ART 355/365/375 – Photography and the American Southwest

Jeffrey Nilan, MFA, Dept. of Fine Arts
Travel Component: New Mexico during Spring Break

This course will take place within the existing Intermediate and Advanced Photography courses: ART 365, 375, and 385. During spring break, beginning in Albuquerque, we will travel throughout central New Mexico visiting multiple Pueblo sites, including Acoma, Laguna, and Taos Pueblo. Additionally we will visit important archaeological sites, such as Chaco Canyon, as well as spend time in important artistic centers, including Santa Fe. Our travel itinerary will follow the format of a “re-photographic scouting expedition,” aimed on relocating and re-photographing particular views from our photographic archive, Photographs of the American Southwest (1870s-early 1900s), housed in the Beeghly Library Special Collections. In preparation for the trip, students will learn how to use historic photographic equipment and printing processes, as well as advanced digital photography techniques.

Capabilities statement: This travel experience will include several days of moderate to strenuous hiking in mountainous terrain. In order to re-photograph particular sites, students will be responsible for carrying camera equipment while hiking.

ASTR 110 – Space Exploration: Past, Present, and Future

Dr. Robert Harmon, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Travel Component: Germany and Italy in May (2 weeks)

This course is an optional Travel-Learning section to which students enrolled in ASTR 110 –  Elementary Astronomy may apply. Missions to other planets and moons in our solar system are discussed in the regular class, but there our emphasis will be on the scientific results. In this Travel-Learning section, we will study space exploration for its own sake, from the early days of rocketry, to the Cold War “Space Race” to put humans on the Moon, to the modern era, in which Russia and the US no longer have a duopoly in space exploration – Europe, India, China and Japan all have active space programs. We will examine space exploration by all participating nations and by non-governmental organizations and corporations, with a focus on the possibilities that the future holds for our global civilization. In the travel experience, we will visit Rome and Florence in Italy, and Frankfurt in Germany. In Frankfurt we will visit the European Space Operations Center (ESOC), the command center for European Space Agency (ESA) missions. In Rome we will see the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN), ESA’s main center for Earth observation missions, and the Astronomical Observatory of Rome. In Florence we will tour the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory and the Galileo Museum. In addition to sites of scientific importance, we will visit important cultural and historic sites, including world-famous museums: the Städel in Frankfurt, the Vatican Museums in Rome, and the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries in Florence.

Capabilities Statement: Students will be expected to carry their luggage with them to and from hotels and airports. We will utilize various forms of public transportation, and engage in guided and unguided tours of facilities in which some moderate walking will be involved, including the need to use stairs. Reasonable accommodations will be made for students who require them.

BOMI 355 – Plant Responses to Global Change

Dr. Laurel Anderson, Dept. of Botany-Microbiology
Travel Component: Brazil in May (10 days)

This is an upper-level science course that focuses on how plants and other organisms influence, interact with, and are affected by global environmental changes such as increasing temperature, carbon dioxide, nitrogen inputs, and changes in precipitation. This course will use the Brazilian tropical rainforest ecosystem as a case study to explore interactions among plants, global environmental change, and human pressures on the environment, such as deforestation and agricultural expansion. Destinations in Brazil include the city of Manaus on the Amazon River and jungle lodges and field stations in the tropical rainforest habitat that surrounds the city. Course prerequisites: BOMI/ZOOL 122 or BOMI 233 and one additional science course, or permission of the instructor.

Capabilities Statement: Students must be prepared for extensive walking and hiking in warm and humid conditions in the jungle. Hiking boots are required. Canopy towers are common ways to view natural areas in Brazil, so students must be able to climb stairs. One night may be spent sleeping in hammocks at a primitive field station. Travel modes may include bus over unimproved roads, boat, and airplane, so students with motion sickness issues should be prepared with medications or other aids. It can be challenging to maintain a strictly vegetarian diet in Brazil, although food choices are varied. Students must get a yellow fever vaccination in order to take the trip and anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended. Other vaccinations may also be appropriate – students should consult with their personal physician or a travel medicine health care provider.

