Spring 2021 Preview Courses

The Office of International Programs invites you to participate in Preview 2021, which will be offered virtually for the spring semester. These innovative 2-credit courses will connect you with people and places in the U.S. and around the world, even though travel restrictions prevent us from physically visiting field study locations next semester. Our Preview faculty have developed courses that embody a global educational experience and are accessible to students wherever they are.

Preview 2021 Info Session Recording

Edinburgh, Scotland

Course: Scotland through Story: Experiencing Landscape and Place through Literature and Creative Writing
Faculty: Dr. Joan Haig
Time: Wed and Fridays 9:45-10:50am

This course introduces students to a range of classic and contemporary work by Scottish writers, from Robert Louis Stevenson and Muriel Sparks through to Irvine Welsh and Jackie Kay.
Be transported to Scottish spaces through virtual museum tours, gallery collections, and 'visits' to landmarks in Scottish literary culture. Connect with an award-winning author, enjoy a panel discussion by Scottish children’s writers, and take part in creative workshops.
Through examining key works of fiction and poetry, students will develop an understanding of how landscape and place can be captured in the written word. Students will have an opportunity to produce their own critical analysis of select readings, and/or to develop their own creative work inspired by text, located objects, landscapes, and place.

Please see Dr. Haig's website for information on her published children's literature works.

Costa Rica

CourseSustainable Living: Consumerism and Carbon Footprints 
Faculty: Ryan Genova and Alan Powell
Time: Wednesdays from 2:45-4:45 p.m.

This course asks students to reflect upon their consumer choices and provides exposure to today’s small- and large-scale environmental concerns. Students will practice and chronicle their experiences with alternative and/or decreased patterns of consumption, and research, for example, the effects human beings are having on oceanic, air, and water systems, and assessments of climate change as understood by members of the scientific community. Using Costa Rica as a case study for balancing preservation and economics, students will research innovative technologies, approaches, and policies from around the world which address the consumption of energy, food, and material goods. Students will document their experiences, innovations, and lifestyle adjustments through photography, videography, and written reflections.

Southeastern U.S.

Course: Civil Rights: A virtual walk through the Deep South
Faculty: Dr. Jessie Guinn Jr.
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45 p.m. 

The “Deep South” serves as a backdrop to many movements, policies, and tragedies that are all part and parcel to the history of race relations in the United States. Come and “walk” together in the solidarity of knowledge and justice for you and fellow humankind during the times of Jim Crow to the present day. This course will take you on a digital journey of discovery of some of this region’s contributions to American prosperity. The prosperity that was gained by the atrocities of slavery and great adversity in the form of systemic racism towards Black Americans. Many of the topics and notions covered in this course will be difficult to discuss and grapple with by most. Especially since many of the issues and their lasting effects still persist to this day as the nation continues its relentless pursuit of justice. The use of technology, texts, group discussions, and group projects will be used by enrolled students to take a series of “deep dives” into the various topics that will lead to the creation of digital tours of historic places and or facilities related to the history of American civil rights within the Southern United States both past and present.

Barcelona, Spain

Course: A Tale of Two Cities: Global Influence on Local Culture in Barcelona and Philadelphia
FacultyAshley Knueppel and Shannon Peak Bernardo 
Time: Wednesday 4:00-6:00pm

Philadelphia and Barcelona are two unique cities that have been shaped by global influences. In Barcelona, you can see the unfolding of Barcelona's Catalonian culture and identity rooted in the people who influenced them since 200 BC: the Romans, the Moors, the Catholics, the French, the Spanish. And the Philadelphia we know today has been influenced by those who immigrated here since the 1600s, and is now rich with global cultures such as West African, Caribbean, Chinese, and more.
Using the history of these global influences and a comparative study between these two cities as the foundation to the course, we will take a survey of the local culture through architecture, art, sport, and cuisine. We will discuss how each of these evolved over time with the ebb and flow of global influence and why you can still see, experience, and taste these influences today.
We will experience both of these cities through various group and individual virtual excursions. Some of these include: Spanish cooking classes, Philadelphia virtual food tours, FC Barcelona and Eagles Watch Parties, dance lessons, virtual walking tours, access to virtual art museums, local guest speakers, and more. In addition, our class will become a space for community and gathering, even in a virtual setting with weekly optional activities like game nights, additional Spanish lessons, and more.
Join us for a semester ‘in’ two cities amongst modern skyscrapers and historic architecture, from tapas to cheesesteaks and futbol to football.

