Spring 2015 Preview Courses
For First Year and Transfer | Transfer Only
Courses Open to Both First Year and Transfer Students
Vienna and Salzburg, Austria
Music and Culture in Austria
We will examine the music and culture of Austria from multiple perspectives and disciplines but will focus on music. Most of the Preview will be experienced in Vienna, Austria’s capital and music center with an overnight trip to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. We will learn about the cultural and musical history of Vienna and Salzburg and the key musical influences that have inspired others all over the world. Class lectures and assignments will prepare you to make the most of their experiences in two of the most famous cities in the world. Weekly lessons in German will assist you with basic vocabulary skills in these German speaking cities. Although many residents speak English, you will find you will be greeted warmly if you at least try to greet the residents in German. Some highlights may include: city walking tours, a trip to the opera or orchestral concert, High Mass and Vienna Boys Choir performance, Freud Museum, Schönbrunn Palace, Mozart’s birth house, and a Sound of Music tour. You need no prior musical knowledge; the only necessity is a love of music.
Education, Democracy, and Radical Politics in Chile
Have you ever thought you could change your country? In Chile, university students have changed their country. In this Preview you will visit the exciting capital city of Santiago and unique seaport UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valparaíso to study about avenues for civic participation and the power of your voice in your society. In 2006 and again in 2011, Chilean high school and university students undertook massive protests to demand better educational opportunities and resources in public education. These radical student movements resulted in a new president promising structural change and the possibility for a different future for Chileans. Chile has become a "developed" country in many ways since overcoming seventeen years of dictatorship from 1973-1990, yet some student demands remain unmet and the nation continues to struggle with providing quality and affordable education for all. This Preview is about studying Chile and its culture, but also about comparing it to our own society in the United States.
Shanghai and Dalian, China
A Tale of Two Cities: Changing Urban Landscapes
Much has been written about the rapid changes and frenetic development of China’s metropolitan areas. This course will explore how this has evolved and its effects on socio-economic conditions, the environment, education, architecture and the arts. We will spend time in the Chinese commercial capital, Shanghai. This city of 27 million inhabitants is mesmerizing for its modernity, stunning architecture and global focus. We shall also visit a “small” city in northeastern China – Dalian – only three million! Dalian is affectionately known as one of China's most livable city because of its clean air, appealing architecture, recreational activities, favorable economic conditions and seaside location. This program will require you to purchase a visa.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Sustainable Development and Indigenous Rights in Costa Rica
The Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples in Costa Rica course is focused on understanding a conflict in Costa Rica that has developed the around the proposed El Diquis dam project. The dam threatens the ancestral lands of several indigenous peoples in Costa Rica. We will learn about development, human rights and indigenous groups in Costa Rica and the conflicts among them. You will come away from the course with a dramatically enhanced understanding of the day-to-day functioning of the Inter-American Court as well as the challenges of local conflict management initiatives in Costa Rica surrounding an energy project. The trip itinerary focuses on visiting sites of environmental protection like Manual Antonia State Park, staying in Kan Tan, which is part of the Borucan indigenous community for 2 nights, visiting the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and taking a boat tour through the mangroves – a unique Costa Rican environment threatened by the results of dam construction.
Cuba: Myths and Realities
Since the 1800s Americans have long been obsessed with Cuba in complicated and changing ways. In this course we will examine the many transformations in U.S.-Cuban relations with particular focus on the perceptions and representations that frame American public discourse about Cuba. Using film, text, experiential activities and cultural visits, you will examine the rich complexities, realities, and mythologies of this island nation. You will receive lectures from faculty at the University of Havana and visit many exciting destinations such as the Jose Marti Museum and Memorial, the Bellas Artes Museum, Fuster’s Workshop, and Varadero Beach. This program will require you to purchase a visa.
This course explores three themes related to the peace and conflict resolution on the divided island of Cyprus: division, governance, and reconciliation. Together, we will explore the historical context of the conflict and the impact of its legacy on daily life, the various proposals to address the grievances of the different communities, including the various proposals from the UN and the EU to govern the Island. To counter the narrative of division, the course examines the various points that bring the different communities together out of the necessity of inhabiting “shared space,” visiting practitioner organizations on the ground that work toward peace and reconciliation through grassroots initiatives. The course emphasizes how conflict transformation can occur at the micro- and macro-levels and what the various obstacles, challenges and possibilities for transformation exist in Cyprus.