BWS 300.0 – South Africa: Two Decades After Apartheid

Dr. Randolph Quaye, Black World Studies Program
Travel Component: South Africa in May (2 weeks)

This course analyzes contemporary South Africa since the end of apartheid. It will examine the progress made by the ruling African National Congress in addressing race-conscious policies in the areas of economic development, education and land rights in South Africa. Students will read both original and interpretive texts and travel to Soweto, Robben Island and Cape Town. The course is open to all majors, and there are no prerequisites.

Capabilities Statement: In South Africa, students will be hosted in university hostels and/or budget-style hotels or with host families. Students must be ready to travel by bus and walk for at least 1-2 miles per visit to some of the historical and archival sites. Students must also be willing and capable of hiking for an hour or more, to travel by train, and to carry and use a camera as they will be required to document their experiences via video recording.

CHEM 261 – Historical Roots and Modern Applications of Organic Chemistry

Dr. Mark Mitton-Fry, Dept. of Chemistry
Travel Component: Germany in May (12 days)

Organic chemistry explores the compounds of carbon. Today, organic chemistry plays a critical role in such diverse fields as medicine, materials science, and petroleum engineering. This Travel-Learning section of the Organic Chemistry course will facilitate a deeper understanding of organic chemistry through an exploration of both its early roots in Germany and its modern application to critical needs in society. Attention will be given to historical context, connections to issues of societal relevance, and cutting-edge techniques and applications. Travel will involve time in Munich and Berlin, two of Germany’s largest and most dynamic cities. Students will also visit the university towns of Würzburg and Giessen, where Justus Liebig’s laboratory stands as a museum.

Capabilities Statement: The travel portion of this course will involve extensive walking of up to several miles on a daily basis in an urban environment. Students must be sufficiently fit to keep up with the group at all times. Students will need to carry their own luggage at various points in the trip. Students will utilize numerous modes of public transportation, including subways, buses, and railways. Students will encounter frequent crowds and should be comfortable dealing with unfamiliar environments.

EDUC/SOAN 100.4 – Social Justice and Activism Seminar

Dr. Paula White, Dept. of Education
Dr. John Durst, Dept. of Sociology-Anthropology
Travel Component: Selma, AL during Spring Break

Students enrolled in EDUC 115: Teaching for Equity and Social Justice, SOAN 110 – Introduction to Sociology, SOAN 352 – Urban Society or SOAN 499 – Seminar in Applied Sociology and Anthropology have the option to apply for this interdisciplinary Travel-Learning seminar. During this trip, students will explore the historic Civil Rights era sites of Alabama: Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma. The Freedom Foundation in Selma, AL will serve as home base. Students will have an opportunity to engage with the students of Selma through tutoring in the schools and through supervision of students participating in the Random Acts of Theater Company (RATco). Additionally, all students will engage in service-work in the Selma community.

Capabilities Statement: The group will be engaged in walking tours of museums and historical sites, so students should be prepared to stand for long periods. Additionally, students will be engaged in service work, such as a spring clean-up, and possible construction work. Students should be prepared to lift and carry materials, stand on their feet, and be physically active for several hours at a time. Every reasonable attempt will be made to address individual student needs.

ENG 300.7 – Slouching Towards Empire: The Literary Politics of Ireland

Dr. Nancy Comorau, Dept. of English
Travel Component: Ireland and Northern Ireland in May (2 weeks)

Students will travel to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, visiting the capitals Dublin and Belfast, border city Derry/Londonderry, and the Listowel Writers Week festival in County Kerry. We will see sights related to Ireland’s literary history and present and consider the ways in which the island’s literature and politics intersect. After spending a semester reading 20th- and 21st-Century Irish literature, students will walk in the footsteps of Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, follow the paths laid out in Ciaran Carson’s Belfast, see the cramped Catholic section of Derry/Londonderry, and hear and meet writers from our syllabus.

