Available courses

As we look out upon the world our view is always partial ? both incomplete and particular. What we take in, how we make sense of it, and how we understand ourselves in relation to it is molded by institutions, habits, and ways of thinking that anthropologists refer to as culture. In this course, we learn about the customary practices, social institutions, and shared sets of beliefs of people living different lives than our own, with an emphasis on cultures and cultural practices in places that we visit during our voyage. Through case studies, films, and samples of material and expressive arts and media from these cultures, we explore a range of topics, including gender and other markers of ?difference?; family, marriage, personhood, and identity; belief systems; economic and political systems; globalization and its impacts. Students will conduct their own anthropological research projects, and will leave the course and the voyage with a greater appreciation for the variety of ways that culture shapes people?s lives and understandings of the world and the impacts of globalization upon those lives, as well as with the means to reflect critically upon their own culture and the lenses through which they view the world.
Gender is a prominent form of social difference worldwide; cultural notions of gender difference regulate individuals? behavior, activities, social status, and access to material, cultural, spiritual, and political resources. This course explores how gender and sex are understood and experienced in different cultural contexts, focusing on people and cultures in countries we visit on our voyage. Students will learn how anthropologists approach the study of gender and sexuality, how gender and sexuality intersect with other categories of identity and difference, and how anthropology engages challenges to structures that support beliefs about gender, sexuality, bodies, desire, and identity and that constrain people?s lives, often in violent ways. The course provides students with frameworks and methodologies to identify and think critically about taken-for-granted notions about gender and sexuality, including those of their own culture. Course materials ?which include theoretical essays, films, case studies, popular media and culture, art and literature?introduce students to a variety of notions of gender(s) and sexuality(ies) across cultures, and illuminate their impacts upon people?s lives, prospects, and opportunities for resistance. Students will conduct a short ethnographic research project focused on a specific aspect of gender and sexuality, based on observations in countries we visit during the voyage.
Socrates said that morality is about ?no small matter, but how we ought to live.? In this course we will study ethical decision making in organizations, mostly corporations. Through the study of leading philosophical, psychological, economic, and practical judgment constructs and examples, students will discover and develop their own values and habits for living and working consistent with their own values. Using textbook readings, real-world case studies, interactive exercises, and exams, students will learn to think critically and logically argue about the role and purpose of their behaviors in business and society. They will identify the risks and opportunities associated with business conduct and uncover ways to address such risks and opportunities as working professionals, identifying ways to give voice to their values and how they want to put ethics into practice in the real world. Students are encouraged to form their own views on the ethical and social responsibility of businesses. Throughout this course, students will be challenged to justify their views using sound ethical reasoning and to practice articulating their positions orally in class and through written assignments. Additionally, we will review the historical, cultural, political and legal determinants of contemporary ethical practices and regulation in each of the countries we will be visiting on the voyage.
The region of the globe-straddling the equator from 23?N to 23?S ? the ?tropics? ? is home to the widest diversity of plants and animals on the planet. This course will provide students with a broad introduction to the array of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine tropical organisms as well as an understanding of the similarities and differences in patterns of diversity between tropical and temperate regions. Building on this foundation, we will examine hypotheses explaining variation in biological diversity across the latitudinal gradient and we will explore the ecological and evolutionary processes that generate and maintain tropical biodiversity. This Semester at Sea voyage will give students an amazing opportunity to experience the diversity of the tropics first hand, to learn about the threats facing tropical diversity, and to deepen their understanding the importance of tropical ecosystems for global sustainability.
Emerging infectious diseases ? those diseases that we see occurring at new, higher rates or in new places ? are important for their impacts on the health of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife around the world. In this course, we will examine the basic principles and theory of disease ecology including the distribution and environmental determinants of disease, disease control, and the medical detective work required to better understand when, where, why and how infectious diseases emerge and spread in and among human, veterinary, and wildlife systems. We will use a One Health approach to learn how interdisciplinary collaborations can create innovative solutions to health issues at the crossroads of people, animals, and the environment. The Semester at Sea voyage will allow students to study global patterns of infectious disease emergence and to witness the impacts that global environmental change is having on health and disease.
This course will reflect on global and multicultural life narratives written for and by young adults. Its purpose is to expand students? understanding of themselves and others in the world through the study of social and cultural diversity by reading global Young Adult life narratives of family, faith, race, gender, class, and nation. This course is reading intensive and every week or two, students will be responsible for background readings and excerpts from Young Adult (YA) novels and non-fiction books. Though this course is not a creative writing course, students should be open to sharing and reflecting on their own stories and experiences in writing while interpreting and analyzing the growth of characters in the YA novels and non-fiction accounts. As we travel onboard the MV Odyssey, our readings and discussions will reflect our ports of call from Northern and Eastern Europe, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and South America.
This course provides an introduction to some versions of theatre and performances (dances, celebrations) from Europe, Africa and Latin America from various time periods. It offers a sampling which will acquaint students with the study of dramatic literatures and performances in cultural contexts. We will evaluate historical, cultural, and performance specificities. We will explore how theatre and performances reflect and create cultural identities. Students will also explore various forms and modes of cultural interactions (e.g. intercultural borrowings and appropriations, transcultural and intercultural drama). Through our studies we will explore how theatre, and performances reflect and affect the social, political, philosophical, and economic structures of its society. In addition, the course will expose students to distinct cultures, and at the same time challenge them to think critically about the meaning of ?culture? and ?cultural identities? in our increasingly globalized contexts. The course will also sharpen students? ability to articulate, verbally and in writing, their critical thinking about cultural and dramatic issues.
In this hands-on course, students will become familiar with the genre of travel writing through readings on the history, politics and economics of place, and how these influence culture. Students will gain an understanding of themselves vis a vis the Other and develop an appreciation of how travel can transform the self. They will learn how to respond critically to travel narratives, identify credible sources to inform their writing, and make original observations. While in port, class field trips and students? own personal travel will provide a rich source of primary information. In small groups, students will workshop their essays, learn to critique others? writing, and gain an understanding of how to apply these kinds of critiques to their own writing.
The course presents the basic concepts and theories that linguists adopt in trying to understand how language works and how language is used in different contexts and situations. In this course, we will learn how to analyze language from both a formal and a functional perspective. We will spend time investigating the various sub-disciplines of linguistics: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, and others. We will examine the relationships between language forms and the systematic behavior of language. Students will reflect on issues related to gender, word order, tenses and perception of time, semantics, pragmatics, creation of pidgin and creoles, and the history of languages. The linguistic data analyzed in class will mostly come from English and Spanish with other languages that are spoken in the ports that we visit: Polish, Portuguese, Croatian, Arab, French, Akhan, and others from the Niger-Congo family.
