Spring 2022 Preview Courses

Preview

The Division of Civic and Global Engagement invites first-year and new transfer students to participate in Preview 2022, which will be offered with planned field study travel to select international and domestic locations. These innovative 2-credit courses will connect you with people and places in the U.S. and around the world as well as strengthen your ties to campus classmates and instructors. 

 

Garrett County, Maryland, USA

Course: Peacebuilding in Action
Faculty: Warren Haffar and Allyson McCreery 
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

This course will introduce students to the complex nature of peacebuilding. This course aims to provide students with a solid foundation in the theories and practices of contemporary peacebuilding operations, with particular attention to conflict assessment, stakeholder analysis, and mediation and facilitation strategies. We will explore these diverse and intersecting themes as they relate to the broader goal of supporting lasting peace in meaningful and effective ways. The course will expose students to the various tools and types of interventions utilized in the field and provide real-world examples that exemplify the multifaceted challenges of peacebuilding. Students will put these skills and knowledge to test in a week-long peacebuilding simulation with the Forage Center. Students will be assigned roles and be immersed in peacebuilding action.

Taos, New Mexico, USA

Course: Ecotourism and Sustainable Development in New Mexico
Faculty: Alan Powell and Ryan Genova 
Time: Wednesday 2:45-4:45pm

This course offers the opportunity to explore New Mexico’s pueblos, the oldest sustainable communities in the United States, and the Earthship Biotecture community, a cutting-edge eco-construction initiative. As we prepare to visit these sites, we will learn about the philosophies of professional environmentalists and their responses to challenges past and present. We will research and discuss approaches to limiting our individual and collective ecological footprints. Students will depart Albuquerque with an increased awareness of natural preservation strategies, principles of sustainable living, and the scope of adaptive environmental innovation.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Course: Hard Men: Deconstructing Scottish Masculinity
Faculty: Daniel Pieczkolon and Celeste Walker 
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

For decades Sociologists have been reminding us that “gender is a social construct,” but how do different societies construct gender differently? How do factors like geography, economics, cultural history & representation, and so many more combine to inform our (mis)understanding of gender? This course provides students the opportunity to examine the cultural stereotype of the “Scottish Hardman” in contemporary Scottish fiction in an attempt to understand its root causes & material effects. To help us better understand the fiction, we will use academic essays, short films, personal reflection/refraction, classroom discussion, and experiential learning (in Edinburgh & Glasgow) to explore how masculinity reproduces itself—often to the detriment of other genders, society at large, and even those who benefit from it in some capacity.

 

Manchester, England

Course: Manchester and Philadelphia: Engineering, Mass Production, and Modern Culture 
Faculty: Jessie Guinn
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

The cities of Manchester, England and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were two engineering and production giants that led their respective counties in production and manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. In this course, students will explore why both Manchester and Philadelphia were known as “workshops of the world” along with scientific pioneers and their developments, and how the local and global cultures at the time were changed as a result. This course will also involve the survey of similarities between the modern cultures of both cities with regards to diversity, art, and music.

Philadelphia and surrounding locations in PA and NJ, USA

Course: Local Cuisine and Global Culture in Philadelphia
Faculty: Ashley Knueppel and Shannon Bernardo
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

Food plays a crucial role in cultural identity; it is one of the strongest identifiers of place and home. Philadelphia and the surrounding regions have a rich history and connection to food and the city has become globally recognized for its bustling food scene - from five star restaurants to dives and markets and everything in between.

The course will take students on a deep dive into Philadelphia food and culture and experience how food, cooking and eating can be used as vehicles for understanding a culture and society - especially in a globalized world. We will  treat the classroom like a dinner table - a place to come together and foster discussion with respect. Topics to be covered include a basic history of Philadelphia and representative foods; the effects of immigration and ethnic enclaves; cultural identity and food rituals; community gardening; food insecurity; sustainability efforts; and food tourism.

