explore and discuss case studies, articles published in business-related periodicals and sections of published works on entrepreneurship. This course includes an Academic Travel component to private and public entities that sponsor entrepreneurial activity generally in Switzerland, France and Italy.


BUS 236T Marketing for Movies (Italy)

Professor Miniero

This course will expose students to the challenges of creating a market for artistic products, in particular for movies. Marketing movies requires a deep understanding of the needs consumers are trying to satisfy when deciding to consume an experience. At the same time, dealing with artists and managers of artistic institutions requires a solid understanding of their mindset and the intrinsic motivations for creating artistic pieces. There is thus a constant trade off between market orientation and product orientation. This course will focus in particular on understanding the specifics of creative production and aligning it with the right audience. Students will learn how to create a marketing plan for such an endeavor. The travel component will explore two cities in Italy, Rome and Bologna, so as to take advantage of the Rome Film Festival and the Cineteca (in Bologna).


CLCS 220T Inventing the Past: The Uses of Memory in a Changing World (Poland)

Professor Wiedmer

The construction of memory is one of the fundamental processes by which the workings of culture can be studied. Every country, every culture and every community has a specific memory culture that finds expression in a congruence of texts: of literature and film, of law and politics, of memorial rituals, and historiography. The aim of this course is to enable students to recognize different forms of the construction, representation and archiving of memory; to analyze processes of individual and collective identity formation through memory; and to understand the power differentials operant in the negotiations and performance of a national memory. The travel component of this course will focus on sites in Poland and representations of the Holocaust.


CLCS 248T European Food Systems: You Are Where You Eat (Italy and Switzerland)

Professor Steinert Borella

In this course, students will explore the cultures that produce and are reproduced by our current food systems in Europe, touching upon the local, national and global dimensions. This course will examine the cultural, ecological, political, and geographic forces at work influencing the chain of production from farm to table. In particular, students will consider the contemporary food systems in Italy and Switzerland as well as their cultural and historical roots. Students will learn more about what it takes to become an active food citizen as the class considers where food comes from here in Europe and how the food we eat shapes who we are, both literally and figuratively. This course includes a travel component to Italy and Switzerland where students will study first hand some of the concepts discussed, including terroir, slow food, and local farm to table movements.


COM 230T Communication, Fashion, and the Formation of Taste (Italy)

Professor Sugiyama

The sense of taste, whether it refers to the metaphorical sense of taste (aesthetic discrimination) or the literal sense of taste (gustatory taste), is a fundamental part of human experiences. This Academic Travel course examines various ways that communication processes shape our sense of taste in the contemporary society. It will explore topics such as the taste for food, clothing and accessories, music, and other cultural activities applying key theories and concepts of communication, fashion, and taste. Ultimately, the course seeks to develop an understanding of how interpersonal, intercultural, and mediated communication in our everyday life plays a critical role in the formation of individual taste as well as collective taste. In order to achieve this objective, field observations and site visits will be planned during the Academic Travel period, which will include Milan, Florence and another Italian city to be decided


ENV 282T Tourism and the Environment: Iceland

Professor Hale

This course explores the environmental impacts of tourism and travel. It examines the problems generated by travelers as they journey from home locations to travel destinations and as they participate in activities at those destinations. It focuses on issues of air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, resource use, and waste management. It also considers the potential for positive impacts from tourism, examining how tourism can contribute to improved management of environmental resources. The course engages students with the ethics of responsible travel and examines various attempts to mitigate problems through different forms of sustainable tourism, policies, and tools (e.g. carbon offsets and eco-labels). The course includes a 12-day field experience in Iceland where students will examine first-hand the problems and potentials generated by that country's rapid increase in tourism. Students will also meet with stakeholders in the Icelandic tourism industry to discuss local and national responses to the increased levels of tourism. This course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 600 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 630 (for students invoiced in USD).


HIS 202T History of Switzerland

Professor Pyka

Switzerland can be seen as a striking exception to the idea of a modern Western nation state: one of the oldest republics, with four official languages, neutral by tradition with at the same time a strong military tradition, a direct democracy and nevertheless one of the most stable states in the world. Hence, it has convincingly been called a "country of minorities" or just "an exception". This course analyzes the political, economic, social, and cultural development of Switzerland as a coherent and significant part of the history of medieval and modern Europe, with visits to places such as Bern, Basel, Schwyz, St. Gallen, and Zurich. Key themes covered include the founding of the Swiss Confederation in the thirteenth century, the initiation of the Swiss Reformation by Ulrich Zwingli in the sixteenth century, the introduction of the federal government in the nineteenth century, and the present day polemics of immigration and direct democracy. Local day trips to the medieval Ticinese towns of Riva San Vitale and Mendrisio round out the course.


