The following courses are offered during Winter Term through the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center. They are arranged according to their development and association with the program. with Ghana: West African History and Culture being our oldest program. Students may also enroll in existing semester-long exchange programs, or consult the Isabella Cannon GEC staff to design their own study abroad experience.
Ghana: West African History and Culture – HST/GEO 279-IS
Course Leader & Developer: Dr. Brian Digre
Affiliated AAASE Faculty Co-Leaders: Prof. Bernard Curry
This course is an exploration of Ghana’s history, literature and culture. Students will experience life in modern Ghana while gaining an appreciation of the country’s rich past. The course will integrate lectures by Ghanaian university faculty with visits to fascinating sites throughout the country.
Students will learn about the powerful Asante state, the tragic Atlantic slave trade, Ghana’s contemporary history and the challenges facing Africa today. They can expect to discuss an African novel with a Ghanaian professor, attend a traditional ceremony with village elders, visit craftsmen who make kente cloth, teach a class at a local school, walk across a rope bridge above a rainforest and marvel at elephants while hiking through the bush.
Barbados: Culture, Sport and Media – GBL 245-IS
Course Leader & Developer: Dr. Joyce Davis
This interdisciplinary course will explore a wide range of content related to present day Barbados and her proud people. Course emphases will support varied academic interests, including: sport, media, communication, music, tourism, education, gender, race, history, economy, & politics. Please note that this course requires extensive use of public transportation in the completion of required course activities. This includes frequent walking and hiking in high humidity and 80+ degree temperatures. Prerequisite: GBL 145. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Civilization or Society requirement, and satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement. Counts toward minors in Women’s/Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, and African and African-American Studies.
The Call of South Africa – GBL 230-IS
Course Leader & Developer: Dr. Prudence Layne
Affiliated AAASE Faculty Co-Leaders: Profs. Sandra Reid and Bernard Curry
Earmarked “The Call of South Africa: Models and Movements of Protest, Images and Texts of Healing,” students travel to South Africa each winter term to explore the contradictions of a land that is a cultural, spiritual, and political symbol of hope and freedom for people everywhere. Broadly speaking, this course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental role of the arts in the fight of individuals, groups, and nations for civil rights and democracy. More specifically, however, students in the course examine the social, systemic, and political structures that impact(ed) the lives of African-Americans in the pre- and post- Civil Rights eras and South Africans in the pre- and post-apartheid periods from a literary, cultural, and historical perspective.
Through their study and engagement with scholars and leaders from all sectors of society, students improve their basic understanding of the complex racial dynamics of South Africa and the United States and the impact of segregationist policies on various communities The sites of interrogation and learning are impressive during the travel component of the course, but of equal importance are the orientations and in-depth discussions and analyses in which students engage before their departure. This prolonged, engaged interaction with the people of South Africa allows Elon students to study not just literature, culture, politics, history and social interactions, but they also come to understand the complex racial dynamics of their own societies.
Brazil: Community Engagement – GBL 288-IS
Course Leader: Dr. Amy Johnson
The purpose of this course is to immerse Elon students in the African influenced culture and the history of Brazil and have them confront the ongoing issues of poverty and social injustice resulting from this history. Students will begin by studying Brazil’s colonial past specifically as it relates to slave trading, the system of racial chattel slavery, and the multiple ways enslaved people experienced slavery. Next, we will explore the African influenced culture of Brazil. Finally, students will have the opportunity to think critically about how the legacy of slavery and racism has impacted and continues to impact Afro-Brazilians. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the political, social and economic disparity that Afro-Brazilians suffer through various service projects.
Ethiopia and Tanzania: An Exploration of History, Culture, and the Natural World in East Africa – GBL 263-IS
Course Leader & Developer: Drs. Digre and Idris
Affiliated AAASE Faculty Co-Leaders: Dr. Brian Digre and Mussa Idris
The course is designed for Elon students to experience contemporary life in Ethiopia while they gain an appreciation for the country’s rich past and have an opportunity to view some of Africa’s most outstanding national parks in northern Tanzania. Students will learn about the long and fascinating history of Christianity in Ethiopia and its relationships with Judaism and Islam, Ethiopia’s successful resistance to European imperialism in the nineteenth century, and the country’s tortured struggles with Fascism and Communism in the twentieth century.
The course will integrate classes with faculty from the University of Addis Ababa and visits to historic sites in the capital. Student experiences in the lively city will also include opportunities to learn about the challenges facing Africa today. Our location in East Africa will make possible a camping safari in Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks at the outset of our class. Within Ethiopia we will visit the fabled town of Lalibela. Its medieval rock-hewn churches are both a UNESCO World Heritage site and a place of modern pilgrimage by Ethiopian Christians. A trek through a nearby farming village will allow students to learn about rural life. Finally, students will have the opportunity to observe Timkat, a major festival of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrating Epiphany.
There will be time too for purchasing African crafts and clothes, listening to Ethiopian music, and enjoying beautiful dancing. Viewing Africa’s breathtaking wildlife and scenery will be an outstanding opportunity for everyone, although some of your best experiences may be trying Ethiopian food, conversations with university students or playing a soccer match. You will learn about African history and culture, begin to question some of your own values and assumptions, and recognize a shared sense of humanity with people whose lives are far different from yours. Prerequisite: GBL 163. Application and acceptance required.
Malawi: The Warm Heart of Africa – GBL 297-IS
Course Leader: Dr. Joan Barnett
This is an interdisciplinary course with an exciting and rigorous itinerary that encourages students to learn about and experience the beauty of Africa and the Malawian people but also their challenges and struggles. Through close interactions with our partners, and through contacts with school children and teachers, Elon students will develop an appreciation for the lifestyle in Malawi, for the concerns and aspirations of the Malawian people, and for the development successes, needs, and strategies in the country. The importance of education to development will be examined, and a historical perspective on development will be augmented with visits to various sites around the country. Students will also explore local culture, history, political history and structures, effects of tourism, and the role of NGO’s in the developing world. The core of the Malawi course is a service-learning project that will be conducted in Blantyre, Malawi. Elon students will lead peer-assisted literacy training sessions for students in a public K-8 school. Elon students will gain the experience for literacy training during the fall preparatory course. No education background or experience is needed for this course. Prerequisite: GBL 197. Application and acceptance required. Additional travel fee is required. Counts toward Society or Civilization requirement, and satisfies one unit of experiential learning toward fulfillment of the Experiential Learning Requirement.