Spring 2015 Global Field Study Courses
Walden, MA | Cyprus | Spain | US Virgin Islands | Ghana | Japan
South Africa | Eastern Europe | Belize | Serbia and Kosovo | Rome
Deliberate Living: Experiencing Walden
Course ID: GFS302.1 | Destination: Walden, MA | Travel Dates: May 17-22
Faculty: Chad Crisp | Fee: To Be Determined
Thoreau moved to Walden Pond, saying: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Students in this workshop-style course do the same, critically examining their lives guided by themes of Walden, such as: simplicity; solitude; self-reliance; relationship with society, technology and nature. Other thinkers and philosophers, past and present, join the discussion. In addition, crucial to Thoreau’s experiment was his determination of basic necessities before going to Walden; as such, students deliberately focus on planning and preparing for the end-of-semester six-day back-country camping trip, where they experience deliberate living firsthand.
Divided Cities, Divided Island
Course ID: GFS304.1/404.1 | Destination: Cyprus | Travel Dates: May 6-13
Faculty: Warren Haffar and Samer Abboud | Fee: To Be Determined
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 and public health outreach.
The Road to Santiago: Spiritual Journey or Physical Challenge
Course ID: GFS305.1 | Destination: Spain—Lugo to Santiago de Compostela
Travel Dates: May 16-26 | Faculty: Jojo Lucena | Fee: To Be Determined
Students in this course will undertake a portion of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. We will be starting in the province of Lugo (Sarria) and walking 70 miles in 6 days which is the least amount of distance to still get official credit in Spain and a certificate for having walked the Road to Santiago. Students will be provided with a training schedule and a group trainer during the semester to make sure that they are in optimal physical shape to begin the endeavor. This pilgrimage was, and is, one of the holiest journeys dating from the Middle Ages. Current participants speak of the discovery of spirituality, the connection with nature, and a way to meet people from all over the world. We will end the journey at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and spend two days discovering the wonder of this World Heritage Site. The total time of the trip will be 10 days. The academic portion of the course will focus on travel narratives, pilgrimages, and contemporary Spain.
Marine Biology and Cultural History
Course ID: GFS306.1 | Destination: St. John Island, US Virgin Islands
Travel Dates: March 14-21 | Faculty: Naomi Phillips and Marie Murphy
Fee: To Be Determined
Discover marine biology and cultural history of St. John Island during six class meetings abroad and the field component at Viers Marine Station. The class meets four times prior to the trip and two upon return. St. John is about 20 square miles is size and has one of the largest national park systems in the Caribbean. Students will stay at the University of the Virgin Islands Viers Marine Station, a remote biology field station with eco-camp living quarters and full lab facilities including water tables and microscopes for sample processing. Daily trips to key marine habitats and cultural sites of the island include hikes and snorkeling to explore the various marine communities and cultural ruins of the island. Students will also learn to identify marine plants and animals native to the island. Evening activities will include lectures by island experts, campfires and other lab activities. This is a global experience course with a global reflection option. Prerequisites: An interest in nature, marine biology and/or Caribbean culture is essential. Trip includes rigorous daily hikes and snorkeling, so students must be in reasonable physical shape and capable swimmers. Snorkeling and water safety will be taught in the two required pre-sessions.
Social Justice and the African Disapora
Course ID: GFS307.1/407.1 | Destination: Ghana—Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, and Gomoa Tekhyiam, a village near Accra | Travel Dates: May 16-28
Faculty: Rochelle Peterson | Fee: To Be Determined
The course aims to investigate the contemporary social justice issues in American society, examine contemporary manifestations of past and present human exploitation, particularly institutionalized and internalized racism, sexism, and classism and deepen students’ understanding of the ways human needs and social structures interact and influence intergroup behavior. Through interdisciplinary study and Intergroup Dialogue, a well-known and successful model for promoting democratic dialogue, action and civic engagement in the context of diversity, a local Global Reflections cultural experience in the African and African American communities in Philadelphia and study abroad in Ghana, West Africa.
Western Visions of Japan
Course ID: GFS307.1/407.1 | Destination: Tokyo | Travel Dates: May 16-26
Faculty: Josh Isard | Fee: To Be Determined
For centuries Japan cut itself off from the Western world, going so far as making it illegal for foreigners to set foot on Japanese soil, and for native Japanese to leave their homeland. This era, known as Sukoku, lasted until the 19th century, and as such Japan remains mysterious and exciting to the West through the present day. English language writers have, in the past forty years or so, taken more of an interest in Japan, and as such there is a growing canon of westerners writing about Japan through their own lens.
This course examines the way those western writers represent Japan and Japanese culture. During the classes on campus in Glenside the group will read and discuss works like Shogun, Number 9 Dream, Country of Origin, and The Devil of Nanking—all written in English by authors from a western tradition, but set in Japan and including significant Japanese characters. Additionally, the group will discuss several stories over various media that have been told both by westerners and by the Japanese, such at The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven.
