Fall 2016 Travel Course Offerings

Fall 2016 Three-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Risk Taking (Switzerland, France, Italy)Della Corte
Inventing the Past: The Uses of Memory in a Changing World (Berlin)Wiedmer
European Food Systems: You Are Where You Eat (Switzerland, France)Steinert Borella
Symbolizing Scottish Folk: Nationalism, Tourism and IdentificationVogelaar
Understanding Environmental Issues: IcelandHale
Italian Tales of Courtship, Beauty, and Power (Florence, Vicenza, Arezzo)Orsi
Prague on the Page: Alienation and AbsurdityRoy
Measuring the AlpsPrisner
Italy: Politics, Culture, and Society (Puglia)Mottale
Documentary and Street Photography on Location: MunichFassl

BUS 105T Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Risk Taking (Switzerland, France, Italy)

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.


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

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 in particular on Berlin and representations of the Holocaust.


CLCS 248T European Food Systems: You Are Where You Eat (Switzerland, France)

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 France, 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 Switzerland and France where students will study first hand some of the concepts discussed, including terroir, slow food, and local farm to table movements. Recommended prerequisite: LC 100 or LC 110


COM 220T Symbolizing Scottish Folk: Nationalism, Tourism and Identification

Professor Vogelaar

Concurrent with processes of "globalization," there has been a fervent, if not reactionary, revival of "folk" culture the world over. Although interest in folk culture is geographically widespread, it is particularly salient in places like Scotland where longstanding clashes over regional independence, enduring ties to local geographies and customs, and a thriving tourism industry, have sustained rich folk cultures that continue to serve both as powerful sources of identification as well as seductive expressions of national identity and culture. This course explores the significance of "folk" in Scottish representations and symbols (including tourist attractions and cultural products, film, music, poetry, story and performance, as well as ritual, lifestyle, craft, food and drink), noting its specific functions in daily life, politics, and tourism. As an Academic Travel, the course pays special attention to folk icons, legends, practices, and identities as they are lived, ‘packaged,’ sold, consumed and negotiated by Scots, tourist organizations and tourists alike. And, because folk is a complex and contested category, course readings and assignments tease out the inherent tensions between: permanence and change, authenticity and invention, embodiment and performance, insider and outsider, production and consumption, and heterogeneity and homogeneity. To this end, the course explores the following questions: What is folk culture and what is its relationship to globalization, nationalism and tourism? What is Scottish folk culture? What are its origins, nuances and functions for various interest groups? How can communication theory and media studies help to better understand the invention, representation, expression and transmission of Scottish folk culture? How does place feature and function in Scottish folk culture? What connections can be made between folk culture and sustainability?


ENV 200T Understanding Environmental Issues: Iceland

Professor Hale

This case study based course serves as the bridge experience for student completing their introductory course requirements for the ESS major or the ENV minor and who are now moving into the upper-level courses (However it is open to all interested students meeting the pre-requisite). Through detailed examination of several case studies at the local, regional, and global levels, students synthesize material from introductory level courses to explore the interdisciplinary nature of today’s environmental issues. They examine what different disciplines offer to our understanding of and attempt to solve these issues.The travel destination for the course is Iceland and carries a supplemental fee: CHF 475 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 490 (for students invoiced in USD).


IS 120T Italian Tales of Courtship, Beauty, and Power (Florence, Vicenza, Arezzo)

Professor Orsi

The number and variety of towns, cities, villages and castles stunned travelers to Italy in the early Middle Ages. This phenomenon became even more distinctive with the passing of time. During the Renaissance, the Italian city-states were compressed into wider, regional domains which were ruled by either a local family or a foreign state, and, much to Machiavelli’s regret, republicanism gave way to what we now know as the court civilization. Though the seats of intrinsically tyrannical powers, Italian courts and their patrons were successful in allying themselves with the most powerful of them all: the power of culture and art. In return, they were transformed into ideal, timeless places whose death was meant to be regretted. Even today, Italy retains her fairy-land beauty, and her monuments (public or private, urban, suburban or rural) still possess their unique power of inspiration notwithstanding the touristic commercialization. The course examines a number of authors and artists who took part in the shaping of both the communal and court values that formed Italy’s manifold cultural identities. Additionally, the course includes fairy-tales from the Italian folkloric tradition, where princes and princesses provide yet another perspective of Italy’s many “kingdoms”. The travel itinerary will include visits to Ravenna, Arezzo and Florence, Urbino, Padua, Vicenza and Mantua.


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, Meran. 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.


POL 223T Italy: Politics, Culture, and Society (Puglia)

Professor Mottale

This course will introduce students to the contemporary politics of Italy and the issues that are confronting its policy makers and people. The focus is on the evolution of Italian society after World War II and the cultural, economic, and social trends that have shaped its political system. The goal of this course is to give the students a comprehensive picture of contemporary Italy and the political challenges facing Italians today. The travel component for Fall 2016 focuses on Puglia, a region that highlights the intersections of tradition and transformation in Italian society.


