International Study-Travel, Harry Potter and the Mathematics of Gambling Highlight January Term
Travel abroad programs and non-traditional course offerings are just two of the perks the four week January Term provides for Converse College students. During this term, students participate in only one class, many of which are unique to the January Term. Students have the opportunity to take interdisciplinary courses team-taught by professors from different fields of teaching, travel to exotic destinations, or participate in various internship programs not only here in Spartanburg but in locations around the country.
This January boasts international destinations such as England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. On-campus course offerings include a course designed to study the application of marketing and sales; a study of the mathematics of games and gambling; the politics of the popular series Harry Potter and an analysis of whether these political rules would work in a normal society; and a poetry course in which students are able to study with R.T. Smith, one of the nation’s leading literary editors and an award-winning poet and fiction writer. The 2007 South Carolina Professor of the Year will lead students in a study of the turning point battles of the American Revolution fought in the Southern backcountry.
In Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Economics and Business Professor Dr. Woodrow Hughes will team with Biology Instructor Dr. Douglas Jensen in leading 15 Converse students in a study of the natural habitat of the islands. Emphasis will be placed on how tourism affects the ecology and economy of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Students will maintain a journal during the stay and will be looking for ways that tourism has impacted the local environment. As a side issue, students will discuss the dollarization of the Ecuadorian community.
Dr. Kevin DeLapp, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, will lead a course examining the history of epistemology in Spain and France. Through this course, students will study different views about human knowledge and the human mind through reading works from Medieval and modern Spanish and French philosophers. Students will also compare their views about the limits of human rationality to the visual cultures of cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Paris.
The European tour, led by Mac Boggs, Professor of Art, and Dr. Ansley Boggs, Associate Professor of Special Education, provides an immersion into European arts. This travel opportunity to England, France, Switzerland and Italy is designed to enhance the future teacher’s power of teaching through the arts. “The value of teaching content through the arts has been documented by numerous research studies. Teacher candidates will gain competence in Teaching Through the Arts by experiencing the arts in the heart of Parisian and Italian art and culture. The program will bring the arts into their lives, and consequently, into their classrooms,” wrote Dr. Boggs in the course description. Throughout this two-week trip, students will expand upon their experiences through daily discussions, reading assignments, reflective journals, art reviews and application to the classroom. On the same trip, students will have the opportunity to research the art forms of England, France, Switzerland and Italy. Through this research, students are provided with an overview of styles, movements and content associated with both contemporary and historical art. They will also create original artwork on the trip.
Theatre professors John Bald and Brent Glenn are accompanying a group of Converse students to London, England t