Paris has long been a site where the
status quo has been challenged and overturned in the name of the new.
This course focuses on the multiple revolutions—political, cultural, and
aesthetic—that have shaped France and its citizens over the past 250
years. Starting with the storming of the Bastille and the revolution of
1789, we will explore the various revolutionary movements that shaped
France up through May 1968, when students, factory workers and political
activists joined together to participate in mass strikes
and—briefly—suspend the federal government.
From Spells to Hymns: State Religion, Practices of Magic and Superstition in Ancient Greece
Was Classical Greece a time of enlightenment, reason, and scientific thought? Were there any dark spiritual corners in the daily life of these democratic citizens? Did the Greeks believe in ghosts? What was the real religious background of the Hellenic state cults? In this course we will analyze both sides of the same coin, focusing on the contrast between popular beliefs and practices and the reformation of the original cults during the conventionally called “Classic World.” We will investigate deep into the oldest layers of the archetypical universe of magic, and we will develop an unconventional way of examining these conventional beliefs. During the travel portion of the course in Greece, we will follow a special itinerary which takes us to places connected with strange cults, magic, and the “dark side of Classical Greece,” visiting sites, shrines, and altars—all of them “haunted” by millions of memories of the inhabitants of the ancient land.
Authentic Ireland: Galway and the Rugged West Coast
This Preview course will introduce you to Irish history, culture, music and its engaging people. We will also explore the settlement and ecological history of the West of Ireland and the area's continued dedication to sustaining the natural beauty and resources of this unique landscape. You will learn about the interconnected relationship of Irish immigration and American history, as well as the specific nature of Ireland’s West. By exploring the city of Galway (“Ireland’s Cultural Heart”), one of the Aran Islands (Inishmore), the Burren and Connemara peninsula, you will be exposed to four very different environments that are within a 100 mile radius of each other.
Dublin, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland
Wearing of the Green: Ireland and the Irish Today
When you think of Ireland and the Irish certain thoughts and images come to mind, but are these really reflective of Ireland today? Ireland has changed dramatically in the last quarter decade while attempting to maintain the unique traits that have helped to shape its culture and society for centuries. Focusing on history, literature, cultural studies, and music this course offers reflective insight into Irishness, what it means to be Irish, the continuing tensions in Northern Ireland, Ireland’s place in the world today, and why 80 million people around the world look to this small island as their ancestral home. While visiting Ireland, you will be engaged with firsthand experiences in both the Republic of Ireland (centered in Dublin) and Northern Ireland. Excursions will include a walking tour of Dublin, lectures on modern Irish history, attendance at a play, visit to the Irish parliament, a visit and lecture on Northern Ireland, and a tour of Celtic ruins outside of Dublin.
History, Culture and Cuisine: Tuscany in Italian and International Context
The historical and cultural ties to
cuisine in Tuscany will be analyzed, with travel to Florence and
exploration of the way of life in rural Tuscany. Florence, the capital
of Tuscany, is known for its rich medieval history that overflows into
today's architecture, culture and cuisine, making it an important stop
for any foodie. Along with the Duomo, Baptistry, Academia, and Uffizi,
you will also have of your pick of pizzeria, trattoria or ristorante.
The class will visit Florence’s key cultural monuments and discover how
past and present intersect in the daily lives of today's Italians and
their diet. Hands-on work in an Italian kitchen with chefs will
complete the exposure to the history and culture of this cuisine.
The Economics of Rome: Past and Present
Understand the economic forces behind the existence of The Eternal City, Rome. This course explores basic economic principles through the study of ancient Rome and key business sectors that drive the modern Roman economy. Learn not only how economics supported the Roman Empire but how these same principles operate in today’s global environment. You will have the opportunity to visit, observe and evaluate economic sectors (Media, Education, Sport, Tourism and Transportation) while in Rome.
Japan: The Old Heritage and Anime/Pop Culture World
Japan: The Land of the Rising Sun… a country that has preserved its heritage while it has moved forward, put itself on the edge of modern technology and become one of the leaders of world trade. Although Japan is smaller than the state of California, it has the world’s third largest economy. You will have the opportunity to learn first-hand, in the classroom and on the road, what makes Tokyo, and some of the historic areas surrounding that capital city, tick. You will be exposed to daily life including Japanese the public transportation system, learn common daily spoken expressions, and have the opportunity to shop, view arts over the eras, explore current music trends, view anime and see samples of some of today’s newest technology.
