January-Term Travel Seminars

3 credits may apply from J-Term and/or Summer Travel, providing the limit of six credit-hours from travel away experiences for Honors has not already been met.

ENSP 111: Poverty, Development, and Conservation in Belize
David Courard-Hauri
3 Credits

The International Environmental Seminar enables students to gain an appreciation of the ecological and social aspects of environmental issues through an intense immersion experience in a developing country. Students will explore aspects of sustainable development and environmental justice within a specific national context. In general, discussion topics will include tropical ecology, the politics of land use, the effects of conflict on environmental systems, and the interaction between economic development and sustainability. 

Most of the seminar will be spent on a series of service-learning projects (reforestation, parrot conservation, community outreach, and environmental education). In addition to these topics, we will learn about local culture, natural history, and archaeology with excursions that are expected to include snorkeling, visits to an ancient Mayan site, and more. Accommodations will be rustic.

AOI: Global and Cultural Understanding, and Honors Elective

ART 145/HONR 194: Stewardship and Socialism
Ben Gardner
3 Credits

Cuba sits only 90 miles off the coast of Florida, but for the last half of the 20th century, seemed as far away as Moscow. Students will examine Cuba through the lens of Stewardship—a concept that refers to an ethic of responsibility that can be applied to the environment, nature, economics, health, property, and social well-being. Students will investigate how Cubans have exercised stewardship over the distribution and access of public and private goods and resources, both material and socio-emotional. These will include the natural environment (flora and fauna), education, means of economic opportunity (agricultural, local economies), healthcare, and flourishing/well-being. Pre-trip readings will also include US-based conceptions as well as the students' own conceptions and applications of stewardship and the role it plays in individual and national identity.

The course design is intended to enhance students’ global perspectives by exploring the impact of revolution and socialism on Cuba’s people and their active stewardship. Students will learn about Cuba’s history and role of U.S.-Cuba relations in the Cold War prior to the trip, but the focus will be on the lived lives of Cubans. Students will move away from traditional geo-political histories and instead read social histories and our itinerary will emphasize ‘real’ Cuban lives instead of the political and economic systems under which they live (notwithstanding their clear influence). 

Course content will be of particular interest for students interested in art, anthropology, education, cultural studies, economics, globalization, history, international studies, international business, politics, psychology, sociology.

AOI: Historical Foundations; Global and Cultural Understanding, and Honors Elective  

EDU199/HONR194: Cyprus: Centuries of Cultural Diffusion & Conflict
Dr. Matthew Hayden and Stavroula Kontovourki
3 Credits

Cyprus sits, literally, at the maritime crossroads of Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Centuries of intercultural influences have infused the region with a mélange of cultural, historical, and artistic traditions. It has also been the site of much conflict over those same centuries. This course will investigate how the political, religious, cultural, linguistic, and economic traditions of Cyprus are represented in contemporary efforts—including United Nations programs, local museums, formal schooling, and informal gatherings—to formulate past, present, and future Cypriot identities and attempt to resolve contemporary conflicts. This multidisciplinary inquiry will draw on the expertise of local academics from politics, history, archaeology, economics, peace education, and international studies. The rich, turbulent, and fluid history of this island—a site of centuries of globalization—makes it an excellent site for helping students better understand the effects of and responses to cultural diffusion and inter-cultural conflict.

The travel seminar will be co-led by Dr. Stavroula Kontovourki, University of Cyprus, and may also include support from host institution students as cultural liaisons for formal and informal site visits and experiences. Students will be based in Nicosia, Cyprus, but excursions will take us to the cities of Larnaka, Paphos, Famagusta, and Northern Cyprus (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), as well as the mountains of Troodos. We will then spend three days in Athens, Greece before returning home. Course content will be of particular interest for students interested in archaeology, antiquities, art, cultural studies, education, globalization, sociology, history, international studies, and political science.

AOI: Historical Foundations, Global and Cultural Understanding, and Honors Elective

English 60: The City and The Country: London and Wales
Craig Owens and Melissa Klimaszewski
3 Credits

Participants in English 60: The City & the Country: London & Wales will explore and critically examine the urban/rural binary as it presents itself in English and Welsh literature and culture. We will wend our way through—and beneath—the streets of London, hike the Brecon Beacons, trace the steps of Georgian holiday-makers in Bath, commune with the poets and scholars of Oxford, and visit Dickens’s many ghosts in Rochester in order to understand, both critically and imaginatively, the city/country dynamic that persists throughout England’s modern history. We will follow the paw-prints of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous hound, follow Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway through post-Great-War London, visit (vicariously and literally) the great city’s immigrant neighborhoods featured in short stories by Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith, burn with curiosity about the Great Fire, and (taking Dylan Thomas’s advice) to go not gentle into that good night (17 nights, actually).  A culminating online critical literary traveler’s guide, preceded by daily reading, writing, and discussion—along with class meetings in Dickens’s house—will help participants satisfy and reflect on their Great Expectations in England’s and Wales’s cities and countryside.

No prerequisites. Fulfills Lower-Division Culture and Identity requirement for English and Writing Majors.

AOI: Global and Cultural Understanding (pending), and Honors Elective

JMC 199/ENG 120: The Other Side of the Wall: The Americanization of Mexico
Carlyn Crowe and Jody Swilky
3 Credits

This travel seminar will focus on the local and regional culture of Jalisco, a state 600 miles from the Mexico-U.S. border, where students will explore the presence and effects of North American culture through onsite engagement with industry, business, NGOs, cultural institutions and government.  Students will examine and critically analyze the ethical considerations of how North American culture is present, marketed and branded in this area by using multiple forms of expression and representation, including multimedia, video, and film, to produce projects that capture how American culture has shaped, and continues to shape, contemporary Mexican culture.

AOI: Global and Cultural Understanding, and Honors Elective


Today at Drake
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University News
December 8, 2017
After a campaign season brimming with politicians and pundits, Drake students cast their votes at an exceptionally high rate in the 2016 presidential election.