SPRING 2021 Travel Course Offerings

Topic and Destination Leader
Harbor Cities: Architecture, Vision, Exp Gee
Oceans, seas and rivers have long provided resources favorable to the growth of urban settlements. Cities built on water shores use natural fluxes as passageways for bodies, goods and ideas from a privileged position. Their harbors became gateways to both wealth and the unknown. This course will focus on the modes of representations of the harbor city in the 20th century, placing particular emphasis on the role of imagination in its past, present and future construction. In the 19th and 20th centuries, radical and rapid changes in maritime technology and the geographies of the world economy prompted dramatic transformations in the functionalities and the identities of harbor cities across the globe. The proud jewels of the ‘economie-monde’ in the Mediterranean as well as many of the industrial bastions of the 19th century empires fell into decline, while emerging economies prompted fast-paced development of their sea-linked cities to accommodate emerging trade. Throughout this process, the relation of harbor cities to their self-perceived identity significantly evolved. A sole focus on a city’s desires and assets has become unviable. For the once remote outside world has found multiple paths of its own making to gain access to the city’s shores. The course will consider the array of visions drawn by artists, poets, architects, urban planners, politicians, entrepreneurs, and everyday inhabitants in informing the modeling of harbor cities in the context of rapid and drastic physical and mental changes. The travel part of the course will include on-site visits to museums and galleries in Naples, as well as direct engagement and documentation (video, audio) with the city.
Inventing the Past: Memory (Berlin) 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.
Science Fiction: Envisioning the Possibl Ferrari
Science fiction narratives often function as allegorical vehicles for theoretical reflection on the state of contemporary politics and society, implicitly calling for social reform. As such, the main objective of this course is to consider several major contemporary socio-cultural issues through the unique lens provided by writers and filmmakers of the science-fiction tradition. The issues, allowing for variances from year to year, will include questions regarding race, sex, gender and Otherness; the hypothesized deterioration of a human-world bond; modern apocalyptic anxieties; genetic engineering; intersections of ideology and communication technologies. Student work in this class will also include creative writing, storytelling and video making. On-location shooting of a short SF film will be the focus of the Swiss travel. Exact locations to be defined but will include the Lake Léman region (the origin of Frankenstein). No previous knowledge of video-making necessary.
Political Economy: Theories and Issues Dasgupta
This course is designed to introduce students to the foundations of political economy. In this course, students will study the economic system from a critical, historical and interdisciplinary perspective and in doing so will gain a greater understanding of our current economic system. Students will learn about different theories in political economy and how these theories help us understand the transformation of a pre-capitalist system to a capitalist system. Some of the schools of thoughts that students will be introduced to are Classical, Institutional, Marxian, Post-Keynesian and Austrian. Students will also explore the works of Polanyi, Kalecki and Minsky. This course will also draw from these various theories and examine their implications for different issues that arise from the current economic formation. Some of the issues that will be considered in this course are social and economic inequality, financialization and political economy of cryptocurrencies, gender inequality, the relationship of the economic sphere to the ecology, political economy of poverty and uneven development, food regimes and globalisation, and labour and unemployment. This course will allow students to analyse major contemporary issues from different political economy perspectives. This course will also have a travel component, where students will visit sites in Switzerland to understand the position of Switzerland in the development of the capitalist system (example: Mont Pelerin). In addition, students will also investigate some of the issues discussed in this course like ecological economics, postcolonial economics and political economy of cryptocurrencies by visiting relevant sites like organic farms, the crypto valley and international organisations. Site visits will tentatively include visits to the Geneva, Zurich and Zug regions.
Freshwater Conservation (Italy/Slovenia) Della Croce
This course explores various aspects of rivers, freshwater lakes, and groundwater aquifers. It provides an introduction to the distinct ecology of these three freshwater systems, their human uses, different approaches to their conservation, possibilities for restoration of degraded systems, and a look at the role that lakes and rivers play in international relationships. During Academic Travel, the class will visit various freshwater systems and will also practice field data collection techniques. Tentatively, the travel will take place in North-East Italy and Slovenia. This course may also include shorter day-trips to local points of interests.
Introduction to Fashion Studies (Italy) Barile
This course introduces students to Fashion Studies beginning with the history of the making of fashion, thus laying the groundwork for the understanding of fashion as a creative and cultural phenomenon from the Renaissance to the present day. It then examines fashion as a dynamic communication process that is based on everyday social interactions in the contemporary world. In this section, special attention is paid to media representations, interactions with cultural industries, subcultural practices, and the impact of emerging technologies, exploring how the fashion process becomes an integral part of the identity formation. Finally, the fashion process is analyzed from the business perspective with a particular focus on marketing. Taking the classic concept of product life cycle, students learn how the fashion industry and consumer behavior propagate new trends in society. The travel destinations will include Rome and Milan.
Early Modern Europe (Switzerland) Hoey
In a relatively short period from 1500 to 1800, Europe was completely transformed and in turn transformed the world during the first major period of globalization. This course considers the changing economic and social conditions for the majority of Europe's population. It also explores how the religious and intellectual unity of the West was shattered under the weight of new ideas of church reformation and spiritual renewal and later by a revolution which asserted the Rights of Man. It analyzes how modern methods of rationalized administration changed governance, and finally how the new European states built global empires of conquest, confession and commerce. As an Academic Travel, this course includes a period of on-site research (e.g. visits to museum and churches, guided tours, guest lectures etc.) related to the history of Early Modern Europe in locations in Switzerland such as Geneva, Zurich and St. Gallen.
Intro to International Relations: Vienna Bucher
This Academic Travel course provides the basic analytic tools necessary for the understanding of international relations. After a brief introduction to realist, liberal, English School and constructivist approaches to the study of international relations, the course covers various fundamental concepts, such as national power, foreign policy, conflict, political economy, international trade and international organizations. The travel program will focus on Vienna which provides us with the opportunity to not only learn about international organizations, but also the historical development of European politics and diplomacy
Politics of Sustainability & Development Zanecchia
This interdisciplinary course explores the politics and practice of sustainable development in the industrial North and developing South. Through a series of problem-based case studies, students will explore the political, social, economic, environmental, and cultural relationships that encompass the important field of sustainable development. Students will come to better understand how developed, as well as lesser developed countries, approach sustainability and natural resource management. Student research projects will include team-based analyses of the politics of sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable design within the broader context of global environmental issues such as deforestation, desertification, habitat degradation, and conventional models of development. Please note: The travel portion of the course will be consistent with COVID-19 guidelines with destinations within Switzerland or bordering countries.
Sustainability and Art in Europe 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). The travel part of the course will include destinations in Italy and/or Switzerland. 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.

No one-credit courses schedule for SPRING 2021