This upper-level, seminar-style course revolves around Richard Posner?s claim that ?the common law bears the stamp of economic reasoning.? We will evaluate to what extent the ?economic way of thinking? explains legal rules in property rights, tort, and contract law. We will explore concepts such as the Coase Theorem and see how economics has expanded into legal theory and law schools. Our voyage will enable us to incorporate international law and compare legal systems in different countries. There is no textbook (all readings will be provided) and little lecturing. Class discussion is the primary mode of content delivery and students are expected to actively contribute and engage in the conversation. Each student will participate in a moot court reenactment of a constitutional law case.
Why are some countries rich and others poor? What can be done to stimulate growth and eradicate poverty? Is globalization good or bad? These are the central questions in the sub-field of Economic Development. Unfortunately, economists do not have clear, precise answers to these core questions. We can identify different measures of development and we will use data to compare economic performance across time and countries. We do not understand, however, the exact mechanics of economic growth. Thus, development remains one of the most basic, unsolved issues in economics. This upper-level, seminar-style course will feature class discussion of reading and video assignments. There is no textbook and little lecturing. Students are expected to actively contribute and engage in the conversation. We will take advantage of the incredible opportunity we have to see the social, political, and economic situation of a variety of countries.
The course will use interdisciplinary methods to examine key figures of the African Diaspora in Europe, the Americas, and their relationship to the Atlantic World. We will trace the path of transatlantic voyages of important figures of Africa and the African Diaspora and their relationship to the Atlantic World in selected cities such as Lisbon, Cadiz, Cape Coast, Port of Salvador, Port of Spain, and the Panama Canal. Using lesser known biographical accounts, travel diaries, and music, we will examine how Africans simultaneously discovered and explored Europe, the Americas, and the Atlantic World on their own terms and exchanged ideas, art, music, language and other aspects of culture among nations to foster mutual understanding. We will analyze and interpret key historical sites to help students better understand the multidirectional flow of ideas, culture, and commerce in the Atlantic World and how the diaspora continues to reinterpret the meaning of African identity. Students will recreate and reinterpret some of these moments using contemporary interpretations, popular culture, and media.
This course will explore basic nutrition principles and concepts, their application to personal health and interaction with social and environmental issues. Students will learn how food is digested, how individual nutrients (protein carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals) are absorbed and utilized to provide energy and promote body functions. Discussions will revolve around nutrient needs and how cultural food practices meet needs for physical and mental health throughout the lifecycle. We will also explore the nutrition related chronic diseases, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and the impact of malnutrition on growth and behavioral development. Students will learn to use the scientific evidence to evaluate nutrition information from popular websites and magazines. We will share our portside dining experiences and discuss the cultural origins of the foods we enjoyed on our journey through the Mediterranean, Africa, South and Central America.
?Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food? ? Hippocrates. In this course, we will explore the function of foods beyond their nutritional value. Students will learn about food patterns which promote health and help prevent chronic disease. Learners will evaluate the effects of the individual components of food and the mechanisms through which food components exert health benefits and prevent disease. We will examine the cultural origins of food practices and compare the interpretations of the ?Mediterranean? diet in the various countries.
Whales, sharks, squids, sea turtles, albatrosses? oh my! FW 304 will be an engaging introduction to marine megafauna, ecology, and conservation. We will first examine the physical dimensions of the world?s ocean and describe ocean zones based on the ecosystems found within them. We will then explore the evolution of life in the oceans and how large marine animals have adapted to the challenges of a cold, dark, and deep ocean. Throughout the class we will highlight how scientists study the oceans and the large animals that live in them, providing glimpses of new technologies that boost our understanding of marine ecology. The course will also cover challenges we face in sustaining and conserving healthy oceans for the future. For example, we will learn how issues such as bycatch and climate change are affecting ocean species and how we can better conserve out charismatic marine megafauna. What better place to take such a class than on a ship?!
World War II was likely the most important event of the twentieth century, especially for Europe. It ended the era of empire, created new superpowers, introduced weapons of unprecedented destruction, and saw a holocaust of unimaginable horror. This course investigates the central aspects of the War in Europe. It begins with the Treaty of Versailles? failure and the rise of European fascism. It then turns to the military strategy and tactics that determined the important battles, as well as the diplomatic negotiations happening behind the scenes. It then considers the consequences of the war for the people of Europe?and particularly the ethnic groups and women who suffered the ravages of war and the horrors of fascism. In every case we will visit the places central to this crucial moment in world history, considering how the world has been different ever since.
Over the last century, the United States has played a critical role in world affairs. This course investigates American foreign policy since 1914, considering not just the aims of Washington policymakers, but using our voyage to see American policy from the vantage of affected parts of the globe as well. In particular, we will address the diplomacy surrounding major international conflicts (World Wars I & II, and the Cold War); global economic events (such as the Great Depression and financial globalization); and the process of decolonization and African independence. In addition, the course will investigate the primary interpretive frameworks historians use to make sense of American foreign relations?as well as the important questions that have preoccupied historical research.
The course will explore the historical and cultural significance of slavery in the Atlantic world. We will tour the Cape Coast Castle and Slave Dungeons in Ghana to better understand the sheer scale of the transatlantic slave trade and the politics of memory. The course will examine the relationship of the slave trade to major ports and cities of the Atlantic world economy such as Lisbon, Cadiz, Cape Coast, Port of Salvador, and Port of Spain. We will examine the central role of transatlantic slavery as a watershed historical moment across regions, nationalities, race/ethnicity, and religion, tracing how unfree labor shaped the cultures of the Atlantic world from its origin to the present including various episodes of conquest, resistance, and revolution. We will analyze primary sources to better understand how the project of mass slavery in the Americas decimated and transformed indigenous populations, recast identities of Western Europeans and Western Africans, and continues to influence the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean.
This course will use historical episodes to provide context for evaluating a common claim heard from advocates of globalization: international trade leads to prosperity. Often, advocates suggest economic growth leads also to the spread of political rights, equality, and democracy. We will follow those claims in defining prosperity broadly in making our evaluation. Specifically, the course will investigate several key moments that tied the economies of Europe, Africa, and Latin America together. We will begin with early justifications for international trade; move to an investigation of the slave trade; consider the causes of European Empire as well as its collapse in the twentieth century; and turn to the growing role of international institutions (such as the International Monetary Fund) in shaping the global economy after World War II. As we travel the pathways of Atlantic trade, we will assess the consequences of this history today, linking the past to current debates about prosperity and global trade.
