Honors Program

Honors Winter Term course in Turkey or Italy (first-year Honors only)

Course Title:  Questioning Istanbul: The City as Laboratory for Academic Inquiry or Reading the City as a Text

Course Description

Both Turkey and Italy have been a cultural crossroads for millennia.  In light of this, these two courses use either Turkey or Italy as classrooms, encouraging students to explore the area as sites of historical and religious significance and to investigate the contemporary relevance of concepts of 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 these two fascinating countries.

Guided by faculty and local experts, students will explore and examine the Hagia Sophia, ancient cisterns, the Grand Bazaar, Theodosian Walls, the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey, and St. Peters Basilica and the Vatican, the Roman Coliseum, The Valley of Temples in Sicily, and the canals of Venice in Italy. While in Turkey, students will also have the opportunity to consult with students and academic professionals at Koç University, a world-class institution just 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.

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 here.

Meeting schedule

The meeting schedule can be found on the Honors Calendar on the homepage.