Help

Summer/Fall 2019 Courses

Appalachia to Alaska: Intercultural Approaches to Environmental and Cultural Sustainability

Credits: 4 (ENS 3XXX) Summer course with one week at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC and two weeks travel to Alaska
Instructors: Dr. Mark Brenner (Warren Wilson College portion),  Dr. Scott Ramsey (Alaska portion), and Christine Hilliard (WWC Staff Leader)
Travel Dates: August 4th-23rd (August 4-10 at Warren Wilson, August 10-23 in Alaska)

alaska

This unique interdisciplinary course begins with a week of study on the Warren Wilson College campus located outside of Asheville, NC in the Southern Appalachians. While at Warren Wilson College, students will study the most species-rich temperature region of the world. Western North Carolina has more species of trees than all of Europe combined, and more salamanders than anywhere else in the world!
 
Once in Alaska, students will explore the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, while staying at the Eagle Valley Lodge.  From there, the group will journey along the picturesque Inside Passage via ferry to Haines, Alaska, where they will live and study at Rainbow Glacier Camp.  

Course Fee: $3950 + airfare (estimated $700-$900) (fee includes all accommodation, meals, and activities during the program)

Academic Credits: 4 (for non-WWC students, a transcript will be shared with their home institution)

GPA Requirement: 2.5 minimum (students from any undergraduate institution are encouraged to apply!)

Cuba: Isolation and Innovation: Self-Sufficiency and Self Expression in Cuba

Credits: 4 (SWK 3780) Fall semester course with winter break travel in Cuba for two weeks
Instructors: Lucy Lawrence (professor of social work) & Melissa Davis (Warren Wilson College writer)
Travel Dates: Jan. 3-13 2020

Cuban citizens are currently experiencing a period of transition marked by sweeping cultural and social change following the resignation and recent death of President Fidel Castro. Through the distinct and interconnected lenses related to social welfare, students will examine myriad and interdependent social, environmental, political, economic, and cultural issues in Cuba, from both historical and contemporary perspectives.  Students will develop an intercultural understanding of poverty and approaches to addressing poverty through social welfare. Students will trace the historical beginnings and necessities of the development of social welfare and other innovative societal systems in the island nation and examine the ways in which Cuba has developed policies, programs, and practices that create a safety net to address current societal issues. Students will also explore how some Cuban citizens have recently found new means of expression through writing speculative fiction, using the genre’s disconnection from present-day reality as an allegorical medium for social commentary. Focus points of the course include social welfare service delivery, structures, and practices that advance community self-sufficiency while promoting active citizen participation.  Additionally, students in this course will have the opportunity for intercultural exchange and engagement through rigorous academic endeavor and field study in Cuba.

Application Fee: $75.00
Course Fee: $2,300* + airfare (est. $500-$700)
*(Limited amounts of need-based financial aid available)
GPA Requirement: 2.5 minimum
Application Deadline: March 20th, 2019 

Spring 2020 Courses

Costa Rica: Peace and Environmental Justice Education 
Credits: 2 (EDU 3770) Spring semester Term 4 course with summer break travel in Costa Rica for two weeks
Instructors: 
Lyn O’Hare (professor of education) and Anna Welton (director of global engagement)
Travel Dates: May 10th - 24th

In this course, students will explore the interrelated topics of peace and environmental justice education in Costa Rica. As a nation that has not had a standing army since 1949, Costa Rica has long been a model nation of pacifism, both with foreign policy and internal policies that protect social equality and democracy. Simultaneously, Costa Rica has emerged in the past forty years as a global leader in the movement for environmental justice. Recently, Costa has inspired the world over with their own national Green New Deal, which sets out goals for equal access to renewable resources by the year 2015. How has Costa Rica accomplished this unique position as Latin America’s leader in peace and environmental justice, in the midst of a global shift towards neoliberalism and environmental degradation? One of the keys to their success has been through their progressive education systems.

Through readings, class discussion, and an immersive visit to a progressive school in the quaker community of Celo in the North Carolina mountains, the on-campus portion of the course at Warren Wilson will examine our own North American context and its relation to Costa Rica. What can be learned from the education system in Costa Rica? How have they leveraged policies that promote environmental justice? What are some of the cultural elements that have shaped this national identity? These are all questions that will be explored.

The field portion of the course will be comprised of two immersive weeks in Costa Rica. One full week will be spent in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, where the students will live with homestay families, take Spanish courses in the morning, and visit educational and environmental sites of interest in the afternoons. Next, the group will travel to Earth University where they will encounter a revolutionary educational model geared towards the promotion of environmental justice and sustainability. Last, students will visit the UN Center for Peace in San Jose, where they will meet with influential peacemakers and educators and experience the capital city. During the field portion students will engage in cross-cultural community dialogue.

