Elon University Home

Honors Program

New Honors Program course in Istanbul, Turkey | January 2013 (first-year Honors only)

Course Title:  Questioning Istanbul: The City as Laboratory for Academic Inquiry or Reading the City as a Text
Professors:  Dr. Michael Carignan and Dr. Kenn Gaither

Course Description

Istanbul has been a cultural crossroads for millennia.  In light of this, this course uses the city of Istanbul itself as a classroom, encouraging students to explore the city as a site of historical and religious significance and to investigate the contemporary relevance of this city to East and West. Students will learn how to employ specific academic modes of inquiry to frame and inspire their curiosity, and identify major historical and cultural forces that shape life and identity in Istanbul.

Students will explore and examine, along with faculty and local experts, the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan’s Palace, the Blue Mosque, ancient cisterns, the Grand Bazaar, Theodosian Walls, and participate in an excursion to the ruins of Ephesus. Students will also have the opportunity to consult with students and academic professionals at Koç University, a world-class institution outside of Istanbul.

Process of Selection

Interested students will participate in two-hour seminar introducing the course content and academic expectations, after which a preliminary essay will be assigned.  Student performance in these two exercises will determine the list of students selected for participation in this course. We anticipate that 10 to 15 students will be selected for participation in January, 2013.

Eligibility and Cost

Only first-year Honors Fellows are eligible to participate in this course.  Students will receive approximately 75% funding towards course costs, and will be expected to pay the remaining costs themselves (including meals). In cases of documented financial need, students may receive more financial support from the Honors Program. The estimated total course cost is approximately $5,500 (TBD) with students paying approximately $1500.

Student Blogs

Check out recent blogs from students who participated in the course in recent years:

Meeting schedule

The 2014 meeting schedule will be uploaded in the fall.