Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Programs Led by St. Olaf Faculty
St. Olaf faculty members organize and lead programs that range in length from one to five months and cover a wide variety of subjects. Three programs are offered annually during Fall Semester (two continuing through the January Interim), a fourth is offered every other year during the Spring Semester, and many others are offered during the January Interim.
Term in the Middle East (Fall Semester)
Term in the Middle East provides students the opportunity to experience the rich cultural achievements of this ancient and dynamic part of the world. Students take four courses in affiliation with Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey; the Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco; and American University in Cairo, Egypt. In 2009 the courses are:
Political Science ME254, Political Institutions of the Middle East
This course examines social changes and political developments in the middle East and their impact on emerging political institutions. It includes study of Islam and its relation to political institutions, the special role of Turkey in Middle Eastern affairs and in relation to Europe and the United States. The prospects for peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is also discussed. Counts toward major. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS); Multicultural Studies Course (MCS-G)
Sociology ME257, Social Change in Moroccan Society
Thsi course explores the forces which have given Morocco cohesion and continuity in a rapidly changing world. Special emphasis is given to the impact of colonialism and to topics such as the family, religion, law and politics. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS)
History ME250, Egypt in the Ancient and Modern World
This course focuses on the unique role of Egypt in the political and cultural life of the ancient, medieval and modern Middle East. The course emphasizes the history and culture of Pharaonic and Islamic Egypt, with visits to sites in the Cairo area and Luxor. Also included is Egypt's history from the period of 19th-century colonization to its role in contemporary Middle Eastern affairs. Counts towards major. GE: Historical Studies in Western Culture (HWC)
Field Supervisor's Course: (taught in 2009 by accompanying St. Olaf faculty member Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb)
Sociology/Anthropology 266, Religion and Society in the Middle East
Students explore connections among religion, culture, politics, and social change in the Middle East, particularly Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt. The course focuses on how religious belief, practices, and identity shape acceptance or resistance to social change in family life and political movements. The course also focuses on “everyday theology” and life for Muslims, but with a look at Christians and Jews. Students learn through observational projects and journals as well as texts and reading.
Term in Asia (Fall Semester and Interim)
Term in Asia combines cross-cultural experience with academic study at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, and Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and with staff of CET Academic Programs in Vietnam. Participants spend a week in Japan, a month in China, two and one half months in Thailand, and a month in Vietnam. The stay in Thailand is highlighted by an extended family stay. In 2009-10 the courses are:
Asian Studies TA250, Environmental Issues in China
This course introduces students to historical and current environmental issues in China. Students will consider how environmental science has shaped awareness of environmental problems and the policy responses to those problems, with a special focus on issues related to water use and pollution. Readings and lectures will be brought to life with a program of guided field trips. Counts toward major: Asian Studies. Counts toward concentration: Asian Studies, Environmental Studies
Sociology TA255, Thai Society
An analysis of current Thai institutions agains the backdrop of traditional Thai culture. Topics include Thai Buddhism, family organization, political and economic structures, and educational practices. Lectures will be supplemented by field trips and participatory experiences. Counts toward major, Asian Studies, Sociology/ Anthropology. Counts towards concentration: Asian Studies. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS)
Thai TA111, Thai Language
Intensive language and study focusing on understanding and speaking. Aimed at students with no previous study of Thai language. Small groups and individual instruction, reinforced by living with a Thai family. Counts as an elective
History TA265, Modern Vietnam History
An overview of Vietnam in the 20th century, examining such topics as French colonialism, Marxism-Leninism, the struggle for independence, the First Indochina War and what the Vietnamese call the American War. Counts toward major, Asian Studies, History. Counts toward concentration, Asian Studies. GE: Multicultural Studies (MCS-G)
Field Supervisor's Course: (taught in 2009 by accompanying St. Olaf faculty member Bruce Benson)
Religion 272: Religious Pluralism in Asia and America
This course focuses on how, whether, and with what consequences religious believers can embrace religious pluralism. The countries and religions of Asia – Buddhism in particular – provide a comparison with the United States – and Christianity, in particular. Students use their encounters with Asian cultures and their assigned readings to examine how successful various countries have been in dealing with religious pluralism. They will also refine their own thoughts about the relation of religions to each other and compare the potential for the co-existence of religions in America.
The Global Semester (Fall Semester and Interim)
Global Semester examines issues facing developing countries. The itinerary takes the group around the world with visits to Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea. Participants study at the American University in Cairo, the Ecumenical Christian Centre in Bangalore, India, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. They take five courses. In 2009-10, the courses are:
History GL257, Themes in Ancient Graeco-Roman and Islamic-Egyptian History
Lectures, discussions and extensive field trips provide understanding of significant developments and themes in Egypt's ancient and medieval past with emphasis on dynastic Coptic and Islamic periods. Field trips include a visit to Luxor. Counts toward major. GE: Historical Studies in Western Culture (HWC)
Religion GL251, Religions of India
Lectures, discussions and field trips provide the basis for an understanding of the history and practice of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and other religions in India. Religious scholars from India provide the background for an understanding of the assumptions, views, nature, traditions and contemporary practices of the dominant religious expressions in India. Counts toward major.
Art GL241, The Arts of China
Survey of Chinese art, its function, technique and aesthetic elements from bronzes and porcelain bones of the Shang Dynasty to procelain and scroll paintings of the Ching Dynasty. Counts toward major. GE: Artistic Studies (ALS-A), Multicultural Studies Course (MCS-G).
Sociology GL255, Korean Society
Introduction to the social structure and institutions of contemporary South Korea, including population, urbanization, social class and mobility, work organizations and labor relations, family and women. Counts toward major. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS). Multicultural Studies Course (MCS-G).
Field Supervisor's Course: (taught in 2009 by accompanying St. Olaf faculty member Jonathan Hill)
English GL 256: Writing Travel
This course offers intensive study of, and practice in, writing about travel. Students read a wide selection of travel writing, fiction and non-fiction, past and present, about the countries and regions the course visits, and en route write their own versions of what they experience. The course is centrally concerned with the literary construction of travel and unfamiliar places, and the many factors – personal, cultural, and aesthetic – that shape that construction.
Environmental Science in Australia (Spring Semester)
The flora, fauna, ecological habits, and human history of Australia offer opportunities for study that are unique in diversity. This program begins in Melbourne during their late summer (February) and moves northward into the warmer latitudes during the semester as their autumn progresses. All travel will be in the eastern half of the country where the greatest diversity of natural habitats and human activity occur. A combination of lectures, extensive field experiences, a short home-stay, and brief research projects enable students to learn about and appreciate this fascinating continent.
Biology 224, Marine Biology
Field trips will explore many habitats from mud flats to coral reefs. Studies will occur at several marine research facilities. Seven days will be spent out on the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the time on the reef will be spent studying at the Heron Island Research Station, and two days will be spent living on and studying from an ocean vessel.
Biology 226, Terrestrial Ecology
The course examines habitats from coastal sand dunes to subtropical rain forests as well as the dry outback and alpine mountains. Field trips include two five-day camping trips in remote areas.
Sociology/Anthropology 222, Cultural Anthropology
Course visits both rural and urban aboriginal communities as well as aboriginal archaeological sites. Caucasian influence and settlement are examined.
Political Science 220, Environmental Policy
Course studies the Australian political system with emphasis on environmental policy. One focal point for this class is a stay at Canberra, the national capital, with a visit to Parliament. Topics range from governing the nation's Land Care Program to mining operations to the Great Barrier Reef.
NOTE: Offered in alternate years. Leaders for this program in 2010 are Kim Kandl (Biology) and Nathan Soland (Alumni and Parent Relations).