Global Studies is the connective educational experience for all SAS voyage participants. It creates a common platform for exploring and learning about the world and our role in it. It prepares us to draw meaning from our cultural encounters and our ocean voyage and to improve our effectiveness as global citizens. The goal of this course is to provide students with the historical framework needed to develop critical skills and objective perspectives within a transnational context, from the regional communities we visit, to the geopolitical discourse we engage in. The interdisciplinary nature of the coursework and fieldwork will expand students' ability to identify cultural differences and appreciate social distinctions through a broader political lens. At the end of the voyage, students will be equipped to translate knowledge into action that fosters social equity. Throughout our voyage, we will ponder the future direction our increasingly-global society and how regional cultures affected by globalization fit into a transnational context. At the end of the course, we will examine our changed perspectives on globalization based on our experiences during the voyage, and consider what actions we may take as citizens to address the costs of globalization.
Global Studies is the connective educational experience for all SAS voyage participants. It creates a common platform for exploring and learning about the world and our role in it. It prepares us to draw meaning from our cultural encounters and our ocean voyage and to improve our effectiveness as global citizens. The goal of this course is to provide students with the historical framework needed to develop critical skills and objective perspectives within a transnational context, from the regional communities we visit, to the geopolitical discourse we engage in. The interdisciplinary nature of the coursework and fieldwork will expand students? ability to identify cultural differences and appreciate social distinctions through a broader political lens. At the end of the voyage, students will be equipped to translate knowledge into action that fosters social equity. Throughout our voyage, we will ponder the future direction our increasingly-global society and how regional cultures affected by globalization fit into a transnational context. At the end of the course, we will examine our changed perspectives on globalization based on our experiences during the voyage, and consider what actions we may take as citizens to address the costs of globalization.
As the renowned film critic, Roger Ebert said, Movies are the greatest empathy machine in all the arts. Whether you are a first-time traveler or are a global nomad, you will be welcome in IE 492. This course is designed to use film and photography to expand your ability to empathize with those from other cultures. An eclectic mix of regionally relevant films, documentaries, photo collections, and articles will help you prepare for ports. One of the goals of the course is to help you recognize, and respond more effectively to moments of cross-cultural misunderstanding, as well as to foster moments of deep connection during real-life encounters in the communities visited. Recognizing the prevalence and the need to mitigate the impact of ethnocentric thinking, will help increase your intercultural competence (IC) so you are better able to postpone judgment, increase curiosity and interact more effectively and appropriately with those from different cultures. The class atmosphere will be a blend of challenge and support, wherein you will discover your own intercultural assumptions, biases, and abilities via a progression of group exercises, assignments and photo projects. Understanding that cross-cultural faux pas are inevitable and that we often learn best from mistakes, you will be encouraged to share, after each port, your own intercultural stories of success, and of failure, with the class.
This course uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the issues, themes, and problems associated with globalization. We will use a problem-based approach to analyze social, economic, and cultural aspects of globalization. Through a series of case studies that challenge long-established ideas about borders, identities, and economics, we will engage theoretical and historical perspectives to examine how the experience of globalization varies amongst individuals, groups, and nations. A key emphasis of the course will focus on North-South relations and the impact of ?hard? and ?soft? power in the transformation of global societies. As the world has become smaller, we will consider the declining power of the state and the idea of global citizenship amongst a host of non-governmental actors. We will explore what these political and economic transformations have meant for international development and international cooperation. Upon completion of this course, students will better understand how globalization has helped but also harmed countries like Costa Rica and Panama and how local challenges are intertwined in unpredictable tides of global economic, social, and political change.
Students will utilize critical thinking skills to create a successful transition to the Semester at Sea experience. This transition includes assessment of values, skills, and interests to reflect on individual purpose and develop goals for educational and professional aspirations. Information literacy skills will also be enhanced by learning how to be academically successful in their coursework and within an academic discipline of interest; as well as planning and executing meaningful port experiences. Students will determine how to best advocate for themselves in identifying resources and opportunities, developing a curricular and co-curricular engagement plan, and engaging and reflecting on those experiences. Additionally, the class provides opportunities to develop community with other Gap Year students through intergroup dialogue for a deeper understanding of various social identities and cultural backgrounds.
This course will explore the role of media in shaping society. Students will analyze the historic development of the various types of media in the United States and compare these to the countries we visit. The motivating forces and technical constraints that shape media will be examined. We will also look below the surface at implied meanings and messages. Government media regulation and free speech issues in a rapidly changing technological environment will also be explored. The economic, political, and cultural impact of media on the nations of the world will be analyzed.
In this course, students are introduced to electronic field production techniques including preproduction, portable field camera techniques, audio recording, graphics, video editing, media aesthetics, and logistics. The ability to identify and develop engaging stories using research is emphasized. Students will develop both their creative and technical skills through a combination of production exercises, projects, readings, and critique. Classes will consist of lecture and ?hands-on? instruction. Filmmaking is a labor-intensive medium. Expect to spend considerable time outside of class working on your projects.
This course is a critical analysis of the global flow of information. Students will examine the impact of mass media on cultural, political, and economic development throughout the world. We will track contemporary issues during the voyage, compare and contrast their presentation in the countries we visit, and analyze the factors that shape the presentation of information. There will be particular emphasis on global media under stress due to the immediacy of internet delivery and rapidly changing delivery formats. The historic development of global media structures and what the future holds for the 21st century will be examined.
LSPA 106 is a student-centered, activities-driven class that employs an immersion, task-based approach to help students use Spanish to express themselves, and be understood in realistic contexts and for real purposes. This is a fast-paced beginner?s course for students with some proficiency in Spanish (high school, family influence, experience traveling or studying abroad with exposure to Spanish). Students with zero experience in the language may register, keeping in mind that the course will move at a fast pace. The course offers an introduction and basic review of essential skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes). All cultures have their own customs, food, lifestyles, daily routines and family traditions. On this voyage, visiting four continents, we will have the opportunity to explore not only these products, and practices, but also different perspectives, specifically pertaining to the Spanish language and across Hispanic cultures, which will help us have a better understanding of our own.
LSPA 106 is a student-centered, activities-driven class that employs an immersion, task-based approach to help students use Spanish to express themselves and be understood in realistic contexts and for real purposes. By the end of the semester, students will demonstrate proficiency at the novice-mid/novice-high level in Spanish (according to ACTFL proficiency levels) and will be familiar with selected cultural topics (products, perspectives and practices) in the Spanish-speaking world. This is a fast-paced beginner?s course for students with zero to minimal proficiency in Spanish. It offers an introduction and basic review of essential skills such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing (interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes). In this voyage around the world we will take the opportunity to explore music, food, and traditions from different continents. We will explore not only products (the what) but also their practices (the how) and their perspectives (the why), which will help us have a better understanding of other cultures and our own. Class will be conducted in Spanish, but lessons will be structured in such a way as to help students participate comfortably on a daily basis.
