Spring 2018 Travel Course Offerings

Spring 2018 Three-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Harbor Cities: Architecture, Vision, and Experience (Porto and Lisbon)Gee
Media Ecology: Nordic Noir Meets Danish HyggeVogelaar
Paris Protagonist: Lost in TranslationFerrari
Sustainable Economic Development: Exploring Bhutan and KazirangaDasgupta
Freshwater ConservationDella Croce
History of Modern JapanHoey
Bloomsbury Britain: Art, Craft, CulturePeat
Introduction to International Relations: ViennaCordon, Bucher
Introduction to International Relations: ViennaCordon, Bucher
Government and Politics of the Middle East (Cyprus)Mottale
Studies in Ceramics: Northern and Central ItalyZdanski

AHT 218T Harbor Cities: Architecture, Vision, and Experience (Porto and Lisbon)

Professor 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 and observation in Porto and Lisbon.


COM 204T Media Ecology: Nordic Noir Meets Danish Hygge

Professor Vogelaar

This course explores media from the lens of ecology, using ecological concepts and thinking to both explore media as ecosystemic (comprised of communities, relationships, flows and feedback loops between biotic and abiotic components) and reflect upon media production and consumption in terms of sustainability (environmental, social and personal). The Academic Travel portion situates the study of media ecology in the specific context of Denmark where we examine two culturally pervasive (and internationally popular) media species: Nordic noir and hygge. Nordic noir is a genre of crime fiction (literary, tv and film) emanating out of Scandinavia that employs linguistic simplicity in the service of moral complexity; engaging in plots that reveal the tensions between the stable surfaces and shadowy interiors of Scandinavian societies (e.g. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, The Killing). Hygge, very roughly translated as “coziness,” is a Danish concept that has gained recent popularity in many parts of the world as cultural mentality, practice and aesthetic that may help explain Denmark’s status as one of the world’s “happiest countries.” The travel component explores these two themes in the geographical and cultural contexts of Copenhagen and the west coast of Jutland. The first part of the travel takes place in the capital city, Copenhagen, where we delve into Nordic noir, exploring its relationship with Danish and Scandinavian media industries, culture, history, politics, and climate as well as its adaptations in other international markets and contexts. The second part of the travel is situated on the west coast of Jutland where we critically examine the Danish notion of hygge as both a cultural phenomenon and national export that is intimately connected to environmental, social and personal sustainability in a cold, dark and remote environment.


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 Bhutan and Kaziranga

Professor Dasgupta

Orthodox economics has traditionally prioritized efficiency over sustainability. With the recent declaration of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations, sustainability has become central in mainstream economic and policy discussions, thereby challenging many fundamental building blocks of economics. This Academic Travel course will examine the different approaches used in economics to study sustainability within the context of economic development. This will include both mainstream approaches that use neoclassical assumptions of market clearing and rational choice theory, and non-mainstream approaches including 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, modes of production, economic growth, and poverty. The aim of this course is to provide students with tools that will allow them to critically examine various approaches to sustainable development. The travel component will include visits to Kaziranga (in the eastern state of Assam in India) and Bhutan. Kaziranga, with an area of approximately 400 square kilometres, is situated in the Brahmaputra river valley which is a major transnational Asian river (flowing through India, China and Bangladesh). It is a UNESCO world heritage site and is home to several endangered species of animals including one horned rhinos and Asian elephants. Visit to this area will offer students an opportunity to learn about the complex interplay between economic development and a unique grassland ecosystem. In Bhutan, students will specifically look into the issues of sustainable agriculture and sustainable tourism in the specific context of fragile mountain environment. The travel component will allow students to observe two extremely diverse geographical areas and yet make insightful conclusions about sustainability and economic growth. (It is highly recommended that students have completed ECN 100 with a grade of at least C.) This travel course will carry a supplemental fee: CHF 1,385 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,475 (for students invoiced in USD).


ENV 230T Freshwater Conservation

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.


