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International destinations 2008

Tropical Ecology

Travel Dates: May 2-16
Instructors: Belinda Sly and James Wagner
Number of Students Enrolled: 20
Location: Belize

Course Description

A study of why the tropics experience a unique climate, how this creates a variety of unique habitats such as rain forests, cloud forests, savannas, and coral reefs, and the structure and dynamics of these habitats. The class also investigates a variety of other topics including structure of tropical soils, nutrient cycling, tropical forest dynamics, tropical species diversity, and conservation.

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Service Learning

Travel Dates: April 24-May 19
Instructors: Kethleen Jagger and Alan Bartley
Number of Students Enrolled: 17
Location: Philippines

Course Description

This will be an interdisciplinary, service-learning course. Service projects will occur in partnership with local communities on Mactan Island in the Philippines and be directed toward public health and economic/business concerns. Prior to departure, students will study Filipino history, culture, and current events to develop a context for the service experience. While on site, students will research various aspects of Filipino life, and upon return to campus, each will present a paper that draws on their reading, research, and project experiences.

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Journey Through the Bible

Travel Dates: May 1-16
Instructors: Paul Jones and Frank Russell
Number of Students Enrolled: 19
Location: Israel/Egypt

Course Description

This course will examine the history, geography, and archaeology of the Biblical world (circa 1800 BCE to 135 CE) by studying and traveling to the land of the Bible (Israel and Egypt).

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Violence, Memory, Identity, Family

Travel Dates: May 1-18
Instructors: Gregg Bocketti and Melissa Fortner
Number of Students Enrolled: 16
Location: Argentina

Course Description

In March 1976, the Argentine military conducted a coup d'état that removed the government of Isabel Perón and installed a dictatorship that ruled until 1983. Fueled by the ideology of “National Security,” the dictatorship engaged in state terror and conducted the infamous Dirty War, which saw at least 10,000 adults detained and tortured for prolonged periods, at least 30,000 adults kidnapped, tortured, and killed, and at least 500 children kidnapped and placed with families sympathetic to the regime.

This violence and these “disappeared” have haunted Argentina ever since, as Argentines have undertaken the process of healing the trauma produced by years of violence. This has included establishing a truth commission, attempting to bring state terrorists to justice, and restoring families fractured by forced separation.

The course will visit these issues from the point of view of History and Psychology, and will center on a stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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French Immersion

Travel Dates: May 2-16
Instructors: Brian Arganbright
Number of Students Enrolled: 7
Location: Montreal, Canada

Course Description

This May term travel course will immerse students in a French-speaking context where they will refine their language skills and experience firsthand French-Canadian society. Emphasis will be placed on linguistic accuracy, proficiency of spoken French, and exploration of social and historical topics. Cultural outings (museums, theatres, etc.) will also constitute an integral part of the course. The course will be taught entirely in French.

From Cuzco to Lima

Travel Dates: April 23-May 27
Instructors: Martha Ojeda and Brian Rich
Number of Students Enrolled: 16
Location: Peru

Course Description

This course will study processes of migration from Andean communities to coastal communities and the socio-cultural impacts these migrations have had on Lima, the capital of Peru.

We will focus on the economic and political causes that have influenced these migrations from the 1950s to the present. Using a variety of interdisciplinary literary and social science readings (both historical and contemporary), we will analyze these processes to understand the economic development, racial stratification, and resistance and adaptations of indigenous cultures to the dominant cultures.

We begin the course with a study of Peruvian history focusing on the 1950s and the present to pinpoint important historical, political, economic and sociological factors that led to massive migrations from the Andes to Lima. We will visit communities in Lima and in Cuzco (former capital of the Inca Empire) to explore ways in which ethnic minorities have maintained a distinct cultural identity over time. A special trip to Machu Picchu will be an integral part of the course.

Reading and Writing Landscape

Travel Dates: April 23-May 10
Instructors: Chris Begley and Meg Upchurch
Number of Students Enrolled: 20
Location: Iceland

Course Description

This travel course focuses on Viking-era Iceland, especially the dramatic, harsh, and beautiful landscape of western Iceland. Highlighted by a 12-day trip to Iceland, this course offers students the opportunity to explore the ways in landscape influences the human experience on both an individual and collective level, and the degree to which the human experience can be approached and understood through landscape. We do that through immersion in a particular landscape, immersion in writing that emanated from and described that landscape, and an examination of scholarly literature dealing with landscape.

We begin our exploration of the western Icelandic landscape through the great sagas of the 10th and 11th century. These Viking-era sagas of western Iceland are compelling stories that illustrate human adaptations to a marginal landscape, describing the settlement period, when people migrated from the somewhat milder climates of western Scandinavia and the British Isles to Iceland, intent on creating a new social structure without aristocracy or royalty.

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Early Chinese Art: Journey to the Land of Dragon

Travel Dates: May 6-20
Instructors: Wei Lin and Dan Selter
Number of Students Enrolled: 24
Location: China

Course Description

This course will survey early Chinese art and culture, with emphasis on the pre-historic to the Tang Dynasty period. We will examine important monuments and objects for their artistic qualities, and will attempt to interpret them within their appropriate religious and cultural contexts. The class will also provide fourteen days of travel in China to explore contemporary Chinese culture and to visit major museums, archaeological sites, and religious and secular architecture in the cities of Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Yixing.