Capabilities Statement: Students should be able to walk moderate distances over varied terrain including with their luggage through city streets and on long walking tours. It is possible that we might be able to accommodate disabled students on this trip; please contact the instructor with questions or concerns.

FREN 351 – Introduction to French Literature

Dr. Ana Oancea, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages
Travel Component: France in May (1 week)

This Travel-Learning component complements the exploration of French literature, history and culture undertaken in FREN 351 through a trip to Paris, Versailles and the walled city of Provins. We will explore sites that enhance our semester-long discussion of masterpieces from the medieval to the modern. It is an optional enrichment activity, in which students gather materials to prepare a companion website aimed at their peers’ future use. We will engage in first-hand cultural observation and analysis as we discover the French capital. Notable examples of our studies are: the ‘writer’s house’ as monument, taking for reference Victor Hugo’s mansion; the representation of the nation in the International Expositions through the Eiffel Tower and Palaces; and Impressionism as literary inspiration through the Musée d’Orsay. Additionally, we will discover Parisian neighborhoods familiar to us from films such as Jeunet’s Amélie, café and book culture. We will also meet university students who will acquaint us with the culture of the French Grandes Ecoles.

Capabilities Statement: On this trip we will spend seven full days exploring France. We will be based in Paris, and take two days to travel to the neighboring towns of Provins and Versailles. The first is a medieval city, so we will take long walks on cobblestoned streets. In Versailles, we will visit the royal palace, spending our afternoon in the gardens. Some of the alleyways are covered in gravel, and we will also wander over paving stones in Marie Antoinette’s village. In Paris, we will use a variety of public means of transport, both above and underground; stairs are very common. As we get to know the city and its inhabitants, we’ll visit museums, including a full morning in the Louvre, and other sites of cultural significance (the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Panthéon). Expect some queuing and stairs for each site. Should we decide to go on a roof tour, or walk up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, there will be many stairs to climb.

HMCL 300.11 – Elegance and Brutality: Topics in Modern Japanese Literature

Dr. Anne Sokolsky, Dept. of Humanities-Classics
Travel Component: Japan in May (2 weeks)

Japan is a country known for its sublime beauty as well as its mystifying brutality. It is a small island nation with a rich cultural history. Despite its size, it has played a pivotal role in world politics since the late 1800s, and to date it is the only non-Western country to have had an empire in the modern era. In the 1980s it was an economic threat to the American automobile industry. Today, its economy is stagnant and consequently there is a rise of postmodern ennui and nihilism amongst its youth. The purpose of this class is to study through literature both sides of Japan’s fascinating cultural history. We will read works that celebrate Japanese civilization in its most elegant forms as well as its most brutal. A major question we will ask is how can a country that has a philosophy of “wabi sabi” (appreciating the beauty in the simple and sublime) also be a country that reveres “bushidô” (the way of the samurai)? To supplement students’ understanding of what they are learning in class, the focus of the travel component is specifically on Japan’s dual relationship with nature. Japanese gardens, art, literature, and poetry are prime examples of how Japan has an elegant relationship with nature. Shintoism is a religion that reveres nature. Yet Japan is also a country that has minimal natural resources. Japan must often transgress nature for the sake of economic development and global survival. Fukushima is a recent example of the consequences of Japan’s industrial development. So how does a modern economically developed country balance its love for nature with its needs to exploit it to compete in the global industrial world? These are the questions students will explore on campus at Ohio Wesleyan through literature and film, and then examine in person when they travel to Japan. We will travel to Kyoto to see some of Japan’s most beautiful temples and gardens. We will also travel to Hiroshima and Minamata, two famous sites in which nature as well as humans were destroyed by politics and greed. If it is deemed safe to visit, we might also venture to the site of the most recent natural disaster in Japanese history – Fukushima.

Capabilities Statement: We will be traveling by trains and buses. You must be able to carry your own luggage and to walk through crowded train and bus stations at a reasonable pace. We will be spending most of our days on foot, whether walking the city streets of Japan or hiking up Japan’s steep mountains. You must be in good shape to do this. Expect to walk about 2 to 3 miles per day. Bring good walking/hiking shoes.