Conducted entirely in Spanish, this conversation course has three principal aims: improve students? fluency and comprehension in the target language, foster student-led discussion of current Spanish language topics (podcasts, blogs, film, news, sports, and entertainment, etc.) from around the world, and significantly reduce students? second language accent through a series of short but highly targeted ?pronunciation clinics?. In-class discussions and oral presentations will provide students with the opportunity to practice intermediate-level conversational Spanish. The subject matter covered in the course will relate to Spanish culture, current events, and our ports of call. There will also be a limited focus on writing skills in Spanish through the development of a voyage-long journal. To maximize the integration of the Semester at Sea experience into this Spanish conversation course, we will have a task-oriented class every time the class meets after the ship has left a port of call. On such occasions, the entire class period will be dedicated to students? experience in the last destination. Students will be asked to document their on-land experiences with a series of photos and video clips, which they will then contextualize verbally in class to fellow students. At the end of the semester, students will demonstrate oral communication skills at the intermediate level (according to ACTFL proficiency levels). The course is taught in Spanish. Students minoring or majoring in Spanish are highly encouraged to take this course.
What would European cuisine be without cholocate? Why is Rubens?, Tiziano?s, el Greco?s, Velzquez?s or Van Gogh?s use of the color red associated to an insect (cochineal) that lives in Mexican cactus? How different is Spanish from Spain from the Americas? Why do many people feel they can identify someone as Hispanic by looking at a person?s face? This course, following the principles of global learning, will focus not only on these and similar questions but also analyze other economic, social, political and cultural issues resulting from the collision of two worlds (?Old World? and the ?New World?) in a process that started in 1492. Using a transatlantic comparative perspective of analyzing historical data and cultural manifestations (films, documentaries, art, photography, illuminated manuscripts, and literature), students will gain a broad understanding of the history and cultures of Spain and Latin America.
In today?s global market, it is no more enterprise competing against enterprise, but rather it is supply chain against supply chain. This course will introduce the fundamentals of supply chain management and will capitalize on the unique voyage experience to put these fundamentals in a global context. Adopting a value chain approach that consider the upstream and downstream flow of materials, information and cash, different real case studies in the regions visited will be used to relate to the discussed supply chain concepts. Topics covered will include supply chain design strategies, metrics of supply chain performance, networks coordination/integration, and basic tools for effective and efficient supply chain processes management. The course also relates logistics, sourcing, inventory control and order fulfillment activities to supply chain operational excellence. This will be accomplished through a mix of readings of selected cases, project, and group and individual exercises. Students will also engage in some games and simulation to experience various supply chain management practical challenges. By the end of this course, students will have the skills and knowledge to identify global supply chain opportunities, describe supply chain operations strategies and perform critical analysis for different processes supply chain.
This course studies the leadership and management methodologies necessary to be successful and effective in contemporary global organizations. In today?s competitive world, managers are expected to act and lead as global citizens. In this unique voyage experience, with designed field visit, students will have the opportunity to compare and contrast different international management applications. Topics covered will include; contemporary organizational structure, decision making, managers? four primary functions, management strategies, culture management and management of organizational knowledge. Also we will engage in discussions about how organizations use management to nurture value, profits, competitive advantage and sustainable business. This will be accomplished through a mix of readings of selected cases, project, and group and individual exercises designed to equip students with the required tools and skills to be an effective manager. By the end of this course, students will have the skills and knowledge to challenge, identify, understand and persuasively advocate managerial decisions which drive the bottom line in real-world settings.
Creativity and Innovation both take original and imaginative ideas and transform or implement them into value for the organization ? and thus are critical an organization?s ability to survive and thrive in today?s competitive marketplace. In this course, students will learn how to foster Creativity and develop Innovation, what blocks them and how to eliminate those blocks, and how to successfully use them to create value within a global organization. As we visit different countries, the course will also examine the different cultural approaches to engendering Creativity and Innovation. We?ll explore the neuroscience of Creativity as well as the organizational imperative of Innovation. Highly experiential and interactive, this course features hands-on opportunities to create and innovate as well as deliver additional value for the Semester at Sea program. Finally, we will also cover three programs that organizations around the world use to mine the collective intelligence of their employees to create value. Students will be expected to play an active role in learning through case studies, class discussions, class exercises, and presentations about real (or planned) innovations in organizations in our visited countries.
This course describes entrepreneurship as a process of economic or social value creation, rather than the single event of opening a business. The course will focus on opportunity recognition, assembly of the financial and human resources needed, and launching the new venture. In the unique setup of this voyage experience, the understanding of value, the capturing of opportunities as well as the recognition of resources will all be discussed in a more global context. Furthermore, the planned field visit will help students to compare and contrast many of the entrepreneurship national and international opportunities. Topics covered will include; opportunity recognition, creativity, feasibility analysis, business plans, industry and market analyses, business models, teams, entrepreneurial finance and elevator pitches. This will be accomplished through a mix of readings, projects, and group and individual exercises designed to equip students with the required tools and skills for new venture creation. Also, games and simulations will be used to engage students and expose them to various entrepreneurship challenges. By the end of this course, students will have the skills and knowledge required to bring a new idea to fruition. These skills and tools will allow students to function as creative innovators in whatever career path you choose.
Global social and environmental trends represent pressing concerns for the future health of the Earth and its diversity of species. The structure and incentives in the current global political-economic system have yet to mitigate global problems such as inequity, poverty, and disease. Environmentally, we have yet to resolve local and trans-boundary problems of air pollution, water pollution, toxic waste, soil loss and climate change. This course is based on the premise that entrepreneurs are powerful agents of social, environmental and economic change. These entrepreneurs ? referred to as ?social entrepreneurs? ? use for-profit, non-profit and hybrid organizational models and leverage markets to address specific social and/or environmental challenges. This course will use lectures, case studies and group exercises and presentations to gain in-depth understanding of the major issues addressed by social entrepreneurs and the different models used to and challenges confronted when initiating and scaling social enterprises.
This course examines the social responsibilities of organizations and their leaders as they address divergent expectations from internal and external stakeholders. While recognizing the need for a business to meet financial goals, this course will outline how leaders can ensure their organizations fulfill their societal responsibilities in the areas of ethics, labor and employment, diversity, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and governance. This class will also recognize the culture-specific drivers of some social responsibilities and discuss how they impact organizations operating in the specific countries visited during the semester. Through experiential learning and case discussion, students will acquire the knowledge and capabilities to analyze the multiple elements of a purpose-driven business and act as promoters of socially responsible business in their future endeavors.
