FALL 2024 Travel Course Offerings

Course Topic and Destination Leader
AHT 208T Art now! (Berlin) Gee
This course offers an introduction to the history of contemporary art from 1960 to the present, paying particular attention to artistic developments in increasingly global and interconnected cultures at the turn of the 21st century. Our topics include the diversification of practices, the dematerialization of art, institutional critique and feminist critique, environmental and relational aesthetics, and new media arts in the 21st century. The course looks at the frame of production and reception of artworks, from the studio to the museum and gallery, from the artists to the art critic and the public. A particular attention will be put on the writings of artists and critics, as well as the mediation of artistic practices. In this vein, students are encouraged to develop documentary and critical discourses in the form of audio and video formats, in dialogue with the travel component of the course, which brings students in direct contact with artworks, artists, and curators in Germany. Visits to contemporary Art museums, studios and galleries are scheduled as part of the travel component of this course.
AHT 222T Design Studies (Singapore and Malaysia) Fassl
This course explores the fascinating histories of objects and environments that qualify as icons of design. How do the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building or the Burj Khalifa stand as markers for values and ideals? Why makes for the longevity of the Little Black Dress as a fashion icon? These and other questions prompt the course to study built environments and landscapes, designed spaces of interiors and for performance, as well as graphic design, industrial design, the decorative arts, and fashion design. Through an interdisciplinary framework that considers materials, technology, culture, consumption, politics, and sustainability, students will acquire the theoretical underpinning to understand how design is shaped and how processes of ‘iconization’ are at work for both tangible products and non-tangibles, including lifestyles. Following historical, technical and theoretical studies and analyses, students will be guided through a design-thinking process to create a prototype for their own design idea and product. The design thinking skills acquired in the course will equip students with valuable tools to be applied to projects in other academic disciplines and to professional tasks. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 975 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,160 (for students invoiced in USD).
BIO 215T Alpine Nordic Ecosyst Dynamics (Sweden) Piccinelli
This course offers an in-depth study of cold ecosystems, encompassing a wide-ranging exploration from the European Alps to the Nordic regions, focusing on their ecological dynamics. It provides a comprehensive look at the environmental factors influencing these unique regions, including their diverse flora and fauna. The course will explore ecological processes, interactions, and the adaptations of species to their environments in both the Alpine and Nordic contexts. Students will engage with current issues such as climate change, human impacts, and ecological conservation challenges. The Travel component will allow direct observation and hands-on experience on the field. Students should be prepared for outdoor activities in varied weather conditions and terrains.
BUS 237T Op Supply Chain Management (Italy) Balushkina
This course introduces students to the field of operations and supply chain management. It aims to explain how to effectively organize the process of creating goods and services and introduce students to the major concepts, models, and methods in the field. The course explains how to apply quantitative and qualitative methods to solve a wide range of problems in managing operations, such as forecasting, sales planning, or outsourcing. The travel component of this course will include visits to Bologna and Umbria region in Italy. A specific focus will be given to understanding manufacturing companies in the automotive and food industries.
BUS 243T Personal Finance (Germany) Suleiman
This course introduces students to the basic concepts and tools needed to make wise and informed personal financial decisions. The content of this course is presented from a practical point of view and with an emphasis on the consumer as the financial decision-maker. The primary objective of this course is to help students apply finance practices to their own life. For example, students will learn how to plan and manage personal finances, how to obtain credit to purchase a home or a car, and how to invest personal financial resources in stocks, bonds, and real estate. Students will also learn how to interpret financial and economic news that have an impact on personal finances. The travel component of this course will include visits to several cities in Germany such as Frankfurt and Berlin. During those visits, students will be introduced to financial institutions that are relevant for personal finance such as the ECB, the Frankfurt stock exchange, commercial banks, and wealth management and real estate firms.
CLCS 150T Reading Film (Lisbon) Ferrari
This course introduces students to the language of cinema through close studies of and foundational readings on film theory, narrative/documentary structure, camera technique, lighting, sound, casting, and location. Students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of film language through scholarly analysis of both canonical and contemporary cinema texts. Students move beyond the passive reception of an image-based world by working towards increased intellectual adaptability in terms of engaged film reading skills that call into question philosophical and culture-specific notions and norms. Prior to travel, concentrated modules, including analysis, contemporary criticism, audience reception, and practical applications, prepare students for participation in an international film festival and video-making workshops in Lisbon.