LIT 236T Prague on the Page: Alienation and Absurdity

Professor Roy

The literature of Prague lies in the city's complex web of identities, a web created by social upheaval through the ages. Beginning with sixteenth-century tales of the Golem, the clay figure animated by Rabbi Loew to protect the city's Jewish community, students will investigate how Prague's writers have responded to the politics of their times by embracing the surreal and the ambiguous. In particular, this class will look at how these authors have found inspiration in the city itself. Reading includes Franz Kafka's evocation of the early twentieth-century city and a selection of works by more recent writers such as Weil, Kundera, and Hakl. Studying the way these writers repeatedly draw on each other through the idea of the city as a text, students will visit their haunts in Prague and its surroundings, and map their works onto the city's landscape and onto its history, with the surreal Kafka museum as a starting point.


MAT 115T Measuring the Alps

Professor Prisner

People live in three-dimensional space but are restricted to the earth surface which is usually locally flat, two-dimensional. But when entering the Alps, the third dimension of height becomes important when describing location or movement. This is also expressed by the fact that in the mountains a map is not too useful---rather a topographic map is needed. Starting with a description of the Alps or any mountains by topographic maps, or mathematically as functions with two independent variables, students will investigate how certain well-known features are reflected by the topography of the area . Examples are the location of mountain brooks, watersheds, movement of glaciers, avalanches, and rockfall. Students will also investigate the question of visibility in the mountains, whether and how it is possible to predict what can be seen from where. A further aspect is GPS technology. During the travel, the class will visit various places in the Swiss, Austrian, and Italian Alps, such as Davos, Innsbruck, Villnoess. Students will hike and measure, but will also discuss questions relevant to Alpine life, such as glaciers, avalanches or rockfall forecasts. If possible, the class will also visit places where such research is conducted. The course includes one mandatory weekend hike in September in addition to the ordinary travel in October. Hiking boots are required.


POL 376T International Environmental Politics: Botswana

Professor Zanecchia

It has become increasingly apparent in recent years that environmental problems have been proliferating and nation-states are not able to cope with them individually. International cooperation is essential to finding and applying solutions. This course will first examine the origins of the main environmental problems affecting nations, such as climate change, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, desertification, pollution, disposal of radioactive and chemical waste material, trade in endangered species, etc. Students will investigate the environmental problems connected to trade globalization and the question of sustainable development, and will study how states have tried to deal with these problems through the role of international organizations such as the UN and the EU and non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace, WWF, etc. The effectiveness of international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and CITES, and the problems in their application, will also be examined. For the travel component of the course, on-site investigations will occur in Botswana, to include policies of natural resource conservation, sustainability, and ecotourism. This course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 1,540 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,620 (for students invoiced in USD).


VCA 120T Documentary and Street Photography on Location: Munich

Professor Fassl

This course will investigate the particularities of both documentary and street photography through readings and studio projects. It will shed light on the history of photography; how the visual world communicates, studying the interaction of photography with other visual media; and will pay specific attention to the semiotic potential and challenges of photography. Students will engage in a project that relates to the location of the travel component of the class, documenting a subject of their choice. The Academic Travel destination will be Munich with additional day excursions to Bavaria and Austria.


Fall 2019 One-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Nice and Southern France: From Impressionism to Contemporary ArtSaveau

TVL 216 Nice and Southern France: From Impressionism to Contemporary Art

Professor Saveau

This Academic Travel will focus primarily on the life and art of painters and sculptors who lived in Nice and its surrounding region. Artists such as Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, Bonnard, and Giacometti found there a source of inspiration and creativity that some of their artwork celebrates. The class will focus attention on the evolution of art over the last 120 years, the characteristics of the diverse art movements we will come across, and the aesthetic particularities of some of the artists students will study. Among the museums the class will visit are the Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer, the Bonnard Museum in Le Cannet, the Ferdinand Léger Museum in Biot, the Picasso Museum in Antibes and Picasso Chapel in Vallauris, the Hartung Bergman Foundation in Antibes, the Matisse Chapel in Vence, the Maeght Foundation in Saint Paul de Vence, the Beaubourg Gallery in Vence, the Chateau La Coste’s Art Center in Le Puy Sainte Réparade, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice and the Concrete Art Museum in Mouans-Sartoux.