Application Fee: $75.00
Course Fee: $1500 + airfare (est. $500-$800)
GPA Requirement: 2.5 minimum
Application Deadline: October 9th, 2019

Indonesia: Monkey Chants & Ancient Dance - Art & Social Change in Bali & Java

Credits: 4 (GBL 3770) Spring 2020 semester course with May travel in Indonesia for two weeks
Instructors: Siti Kusujiarti (professor of anthropology) & Kevin Kehrberg (professor of music)
Travel Dates: May 11-29, 2020

Bali and Java remain the most popular centers of artistic expression in Indonesia. This course will use traditional Indonesian art forms-including music, dance, and theater-as a lens through which to view social change in Bali and Java. Using an interdisciplinary framework, the course will provide students opportunities to explore the ancient roots of Javanese and Balinese art, especially the performing arts, and discover the dynamic ways in which these traditional arts are changing in response to the pressures of globalization, modernization, and international tourism.

Onsite locations will include Janabadra University and Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta (Java), cultural destinations in Yogyakarta and Ubud (Bali), and village homestays in central Java and Bali. In addition, students will participate in a service-learning component (fulfilling PEG 2) and direct interactions with local Indonesian artists, college students, professors and community members.

Application Fee: $75.00
Course Fee: $1,900* + airfare (est. $1,400-$1,700)
*(Limited amounts of need-based financial aid available)
GPA Requirement: 2.5 minimum
Application Deadline: October 9th, 2019 

Other Previous Courses

TANZANIA: Intercultural Comparisons of Agricultural and Social Welfare Systems in Tanzania and Appalachia

Credits: 4 (SWK 301)-- Fall semester course with travel in December/January
Course Instructors: Lucy Lawrence and Virginia Hamilton

Through the distinct and multi-disciplinary lenses of agriculture and social welfare, students compare and contrast a myriad of interdependent social/environmental/political/economic/cultural civic engagement issues in Tanzania, East Africa, and in the southern Appalachian region of the United States from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The course aims to provide students with an intercultural understanding of agriculture and social welfare in southern Tanzania, compared to practices and structures and policies in Appalachia. The course will trace the historical beginnings and necessities of the development of social welfare systems along with restrictions and conventions of agriculture and social welfare in both countries. Students will examine the ways in which both Tanzania and Appalachia develop policies, programs, and practices that create a safety net to address current societal issues. Focus points of the course include intercultural comparisons of approaches to agriculture and social welfare that advance community self-sufficiency while promoting active citizen participation. Additionally, this course provides students the opportunity for intercultural exchange and engagement through rigorous academic endeavor and field study in Tanzania, including service-learning. This course fulfills General Education requirement AIM 5 Service Learning and PEG 2 of the Community Engagement Commitment.

BORNEO: Indigenous Land Use In Borneo: Food, Farming, and Forest

Credits: 4 (ENS 3XX)-- Spring semester course with three weeks travel in May
Course Instructors: Mary Bulan and John Odell

This course introduces students to tropical ethnobiology and indigenous farming and land use in the rainforests of Borneo. Readings, field work, class discussions and student research projects will be used to explore issues of indigenous land rights and traditional natural resource management. During the travel component, students will travel to a highland village area in the state of Sarawak and experience the food, forests, farming and culture of the modern Kelabit tribe. Students will discuss environmental threats and social change with tribe members in the context of ecological and cultural survival. The class will complete a service project in collaboration with in-country hosts.

ITALY: In the Nature Studio: Ceramics & Art History in Italy

Credits: 4 (ART 3770)-- Spring Semester course with travel in May
Instructors: Leah Leitson and Julie Caro

This course offers students a unique opportunity to connect directly with Italy's landscape, art, culture and people/artists through site visits, shared conversations and meals, and time to create in an Italian ceramics studio. Using Tuscany, Italy and Western North Carolina as our focus, this course considers what distinguishes one unique geography from another. How does cultural and artistic expression arise from a specific geography? What are the unique aspects of a place that artists respond to and translate into material objects-its colors, textures, light, weather effects, tastes, sounds, cultural attitudes, the cadence of language, customs, jokes, folklore, etc.? We will consider our experience in relation to the experiences of artists who have travelled to Italy and make connections between the local American learning communities of Warren Wilson College, Black Mountain College, and the Penland School of Craft, all located in the rural setting of western North Carolina to the Italian learning community at La Meridiana School of Ceramics located in the countryside of Tuscany and our home base for our two-week stay in Italy.