VCA 120T Documentary and Street Photography on Location: Munich

Professor Fassl

Documentary and Street Photography on Location 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. For Fall 2016 the travel destination will be Munich.


Fall 2016 One-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Botswana: Environmental Field Observations and Conservation ChallengesZanecchia
In the Wake of the Hapsburg Empire: Vienna-Bratislava-BudapestOreggioni
Barcelona & Catalonia: An Independent Region?Rocourt
Thailand: Village Culture and Service LearningGuggiari

TVL 251 Botswana: Environmental Field Observations and Conservation Challenges

Professor Zanecchia

This Academic Travel is an environmental field trip with a focus on the wildlife of Botswana. Field trips include the Chobe River, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the Okavango Delta, the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, and the Nata Bird Sanctuary. Students will tent camp in the bush as we travel in 4x4 vehicles through game parks where we will have an opportunity to observe animals in their natural state, and to reflect on the challenges of wildlife conservation. We will also camp in indigenous Bushmen huts at Planet Baobab in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, as well as visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This trip will provide the basis for a better understanding of conservation and sustainability issues in this region of Africa. This Travel carries a supplemental fee: CHF 1,550 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,595 (for students invoiced in USD)


TVL 254 In the Wake of the Hapsburg Empire: Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest

Professor Oreggioni

This travel course explores the changing natures of borders and boundaries, linguistic, cultural, and historical, in several important cities of the region, including Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. In particular, students will explore the historical and cultural development of these cities in the wake of the erosion of the Hapsburg Empire. The course will provide an historically informed account of different manifestations of the aesthetics that emerged around the turn of the 19th century. It will show how the aesthetic discourse through arts and theater reflected on the collapse of a highly idealized political system that had granted century-long stability. The end of the Empire ignited among intellectuals a feeling of fear for the transition from an old conception of the world into modernity. As a reaction to this feeling, artists exhibited a tendency to aestheticize reality, which became particularly manifest in fin-de-siecle Vienna. The course will explain the emergence of this tendency by discussing the influence of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical discourse on the arts. Visits to museums, sites of relevance, and theater will be a main focus of this academic travel. They will help students understand the different ways in which each of these cities has developed over time, emphasizing both the radical differences that distinguish these cities from each other and the interdisciplinary synergies that connect them to each other during the last decades of existence of the Hapsburg Empire.


TVL 257 Barcelona & Catalonia: An Independent Region?

Professor Rocourt

Before a unified Spain existed, the Catalan State with the capital city of Barcelona dominated the cultural and economic life of the Western Mediterranean in the later Middle Ages. Throughout the ensuing centuries of Spanish New World exploration and global empire, the Napoleonic Wars, and the 20th-Century Civil War, Barcelona has retained its unique physical appearance, culture, and attitude. Beginning with the physical preparations for the very successful 1992 Summer Olympics, the modern rebirth of Barcelona has intensified the political issue of possible Catalan independence within the EU, even as the region currently contributes a disproportionately large share of Spanish GDP, employment, exports, and innovation in many business and artistic fields. Students will develop a comprehensive sense of the political, economic, and cultural reality of modern Barcelona and Catalonia as it has evolved over the past eight centuries. Activities include classes and lectures at a local partner university, numerous professional visits to corporations and government agencies, and broad exposure to the cultural history of the Catalan region including, for instance, medieval architecture and religion, modernism in literature, and artists such as Gaudí, Picasso, and Miró.


TVL 329 Thailand: Village Culture and Service Learning

Professor Guggiari

Theme: International Development Aid. This travel is designed to 1) expose students to an East-Asian culture , 2) allow students to discover and experience first hand the socio-economic culture of Thai villagers and 3) offer students a method of using their resources to directly benefit the village people. This trip will be in collaboration with the Sainam Foundation and take place in a remote Thai village, Bad Naudom in the province of Surin, in the eastern part of the country. The group will travel directly to the village upon arrival at the Bangkok airport. Students will be placed in local houses divided into groups according to gender. Depending upon the status of the foundation projects, students will be doing community service work for eight full days which could include: • Helping to construct houses • Clearing land for construction, • Working the local harvest and the organic farm, • Kitchen and cooking Through the Foundation, students work with the SAINAM village school and the surrounding village schools to plan English language classes and outdoor activities. Students considering this trip should take into account the primitive accommodations provided by the villagers’ homes. In addition, students will be expected to complete the service learning component of the course which may include manual labor. This Travel carries a supplemental fee: CHF 580 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 600 (for students invoiced in USD).