SOAN 360 – Cultural and Social Change

Dr. Alper Yalcinkaya, Dept. of Sociology-Anthropology
Travel Component: Spain in May (12 days)

This course is a survey of theoretical approaches to cultural and social change, and case studies that illustrate these approaches and their limitations. We will examine various perspectives that attempt to explain when, how, and to what extent societies and cultures change, and how change can be brought about, resisted, or prevented. Among the topics we will study are the impact of factors such as cross-cultural interactions, technological innovations, economic transformations, and social movements. The dimensions and implications of modernization and globalization will be central to our discussions, and we will focus on the unintended consequences of these processes. The travel component of the course will take us to Spain, where we will get a chance to see many examples illustrating these topics. In the cities of Granada and Cordoba, we will examine the legacy of the medieval Muslim state and the culture of coexistence that developed in this period. We will also be able to discuss the issue of cultural interaction when we visit non-profit organizations that focus on immigrant issues in Madrid and Barcelona. Additionally, in these cities we will explore the new social movements that emerged due to the recent economic crisis and study their strategies for constructing new models of production, consumption and social organization. We will also visit the self-governing, “utopian” village of Marinaleda, and the Mondragón federation of worker cooperatives to see ideas about social change put to work.

Capabilities Statement: The travel component involves visits to numerous cities, and we will travel by train and by bus. Some of the trips will be more than four hours long, without a stop. In the cities, we will walk several miles on most days, sometimes on cobblestone streets. Students will be expected to carry their luggage up and down stairs as well as between train and bus stations and hotels. Some of the sites we will visit may not have air conditioning. As our schedule will be very busy, punctuality will be essential.

ZOOL 345 – Marine Biology: Combining Mathematical and Field Approaches

Dr. Amy Downing, Dept. of Zoology
Dr. Craig Jackson, Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science
Travel Component: St. John, United States Virgin Islands during Spring Break

Marine biology is the study of life in the ocean. In this course we will study the physical properties of oceans, productivity and energy flow, plant and animal diversity, and human impacts on marine systems. We will also explore and discuss how mathematical models of biological phenomena can be used to improve our understanding of marine ecosystems. Over spring break we will travel to St. John, USVI, which is an island in the Caribbean where 50% of the land and surrounding marine habitat is protected as a National Park. While in St. John we will explore major habitats including the open ocean, mangroves, sea grass beds, and coral reefs. All students will conduct an independent research project that will combine a mathematical modeling approach with data collection from the field.

Capabilities Statement: We will be living in shared cabins at the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station on St. John. We will have access to showers and bathrooms and running water, but the conditions are equivalent to a rustic biological field station. We will hike up to 4 miles a day to and from field sites in 80-85 degree weather. Most importantly, students must be comfortable in the water, as students will be snorkeling up to 4 hours per day. No previous snorkeling experience is required.

ZOOL 349 – Island Biology

Drs. Shala Hankison and John Gatz, Dept. of Zoology
Travel Component: Galapagos Islands and Ecuador in May (2 weeks)

Walk in Darwin’s footsteps as we explore the Galapagos Islands. After a semester of learning the natural history of the Galapagos Islands and the principles of island biogeography, we will spend our time in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. During our cruise we will snorkel with marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins, see blue-footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, and giant tortoises, and observe first-hand the plant and animal life of the Islands. A pre-island visit to mainland Equador and the cloud forest will also allow us not only to appreciate the beauty of those habitats, but also to contrast them to those of the Galapagos and further appreciate what makes the Galapagos Island so unique.

Capabilities Statement: The trip will include a short time at relatively high elevation (on the mainland) and a good deal of moderate hiking, including some steep slopes. Participants should also be prepared for wet and/or rocky landings between the boat and the shore. As the islands are situated on the Equator and offer little cover, we will be exposed to intense sun. Good swimming skills are important for snorkeling, as some areas have strong currents. As we will be living on a boat for a portion of the trip, those prone to seasickness should obtain necessary medicines.