CLCS 247T French Cultural Institutions (France) Roy
Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French authors and artists were instrumental in shaping the imaginary of the “Orient”, with a myriad of paintings and texts housed for public consumption in national cultural institutions. Students will use the French case to explore the politics of representation: the creation and objectification of an Oriental “Other”. On-the-ground field study in museums, archives and galleries of Paris (the former colonial capital) and Marseille (the “Gateway to North Africa”) will help students to investigate the ties that bind the visual arts and literature with the exercising of knowledge and power, and to read literary and artistic works as shaped by their cultural and historical circumstances. The strong Arab and Berber presence in both cities today, in particular from France's former colonies in North Africa, will provide the impetus to question how contemporary writers and artists explicitly and implicitly engage with and renegotiate these “cultural artifacts”, and what broader significance this might have for questions of representation and identity, Self and Other, in the (not only French) present. Students will read contemporary texts by authors such as Leïla Sebbar and Assia Djébar and explore work by visual artists including Zineb Sedira and Zoulikha Bouabdellah, using their, and our own, “encounters” in the Louvre, the Pompidou Center, the Arab World Institute, MuCEM and smaller galleries to consider the significance of reappropriating the gaze and of the relationship between visual pleasure and politics, while questioning who art is “for” and where the “representation business” takes us. (The course may count toward the French Studies major in consultation with the coordinator of the French Studies program.)
CLCS 316T Transatlantic Slave Trade (Ghana) Wiedmer
Dozens of castles and forts built by Europeans as trading posts between 1481 and 1786 dot the Western coast of Ghana. They were used to hold enslaved Africans before they were shipped to the Caribbean or the Southern United States in what is known today as the transatlantic slave trade, or the triangular trade. The triangular trade describes different configurations of three-way Atlantic trading systems between the Americas, Africa and Europe that allowed traders to exchange their goods from Europe or the Americas for human cargo in Africa before embarking on the so-called Middle Passage and slave markets in the new world. Under British colonial rule, Ghana evolved into the center of the transatlantic slave trade and remnants of it remain in architectural structures such as the castles and forts, different forms of physical resistance built by villages to defend against the slavers and in artefacts, literary accounts, music, and art. In the pre-travel portion of this course, we will explore the history, economics and global impact of the transatlantic slave trade alongside the rise of a pervasive and racialist ideology that legitimized the transformation of humans into commodities. In Ghana, we will trace the legacy of the slave trade and its memorialization in the architectural remnants of the castles, in museum exhibits, cultural narratives and global initiatives such as the UNESCO Slave Route Project. In the final part, we will grapple with questions of memory and memorialization, cross-cultural conceptions of enslavement, systemic economic inequalities, and the current debate around reparations. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 350 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 415 (for students invoiced in USD)
COM 230T Comm, Fashion, Form of Taste (Italy) 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.
HIS 215T Central Europe: An Urban History Pyka
This Academic Travel course seeks to explore urban development and urban planning of Central European cities from Antiquity to the Present. The course investigates the specific development of cities in Central Europe, both north and south of the Alps, with an emphasis on the legacies of Roman antiquity, the Christian (and Jewish) legacy of the Middle Ages, the role of princely residences, and of bourgeois middle classes. An important part plays also the various political movements of the 20th century, including the architectural fantasies of National Socialism, and the attempts post-World War II to deal with this legacy in a democratic society. The course asks in which way the interplay of tradition and modernity over time has structured not only the physical shapes of cities, but even the mindsets of the population. The travel component of this course features day trips to the Roman foundation of Como (Italy) and the oldest still standing structure in Switzerland in Riva San Vitale (Ticino), and a major excursion to the three most important cities in Bavaria: Nuremberg, Regensburg, and Munich (Germany).
HIS 241T Modern Türkiye: Dreams of Modernity Ennas
Turkey-Türkiye has become once more a major player on the international scene, while seemingly changing constantly. What are the origins and future perspectives of the modern Turkish Republic, and how are Turks see themselves? In order to answer these questions, the course starts from the heyday of the old Ottoman Empire, subsequently analyzing its crisis and decline, and the birth of the modern post-Ottoman states after World War I, with the Republic of Turkey-Türkiye as one of the main heir states of the Empire. The course focuses on the transformations that led to contemporary Türkiye from the Young Turks and the time of Atatürk to the current President Erdoğan. ‘Dreams of Modernity’ provides an understanding of Turkish nation-building process, highlighting the continuous political and social transformations of one of the major international actors in the Middle-Eastern and North-African area (MENA).
POL 176T Intern Environ Politics (Switzerland) Zanecchia
The resolution of global environmental problems has been problematic for nation-states. Hence, international cooperation is essential for exploring and applying solutions. This course will first examine the origins of environmental problems facing nations such as climate change, desertification, pollution, and international trade in endangered species. Further topics for investigation will include the impact of globalization and the feasibility of sustainable development in the industrial north and developing south, as well as the effectiveness of international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and CITES. The academic travel destination will be within Switzerland, including planned visits to Pro Natura nature reserves and the WWF in Zurich. The experiential component may also include site visits to examples of sustainable development within Switzerland such as Zermatt and Grindelwald, as well as an overnight hike to alpine habitats.