Marketing is the only revenue-focused and customer-facing function of business. Without marketing to generate revenue, a business would not last long! Marketing?s fundamental concepts permeate virtually all areas of business and, on a personal level, can help students navigate their careers. As the core marketing course in the business school, this course aims to train students in the ?language of marketing? and to help them understand its philosophies, decision-areas, tactics, and strategies. To facilitate this goal, we will frequently put on the hat of a chief marketing officer or marketing manager and unpack ideas in the context of complex organizations striving to compete in a dynamic global environment. As we go, we will consider how marketers can help organizations succeed (or fail miserably), reflect on marketing?s role in society, and explore the implications of marketing for your future career. Ultimately, we will produce viable marketing plans that could actually help real businesses in the countries visited by Semester at Sea.

Marketing is the only revenue-focused and customer-facing function of business. Without marketing to generate revenue, a business would not last long! Marketing’s fundamental concepts permeate virtually all areas of business and, on a personal level, can help students navigate their careers. As the core marketing course in the business school, this course aims to train students in the “language of marketing” and to help them understand its philosophies, decision-areas, tactics, and strategies. To facilitate this goal, we will frequently put on the hat of a chief marketing officer or marketing manager and unpack ideas in the context of complex organizations striving to compete in a dynamic global environment. As we go, we will consider how marketers can help organizations succeed (or fail miserably), reflect on marketing’s role in society, and explore the implications of marketing for your future career. Ultimately, we will produce viable marketing plans that could actually help real businesses in the countries visited by Semester at Sea.


International marketing covers the scope and challenges of marketing products around the world, including the dynamic environments of international trade. First, we study ways that cultural environments differ within and between countries and marketplaces. Specifically, we consider the history, geography, culture, global management styles, political environments, and legal environments of global markets. Second, we explore ways to assess global marketing opportunities. Specifically, we use market research and economic development to develop a global vision. Third, we develop global marketing strategies for the marketing mix. Specifically, we consider global aspects of marketing decision-making related to distribution channels and retailing, promotional activities, pricing, and goods and services. Last, we explore ways to implement marketing strategies through international negotiations with customers, partners and regulators. The course project focuses on developing an international marketing plan. In our discussions and project, we will focus on the specific countries visited by Semester at Sea.
The official catalog description of this course is Global aspects of music and its meaning with connections to the environment, sound, and world cultures. This course investigates the sound and sentiment of traditional and contemporary music in each port-of-call and region of our voyage. Distinctive sounds in unique places reflect and resonate meaningful characteristics and concerns in cultural contexts. As the voice of society, music echoes ideology, behavior, rituals, values, aesthetics, and history. We will discover why music serves as a universal language of harmony, a regional declaration of individuality, and an unsurpassed vehicle for cross-cultural communication. We will explore the styles and significance of global music forms as we travel our routes on oceans, canals, and landscapes. Music reveals how distinctive sounds of unique places reflect and resonate the particular character and concerns of cultures, and the individuals belonging to those cultures. There are innumerable creative ways through which musicians fashion their craft to articulate their beliefs and express their cultural norms. Unique configurations of melodies, harmonies, rhythms, timbres, textures, instrumentations and lyrics reveal colorful identities and articulate complex ideologies. We will contrast the sounds and structures of the various musical cultures of our travels, exploring the cross-cultural similarities and multi-cultural differences between styles, and determining the motives and functions of each form; whether as entertainment, narrative commentary, expression of feelings, forms of worship or accompaniment to rites of passage. Finally, we explore the imperative development of global styles from traditional to popular, as global influences and internal predicaments affect the boundaries of style and cause worldwide hybridizations. Through an investigation of each culture?s music, we will reveal both the strong influence of creative individuals in reflecting and shaping the history of their societies in particular and the enormous importance of global music in ?sounding culture? in general.
The official catalog description of this course is Global aspects of music and its meaning with connections to the environment, sound, and world cultures. This course investigates the sound and sentiment of traditional and contemporary music in each port-of-call and region of our voyage. Distinctive sounds in unique places reflect and resonate meaningful characteristics and concerns in cultural contexts. As the voice of society, music echoes ideology, behavior, rituals, values, aesthetics, and history. We will discover why music serves as a universal language of harmony, a regional declaration of individuality, and an unsurpassed vehicle for cross-cultural communication. We will explore the styles and significance of global music forms as we travel our routes on oceans, canals, and landscapes. Music reveals how distinctive sounds of unique places reflect and resonate the particular character and concerns of cultures, and the individuals belonging to those cultures. There are innumerable creative ways through which musicians fashion their craft to articulate their beliefs and express their cultural norms. Unique configurations of melodies, harmonies, rhythms, timbres, textures, instrumentations and lyrics reveal colorful identities and articulate complex ideologies. We will contrast the sounds and structures of the various musical cultures of our travels, exploring the cross-cultural similarities and multi-cultural differences between styles, and determining the motives and functions of each form; whether as entertainment, narrative commentary, expression of feelings, forms of worship or accompaniment to rites of passage. Finally, we explore the imperative development of global styles from traditional to popular, as global influences and internal predicaments affect the boundaries of style and cause worldwide hybridizations. Through an investigation of each culture?s music, we will reveal both the strong influence of creative individuals in reflecting and shaping the history of their societies in particular and the enormous importance of global music in ?sounding culture? in general.
Explore the earth?s ecosystems and what is happening to them in this era of human domination. We will look at the atmosphere and the forces and phenomena that impact us and how we impact them. Climate and climate change will be important themes throughout the course. We will look at the seas around our ship with an eye to understanding how they work and how people have changed them. We will look at the tectonic forces and geological processes that shape our planet and how they impact climate and life. And, we will look at life on the planet and how it has changed and continues to change. We will travel from the cold Baltic Sea through temperate regions of the Atlantic Ocean, through the tropics, and across the equator four times. The transition from one region to the next will be visible from the deck of the ship as well as on land. People today face enormous environmental challenges and yet few people are fully aware of the challenges nor of underlying forces creating those challenges. If you are concerned about the health of our planet, take this class.
Explore the sea with an understanding of how the oceans work. There is no greater challenge today than repairing and saving the oceans. And, there is no better place to learn about the oceans, its life, and its future than while voyaging at sea. Each class begins with a walk on the ocean searching for signs of life, pollution, and tomorrow?s weather. On shore immersive experiences bond with learning at sea to provide you with a complete ocean experience. To understand the ocean we delve into the forces that drive its motion, its life, and its geology. The basics were discovered years ago, but recent discoveries have rocked our understanding of the seas. We will focus on those discoveries and provide the latest research so you leave the ship fully informed. We will travel along a route that will provide us front-row seats to see a wide variety of ecosystems and climate types. Our voyage takes us across the trade winds, the horse latitudes, the doldrums, and the equator. This route gives us the opportunity to experience diverse ocean environments from flying fish to whales. If you are concerned with climate change and passionate about the ocean and ocean life, take this class.
