Fall 2018 Travel Course Offerings

Fall 2018 Three-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Alpine EcosystemsHale
Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Risk TakingDella Corte
Financial Accounting: BarcelonaRocourt
Reading the Postcolonial City: Berlin and HamburgRoy
European Food Systems: You Are Where You EatSteinert Borella
On Refugees: Representations, Politics and Realities of Forced Migration: GreeceWiedmer
Communication, Fashion, and the Formation of TasteSugiyama
Central Europe: An Urban HistoryPyka
Introductory Italian: Pianura PadanaOrsi, Oreggioni
Measuring the AlpsPrisner
Italy: Politics, Culture and SocietyMottale
International Political Economy: South Africa and BotswanaZanecchia
Documentary and Street Photography on Location: Berlin and MunichFassl

BIO 210T Alpine Ecosystems

Professor Hale

This course examines the ecology and the management of the European Alps. It introduces students to the natural history and functions of these important ecosystems. It examines how the climate, fauna, flora, and landscapes have interacted and evolved over time. Further, it provides students an overview of threats facing these systems today, such as climate change, human use, and non-native species. It introduces students to research methods used to study mountain environments and impacts of management activities. The travel portion will visit sites in the Central and Western Alps to study natural environments in situ and connect students with local researchers and organizations active in the field. Students will spend significant time outdoors in the field in a variety of weather. Access to some sites will require moderate amounts of hiking in mountainous terrain. Previous coursework in biology or environmental science encouraged.


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 115T Financial Accounting: Barcelona

Professor Rocourt

This lecture and travel course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of financial accounting concepts, procedures, analysis, and internal reports as an essential part of the decision-making process. The focus is on the three basic steps of the accounting process: recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions. Emphasis is placed on the general accounting activities leading up to the preparation of financial statements. The travel section of the class will be to Barcelona where students will attend classes at a local partner-university, as well as attend professional presentations by associates at accounting and auditing firms, financial institutions, and financial staff at non-financial firms. (Note: Students may only earn credit for either BUS 115 OR BUS 115T.)


CLCS 238T Reading the Postcolonial City: Berlin and Hamburg

Professor Roy

Colonialism has left its traces not only very obviously on the former colonies themselves but also on the face of the cities of the colonisers. Host of the “Congo Conference” that carved up the continent in 1885, Germany was late into the “scramble for Africa.” However, it has long been implicated in colonialism through trade, scientific exploration, and Hamburg’s position as a “hinterland” of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Seeking to explore colonial echoes in less obvious places, namely in contemporary Berlin and Hamburg, the course asks how we can remember colonialism in the modern world, become conscious of its traces, and encourage critical thinking about the connections between colonialism, migration and globalization. As an Academic Travel, this course will include an on-site component where the class will team up with postcolonial focus groups in Berlin and Hamburg, going onto the street and into the museum to retrace the cities’ colonial connections, and to experience and engage with the colonial past through performance-based activities.


CLCS 248T European Food Systems: You Are Where You Eat

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.


CLCS 253T On Refugees: Representations, Politics and Realities of Forced Migration: Greece

Professor Wiedmer

This travel course will focus on forced migration and refugees, with a travel component that takes the class to Greece, one of the major European nodes of the current refugees crisis. The course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the political, social and cultural contexts of forced migration and is coupled with the study of a number of imaginative responses that help to shape attitudes and positions towards refugees. Throughout this course, students will study ideas of human rights as they relate to refugees, political and theoretical concepts that help to think through notions of belonging, sovereignty, welcome, and a range of cultural narratives, including films, public art, theater and literature, that bring their own critical interventions to bear on the emergent discourses surrounding refugees.


COM 230T Communication, Fashion, and the Formation of Taste

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.


HIS 215T Central Europe: An Urban History

Professor 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).


ITA 100T Introductory Italian: Pianura Padana

Professors Orsi, Oreggioni

This course is designed for students who do not have any knowledge of the Italian language. The course provides an introduction to the essentials of Italian grammar, vocabulary, and culture. The acquisition of aural/oral communication skills will be stressed and, as such, the predominant language of instruction will be Italian. By the end of the course students will achieve proficiency at the A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students are expected to acquire the basic knowledge of the written and spoken structures. Students are expected to read and comprehend short passages in Italian and to draft simple compositions / dialogues. Whenever possible, the written assignments will be designed to foster practical communication skills and encourage efforts towards increased student integration in the local Italian-speaking community. For the travel component the class will visit Pianura Padana, which includes Verona, Padua, Vicenza and Venice. Students will have the opportunity to practice their Italian language skills.


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 223T Italy: Politics, Culture and Society

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 focuses on Puglia, a region that highlights the intersections of tradition and transformation in Italian society.


POL 377T International Political Economy: South Africa and Botswana

Professor Zanecchia

The interplay between political and economic issues has been central to the study of international relations in the modern world. This course examines the traditional theoretical foundations of International Political Economy (the views of the liberals, the Marxists, the nationalists, etc.) and their applicability to today’s world. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the course investigates the problems of development and North-South relations, to include an academic travel component to South Africa and Botswana where course topics will be applied in the field. International trade issues, post-colonial dependency theory, environmental and human rights concerns, and the role of institutions such as the WTO, the IMF and Multinational Corporations (MNCs) will be studied. Finally, the course considers issues of global governance, the global financial and energy crisis, geopolitics, histories of regime change, and issues and methods of maintaining national security. (Formerly POL 277. Students cannot earn credit for both POL 277 and POL 377/POL 377T.) This travel course will carry a supplemental fee: CHF 1,590 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,720 (for students invoiced in USD).


VCA 120T Documentary and Street Photography on Location: Berlin and 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 travel destinations will be Berlin and Munich.


Fall 2018 One-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Georgia: Observing Social and Economic TransitionCordon

TVL 358 Georgia: Observing Social and Economic Transition

Professor Cordon

Georgia was an independent kingdom in the Middle Ages. It came under Russian influence at the beginning of the 19th Century and briefly declared independence during the Russian Revolution. In the early 1920s it was annexed by the Soviet Union and was a Soviet republic until its breakup. Independence and the radical changes that began in 1991 have created tremendous challenges and opportunities for this country. The focus of this academic travel is to try to understand the history of Georgia, and the changes taking place today. The group will visit the capital, Tbilisi, as well as other significant towns. Lectures, meetings with local officials and visits to cultural landmarks will provide the basis for understanding the recent history and present situation.