Make The Connection, Feature Story

Where Will OWU Take You?

April 18, 2016 – by Abby Hanson ’16

Ohio Wesleyan students, directed by Dr. Jason Hiester, sing in Siena, Italy, during a previous Travel-Learning Course. A similar course, 'Choral Music of Central Italy and the Vatican,' will be offered in fall 2016.

Ohio Wesleyan Announces 2016-2017 Travel-Learning Courses

When you come to campus in the fall, don’t forget to pack your passport.

One of the components of Ohio Wesleyan University’s OWU Connection is a chance to travel to help broaden and deepen your understanding of a wide range of topics.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Ohio Wesleyan will offer 13 Travel-Learning Courses enabling you to spend fall semester studying a topic on campus and then to complete a short-term travel component to better understand the significance of your newfound knowledge.

OWU’s upcoming Travel-Learning Courses cover everything from filmmaking and French literature to East Asian politics and electronic music. Here is an overview of the 2016-2017 Travel-Learning Courses.

Fall Semester or Winter Break Travel

Geology – Field Seminar in Geology and Cultural History of the Death Valley Region

Taught by Drs. Bart Martin and Karen Fryer, you’ll learn about the evolution of the western United States, including the impact of geology on the region’s economic (mining) and cultural development, and its history of water use and water rights. A 12-day “field trip” to California and Nevada in January will enable you to complete hands-on geological work. 

Music – Choral Music of Central Italy and the Vatican

Taught by Dr. Jason Hiester, you’ll study the music of the renaissance and baroque Italian master composers, and Chamber Choir members will perform in the same historical venues as the composers during a 10-day trip to Italy in January. The tour will include singing a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican, singing at Carlo Gesualdo’s palace, visiting Naples Opera House, and enjoying shared concerts and cultural exchanges with choirs in Central Italy. 

Sociology/Anthropology – Ethnographic and Documentary Film and Filmmaking

Taught by Dr. Mary Howard and Chuck Della Lana (Media Services), you’ll study filmmaking (camera use, story construction, interviewing, and film editing), as well as the history, geography, and culture of the Mayan people. Then you’ll have an opportunity to capture the beauty of the Guatemalan environment and the culture of the Mayan people during a trip to Central America over Thanksgiving break.

Spring and Summer 2017 Travel

Botany/Microbiology – Plant Responses to Global Change

Taught by Dr. Laurie Anderson, you’ll learn how organisms influence, interact with, and are affected by global environmental changes such as increasing temperature, increasing carbon dioxide, and changes in precipitation. In May, you’ll travel to the Brazilian Amazon region for 11 days with stops including the Cristalino Jungle Lodge, an ecotourism center focused on local sustainability and forest conservation; the Brazilian cerrado (savanna) ecosystem, which represents the type of habitat the rainforest is predicted to become in warmer future climates; and the Brazilian Pantanal, a vast wetland region teeming with wildlife. 

English – Re-Placing Great Britain; Alternative Narratives of National Identity

Taught by Dr. Nancy Comorau, you’ll study 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 – including notions of Great Britain as a space of European homogeneity. In May, you’ll travel to London, Liverpool, and Manchester for 11 days to explore the vibrant black British and postcolonial arts scene and examine how the United Kingdom represents itself to visitors. 

French – Introduction to French Literature

Taught by Dr. Ana Oancea, you’ll learn about the diversity of literary production in France from Medieval to modern times, and be introduced to analytical writing and discussion in French. As a final project, you’ll collaborate in groups to trace a theme through representative works from different centuries. In May, you’ll add further commentary to your paper by discussing the connections between the selected works and the sites you visit in France. 

History – Castles and Cathedrals in the Middle Ages

Taught by Dr. Ellen Arnold, you’ll travel to France and Germany for 16 days in May, where you’ll learn to “read” castles to determine the form and function of ruined features while discussing castles’ social and military functions. You’ll also observe how the buildings were, and are, situated in landscapes. Blending what you learn from film and historical texts with on-site experiences, you’ll discover the power and sophistication of medieval society, as well as the importance of power and faith to cultural identity. 

History – Mexico from Conquest to Revolution

Taught by Dr. Jeremy Baskes, you’ll study the history of Mexico, especially the forces contributing to the formation of modern Mexico. During a 10-day trip to Mexico in May, you’ll visit Mexico City and Oaxaca. In Mexico City, you’ll visit world-class museums, climb 10-story pyramids, visit 16th- and 17th-century churches, and view breathtaking murals by Diego Rivera and others. In Oaxaca, you’ll encounter Mexico’s vibrant indigenous culture while visiting food markets little changed from centuries earlier, watching traditional weavers, taking cooking classes, and exploring colonial Oaxaca. 

Music – Introduction to Electronic Music

Taught by Dr. Jennifer Jolley, you’ll study the fundamentals of electronic music composition, incorporating analog and digital sound synthesis, sequencing, recording, computer and MIDI application. You’ll delve into how music composers and sound artists use electronic and computer music technology to create sound and music. During spend spring break, you’ll visit Paris, home to the earliest instances of electronic music as well as the top avant-garde electro-acoustic art music research institute in the world and the Musee de Radio France. 

Politics and Government – East Asian Politics

Taught by Dr. Ji Young Choi, you’ll explore the modern history, politics, and economy of China, Japan, and Korea, and then travel to Korea for 10 days in May. As part of the course, you’ll investigate the development of the three countries’ modern national identities and their political and economic modernization processes. You’ll study foreign relations among them and significant others, including the United States. You’ll learn about unresolved historical and territorial issues in the region, and ongoing political tensions between South Korea and North Korea. 

Spanish – Spanish Crime Fiction

Taught by Eva Paris-Huesca, you’ll study the origins, development, distinguishing elements, and ideological uses of Spanish crime fiction. You’ll study literature and cinema from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, as well as critical articles that analyze the genres from different perspectives (history, sociology, psychology, gender, film theory). Then you’ll travel to Spain for 11 days in May, visiting Barcelona and the Basque-Navarro region of Elizondo and Pamplona to complete your examination of Spanish crime fiction culture. 

Zoology – Island Biology

Taught by Drs. Tami Panhuis and Scott Kelly, you’ll study the Galapagos Islands and the processes that shape their unique flora and fauna, emphasizing evolutionary, ecological, and behavioral island phenomena. Then you’ll travel to mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for 14 days in May where you’ll observe the ecological landscape that has shaped evolutionary theory and biology since Charles Darwin’s first observations and you’ll conduct an independent research project in the field. 

Zoology – Marine Biology; Combining Field and Mathematical Approaches

Taught by Drs. Amy Downing and Craig Jackson, you’ll study the physical properties of oceans, productivity and energy flow, plant and animal diversity, and human impacts on marine systems. You’ll explore how mathematical models of biological phenomena can improve our understanding of marine ecosystems. Then you’ll travel over spring break to St. John in the Virgin Islands, where half the land and marine habitat is protected as a national park. In the Caribbean, you’ll explore major habitats including mangroves, seagrass beds, and fringing coral reefs and conduct independent research that combines mathematical modeling with data collection from the field.

For more detailed descriptions of these courses, including any required prerequisites, visit the Travel-Learning Courses section of the Ohio Wesleyan website.