SPRING 2024 Travel Course Offerings

Course Topic and Destination Leader
AHT 263T Art and Food (France) Gee
This course looks at connections between the visual arts and food, considered both under the perspective of edible substance, and the culinary arts. First, it explores the representation of food in pictorial traditions in the early modern and modern ages, considering social, cultural and economic visual and culinary intersections. Second, the course engages with contemporary art practices that place food as their core material and subject matter. In doing so, the discussion moves to present issues regarding the politics of food. Here, aesthetics can confront socio-economic and environmental debates through joint representational and eatable strategies, where relations take the centre stage. The course involves some encounters with artists and scholars who work with contemporary culinary aesthetics and food politics. The travel component is France where the group will participate in additional artistic visits and workshops. (Recommended prerequisite: AHT 102, AHT 103 or AHT 280.)
BUS 112T Tourism and Territorial Mktg (Italy) Mion Dalle Carbonare
This course helps students to gain a better understanding of the dynamics characterizing tourism in a dynamic and competitive context. It will also provide the conceptual frameworks and the toolkits needed to manage at best managerial processes within the tourism sector. The focus is on the concepts of marketing related to the tourism economy and territorial development. Students will explore the fundamental strategies and business models of different companies and institutions in the tourism sector, together with relevant examples of companies supporting the growth and development of the industry. Students will be actively involved in analyzing global competitive trends and sharing best practices in a broad range of tourism-related activities, including travel, accommodation, and services. This Academic Travel course will be held in Tuscany, Italy. Students will have the opportunity to meet professionals working in the tourism sector and learn how to involve customers through experiences and better understand the impact of marketing strategies in creating value for the customers.
CLCS 251T Reading Moroccan Culture Saveau
This course examines gender, ethnic, class, family, age, religious relationships within contemporary Morocco. It first provides students with a historical overview of Morocco since its independence in 1956, focusing on the monarchies of Hassan II and Mohammed VI the current king. It explores the power dynamics that exist in a society that is predominantly patrilinear and where gender roles are mostly divided along a binary system; it studies the place of the individual in a society where the collective ego prevails; it considers the place of Berber identity within Moroccan society and finally it explores Sufism as a counter-power to any form of Islamic rigorism. All the themes studied are substantiated with presentations by Moroccan scholars working in the fields of sociology, gender, ethnic, religious, and music studies. (Knowledge of French recommended.) NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 500 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 590 (for students invoiced in USD)
COM 235T Food Journalism and Culture (Italy) Martinisi
The importance of food is clear: we eat food to stay alive and thrive. Food, its production, commodification, preparation and consumption is and it has long been a place of cultural formation, negotiation and mediatization. In this sense food journalism plays a crucial role in today's journalism practice around the world in attracting a larger and diversified readership. The course will introduce food through its mediated representation involving journalism but also film, television and the Internet. The topics include the politics of celebrity chefs, food TV shows, restaurant reviews, lifestyle journalism, and other food media's place in the "world of goods". It will also include the social dimensions of food in media by engaging with issues of multinational power, globalization and inequality. The travel component to Italy will include visits to Milan, Parma, and Bologna. This will offer a great opportunity for students to develop insights into the field of food journalism and to experience the excellence of the Italian food with the aim of connecting food texts, culture and writing.
ECN 125T Venice: Econ History & Current Challenge Terzi
The course introduces students to the economic history of Venice and the challenges Venice is facing. Students investigate the origin of Venice as a Byzantine province, the development of independent and long-standing political institutions, the flourishing of banking and commerce when Venice was a world political and financial power, the architecture, the social fabric of the city, the exceptional flowering of the visual and applied arts, the lagoon as both protection and threat, the contemporary identity of Venice as a major tourist destination, and its current challenge in making tourism more sustainable and in developing ideas for preserving and rethinking the city. This course includes travel to Venice and its lagoon with overnight boat trips.
ECN 210T Slow Living Economies: Sustainability Conte
The aim of this course is to examine the 'Slow Living' economies, illustrate their fundamental features, and show how they can match a high quality of life with an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Drawing upon insights from the economics of wellbeing, happiness economics, and ecological economics, the course provides introductory knowledge on post-growth, anti-consumption, and the so-called 'Slow Economics'. Contrasting the latter with standard economic principles of efficiency, utility, and optimization unveils the hidden consequences of high-speed modern economies; exposing students to alternative modes of organizing contemporary society. This Academic Travel Course will explore the exemplary case of the Southern Italian region of Cilento (Campania), a unique ecosystem where cultural heritage (three UNESCO World Heritage Sites), slow food (home to the Mediterranean Diet), healthy lifestyles (a "Blue Zone" of Extreme Longevity), and environmental protection (the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano), blend together as the key ingredients making a rural region to thrive. Through different forms of experiential learning, students will have the chance to grasp, absorb, and digest the principles of integral ecology, prosperity thinking, and sustainable development.
