Originally published in Connect2 OWU on March 17, 2011

Ohio Wesleyan’s 2012 Travel-Learning Courses Span the Globe

Courses in various departments to cover variety of topics

Thirteen travel-learning courses taught by Ohio Wesleyan University faculty will include trips during the 2011-2012 academic year that span the globe:

Fall 2011 Semester:

Politics and Government – Appellate Advocacy: The Moot Court Experience will be taught by Mike Esler, Ph.D., professor of politics and government. Students will study the court system, legal research methods, and analysis of relevant case law, while learning to make an effective oral presentation and field questions related to an appellate court case. Each student will participate in the American Moot Court Association’s Midwest Regional Tournament in late November at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. There is no prerequisite, and the course is open to all majors.

Spring 2012 Semester:

Black World Studies – Nation-Building in Ghana will be taught by Randy Quaye, Ph.D., associate professor of black world studies. The class will analyze contemporary Ghana by reviewing its incorporation into the global economy since its independence in the early 1960s. Students also will examine the history and politics of Ghana’s transatlantic trade, growth of its democratic institutions, migrant labor, class and ethnic structures, human rights, and political transformations in relationship to contemporary state formation. The class will travel to Ghana to visit major historical and archival sites in May 2012. There is no prerequisite, and the course is open to all majors. (The 2012 Sagan National Colloquium, which will focus on issues related to Africa, will be directed by Quaye.)

Economics – Global Poverty will be taught by Saif Rahman, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics. The class will examine the current state of global poverty, the economics of poverty traps, and the pros and cons of conventional and newer approaches in dealing with poverty. The group will travel to Bangladesh, where there is an 80 percent poverty rate, for two-and-a-half weeks in Summer 2012. Students will visit urban and rural locations and study various aspects of poverty, including education, health, employment, NGO (non-government organization) programs, and microcredit financing. This course is a renewal of a 2010 Sagan Fellows course. There is no prerequisite, but an application is required.

English – British Images will be taught by Nancy Comorau, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. The course will probe the diversity of narratives of national identity in British and postcolonial literature. Students will read the fiction, poetry, and drama by black British and postcolonial writers set in the United Kingdom. This course adds a travel component to an existing course. In May 2012, students will travel to England, where they will attend plays and readings, and tour areas they have studied to experience the diversity of Great Britain for themselves. There is no prerequisite, and the course is open to all majors.

History – Castles and Cathedrals will be taught by Ellen Arnold, Ph.D., assistant professor of history. Students will study these famous medieval buildings as symbols of power, feats of engineering, and expressions of fear and hope. The course will emphasize how complex these buildings were, and how many different meanings were (and still are) read into them by their builders, their users, and the people who study them. The class will cover ancient, medieval, and modern castles and cathedrals, and study changing uses and perceptions of these buildings. The class will visit the United Kingdom for two weeks in May 2012 to visit many historic sites. There is no prerequisite, and the course is open to all majors.

Humanities-Classics – The Roman Republic/May Term in Rome will be taught by Lee Fratantuono, Ph.D., associate professor of humanities-classics. This course will provide a comprehensive study of the Roman Republic: history, literature, philosophy, mythology and religion. Readings will be taken from primary sources: works of Latin literature and Roman history (all read in English translation). This popular lecture course has been offered since 2007. In May 2012, a smaller selected group of Classics or Ancient Studies majors will visit Roman sites and major classics centers, including the American Institute for Roman Culture, to explore important classical locales and meet with classicists from other institutions who are in residence in Rome.

Mathematics and Computer Science – Mathematical Models of Climate will be taught by Craig Jackson, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and computer science. The class will examine climate from the point of view of mathematical modeling. Emphasis will be on simple models that serve to highlight the relative roles and interactions of individual climate processes. This course will have a particular focus on the near-polar regions primarily through the modeling of glaciers and climate-glacier interaction. In May 2012, students will travel to Alaska to meet with active climate modelers, collect data for parametrization of glacier models, and experience first-hand the effects of climate change in this sensitive near-polar region. Students must have successfully completed Math 110 to enroll in this course.

Modern Foreign Languages – Beginning Chinese II will be taught by Ching-Hsuan Wu, Ph.D., assistant professor of modern foreign languages. Speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills will be further developed in this existing course, and elements of Chinese culture, such as calligraphy and dining manners, will be studied. In addition, the students will be paired up with the students from Taiwan to chat in Chinese on Skype and e-mail each other in Chinese four times during the semester. OWU students may elect to travel to Taiwan in May 2012 to visit historic sites, attend intensive language and literature workshops, and earn an additional 0.25 credit. Students must have successfully completed Beginning Chinese I (Chinese 110) to enroll in this course.

Modern Foreign Languages – Japanese Culture Inside Out will be taught by Jun Kawabe, part-time instructor of Japanese. The class will meet seven times during March and April 2012 to discuss cultural issues based on reading assignments and to learn and practice Japanese language needed for travel situations. Each student will maintain a journal of Japanese reading and writing exercises and complete an individual language project. The group will travel to Japan in May 2012 for two weeks. Students must have successfully completed Japanese 111, or have basic Japanese language skills, to enroll in this course.

Politics and Government – Seeing Europe through Ireland’s Eye will be taught by Sean Kay, Ph.D., director of the International Studies Program and a politics and government professor. The primary focus of this new course will be on contemporary decision-making and domestic and foreign policy enacted in Dublin as related to national and international issues. This class will study how the Republic of Ireland views the political, economic, and military integration ongoing in modern Europe, and also trace the evolution of Ireland in the context of Europe over the past 100 years. The class will travel to Ireland for two weeks, including spring break 2012, and attend seminars and briefings by senior government officials, academics, and private business leaders in Dublin. Students also will visit Northern Ireland and study the peace-building process there. There is no prerequisite, and the course is open to all majors.

For the sciences:

Botany-Microbiology and Zoology – Tropical Biology will be taught by David Johnson, Ph.D. professor of botany-microbiology, and Jed Burtt, Ph.D. professor of zoology. Students will study the biology and ecology of tropical organisms and complete independent research projects. They will travel to Costa Rica during spring break 2012. This course was previously taught three times as a temporary honors course. This course is open to Honors Students or students who have the consent of the instructors.

Geology and Geography – Tectonics, Volcanology, and Geothermal Energy in the North Atlantic: The Geology and Energy Resources of Iceland will be taught by Bart Martin, Ph.D. and Karen Fryer, Ph.D., professors in the geology and geography department. Students will study the geology, tectonics, and geothermal resources of Iceland and the North Atlantic region. Each student will select a topic on which to become an expert. In May 2012, the class will travel to Iceland to explore its geology and cultural history. Students will gather original data and information on their topical areas of interest to share with the others. Students must have passed one geology or one geography course, or be able to demonstrate another experience that may provide comparable credit, to be eligible to enroll in this course.

Zoology – Biology of East Africa will be taught by John Gatz, Ph.D., professor of zoology. Students will examine the natural history and evolution of the most ecologically important animals of East Africa, as well as the dynamics of the entire ecosystem. The primary focus will be on large mammals. Major principles of ecology and evolution will be illustrated using studies of these species along with the specific natural history of the animals. Travel will be to Tanzania in May or June 2012. This course is open to all majors. The student must have completed one course in zoology or botany-microbiology to be eligible to enroll.

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