While in Italy, we will immerse ourselves at La Meridiana School of Ceramics founded in 1982 by renowned Italian ceramic artist Pietro Elia Maddalena. Set in the characteristic landscape of Tuscany between the picturesque hill towns of Certaldo and San Gimignano, La Meridiana has multiple studios and hosts artists from around Italy and abroad. We will work in La Meridiana's newest and most innovative studio, the outdoor Nature Studio, which will allow us full access to the natural light, colors, and atmospheric effects of the local Tuscan landscape. On studio days in Italy, we will eat lunch at La Meridiana and experience traditional Tuscan cuisine prepared by local chef and potter Lucia and plated on pottery created by Pietro and other artists in the La Merdiana community. Days spent at La Meridiana will also allow us to connect with the other artists and members of this community through informal conversations and interviews related to your larger portfolio project (described below). We also make connections to people and art on our site visits to cities and towns in the region to look at examples of ceramics, painting, sculpture, and architecture and visits to studios of contemporary artisans and artists. We will bring those experiences to bear on our studio work and independent research. In the clay studios at Warren Wilson College and at La Meridiana, students will learn or continue their study of ceramics through hand building and wheel throwing, glazing, and firing. Through studio work, readings from primary and secondary sources, visits to museum collections artist studios, students will learn to ask and answer the types of questions posed by artists and art historians as they endeavor to connect their sense of place to a new place and culture and to draw inspiration from it to develop their creative, intellectual, and intercultural awareness.

THAILAND & INDONESIA: Tackling Taboo Topics: Gender & Religion in Thailand & Indonesia

Credits: 4 (ANTH 3XX)-- Spring semester course with three weeks travel in May-June 
Instructors: 
Siti Kusujiarti and Matt Hoffman

This exploratory course at the intersection of two taboo topics: religious practice and gender dynamics. Join Siti Kusujiarti and Matt Hoffman as we explore religion, society, and culture in Thailand and Indonesia. Our time in Thailand will center around Chiang Mai and focus on the role of gender in Buddhist religious practices, environmental concerns, and monastic movements. In Indonesia, we will explore the unique religious and social environment of Yogyakarta, a city known for education, religious pluralism, and varied approaches to understanding gender. In addition to touring various sites in both countries, students will have the opportunity to build deep connections with locals through homestays, a stay at a Buddhist monastery, and service-learning opportunities.

 

IRELAND: Hand Held: Photography and the Visual Book

Credits: 4 (ART 3XX)-- Spring semester course with two weeks of travel in May
Instructor: Eric Baden

This course is open to students from any discipline, and focuses on photography and visual books as forms of artistic expression. The class presents an opportunity for students to engage perspectives from outside the United States while attentively traversing a landscape that has long been a singular inspiration to artists, musicians, storytellers, and writers; and by sharing in the cross-cultural and global dialog in art and diverse international histories of book structures and contemporary photobooks. Students will engage in individual artistic practice characterized by careful observation, creative exploration, reflection and expression supported by the development of conceptual, material and editorial skills. Formal instruction will be provided in the techniques, materials, and processes used in crafting meaningful visual statements and organizing photographic images as artist's books and photobooks. We will explore a variety of contemporary forms based on historical and contemporary visual books from different cultural contexts.

BELIZE: Comparative Psychology: Marine and Cultural-Historical Studies in Belize

Credits: 4 (PSY 377) -- Fall semester course with winter travel to Belize
Course Instructor: 
Bob Swoap

Blize dolphins pic
Comparative psychologists study the behavioral patterns and minds of a wide array of animal species, including humans. There is an emphasis on discovering similarities and differences across species

that may shed light on evolutionary and developmental processes. Belize has a rich marine life as well as diverse cultural and language traditions (including Belizean Creole, Spanish, and English). We will use a comparative and cross-cultural lens to focus on marine species and on learning from the people of Belize. Following the on-campus component, we will embark on a 13-day field course to Belize to assist researchers from the Oceanic Society. This group is conducting several long-term studies documenting the abundance, distribution, and behavioral ecology of bottlenose dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles off the coast of Belize. While in the field, we will also learn about Belizean culture, discuss community-based planning for sustainable marine development, and meet Belizeans involved in protecting this exceptional ecosystem. We will also explore Mayan ruins in Belize and Guatemala. There will be good opportunities to immerse ourselves in the culture and the intersections of marine conservation and daily Belizean life.

