Art 343 and Humanities-Classics 330 - Renaissance Art and Thought
(Carol Neuman deVegvar, Dept. of Fine Arts; Sally Livingston, Dept. of Humanities-Classics)
This is an optional Travel-Learning component in Siena and Florence, Italy, to two complementary but different courses: ART 343 – Italian Renaissance Art, and HMCL 330 – Medieval and Renaissance Thought. The goal of the combined trip will be to explore the art and thought in the Renaissance as they intersect to form a kind of cultural and intellectual geography, and to examine the works studied in these courses in the context of the living cities which gave rise to them. A group of 12 students who are enrolled in one or both of these courses will be selected to participate in the Travel-Learning experience. These students will meet together three times over the course of the semester to discuss readings common to both disciplines, such as Boccaccio’s Decameron, Pico della Mirandola’s Oration on the Dignity of Man, and Benvenuto Cellini’s Autobiography. A final paper, due at the end of the travel component, will integrate the term paper projects for each course with the travel experience.
Chemistry 261 - Chemistry and Art
(Katie Hervert, Dept. of Chemistry)
This course offers students an opportunity to blend their knowledge of chemistry with the beauty of the art and architecture found in Italy. The diverse properties and the behavior of the colors of natural dyes, oils, and materials as well as many other phenomena will be discussed and examined through the eyes of a chemist in Venice, Florence and Rome. Students will see how acid rain has impacted historical stone and metal sculptures throughout these cities. Their acid/base knowledge will be drawn upon in examination of the beautiful fresco restoration projects in Florence. A visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum will prompt students to discuss the mechanism of paint pigment degradation and the impact of volcanic plumes and pyroclastic flow in that region. Students will see how chemistry plays a vital role in the creation, preservation, restoration, destruction, forgery detection and analysis of the many works of art throughout Italy.
English 228 - Re-placing in Great Britain: Alternative Narratives of National Identity
(Nancy Comorau, Dept. of English)
Students will read poetry and prose by black British and postcolonial authors that reconsider the nature of empire, rewrite the places of the British Isles, and re-imagine British identity. At the end of the semester, students will travel to London, Liverpool, and Manchester to explore the vibrant black British and postcolonial arts scene in the United Kingdom, and interrogate the ways in which the UK represents itself to visitors, and to travel to many of the areas we read about in class. Our activities will include attending new plays, reading museums critically, visiting city archives, and taking walking tours focused on black British history, as students consider how the narratives of national identity they encounter as tourists in the UK compare to those they have read throughout the semester.
History 300.3 - Castles and Cathedrals in the Middle Ages
(Ellen Arnold, Dept. of History)
Castles and cathedrals are symbols of power, feats of engineering, and expressions of the fears and hopes of medieval people. We will explore the many meanings these sites had for their builders and users, and the ways they are imagined and remembered in film, as historical “text,” as living religious houses and as places where historical memory is played out. The travel component will enhance the regular semester class. We will learn to “read” castles to determine the form and function of ruined features, discussing their social and military functions. We will see how the buildings changed over time, and how they were (and are) situated in their urban and rural landscapes. Seeing these sites in person shows the sophistication and power of medieval society, and helps underscore how important power and faith were for cultural identity, and how they still matter to modern Britain.
Latin American Studies 200.1 - Mexican Migration Experience
(Bob Gitter, Dept. of Economics)
This course focuses on the many aspects of the recent waves of Mexican migration to the United States. Topics will follow student interest and might cover children’s reactions to family members’ migration, discrimination against migrants, the impact of migration on the environment and other areas by which students are intrigued. The course will begin with background lectures on campus as well as student research and class presentation. During Spring Break we will journey to Mexico to become acquainted with the country. We will visit the pyramids at Teohituacan, churches, and museums and garner exposure to the people and the nation. We will then spend four days in the state of Puebla in communities where many people have migrated to the United States. Students will stay with families and have a chance to work on their term projects. Upon returning to Ohio Wesleyan students will develop their projects and present them to the class. Participating students will see how what they have learned in the classroom relates to issues surrounding migration in the real world.
Mathematics 200.2 - Mathematical Models of Climate
(Craig Jackson, Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science)
We will examine climate from the point of view of mathematical modeling. Emphasis will be on conceptual 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 the weeks after classes conclude in the spring, we will travel to Alaska to establish a remote weather station on the Matanuska Glacier, view retreating tidewater glaciers in Prince William Sound, meet with climate modelers from the International Arctic Research Center, and view first-hand the effects of climate change in this sensitive near-polar region.