Explore the sea with an understanding of how the oceans work. There is no greater challenge today than repairing and saving the oceans. And, there is no better place to learn about the oceans, its life, and its future than while voyaging at sea. Each class begins with a walk on the ocean searching for signs of life, pollution, and tomorrow?s weather. On shore immersive experiences bond with learning at sea to provide you with a complete ocean experience. To understand the ocean we delve into the forces that drive its motion, its life, and its geology. The basics were discovered years ago, but recent discoveries have rocked our understanding of the seas. We will focus on those discoveries and provide the latest research so you leave the ship fully informed. We will travel along a route that will provide us front-row seats to see a wide variety of ecosystems and climate types. Our voyage takes us across the trade winds, the horse latitudes, the doldrums, and the equator. This route gives us the opportunity to experience diverse ocean environments from flying fish to whales. If you are concerned with climate change and passionate about the ocean and ocean life, take this class.
A young sailor stood by the rail of a whaling ship as she transited the narrow passage from Nantucket out to the Atlantic. As he watched the waves, the Captain appeared and took up a place beside him. ?The ocean is so vast,? the young man said, ?makes one feel really small. ?Aye,? the Captain replied, ?and that?s only the top o?her!? There is no better way to understand the many moods of the open sea than to sail out into the ocean and live, day in and day out, always dependent on the way the winds are blowing and how high the seas rise. Aboard the World Odyssey, we have a unique chance to study the ocean first hand as we continue on our voyage. We will traverse many and varied seas as we cross the North Sea and then traverse the Eastern Atlantic to the Mediterranean and then to Africa and across the South Atlantic to the coastal regions of South and Central America. We will end up in the Eastern Pacific before making port in San Diego. During this time, you will be given insights into the oceans and the shores that border them. You will learn about the origins of ocean water and the ocean basins, cradle of all life. You will be introduced to the chemical and physical factors that create tides and currents and how these, in turn, influence the distribution of life in and above and waves. You will leave the ship for a more complete understanding of the biosphere and man?s impact on the systems that make up this complex web of life. You are invited to take this once in a lifetime journey. I will be pleased to accompany and enlighten you.
The maintenance of biological diversity is one the greatest challenges our world faces today as the ?Sixth Mass Extinction? is currently underway and species are disappearing at an alarming rate. This course will provide students with an appreciation of the patterns of species diversity around the globe and an understanding of the factors leading to extinction. Students will learn about relevant theory, principles, and practices needed to understand and resolve issues in biodiversity conservation. The Semester-at-Sea voyage will allow students to experience firsthand global patterns of biodiversity and conservation in action. Throughout the voyage, we will compare the challenges to the conservation of biological diversity faced by countries with different populations, cultures, and economies.
This course is an introduction to tourism in a global context and has been designed to introduce students to the characteristics of tourism, the relationships between the key sectors, evolving issues and trends in the industry, and the role of industry and government organizations that support tourism at the regional, national and international level. Students will become acquainted with the economic, environmental and socio-cultural impacts tourism has on communities around the world, and will learn to appreciate international tourism?s potential to foster intercultural understanding and world peace. Students will analyze the foundations of recreation and tourism via case studies and readings pertaining to the countries visited on this voyage, studying topics like Game of Thrones tourism in Croatia, ?dark tourism? in Poland and Ghana, wine tourism in Spain, surf tourism in Portugal, adventure tourism in Morocco, sport tourism in Brazil, music tourism in Trinidad and Tobago, eco-tourism in Ecuador, and medical tourism in Costa Rica.
Tourism is a powerful economic force, providing employment, foreign exchange, income, and tax revenue for countries all over the world. As a world export category, tourism ranks third after fuels and chemicals, and ahead of food and automotive products, and in many developing countries, tourism ranks as the first export sector. But in addition to the oft-cited economic indicators displaying the dominance of the industry, there has been a commensurate rise and recognition of the potentially negative impacts that the growth of this industry can have. Many have been critical of the pernicious social and environmental impacts tourism brings which has led to calls for the industry to exercise greater responsibility in order to protect the ?golden goose?. This course will focus, therefore, on sustainable tourism, defined by the UNWTO as ?Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities?. Students will analyze the concept of sustainable tourism via research projects, case studies and readings relating to the countries visited during this voyage.
Who should bear the burdens of environmental harms? We rely on the environment for a wide range of resources and opportunities. What is the fairest way to divide up those resources and opportunities? Should we think of the environment as a resource to be divvied up at all? This introductory course will use the lens of environmental justice and sustainability to introduce conceptions of fairness and vulnerability, and the challenges we face as we balance the flourishing of people today against the flourishing of future generations. The course will examine topics such as water availability, agricultural patterns, globalization, environmental resources, and climate change.
This course studies the three major branches on the Abrahamic religious tree: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. By the end of the course the attentive student will understand and be able to (1) compare the core teachings, rituals, and behavioral codes of the three faiths; (2) trace the course of history by which each of them came to win adherents far removed geographically, culturally, and socially from the sites of their birth; (3) explain the different, often rival, schools of thought and practice that have emerged within each tradition; and (4) analyze the principal responses these religions have shown to the challenges of modernity. Along the way, students will be asked to reflect on the elements that the three traditions truly share which make them a recognizable ?family? among world religions, as well as the key points where they diverge, and why.
This course will introduce students to the main concepts and theories in philosophical ethics, and give experience in making and justifying ethical decisions. Over the course of the term, we will consider some of the basic questions of ethics: How can we tell right from wrong and good from bad? What is it to be a good person? What should we do when two or more of our ethical principles conflict? Can moral claims be objectively true or false or is morality all just a matter of opinion? We will look at how philosophers have answered these questions in the past and think about how their answers might be relevant to contemporary ethical dilemmas.
How should we treat or even think about the nonhuman world? What value is there in the environment, and why? In this course we will consider the nature of our complicated relationship with our natural environment, humankind?s responsibilities to and regarding that environment, the kinds of actions prescribed by those responsibilities, and possible justifications for those responsibilities. To engage in this examination adequately we will need to consider both theoretical issues underlying various approaches to the environment and the various ways those approaches have been put into practice. In this Semester at Sea Honors course, we will explore a range of local, culturally informed viewpoints associated with our ports of call as we work through the traditional syllabus.
