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 (one 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 fall semester, 2014 the courses will be:
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 (MCG).
Sociology ME257: Social Change in Moroccan Society
This course explores the forces that 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: (still to be determined)
Term in Asia (Fall Semester) Note: Offered every other year - next in fall semester 2014-15.
Term in Asia combines cross-cultural experience with academic study at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and with staff of CET Academic Programs in China and Vietnam. Participants spend a week in Hong Kong, a month in China, six weeks in Thailand, and a month in Vietnam. The stay in Thailand is highlighted by an extended family stay. In 2014 the courses will be:
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 against 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. The course also includes an introduction to the Thai language. Counts toward major, Asian Studies, Sociology/Anthropology. Counts towards concentration: Asian Studies. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS).
History TA265P: Modern Vietnam History (under review)
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-Global (MCG).
Field Supervisor's Course: (the 2012 course was taught by accompanying St. Olaf faculty member Ted Johnson)
Biology TA 2012: Health Care and Emerging Diseases in Asia
Students examine public health and the health care response to emerging diseases in Asia. They study the emerging diseases in a global as well as a societal context while emphasizing their biological origins. Topics include microbiology, immunology, public health, western as well as traditional medicine, and modes of healthcare delivery. Readings, discussions, and lectures will be supplemented by visits to healthcare agencies and medical facilities. GE: Integrated Scientific Topics (IST); Oral Communication (ORC).
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 2014-15, the courses will be:
History GL257: Themes in Ancient Graeco-Roman and Islamic-Egyptian History
(Note: Due to political unrest in Egypt, in 2013 a history course will be offered in Greece and Turkey.)
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 GL251L: 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 porcelain and scroll paintings of the Ching Dynasty. Counts toward major. GE: Artistic Studies (ALS-A), Multicultural Studies Course (MCG).
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 (MCG).
Field Supervisor's Course: (taught in 2014-15 by accompanying St. Olaf faculty member Martin Hodel)
Music 238: Traditional and Popular Music: Global Perspectives
The study of music offers a valuable entry into the analysis of other cultures. This course explores various types of traditional and popular music (from art and folk music to pop, rock, and hip hop) encountered in the countries visited. Students examine musical function and form, relate music to cultural characteristics, and explore the way traditional and pop music of each country influence each other. They attend performances, meet musicians, and learn to play or sign pieces. Counts toward Asian studies concentration. GE: Artistic Studies (ALS-A), Oral Communication Requirement (ORC).
Environmental Science in Australia (Spring Semester)
Note: Normally offered every other year. Next offered in Spring 2016.
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 two week home-stay, and brief research projects enable students to learn about the interconnected human-nature system and appreciate this fascinating continent.
Biology 224: Marine Biology
A focus on marine organisms and the dynamics of the marine system grounds the course topics in a variety of places, including mud flats and coral reefs. Students are challenged to forge connections between the biological and environmental realms as well as the links to policy and practice. Specific examples and field excursions occur at several marine research facilities located throughout Eastern Australia. Seven days are spent studying part of the Great Barrier Reef at the Heron Island Research Station.
Biology 226: Terrestrial Ecology
The course examines organism-environment interactions and the study of populations and biological communities across Eastern Australia's diverse terrestrial ecosystems. Special consideration is given to the use of ecological studies in ecosystem management and its influence on policy and practice. The long geologic isolation of Australia from other land masses and climatic change makes the assemblages of organisms across the landscape unique relative to other parts of the world.
Sociology/Anthropology 222: Cultural Anthropology
This course asks how culture influences every aspect of human life and society with an eye toward environmental decision-making and social justice. Ethnography provides insight into the ways of life and culture structures in Australia and provides an introduction to the diverse traditional and contemporary cultures of Aboriginal Australians. Special attention is given to the European impact on the Aborigines and the influence of cultural meanings on the Australian environment over the last 200 years.
Political Science 221: Environmental Policy
Course studies Australia's governmental system, political parties, and civic expectations about the role of government as it relates to the making and enforcement of environmental policy and practice. Comparisons and contrasts between governmental structures, policy, and environmental law between the USA and Australia provide opportunities to gain insight between various approaches to environmental challenges and solutions. The historic contexts of European colonization, immigration, and displacement of the Aboriginal Peoples expose continuing cultural challenges in both environmental and social domains. Highlights of the experience include: a stay Canberra - national capital, a visit to Federal Parliament, and excursions associated with water resources, mining and the Great Barrier Reef.