Philosophy 310 - Modernity & Colonialism: Global Perspectives on History, Justice and Truth
(Shari Stone-Mediatore, Dept. of Philosophy)
This course will examine critically and from diverse cultural standpoints the narrative of modernity that continues to influence our understanding of ourselves and our world. We will begin with selections from European Enlightenment philosophers who first articulated the notions of progress and modernity that are central to modern Western culture. We will then turn to Latin American and indigenous American writers who narrate modernity from the standpoint of the receiving end of modernity’s violence. The diverse narratives will challenge us to consider how we might come to terms--ethically, intellectually, and personally – with such contending accounts of the modern world. Finally, we will study grassroots efforts to chart alternative paths to progress, including that of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. A 9-day Spring Break trip to Chiapas will offer first-hand experience of Zapatista life. Meetings with local women’s cooperatives, governing councils, educators, and artists will provide concrete glimpses into what it means to some of the indigenous people to build “a world in which all worlds fit.” Be prepared for rugged living conditions and provocative conversation. Rudimentary Spanish is helpful but not essential, as we will have translators as well as ample opportunity for informal community-building through art, music, sports, and shared labor.
Sociology-Anthropology 358 - Building Economic Justice from Below: Society, Politics and Social Movements
(Paul Dean, Dept. of Sociology-Anthropology)
This course focuses on contemporary social movements, with an emphasis on economic justice movements. By examining movements addressing class, poverty, sustainability, and human rights, we will learn how movements emerge, why individuals participate in social movements, what strategies they use, and what outcomes are possible in building more egalitarian societies. In addition to studying the Occupy, Fair Trade, and other movements, students will travel to Argentina to visit historic sites of conflict and speak with participants of local movements there. We will visit occupied factories in Buenos Aires, where workers occupied abandoned bankrupt factories and began running them together without bosses or managers. In these visits, we will meet with workers at workplaces cooperatively owned and managed by their workers, hear their stories of protest, and learn how they built alternative economies. We will meet with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, one of Latin America’s most famous feminist organizations. We will see some of Argentina’s natural beauty on our way to a nearby province to talk with local groups resisting GMO farming and pesticide use near an ecological reserve, and we will stay at a Fair Trade farm. In our travels, we will also speak with local journalists, economists, lawyers representing workers, community leaders, and small business owners, in order to understand Argentina’s struggle for social justice and how their efforts are connected to other global and US-based movements. By studying this variety of cases, we will evaluate the possibilities for building “real utopias” or more socially just societies.
Spanish 365 - Cervantes and the Quixote
(Glenda Nieto-Cuebas, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages)
This course will study the major episodes of Don Quixote de La Mancha, one of the most influential works of Spanish and world literature, as well as other selected works written by Cervantes. These readings will be analyzed within their socio-historical context, while exploring a diverse array of topics, such as love, religion, race, class, magic, madness, and honor, among others. Students will learn how to read, understand, and analyze classical Spanish texts while they put their language skills into practice. They will also study about the world of Cervantes and his contemporaries through films and other works of art. At the end of the semester, students will have the opportunity to travel to Spain and explore Cervantes’ world by visiting museums and castles and by attending theater performances. A substantial portion of the trip will be spent in Madrid, where the class will learn about the culture of Spain during the Hapsburg dynasty, a period of great literary and artistic production known as the Golden Age. The class will also visit Toledo; Alcalá de Henares; Don Quixote’s famous windmills; the city of El Toboso, where Don Quixote’s beloved Dulcinea lived; and the town of Almagro, where a surviving theater of the period is located, and where many of Cervantes’ theatrical pieces are still frequently performed. This travel experience will allow students to make connections between the literature read in class and the culture, society, history, and arts of Spain; understand how important Cervantes’ legacy is to contemporary Hispanic culture and literature; and practice Spanish through exposure to real life situations, conversations, and academic events.
Zoology 300.10 - Biology of East Africa
(John Gatz, Dept. of Zoology)
Who hasn’t always wanted to see the animals of East Africa in their natural habitat? This course provides an opportunity to do just that, and to go thoroughly prepared by knowing about the biology of the various species that we’ll be seeing – their natural histories, their roles in the ecosystem, the behaviors we’re apt to witness, and so much more. The course will focus primarily on the large mammals, but also will highlight some of the huge diversity of colorful birds and various reptiles we will be able to see. The travel portion of the course will take place exclusively in Tanzania and include two parts of the Serengeti ecosystem: both Ngorongoro Crater (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and eighth natural wonder of the world) and also the Serengeti National Park itself, just at the start of the annual wildebeest migration. In addition we’ll visit Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. All in all, we’ll see some of the most spectacular scenery in East Africa and enjoy lots of close-up viewing of an incredible diversity of wildlife that you’ll have learned all about as well as some aerial viewing from the unique perspective of a hot air balloon on our final day in the Serengeti.