ENV 232T Marine System Conservation Della Croce
This course examines various aspects of marine and coastal systems. First, it provides an overview of the major physical, chemical and ecological processes that control and shape these systems. Then, it explores how society interacts with marine systems, how human activities alter them, and what these changes could mean for humanity's future. Lastly, the course looks at different protection and conservation approaches. During Academic Travel, students will visit and study coastal and marine ecosystems and will gain hands-on experience in marine medicine (in conjunction with University of Colorado School of Medicine). The Academic Travel component of this course will take place in Cape Verde. (Good swimming abilities required.) NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 550 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 650 (for students invoiced in USD)
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). This Academic Travel course will take students to Türkiye, and specifically İstanbul. This metropolis presents itself as a global city always at the center of the political and social transformations of the eastern Mediterranean and the wider world.
HIS 268T History of Modern Japan 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. This Academic Travel course includes a period of field-research throughout Japan. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 1500 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1765 (for students invoiced in USD) NOTE: This Academic Travel course will only run with a minimal enrollment of 22 students
POL 228T Nations and Nationalism Strijbis
Basque nationalism is a form of nationalism that asserts that Basques, an ethnic group indigenous to the western Pyrenees, are a nation and promotes the political unity of the Basques, today scattered between Spain and France. Since Basque nationalism has developed at the end of the 19th century it clashed with Spanish nationalism and gave rise to a strong independence movement, which culminated in the actions of the terrorist organization ETA. What are nations and why do people identify with these imagined communities? What makes individuals become nationalist? What are the drivers of secessionism and when does it become violent? And how does secessionism impact political systems and individual behavior? In this course, students will learn political science theories that give answers to these questions and apply it to the case of the Basque Country. The academic travel will bring us to various places in the (Spanish) Basque Country that have been central to the development of Basque nationalism including the cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian. On our trip to the Basque Country, we will study Basque nationalism through ethnographic observation, will visit events through which the Basque nation is constructed and celebrated (e.g. folkloric festivals, typical “Basque” sports, Basque folk and/or punk music), visit expositions on Basque nationalism, and speak to experts of Basque politics.
POL 231T The Politics of Organized Crime Volpi
While popular media often depicts Italian criminal organizations through clichéd portrayals in movies and literature, scrutinizing actual data—such as court records, investigative findings, and crime statistics—debunks many long-held beliefs about Italian mafias. This course aims to provide students with a nuanced understanding of these complex criminal networks by dispelling commonly held myths. It delves into the inner workings of Italy's mafia organizations, exploring their unique codes, symbols, and operations in both legitimate and illicit sectors. Additionally, the course investigates the mafias' ties to political and societal institutions. To offer a broader perspective, the course also compares Italian organized crime with its counterparts in other nations. Such comparative analyses will help students differentiate between various forms of organized crime and identify commonalities and variances in their origins and sustainability across different countries. Furthermore, the course encompasses an overview of anti-crime policies and community-led efforts aimed at mitigating the impact and spread of mafia influence in local economies and societies. This travel course will take students to Southern Italy, in particular to Sicily where we will visit some iconic places together with the association “Addio Pizzo” (“Goodbye Blackmail Money”). Specifically, we will explore Palermo and its countryside, Corleone, and Cefalù. We will visit farms and businesses that were confiscated to the Mafia, as well as associations commitment to the redevelopment of territories once run by organized crime. There will be also meetings with witnesses and survivors of Mafia crimes who will help us understanding how organized crime shapes the life of ordinary citizens.
POL 381T Sust Develop in Africa (South Africa) Zanecchia
This advanced Academic Travel course builds on the politics and practice of sustainable development in the industrial North and developing South. Through case studies and on-site analysis, students will better understand the political, social, economic, historical, and cultural relationships that encompass the important field of sustainable development. Students will analyze how developed and lesser developed countries approach environmental sustainability and natural resource management. Student research projects will include team-based analyses of climate change and the related politics of sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, biodiversity, and sustainable design within the context of conventional and critical development theories. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 1,500 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,765 (for students invoiced in USD)
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. The travel portion of this course will take place in Florence and Siena (Italy) and will include landmark and museum visits, immersive workshops, and cultural immersions. Students will embark on a unique journey beyond textbooks, where psychology meets culture and history.
STA 275T Studies in Ceramics (Italy) 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.

No one-credit courses are scheduled for SPRING 2024.