Spring 2019 Travel Course Offerings

Spring 2019 Three-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Collecting and the Art Market in the Age of GlobalizationFassl
Symbolizing Scottish FolkVogelaar
Paris Protagonist: Lost in TranslationFerrari
Sustainable Economic Development: Exploring Rishikesh and BhutanDasgupta
Freshwater Conservation (Northern Italy)Della Croce
The Stories We Live By (Switzerland, Italy, Germany)Roy
Scotland, Story and SongPeat
Introduction to International Relations: ViennaBucher
Introduction to Mediterranean Studies: SicilyMottale
Studies in Ceramics: Northern and Central ItalyZdanski

Course Descriptions

AHT 211T Collecting and the Art Market in the Age of Globalization

Professor Fassl

In 2017, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi was sold for $450.3m during an evening auction at Christie’s New York to the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, setting a record high for a painting sold at auction. Over the past 15 years, the search for status symbols by new collectors from all corners of the earth is driving the prices of masterpieces. Are these prices higher than they should be? How do you convert cultural value into monetary wealth? Is the art market promoting the production of art for financial speculation? Do artists produce for the market sales or for poetic reasons? What are the implications for museums and its art-interested public? Is the art market fostering the illicit trade of stolen and looted antiquities? What is the role of art and culture for multinationals when it comes to corporate citizenship? These are some of the issues the course addresses, together with looking at collecting from a historical point of view: princely and scholarly collections in the Renaissance, the Wunderkammer, the birth of the public art museum, and the invention of the private art market. Further emphasis will be placed on the question of “who owns the past?” discussing art restitution within the international legal context. The main destination for this Academic Travel course will be the Benelux countries, Holland and Belgium. In the cities of Amsterdam, Delft, De Hague, and Antwerp the course will explore the birth of the free art market, public museum collections, private galleries, and organizations that set international directives for art restitution.


COM 220T Symbolizing Scottish Folk

Professor Vogelaar

Concurrent with processes of globalization, there has been a fervent, if not reactionary, revival of folk culture. Although the reinvention of folk cultures is a global phenomenon, it is particularly salient in places like Scotland—a complex nation that is as much British, modern, and Western as it is local, artisanal and traditional. Longstanding clashes over regional independence, enduring ties to local geographies and customs, and a thriving tourism industry in Scotland, have sustained rich folk cultures that serve both as powerful sources of identification as well as seductive expressions of national identity and culture. Using discursive and rhetorical approaches, this course explores the various ways in which “folk” identities, practices, cultures, and artifacts are represented and mobilized in the Scottish context by various communities and stakeholders.


CRW 110T Paris Protagonist: Lost in Translation

Professor Ferrari

This Academic Travel and creative writing course creates the occasion for an intensive hybrid scholarly/creative encounter with a mythical urban landscape which figuratively lives and breathes, as a protagonist, through French literature and film. The travel component that underscores this course will also mark the culmination of this Parisian encounter, ushering students from the realm of theory to practice with daily (on-location/site-driven) writing prompts and workshop-style events designed to address the following key questions: What forms does this protagonist assume as s/he endures through time? What voices emerge from the space of her debris? What gets lost in translation and how can the dialogue between art and cultural theory aide us in finding our way through this impasse of loss? How can the deepening of a student’s cultural awareness help the City of Light avoid being subsumed by her own, distinctive, and almost irresistible, charme fatal? Three thematic modules will frame this exploration and create a groundwork on which to base the student’s intellectual discovery and experimentation as writers/travelers: the poetry of Charles Baudelaire highlights the unique experience of Parisian space; the contribution of Surrealism which both defines and defies the peculiarities of Parisian time; the French New Wave (contrasted to foreign cinematic renderings of Paris), with a focus on the twin concepts of translation-transfiguration, allegories of Light and “Othering.” Students enrolling in this course may expect dual-language editions of French literary sources and French films with English subtitles (when possible).


ECN 331T Sustainable Economic Development: Exploring Rishikesh and Bhutan

Professor Dasgupta

Traditionally, efficiency has been given priority over sustainability in orthodox economics. With the declaration of Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations, the idea of sustainability has become central in mainstream economic and policy discussions, thereby challenging many fundamental building blocks of economics. This course will examine the different approaches used in economics to study sustainability within the context of economic development. This will include both mainstream approach that uses neoclassical assumptions of market clearing and the rational choice theory and non-mainstream schools of thoughts that include Marxian economics, Ecological economics and Institutional economics. The course will then explore the relationships between sustainability and various economic and political issues like employment generation, property and resource rights, mode of production, economic growth and poverty. The aim of this course is to provide tools to students that will allow them to critically examine the various approaches to sustainable development. The travel component will include visits to Rishikesh in India and Bhutan. The holy city of Rishikesh, often referred to as the yoga capital of the world, is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas with India’s longest river, Ganges, flowing through it. Its unique geographical location also makes this area vulnerable to many environmental challenges like rapid deforestation, water pollution and habitat loss for wildlife. Site visits will include visits to Rajaji National Park (home to Asian elephants and tigers), organic farms and surrounding villages. Students will get an opportunity to observe the complex interplay between economic development and a distinctive mountain ecosystem. In Bhutan, students will specifically look into the issues of sustainable agriculture and sustainable tourism. Site visits will include visits to Paro and capital city Thimphu. The travel component will allow students to observe two similar geographical areas that are situated in two very different economic, political and cultural conditions and thereby help them make some insightful conclusions about conservation efforts and economic development. A grade of at least C is highly recommended in the prerequisite ECN 100. This Academic Travel carries a supplemental fee of CHF 1,225 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,305 (for students invoiced in USD).


