London’s vibrant cultural life and history provide the setting for an immersive three-week musical exploration throughout this world capital. From the serenity of Evensong to the raucousness of a West End musical, students will engage with a wide variety of musical genres spanning from Handel to Hendrix, famed artists who lived in the same London house, two hundred years apart. Students will learn to listen critically and analytically to music originating from a wide variety of historical eras and born from diverse circumstances.
An interdisciplinary approach will encourage students to consider music in relation to the art and culture surrounding its creation. Designed to challenge music majors and non-majors, students will attend concerts, visit historically significant venues, and participate in highly interactive class sessions. Journaling will be an important component of this course, prompting students to interact with academic and musical material, art, and culture both inside and outside of the classroom.
In this semester program you will study and practice photojournalism and documentary filmmaking/storytelling using the diverse people and places of London as your subjects. You will learn photography and filmmaking technique, aesthetics principles and applications, and visual storytelling from an award winning master professor, photographer and filmmaker in the field. The stories you create will focus on experiences during your time in London, those of distinguished US expats living in London, and those of guest presenters including distinguished British photographers and filmmakers.
You will learn about British film history and attend the prestigious BFI (British Film Institute) London Film Festival, where more than 300 films, documentaries, and shorts are screened from around the world. You do not need to be an expert in filming or in a film-centered disciplines. Instead you should want to learn more about documentaries and documentary “literacy” that you encounter in daily life.
Ecuador provides an ideal setting for exploring issues related to sustainable development. The course will examine the tensions, challenges, and possibilities for reconciling development and conservation in the dry tropical forest zone, a critically important and globally imperiled ecosystem. Course activities are held in Quito and in Bahía de Caráquez. During the first week of the program, students will stay in Quito to take an intensive Spanish course and visit organizations dealing with sustainable development practices. The following three weeks of activities will be developed in Bahia de Caráquez. In Bahia, students will work closely with staff from Planet Drum Foundation, a San Francisco-based NGO with a long-term presence in the region. At Planet Drum students will engage in service learning through field excursions, discussions with locals, and participation in native forest revegetation projects. Bahia de Caráquez has attempted to rethink its development trajectory after a series of environmental disasters exposed the human toll of unsustainable development practices. You will witness first-hand how the efforts led by Planet Drum and other organizations have made the city more resilient.