This course takes a phenomenological approach to understand how people find meaning and truth for their lives via interaction with a wide range of religious materials. The different religious traditions we encounter along the Fall 2019 itinerary of the Semester at Sea will provide the case studies for our analysis. Circumnavigating the north and west of Europe, and beginning something of a pilgrimage of our own, we will consider accounts of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Around the Mediterranean Sea, we will compare the principles and examples of Muslim, Jewish, and Roman Catholic religious architecture. On our crossing from Ghana to Brazil, we will study the phenomenon of spirit possession in Candombl?, pioneered in Bahia as a creolization of West African practices. In the Caribbean, the music of Bob Marley will provide a case study of how religious innovation forged under the cloud of colonialism could provide hope and inspiration to a vast audience around the world. Finally, on the way to and from Ecuador, we will read of mystical journeys that combine Western psychology with Incan medicinal tradition. This exposure to a variety of religious experiences will give students deeper insights into (1) scholarly methods of analyzing religion, (2) the lands and cultures they are visiting, and (3) their own quest for meaning.
This course uses auto/biographies of people from different religious traditions encountered on the Fall 2019 Semester at Sea to explore how personal spiritual dynamics intersect with lived social reality, effecting changes in the person, the tradition, and the context. It begins with the Baal Shem Tov, the pioneer of Hasidism in the 18th-century Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, then the center of world Jewry. We then take up another would-be reformer of Judaism, the Apostle Paul, as we head into the Mediterranean Sea upon whose shores he made such an impact. Visiting Morocco, we will read the memoir that Fatima Mernissi, a pioneer Muslim feminist, wrote of her childhood in a traditional harem in that country. Our crossing from Ghana to Brazil will be accompanied by an account of Domingos Sodr?, who took that same journey under slavery only to become a priest in a distinctly African cult in Bahia. As we move across the Caribbean, we will study the life of Oscar Romero, the martyred Archbishop of El Salvador recently beatified by the Vatican for his work on behalf of the oppressed. Our course will conclude with the edgy memoir of Jamie Wright, a California evangelical who learned, from her five-year missionary sojourn in Costa Rica, that prosperous Westerners have much to learn from the people they wish to ?serve? ? a lesson suitable for reflection by SAS students as they conclude their own semester?s journey.
The aim of this course is to provide students with both the analytical tools to examine international affairs as well as an overview of the key political and economic concerns that drive a select number of countries on our voyage?s foreign policies. Designed in three parts, the first part examines the emergence of the modern nation-state system, the expansion of international society beyond Europe and the growing role of non-state actors in the international system. The second part introduces students to the four main theories in International Relations ? Realism, Liberalism, Marxism and Constructivism ? and how these theories give us analytical ?tools? to explain the behavior of states and non-state actors. Synchronized with our voyage, we thirdly examine the interests driving the foreign policies of a select number of states and ask whether these states also perform certain ?roles? in international politics.
Why have some countries succeeded in establishing democracies and be relatively prosperous at the same time, whilst others have not? To answer this fundamental question, this course compares how the emergence of pluralist political systems went hand in hand with the emergence of societies that enabled upward economic mobility. Thanks to the diffusion of political power and the emergence of the rule of law, technological innovations emerged propelling societies that had succeeded in creating inclusive institutions, to prosperity. Drawing on a historical and a comparative approach we analyze the factors which explain why some states developed inclusive political and economic institutions yet those same factors lead others to become authoritarian and often, increasingly poor. The course compares how these processes played out across the world, with specific case studies of the port cities/countries we visit.
This course intends to provide students with a ?big picture? mode of analysis, to grasp the complex interplay between globalization, sustainability, and justice. To do so, the course is structured into two main parts. The first examines the causes of globalization and introduces the analytical framework through which we will explore the globalization/sustainability interface. Within this framework, globalization consists of three spheres or ?worlds?: the transnational policy-making world (consisting of national governments, big corporations and international organizations); the dissident world (comprising various social movements) and the covert world (mafia?s, arms traders, mercenaries etc.) all of them operating within the confines of biosphere increasingly under stress. To explore the crises and contradictions that emerge from globalization and sustainability, the second part of the course focusses on the critical role played by the fossil fuel industry and its implications for sustainability. Drawing on the ?resource curse? literature, we will examine the ?resource curse? debate in relation to a number of oil and other fossil fuel producers on our voyage, namely Ghana, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago and possibly, Brazil and how these countries deal with issues of sustainability, keeping in mind the role of national governments, big corporations as well as social movements.
This general psychology course will provide an introduction to the study of behavior and mental processes from a scientific perspective. We will discuss the major theories, concepts, research methods, and treatment approaches used within the major areas of study within psychology, including biopsychology, learning and memory, cognition, sensation and perception, social behavior, motivation and emotion, personality, and abnormal behavior, and more. For each area, we will discuss the influence of biological and sociocultural factors such as gender, sex, age, culture, race, and ethnicity. Special attention will be given to differences and similarities between various cultures in the United States and around the world, focusing on the ports we will visit. Students will be encouraged to critically evaluate the influence of culture on psychological constructs, such as cognitive decline with aging, gender roles and gender-typed behavior, and the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
This course will provide an introduction to biological, psychological, sociocultural, and international aspects of drug use and substance use disorders, or addiction. Topics will include the nature and neurobiology of addiction, physiological effects of drugs of abuse in the brain and body, theories of addiction, and the role of drugs of abuse in different cultures and countries. We will examine how sociocultural and environmental factors, such as gender, social stigma, and opportunities in the environment, interact with biological factors, such as sex, genetics, and age, to influence who uses drugs and suffers from addictive disorders. Emphasis will be placed on societal contributors and responses to drug use and addiction, how these views vary between different countries around the world, such as the United States, Portugal, and Brazil, and how these views influence public policy, and the prevention, intervention, and treatment of drug use and addiction. Although the focus is on illicit drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, the use of alcohol and nicotine/tobacco will also be discussed.
This abnormal psychology course provides an introduction to major mental disorders as classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). Disorders include neurodevelopmental, depressive, anxiety, stressor-related, addictive, eating, psychotic, impulse-control, bipolar, personality, obsessive-compulsive, and more. For each disorder, we will explore research regarding its diagnosis, causes, and treatments, and discuss how biological factors, such as sex, age, and genetics, interact with sociocultural factors, such as gender, ethnicity, and social stigma, influence their development and treatment. Considering our international context, we will also discuss broader cultural issues that shape views, public policy, and the treatment of mental disorders, including the advantages and disadvantages for the use of DSM-V as a means to diagnose mental disorders across cultures versus the use of other approaches, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
This course will include complete coverage of essential marketing concepts and how they apply to the hospitality industry. Marketing theory will be supported by well-integrated international case studies to illuminate the practical realities of marketing in the hospitality sector, focusing on the need to create a flexible, adaptive approach to marketing products and services around the world. During the course, students will develop a comprehensive marketing plan for an international hospitality operation, which will include conducting a situation analysis, segmenting and targeting consumers, market positioning, and implementing tactics and action plans. Students will also study contemporary issues that impact hospitality marketing, such as the growing influence of technology on the industry, the need for multicultural research, the globalization of brands, and the importance of marketing ethics. Students will analyze the application of all these marketing concepts via research projects, case studies and readings pertaining to the countries visited on this voyage.