Promoting Youth Leadership and Healthy Development in the USA and South Africa
Course ID: GFS381.2/481.2 | Destination: South Africa—Cape Town and Johannesburg | Travel Dates: May 16-23 | Faculty: Elaine Jones | Fee: To Be Determined
Youth worldwide are the future leaders and imperative is their well-being and development so that they may later assume leadership roles. This course utilizes the ideals and principles of Positive Youth Development (PYD) to promote healthy developmental outcomes among children and adolescents in post-Civil Rights U.S.A. and post-apartheid South Africa, an emerging democracy. A key principle of PYD is developing meaningful and strong relationships with youth to improve outcomes in their education, health, and community building (e.g., resources and social relationships). Stakeholders (family, peers, educators, clergy, and elected officials) must effectively work together to assist youth with accomplishing desired goals. Course content utilizes PYD as a conceptual model and approach for improving education, (physical and behavioral) health, and community building among youth in contemporary U.S.A. and South Africa. Course topics include (1) historical, cultural, and social contexts to understand and contrast youth developmental outcomes (in education, health, and community) across both countries, (2) social class-, race-, and gender-related disparities in youth developmental outcomes in both countries and (3) organizations and youth programs in both countries as well as evidence-based studies of programs. The class will travel to South Africa to visit historic sites relevant for youth leadership and development such as former prison on Robben Island, residential townships (e.g., SOWETO), gov’t buildings in Pretoria, and museums (e.g., The Apartheid Museum); among other sites are Table Mountain, penguin colony, and Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope. Students will work with staff at an NGO in Cape Town region where youth and families are served. Guest speakers, films, and in-class interactive learning experiences supplement course material and facilitate preparation for the field study in South Africa.
Conflict Management in Eastern Europe: Russia, NATO and the EU
Course ID: GFS 381.3 | Destinations: Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia | Travel Dates: May 23-June 2 | Faculty: Angela Kachuyevski | Fee: To Be Determined
This course explores conflict and conflict management in contemporary Eastern Europe. We study the growth and development of security institutions since the collapse of communism, and consider their impact on peace and conflict on the continent. We focus on Russia’s relations with neighboring states, including Ukraine and the Baltic states, considering how conflicts in the area reflect both Russia’s history and the failure to effectively integrate Russia into the European security order following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The field study is an in-depth case study of Russian-Baltic relations.
Artistic Expression in the Diaspora: Writing, Literature and Art in Southeastern Belize
Course ID: GFS 381.4/481.4 | Destination: Belize | Travel Dates: March 14-21 | Faculty: Kalenda Eaton and Linda Paskell | Fee: To Be Determined
This undergraduate and graduate course will focus on the history and present of the Garinagu of southeastern Belize and the attempts by members of this ethnic group to maintain visibility within mainstream Belizean culture and society through arts and culture. In the Arcadia classroom, students will be introduced to various methods of cultural preservation currently in place within the community including the incorporation of the indigenous language in the educational system; various rituals/customs; literature; music; and storytelling. Students will explore if the conscious support of historical traditions affect current attitudes about social (and economic) progress in the region. Are current generations ensuring the survival of cultural traditions and folkways? We will also discuss the effects of neocolonialism, migration, microenterprise, and the position of Belize, in general, within the “global south.” In Belize we will focus the attention on how writing and artistic expressions (visual art, music, and dance) serve as art forms, methods of resistance against cultural assimilation, and also as a means of ensuring economic stability.
Conflict, Governance, and State Building: The Balkans
Course ID: GFS401.1/501.1 | Destination: Serbia and Kosovo | Travel Dates: May 5-15 | Faculty: Alex Grigorev | Fee: To Be Determined
The course introduces students to key concepts of post-conflict governance and state building. It will concentrate on politics and political solutions to conflicts, including those stemming from improved domestic governance and international post-conflict governance. The students will attain better understanding of the state, institutional causes of ethnic conflict, the role of government in causing and resolving conflict, problems of post-conflict state building, key aspects of inclusive governance in multi-ethnic societies, power sharing, and minority accommodation and integration. The course will explore key aspects of a case of a recent ethnic conflict in the Balkans: the roots and causes of the conflict, its history and consequences, the role of the international community, and post-conflict institution building. The course includes a field study to the Balkans visiting with leaders on both sides of the conflict: senior government officials, party leaders, local mayors, conflict resolution professionals, as well as U.S. and European diplomats.
Additional Spring 2015 Field Study Course:
Course ID: AH224 | Destination: Rome, Italy | Travel Dates: May 6-13
Faculty: Jill Pederson | Fee: To Be Determined
This course analyzes masterpieces of art and architecture in Northern and Southern Europe from the end of the sixteenth through the beginning of the eighteenth centuries. The beginning of this period is characterized by massive upheaval in religious systems, vast scientific discoveries, and political turmoil, all of which contributed to fundamental reconsideration of the values that had underpinned European society for centuries, leading to a range of dramatic responses in the visual arts. Students in this course will be introduced to artistic production across a range of media, including painting, sculpture, and architecture, in important European artistic centers (Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam). Special emphasis will be placed on Rome, the political and cultural center of Western Christendom. Though the authority of this city was undermined in the sixteenth century, it emerged in even grander glory in the following century as it came to represent the cultural jewel of the West, reflecting the power and wealth of kings, popes, and cardinals.