 
PRAGUE: Reading Genre and Form: Fairy Tales and the Pop-Up Book

Credits: 4 (WRI 301)-- Spring semester course with travel in May 
Course Instructors: 
Rachel Himmelheber and Lara Nguyen

prague pic

The fairy tale and the pop-up book are two sophisticated artistic genres often misunderstood as being primarily intended for audiences of children. In fact, fairy tales and moveable books have historical roots as texts for adults. This course will serve as an introduction to the related genres of the fairy tale and the pop-up book, with a special interest in the folkloric and artistic traditions of the former Czechoslovakia/current Czech Republic. Coursework will include films, particularly Czech fairy tale features; feminist and queer fairy tale criticism and history; and slide lectures on moveable books and illustration styles and techniques. Students will learn form and technique and will apply this craft knowledge as they write their own fairy tales and craft their own pop-up books. During the semester, students will write drafts of their own fairy tales and will collaborate on a class pop-up book as we practice technique. Relevant Czech history, geography, plant life, and culture will inform this work, and the course will culminate in a two-week trip to Prague, Czech Republic where students will experience Czech architecture, art, nature, historical landmarks, and geography that they have studied as they complete their own fairy tale pop-up book projects. There will be free time in our travels for students to visit sites or areas relevant to their own work and interests, and as a group we will visit museums including The National Gallery in Prague, castles including Prague Castle and Hluboka Castle, churches including Sedlec Ossuary (known as the church made of human skeletons), theater including the National Theater and a puppet show, and natural exploration including hiking in the Bohemian countryside and mushroom foraging (considered a national pastime among Czechs) in the many forests of the Czech Republic.

 
BERLIN: Poets and Dictators: Art, Politics, and Philosophy in Modern Germany

Credits: 4 (PHIL 377)-- Spring Semester course with travel in May 
Instructors: 
Jay Miller and Brian Conlan

Twenty years ago, on November 9, 1989, jubilant crowds celebrated the opening of border crossings along the Berlin Wall. To find out more about the Berlin Wall, please visit www.Germany.info/withoutwalls. Copyright: Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany. (PRNewsFoto/German Embassy Washington, DC)

This course will be an immersive experience that will provide students with a rich understanding of the major cultural and intellectual developments of modern Germany. We will begin our sojourn with the art, politics, and philosophy of the nineteenth century and trace the growing tensions among these through the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. Coupling in-depth analysis of key texts with on-site experience of the modern urban center of Berlin (with day trips to Weimar and Dessau), we will focus critical attention on the collision between artistic culture and political dictatorship that defines modern Germany.

 
LATVIA & SWEDEN: Traditions of Civic Engagement in Intercultural Context

Credits: 4 (SWK 377)-- Spring semester course with two weeks of travel in May-June
Instructors: Lucy Lawrence and Māra McLaughlin-Taylor

 Riga

Through the distinct and multi‐disciplinary lens of civic engagement, students compare and contrast a myriad of interdependent social/environmental/political/economic/cultural issues in Latvia, a Baltic nation ruled by the Communist ideology of the Soviet Union for more than five decades, and the neighboring Scandinavian independent socialist democracy of Sweden. Students will examine the ways in which both Latvia and Sweden develop policies, programs, and practices that create a safety net to address current societal issues. Focus points of the course include intercultural comparisons of approaches to civic engagement that advance community self‐sufficiency while promoting active citizen participation. Students will have intercultural exchange and engagement through rigorous academic endeavor and transformational field study in both countries, including service-learning, building relationships with Latvian and Swedish students and professionals, exploring natural and historical landmarks on the Baltic coast, and experiencing traditions of food, art, music, and dance. This course fulfills General Education requirement AIM 5 Service Learning, General Education requirement AIM 15 Intercultural Perspectives, and PEG 2 of the Community Engagement Commitment.

CUBA: Appalachia to Cuba - Intercultural Approaches to Social Welfare & Education (January 2017)

4 credits

SWK337: Social Work

Course Instructors: Lucy Lawrence and Anna Welton

Through the distinct and interconnected lenses of social welfare and education, Warren Wilson students will come together to compare and contrast myriad and interdependent social, environmental, political, economic, and cultural issues in Appalachia and Cuba, from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The course aims to provide students with an intercultural understanding of poverty and approaches to addressing poverty through social welfare and education. The course will trace the historical beginnings and necessities of the development of the social welfare systems and innovative education systems in the contexts of Cuba and Appalachia. This course examines the ways in which both the U. S. (Appalachian region specifically) and Cuba develop policies, programs, and practices that create a safety net to address current societal issues. Focus points of the course include intercultural comparisons of social welfare service delivery and educational structures and practices that advance community self-sufficiency while promoting active citizen participation. Additionally, this course provides students the opportunity for intercultural exchange and engagement through rigorous academic endeavor and field study in Cuba.

See the Appalachia to Cuba program in the news!