We’ll put this learning into action with our Preview travel week itinerary. Highlights include: multiple walking tours, cheesesteak tasting, authentic dim sum in Chinatown, a visit to an Amish farm, a day at Hershey Park, an introduction to some of the museums in West Philadelphia, community engagement and service, and a day trip through New Jersey discovering blueberry patches and oyster farming. And since this is a food course, most meal costs are included!

Dublin, Ireland

Course: Wherever Green is Worn: Modern Ireland Through History and Tradition
Faculty:  Thomas Kelley and Timothy Barton
Time:  Friday 2:45-4:45pm

Ireland is often represented in popular culture as green fields and stone walls, St. Patrick and the land of saints and scholars, and aloof people with the gift of the gab, but are these representations accurate or stereotypical?  Ireland has changed dramatically during the last one hundred years while holding onto the unique traits that have shaped its people for centuries.  This course will examine the Irish today and how this may differ from the Irish-American perspective we often encounter in our daily lives.  Focusing on the history, literature, and sociology of Modern Ireland, the course will explore the current social and political tensions on the island.  We will trace the development of Ireland from its Celtic past to modern times while addressing questions like why 80 million people around the world look to this island as their ancestral home.  Students will participate in firsthand experiences in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including walking tours of Dublin, lectures on Modern Irish history, a visit to a coastal village, a working tour of the Irish parliament, a visit to Derry, and a tour of an important Celtic archeological site.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Course: New Orleans: Multi-Ethnic Cultural Crossroads
Faculty: Kate Bonin and Rachel Collins
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

Long before the arrival of European colonists, human beings have been living at the mouth of the Mississippi River, beginning in 400 A.D. with the indigenous Chitimacha, the Atakapa, Caddo, Choctaw, Houma, Natchez, and Tunica peoples. From 1718, successive waves of conquistadors, colonists, immigrants, and the enslaved arrived from Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, West Africa, and the United States. These transposed peoples brought their languages and their cultures, creating a truly cosmopolitan city with deep, multi-ethnic roots. Through our hands-on, experiential study of New Orleans’s history and its unique cultural heritage, we contrast the assimilationist pressures of the 20th-century American “melting pot” ideology with New Orleans’s more complex models of cultural Créolité, fusion, and syncretism: including Louisiana voodoo, Cajun and Creole cuisine, jazz and zydeco music.

This course is hands-on! We are volunteering two of our days to help rebuild the Lower 9th Ward, which has lagged behind reconstruction of other, wealthier neighborhoods in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We cook authentic Cajun and Créole recipes ourselves. No experience required, only enthusiasm and a willingness to step outside our comfort zone to learn.

London, UK

Course: The Asian Diaspora
Faculty: Calvin Wang and Patton Vo
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

Like spores from a mushroom, Asians have spread far from native homelands and been exposed to a variety of influences, both positive and negative. This course explores Asians in the US and the UK through the cities of Philadelphia and London. It devotes attention to the historical, political, and social factors that have shaped the experiences of the diaspora.
Participants learn research and observation skills for examining the diaspora both broadly and individually. The process will give participants insight into the factors and experiences that shaped their own ethnic journeys.

London, UK

Course: Behind the Music Biz: Exploring the Urban Music Scene and Gentrification in London and Philadelphia
Faculty:  Bruce Campbell
Time: Monday 4:00-6:00pm

This course provides an in depth comparative experience in both the London and Philadelphia music scenes. In the classes before the travel component, we begin by discussing the history and types of music that are found in the urban music scenes in London and Philadelphia. In recent session of this course, gentrification has naturally come up. I see this as an important part of the context of this course and have worked to incorporate gentrification's impact on the music scene in both cities. In groups, students research an aspect of the music scene (artists, recording, production, distribution, touring and shows, and technology). Students attend a live show in the Philadelphia area and present in groups on the aspect of the music scene as well as their experiences at the show. We use technology to locate and assign web content (e.g., music, video, blogs) as readings for the course. Guest speakers who have roots in the Philadelphia music scene discuss with the class the history and current music scene in Philadelphia. During their time in London, students again attend a music show and visit a variety of places related to the music scene (e.g., radio stations, recording studios, etc). Students make a comparison between their experiences in Philadelphia and London. Their comparisons form the basis for their final product.