HIS 268T History of Modern Japan

Professor Hoey

Following over two centuries of self imposed isolation, Japan was forcibly opened to the west in the 1850s by America's 'black ships'. Since then it has experienced revolutionary changes as its leaders struggled to align Japan with the prevailing trends of the world system. These efforts have had far reaching and lasting consequences for the Japanese people and for Japan's neighbors. This course examines these changes as Japan struggled to catch up with the western powers, to industrialize, build modern systems of administration, establish itself as an imperial power, and later, to recover from the ravages of war and meet the challenges of economic success and stagnation and the ever present danger of natural disaster. The Academic Travel part of the course includes a period of field-research throughout Japan. This travel course will carry a supplemental fee: CHF 675 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 720 (for students invoiced in USD).


LIT 221T Bloomsbury Britain: Art, Craft, Culture

Professor Peat

The primary thematic focus of this course is the Bloomsbury Group, a loose network of writers, artists, and intellectuals (including Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Roger Fry) who gathered in the squares of the Bloomsbury area of London during the first decades of the twentieth century. The course considers the exciting and creative possibilities of living in this period of dramatic social and cultural change. It pays particular attention to the possibilities for artistic creation at a time when art was not ethereal but rather a concrete and vibrant part of everyday life. Students will visit a variety of locations associated with the Bloomsbury Group: the homes that became laboratories for artistic production; public spaces of popular, commercial, and high art such as cinemas, galleries, and bookshops; as well as muse-ums and archives. In addition to London, the travel will take students to other locations in southern England, including Brighton, Lewes, and Charleston.


POL 101T Introduction to International Relations: Vienna

Professors Cordon, 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 101T Introduction to International Relations: Vienna

Professors Cordon, Bucher

This lecture and travel course provides the basic analytic tools necessary for the understanding of international relations. After a brief introduction to the realist and liberal 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.


POL 290T Government and Politics of the Middle East (Cyprus)

Professor Mottale

Examining the political processes that shape conflict and cooperation in Middle Eastern societies, this academic travel course directs special focus to analyzing the politics of modernization and the clash between tradition and modernity. The international dimension of the area will be approached in light of the historical conflicts that have shaped and continue to shape the region. Cyprus represents an excellent case study to understand the various conflicts which have come to define Middle Eastern societies, including religious and inter-ethnic conflicts and clashes over resources. Part of the island is controlled by Turkey and the other part is an independent, Greek speaking state, the Republic of Cyprus. Despite these many conflicts the Republic of Cyprus is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the European Union, and the United Nations.


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 2018 One-Credit Travel Course Offerings

Topic and DestinationLeader
Andalusia: Bridging CulturesSaveau
South Africa: Culture, Resource Conservation and the Challenges of DevelopmentZanecchia

TVL 248 Andalusia: Bridging Cultures

Professor Saveau

Andalusia, a bridge between the Orient and the Occident, between time periods (Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance …), between architectural styles (umayyad, roman, gothic, baroque…), between tradition and modernity. It is this constant mélange, overlap, superposition, clash born out of the meeting of different civilizations that this Academic Travel to Andalusia would like to explore through the visits to three major cities, Sevilla, Cordoba and Grenada along with other places off the beaten path. Postmodern ideas about identity, metissage, mobility will help students understand the different sites to be visited, whether it be mosques, castles, cathedrals, gardens etc. Among the UNESCO world heritage sites students will visit, in Granada they will see the Alhambra fortress and the Generalife, as well as the residential district of the Albaycín; in Sevilla, the Alcazar and the Geralda, and in Cordoba the great Mosque inside which was built a cathedral after the Reconquest. Outside these three main cities, the medieval fortress of Almodovar, the Renaissance Castle of La Calahorra, and Ronda, the birthplace of Pedro Romero, pioneer of modern bullfighting will provide further insights in the concepts listed above.


TVL 298 South Africa: Culture, Resource Conservation and the Challenges of Development

Professor Zanecchia

This Academic Travel course to South Africa will focus on the challenges of economic and political development, as well as related issues of wildlife and natural resource conservation. The group will meet with business, academic and community groups in Cape Town, the Stellenbosch wine country, and the University of the Western Cape. The class will also study sustainable wildlife management at the Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay to evaluate conservation programs, the benefits and disadvantages of ecotourism, and the future of Africa's natural habitats. Practical field work will be conducted at the reserve as well as a safari game drive. Visits to Cape Town’s environs will expose students to the ecological diversity of the region as well as to the modern and traditional life of this important African nation. This travel course will carry a supplemental fee: CHF 1,490 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,585 (for students invoiced in USD).