Muscat, Oman

Course: Explore Oman: Culture, History, and Archaeology in the Gulf Region
Faculty: Allyson McCreery and Dr. Warren Haffar
Time: Tuesday 1:10-3:50pm

This course will focus on the complex history and rich culture of the Sultanate of Oman. The course introduces you to Oman in a way that integrates social, economic, and political dimensions of this society. Particular attention is given to the construction of cultural and national identities in this diverse society and how they are deeply rooted in the prehistoric and ancient past of Oman. Students will learn about archaeological methods and the evidence of Oman’s past, while virtually navigating the modern landscape of Oman: geography, language, religion, and economy. Students will collaborate virtually with National Geographic Explorer, Dr. Jeff Rose, as we delve deeper into Oman's rich cultural heritage.

Photo by Emily Metzger '20

Ireland

Course: Modern Ireland:  Myth and Reality
Faculty: Dr. Thomas Kelley
Time: Wed and Fridays 9:45-10:50am

This course provides students with an overview of key developments in Modern Ireland, fostering a serious understanding of social and cultural themes over the last century. Designed for students new to Irish studies, an interdisciplinary approach is taken intended to disentangle mythology from the reality of life in contemporary Ireland. The course structure is thematic and intentionally broad. It is divided into three sections:

1) The Emergence of the Irish State
2) 20th Century Ireland
3) Global Ireland

Besides selected academic readings, each section will incorporate works of art, music, literature, and film. While the bulk of the course will consist of synchronous group discussions, group project work and virtual events are key components. This course will assist students to engage more deeply with Irish culture as the themes and topics covered are familiar to Irish people.

San Francisco

Course: Social Justice in Theory and Practice: Educating in the time of Black Lives Matter
Faculty: Drew Villierme-Lightfoot 
Time: Friday 2:45-4:45 p.m. 

This course surveys social justice movements, perspectives, film and media representations, and the legacy of institutionalized racial and economic injustice. Students learn about ways in which teachers, educational leaders, and educational organizations respond to the communities they serve and challenge systems of oppression. Through this course, students virtually meet and workshop with educational leaders in the San Francisco Bay area who work with communities that cross economic and racial lines of difference. We will read and discuss theories related to multicultural education and social justice while connecting this with their own fields of professional interest. Students come away from this course with an increased literacy of contemporary social justice movements and a better understanding of culturally informed practices that they can apply to their future careers.

London, UK

Course: Metropolitan London: How the City Showcased Diversity and Globalization
Faculty: Dr. Daniel Wheatley
Time: Tuesday and Thursday 12:20-2:00pm

In the early 21st century Britain’s capital city embraced diversity and became synonymous with the most confident expression of globalization. Migration, openness to the cultures and religions of the world, as well as the self-interest to capitalize on the economic benefits of the global reach of free markets, made London the most multicultural city on earth. At the 2012 Olympics London appeared at the zenith of the phenomenon academics define as “superdiversity”.
In the years since this highpoint, the city has withstood two major shocks - the 2016 Brexit vote and the 2020 Covid pandemic, both of which have had the effect of isolating the capital from its previous openness to the world.
This course will explore how London served as an “ambassador city” for globalization and explore the features and benefits of this diversity, as well as the challenges, political, economic, and cultural, that have arisen to challenge the city’s openness to the world.
This 2 credit course will take students into spaces, sacred places, communities, and cultural and commercial hubs via digital means, to explore the depth of London’s diversity, the benefits globalization have brought to the city as well as the rising challenges of economic inequality, questions of social justice and the counter-reaction of movements that are alienated from these processes.

London, UK

Course: London and its Artists
Faculty: Dr. Katie Faulkner  
Time: Monday and Wednesday 11:00am-12:05pm

Artists have been drawn to London for centuries, attracted by the opportunities offered by patrons such as the royal family and institutions and art collections such as the Royal Academy and the National Gallery. In this course, we will meet the artists who came to London from Europe, the United States and around Britain, such as Hans Holbein, James McNeill Whistler and Henry Moore. We will explore themes including artistic exchange, representations of the city and institutions and avant-gardes from the middle-ages to the present day. Our themes will be linked to key sites for artists in the city, such as Westminster Abbey, the Royal Palaces and galleries such as Tate Britain and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The course will be delivered through a mix of synchronous teaching, recorded lectures, virtual tours and recorded walking tours around the city. By the end of the course we will have developed a broad understanding of London as an artistic centre and gained detailed knowledge of artists and their representations of the city and its people.