Dublin, Ireland

Course: Dark Dublin: Exploring Ghost Criminology and Dark Tourism in Dublin
Faculty:  Favian Martin and Kevin Revier
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

Dublin is a city ripe with paranormal stories.  In recent years, dark tourism has increased in Dublin, these tours offer visitors an opportunity to travel to historical places that are associated with death and tragedy.  Drawing on the theoretical framework of Ghost Criminology, dark tourism and Irish literature, students will explore and deconstruct the meanings of these macabre stories.  In this course, students will understand the role of telling of these tales.  Topics that will be covered include the following: trafficking of cadavers in 19th century Dublin, the Easter Rising of 1916, and Darkey Kelly (Ireland’s first convicted female serial killer and alleged witch) and other topics. In this class, students will be exposed to elements of criminology and sociology, and the history of Ireland to understand the factors that contribute to these stories. To fully deconstruct supernatural stories and immerse themselves in the Irish culture, students will travel to Dublin and visit the following places:  Kilmainham Gaol, Glasnevin Cemetery, the vaults of St. Michan's Church, GPO (General Post Office) Museum, and the Dublin Castle. Lastly, students will participate on a ghost tour of Dublin.

Washington DC, USA

Course: Building America
Faculty: Christopher Cerski
Time: Wednesday 4:00-6:00pm

We are all taught Washington, D.C. is our nation’s capital.  When we visit, we go from the Smithsonian Institute museums to the monuments to government buildings and leave convinced we “saw DC.”  But “seeing DC” is only scratching the surface of the city.  The meaning and story being told by the monuments, memorials, museums, and public buildings allows us to decode what it means to be an American.  This Preview will examine the meaning of national identity and how governments use capital cities to project a story that represents the nation and binds its people together.  We will survey key moments in history that contributed to Building America and discuss whether the story presented in Washington DC represents our actual identity or an aspirational identity.   While visiting Washington, Jefferson’s Monticello, and Williamsburg, Virginia, students will be immersed in decoding various sites and begin understanding our American story.

London, UK

Course: London: Behind the Palace Gates- Investigating the truth about Royalty and other Presumptions about British Society
Faculty: Breann Donnelly and Alisha Divis
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45pm

What scandals lurk behind the polished image of the British royalty?  Are the wives of Henry VIII more scandalous than the contemporary wives of Windsor? Together we’ll uncover the truths behind some of the greatest royal smear campaigns.  In a country where image is everything, can you trust anything they tell you? Join us as we deconstruct the image of the mighty empire in order to define what it truly means to be be British.  In country, we’ll discover the real city of London outside of the square mile to learn the very different story that  neighborhoods tell about history, identity, and the mirage of the crown.

Galway, Ireland

Course: Authentic Ireland: Exploring the Wild Atlantic Way, its Ecosystems and its Resident
Faculty: Maryann Worrell and Krista Profitt
Time: Wednesday 4:00-6:00pm

Designed for adventurous students who love hiking, outdoor excursions, the ocean, fresh air, small towns and gorgeous landscapes, this 2022 Preview course will introduce students to Irish history, culture and music through Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, where Irish-speaking people abound and most road signs are in both English and Irish.  Students will explore the settlement and ecological history of the West of Ireland, and the area's continued dedication to sustaining the natural beauty and resources of this unique landscape.  Students will learn about the effects of the Irish Famine, the fight for freedom, the interconnected relationship of Irish immigration and American history, as well as the specific nature of Ireland’s West.  By exploring the town of Doolin (just below the Cliffs of Moher), the city of Galway, the Burren region, and the Connemara peninsula, students will be exposed to four very different environments that are within a 100-mile radius of each other.  Landscape, music, storytelling, celebration and adventure make up this Ireland Preview course.