?People who love to eat are always the best people? ? Julia Child. This course is an exploration of cultural influences on nutrition and food choices with emphasis on traditional foods. Students will learn about the cuisines of the regions of the U.S. and the nations visited on our Semester at Sea voyage. We will discuss the ways in which ethnic food patterns are determined by religious choices, age-old customs, taboos and traditions within the culture and the impact of geographical location, accessibility to and availability of foods. We will share our portside dining experiences and discuss the cultural origins of the foods we enjoyed on our journey through the Mediterranean, Africa, South and Central America.
Ethnic identity and social structures in which race and ethnicity are embedded are key features of all societies, regardless of their commitment to equality and opportunity. While varying widely in how they have developed and in the social consciousness of nations, race-ethnic relations express themselves in both institutionally problematic and cultural-affirming ways. Semester at Sea provides an invitation to explore through the sociological perspective the reality that race and ethnicity are socially constructed and, in Benedict Anderson's words, imagined communities, but with very real consequences. This course studies race and ethnicity in the United States today, using this understanding to compare and contrast race and ethnicity as a historical experience and sometimes vexing conundrum (e.g. as the basis for nationalism, xenophobia, and ethnic conflict) for the countries and societies visited on the voyage.
Social inequality is not only the key structural feature of any society. It is the main determinant of how life goes on in that society, from how valued resources are distributed to the most intimate details of social interaction and personal identity. This course explores the contours of social stratification and mobility in the United States as well as in several other contexts. Nations and regions of the world have been tied together from the era of mercantilism to today's late-stage capitalism, making global inequality a fundamental part of this course. Because Semester at Sea offers a unique opportunity to see first-hand myriad forms of inequality, the course will use readings, critical discussion and writing to study inequality: what it is; its historical development and maintenance; and its consequences for individuals and nations. In addition, it will examine in comparative perspective various responses to inequality and efforts to mitigate its most problematic features through political, cultural, organizational and economic policies and practices.
Students want to understand the world around them, make sense of their situation in it, and imagine a future that will offer choices and fulfillment. Understanding social change in a critical way is fundamental to these goals. This course - theoretically informed and reliant on social research - seeks to make sense of the Modern Era (since 1500) by studying five drivers of social change: science and technology; social movements; war and revolution; large corporations; and the state. Semester at Sea offers students the chance to visit not only a range of societies in transition but to recognize first-hand the many ways social change comes about. Primarily using the comparative, historical approach, students can come to understand not only how social change happens in all its diversity but gain a sense of empowerment to direct social change in desired directions in their own life.
A key feature of modern life is the pervasiveness of media and the relationship it has with popular culture. From binge-watch sessions to iconic vines and from viral memes to guerilla advertising, the marriage of pop culture and communication is inseparable, while the impact this union has on society is inescapable. To gain a critical understanding of the construction of meaning with respect to pop culture, this course looks at pop culture from four angles: media artifacts (films, ads, individual scenes), industry (media production), historical context (influence of views on race/ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality), and audience (consumers of media and how they are influenced). By considering how pop culture both shapes and reflects the broader social power relationships in the United States, students will walk away from the course with new insight into modern life and the tools needed to navigate its ever-increasing complexity. Because this is an All-University Core Curriculum course, we have specific objectives: to place the history of popular culture within a broader context of U.S. history; to analyze a variety of texts that loosely fall into the category ?arts and humanities,? and to suggest particular methods of critical thinking.
This course introduces students to the practical and theoretical elements of effective public speaking and advocacy. Focus is given to oral communication skills, (both in larger audience venues and smaller interactive exchanges), effective crafting of presentation content, convincing organization of material, and skilled delivery of presentations. Emphasis is also given to human and physical dimensions of the communication process; vocal intonation and rhythm, body behavior, global audience evaluations, self-awareness and control. Students identify techniques for minimizing distractions, developing confidence in presentation and interaction situations, and analyzing informational requirements. At the base of our scholarly mission will lie the intention of learning to advocate for global and humanitarian causes that are important to us, and which speak to our consciences and compassion. Semester at Sea presents students with unique and unusual opportunities to not only learn about humanitarian challenges globally but also to find their voice in advocating for those causes. This course serves to assist in that process so that individuals lose their fear of public speaking in favor of finding their voices in the interest of human empathy. A critical component for students, who will invariably be exposed to an increasingly international milieu in their careers, will be the awareness of audience variations, respect for global considerations, and the mastering of intercultural communication skills. We also analyze historically significant or influential speeches that have had a political or social impact on the societies we interact with, especially societies in transition or crisis. We dissect debates and explore the public fields and careers in which speechmaking and communications are central to success.
In a world filled with smart phones, social media, on-demand video, and a seemingly never-ending stream of notifications, it is easy for one to feel overwhelmed and anxious due to overstimulation. In the face of this technological deluge, it is necessary to learn to connect deeply with others on an interpersonal level and not only establish, but also maintain and sustain meaningful relationships. To do so requires us to learn how to resist distraction. The four modules of this course?self-awareness, resilience, savoring, and connection?all focus on how to cultivate mindful presence and use mindfulness as a means of addressing many of the most pressing interpersonal issues brought about by life within the age of distraction. Using experiential learning, students will engage in weekly activities designed to heighten self-awareness, sharpen observational skills, hone listening ability, and learn to fully appreciate life?s moments with others as they occur.
When most of us are asked about our culture, we might immediately think of characteristics like our ethnicity, nationality, or ancestry, but culture is much more complex than the surface-level aspects most of us associate with the term. Cultural identity is like a quilt woven from not only these obvious aspects but also from threads including our life experiences, societal and environmental influences, and our general way of being. Trying to understand the impact of culture on the way we interact is like trying to explain water to a fish. This course explores how cultural identities are formed and influenced over our lifespans and what happens when those identities are challenged through social interaction with people from significantly different backgrounds than our own. By developing empathy and understanding through the act of mindful listening and observation, this course seeks to help students navigate the many complexities of intercultural interaction.

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