Water, Water Everywhere
In this course, we will become familiar with water resources, examine human activities that impact water quality, and explore a variety of advocacy programs in Philadelphia area and in Philippines. We will explore the human activities as grounded in one’s cultural context and use photos and videos to collect and generate data that will support our understanding of social practices, its impact on the environment, and development of environmental consciousness. Field excursions include boat rides to waterfalls and lake, walk around gardens and arboretum, trek volcano and eco-park, and visit hydroelectric power plant and water treatment facilities.
Politics, History and Hip Hop in Senegal
Senegal has a rich history. Music has a long and rich history in Senegal. Traditional music has not only served the purposes of entertainment and cultural transmission but also has given political voice to those who would otherwise not have one. More recently emerging out of this vibrant musical history, Senegal has become known as a hub for African Hip Hop. Senegalese Hip Hop is renowned for keeping up the long-standing traditions of using music as a form of political commentary and activism. In Glenside and while in Senegal, we will visit key historic, cultural and artistic sites in Dakar and its environs. They will also visit local NGOs involved in promoting the arts in general and Hip Hop in particular in Senegal and will have the chance to talk with musicians and politicians about the meaning of Hip Hop in Senegal and beyond. This program will require you to purchase a visa.
Seoul, South Korea
Culture as a Lens: South Korea
South Korea is a place where 5,000 years of history and culture harmoniously coincide with high-tech 21st century living. During the preview trip, you will experience major attractions of South Korea’s capital city, Seoul (e.g., historical palace, Buddhist temple, local villages and markets). We will learn about cultural similarities and differences in psychological processes such as perception, self-understanding, and social relationships, as well as how these differences are expressed between US and South Korea. Through the class, you will develop an understanding of how culture is a lens through which we see the world around us.
British Popular Culture: Past and Present
Have you dreamed of riding the Tube, exploring London’s neighborhoods, touring a Premier League stadium, seeing where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed, or figuring out what Stonehenge means? This course will consider multiple aspects of British culture from contemporary and historical perspectives. Topics to be covered include advertising, media, and consumer culture; sports; multicultural society; music; the role of history in contemporary life; and the culture of everyday life. The program will be based in London, with daily excursions to explore the city. Our time in London will be spent visiting a variety of cultural sites, with students also engaging in independent observation.
Get Your Groove On: Exploring the Urban Music Scene in London and Philadelphia
This course will provide an in depth comparative experience in both the London and Philadelphia music scenes. We will begin by discussing the history and types of music that are found in the urban music scenes in London and Philadelphia. In groups, you will research as aspect of the music scene (artists, recording, production, distribution, touring and shows, and technology). You will attend a live show in the Philadelphia area and present in groups on the aspect of the music scene as well as your experiences at the show. We will use technology to locate and assign web content (e.g., music, video, blogs) as readings for the course. Guest speakers who have roots in the Philadelphia music scene will talk to the class about the history and current music scene in Philadelphia. During their time in London, you will again attend a music show and will visit a variety of places related to the music scene (e.g., radio stations, recording studios, etc). A day trip to Brighton is also planned. We will make a comparison between their experiences in Philadelphia and London/Brighton Their comparisons will form the basis for their final product to be presented at the Global Expo.
Course for Transfer Students Only
The Sea is Not My Home: Immigration, Migration, and Social Justice in the Sicilian Context
People are crossing borders now than ever before, with no letup in sight. Immigration and migration is inextricably linked with other global issues such as human rights, poverty, development and social justice. Immigrants often possess an entrepreneurial spirit and, as seen in the united States, have been proven to be dynamic members of society. In contrast, many countries in Europe are experiencing immigrants, migrants and refugees in unprecedented numbers. Often, the human rights of those crossing borders are being violated, as immigrants are unwanted, particularly in light of the European economy. We will examine the lives' of immigrants, migrants and refugees and the challenges they face in their new country of Sicily against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful and historic cities in all of Italy: Siracusa. Full of ancient Greek and Arab culture, this port city has been the site of some of earliest migrations, indeed, before it even had such a name! When the class travels to the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country) they will see the way centuries of invasion and migration have influenced and added a unique mix to the local culture and how it is still changing today. Transfer only.