ENV 230T Freshwater Conservation (Northern Italy)

Professor 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.


LC 100T The Stories We Live By (Switzerland, Italy, Germany)

Professor Roy

Stories are everywhere. We use them, consciously or unconsciously, to make sense of identities, experiences, and desires. And, at the same time, we are shaped by the stories that we absorb and interpret. This course explores how storytelling both reflects and shapes our lives. It introduces students to keywords and terms for reading and reflecting upon stories, both in the pages of books and in everyday life. The course considers a variety of narrative forms, including short stories, novels, fairy tales, self-help manuals, comics, films, podcasts, and political discourse. The course introduces students to fundamental questions about the nature of storytelling, while developing the vocabulary and critical skills for analyzing and discussing stories. The travel component of the course will center on literary institutions, one of the current key themes of the course. Students will travel to three sites in three different countries: Switzerland, Italy, and Germany. They will explore the materiality of the book as they visit publishers, libraries, and book stores, as well as book makers.


LIT 255T Scotland, Story and Song

Professor Peat

For such a small nation, Scotland is certainly a very noisy one. From traditional Mouth Music, to Gaelic folk tales, to the Bay City Rollers, The Proclaimers, and indie-pop groups such as Belle and Sebastian and Django Django, Scotland has a long and rich culture of music. This travel course places Scotland’s rich musical heritage in the broader context of storytelling in all its forms and genres, including film, fiction, and poetry. Students will travel from Edinburgh on the east coast to Glasgow on the west, and will also visit the Highlands and Islands to study the vibrant folk music culture there. Scottish music will be used as an entrance point to the country’s culture and history. As students close read (and close listen) a variety of works, they will investigate the ways in which these works buy into, help to build, or struggle against particular mythologies of “Scottishness.” The course will also explore the links between storytelling and nationalism, oral and written tradition, popular and “high” culture. While most attention will be paid to works produced in Scotland, the course will also take into account externally produced images of Scotland and the Scottish (for example, the abiding popularity of Braveheart or The Simpson’s Groundskeeper Willie). Finally, the course will consider how Scottish music and literature has been marketed and produced in such venues as university departments of Scottish or Celtic Studies, record labels such as Postcard Records, and publishers such as Cannongate Press.


POL 101T Introduction to International Relations: Vienna

Professor 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


POL 236T Introduction to Mediterranean Studies: Sicily

Professor Mottale

To introduce students to the historical and political components that contributed to the creation and evolution of civilizations on both sides of the Mediterranean. The course offers a holistic approach to the region, including discussions of the Ancient Middle East, Judaism, the Greek and Roman world, Christianity, the world of Islam, Italy, and Spain. The class will include a travel component to Sicily, an island whose heritage embodies all of the aforementioned elements.


STA 275T Studies in Ceramics: Northern and Central Italy

Professor Zdanski

This introductory ceramics course combines art history and studio work with an intensive travel period in northern and central Italy. Students will be given the opportunity to understand the complete process of producing objects in clay and terracotta, from the first planning/designing phases, through the basic modeling techniques, to the more complicated processes of firing and glazing. Studio sessions both on and off campus will incorporate lectures on artists and art movements, as well as visits to local venues, major museums and other sites of importance with regard to the use of clay and terracotta in the fine arts. The on-campus lectures aim to provide students with an understanding of the importance of northern and central Italy for the history of ceramics from the age of the Etruscans to the present day. All students will have the opportunity to do in-depth, intensive work in clay modeling, hand-built ceramics and glazing techniques. The first part of the course will focus on the functional aspects of the terracotta object, while the second will introduce terracotta as sculpture.


Spring 2019 One-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Namibia and Cape Town: Sustainable Development and Natural Resource ConservationZanecchia
Morocco: Listening to Morocco, Music between Tradition and ModernitySaveau

TVL 224 Namibia and Cape Town: Sustainable Development and Natural Resource Conservation

Professor Zanecchia

This Academic Travel to Namibia includes an assessment of the impact of global warming on Namibia’s desert ecosystems; interaction with and learning from indigenous settlements such as the San Bushmen who have lived in harmony with their natural surroundings for centuries; and field studies in the Fish River Canyon, Sesriem Canyon, Sossusvlei Sand Dunes, Spitzkoppe Granite Peaks, and Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lectures will be offered in the areas of sustainable development, responsible tourism, and conservation practices. The journey will conclude in Cape Town, South Africa for further studies in marine resource management and the development challenges of this important African city. Accommodations will be in safari tents or in travelers’ lodges. This Academic Travel carries a supplemental fee of CHF 1,490 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,585 (for students invoiced in USD). The supplement will cover all meals, accommodation, transportation, fees, and guides.


TVL 234 Morocco: Listening to Morocco, Music between Tradition and Modernity

Professor Saveau

Jazz legend Randy Weston went to Morocco in the 1960s following a tip that jazz originated from Afro-Moroccan Gnawa. He hasn't returned home yet. Weston often speaks about preserving traditional music in Africa and shielding it from too many foreign influences. As an expressive form, music is a wonderful way of learning about how cultures negotiate the push and pull of traditions and modernity. In this academic travel, students will learn about how music in Morocco has evolved and survived through conquests, colonization, and globalization. The program will mainly consist of musical performances (Arabo-Andalusian, Berber, Ahidous, Gnawa, Aïssawa, Ahidous, Gnawa fusion) in public and private places. Other activities include visits of Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Roman archeological site in Volubilis, Medina of Fes, Bahia Palace in Marrakesh, evening with students and professors from the Cross Cultural Learning Center in Rabat, music workshop in Meknes. This Academic Travel carries a supplemental fee of CHF 150 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 160 (for students invoiced in USD).