POL 216T Contemporary Global Challenges (Vienna) Bucher
To better understand (some of) the major challenges humanity faces today, this course introduces students to the underlying structures and the key actors that shape global relations. As such, this travel course will provide an opportunity to engage with the main building-blocks of the contemporary international order and to inquire into the interactions among states, international organizations and non-governmental actors. Some of the key topics covered in class and in Vienna include: interstate war, deterrence and contemporary shifts in the nuclear order; the challenges underlying the political need to address energy security, fight climate change, and enable development; and the relationship between human rights, intervention, and state sovereignty.
POL 376T Intern Environ Politics (Switzerland) Zanecchia
The resolution of global environmental problems has been problematic for nation-states. Hence, international cooperation is essential for exploring and applying solutions. This course will first examine the origins of environmental problems facing nations such as climate change, desertification, pollution, and international trade in endangered species. Further topics for investigation will include the impact of globalization and the feasibility of sustainable development in the industrial north and developing south, as well as the effectiveness of international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and CITES. The academic travel destination will be within Switzerland, including planned visits to Pro Natura nature reserves and the WWF in Zurich. The experiential component may also include site visits to examples of sustainable development within Switzerland such as Zermatt and Grindelwald, as well as an overnight hike to alpine habitats.
PSY 208T Psychology En Route (Italy) Ongis
This course blends psychology principles with the timeless allure of Medieval and Renaissance cities. It integrates cognitive, social, and psychodynamic psychology to offer a systematic exploration of cognition and an intricate analysis of social dynamics in these historical urban centers. Throughout the course, students will actively engage in a structured series of activities, discussions, experiments, and meticulously planned research projects, effectively bridging psychology theories with the authentic reality of cities renowned for their profound intellectual legacy.
SJS 377T Sustainable Education in Madagascar Galli
This course explores the challenges faced by the population of rural Madagascar – one of the poorest countries in the world – including limited schooling and poor learning outcomes, scarce and low-income employment opportunities, lack of basic infrastructure, high fertility, bad nutrition, poor health conditions and adverse environmental impacts. In particular, the Madagascar educational system and the reasons behind its very low quality are examined. During the travel, students are hosted by local schools and must adapt to lodging and transport conditions that, albeit still a luxury for most of the local population, are relatively closer to the lifestyle of the local population. This gives students the possibility to obtain first-hand experience of how different it is to live in low-income countries. Students have numerous opportunities to meet and bond with local students, teachers, school directors, tourist guides, and micro-entrepreneurs, allowing them to learn how rich Madagascar is in terms of cultural, natural, and human resources and to hear directly from the local youth what their needs, wishes and aspirations are. This academic travel in a remote non-touristic part of North Madagascar is organized by the Swiss NGO Boky Mamiko. Students are expected to participate in some pre-travel volunteering work and to represent the NGO in Madagascar in a professional and responsible manner. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 1,200 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,430 (for students invoiced in USD).
SOC 100T Intro to Sociology (Northern Italy) Schwak
What is "society"? What does its structure look like and how does it work? How does it change? Why does it change? How do are individuals and society intertwined? This course provides students with the tools to answer these questions. Modern societies have experienced dramatic social changes with the emergence of individualism, new class structures, the development of urban life or changing relationships between individuals and their natural environments. Sociology provides an understanding of these changes by studying human interactions and forms of social organization. In this course, students will be introduced to major sociological thinkers, concepts and approaches. This Academic Travel course will take students to Northern Italy, and Venice more specifically. This will allow students to apply their knowledge of sociology in one’s of world’s most visited cities, and to address very urgent sociological questions related to overtourism and social change in age of global mobility.
STA 240T Sustainability Art in Europe (Finland) Zdanski
Over the past few decades, sustainability has become a movement in the visual arts, shifting from a purely ecological to a larger cultural context and covering a vast range of ecological, economic, political, moral and ethical concerns. Sustainable art is usually distinguished from earlier movements like environmental art in that it advocates issues in sustainability, like ecology, social justice, non-violence and grassroots democracy. This studio course will approach sustainability and artistic practice from a number of viewpoints and modalities. In addition to providing a general introduction to sustainability in the arts and the evolving role of the arts in today's society, students will engage in creative projects, presentations and papers on current social issues and/or environmental concerns (including for example the use of sustainable materials, recycling materials, community outreach, local environmental and sustainability initiatives). During the travel period, students will have the opportunity to see exhibitions and to visit institutions, organizations and artists who are concerned with sustainability and related issues. This part of the course may also involve a creative project that seeks to envisage art as a catalyst to stimulate discourse and foster change. There is a studio fee for art supplies for the on-campus part of the course. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 400 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 475 (for students invoiced in USD).

No one-credit courses are scheduled for FALL 2024.

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