RC Hums 333, 003-- Cultures in Dialogue: Crossing External and Internal Borders
This is an ISAC course with a travel component to Granada, Spain & Berlin, Germany • May 2006
Construction on this site began on Oct. 3, 2005. The site will be frequently updated.. Last update: 4/24/ 2006
SYLLABUS course description (below) new! berlin itinerary
Course Description: Cultures in Dialogue: Crossing External and Internal Borders is a cross-disciplinary seminar on Europe that looks at recent immigration patterns in Germany and Spain. The course will focus on borders, migration, and identity issues, with a goal of introducing you to a differentiated picture of Europe today. Germany and Spain provide examples of two distinct European countries facing change as immigration countries with different pasts, and study of them will lead you to a better understanding of diversity in the New Europe. In the case of Germany, we will focus primarily on Muslims, Jews and Eastern European immigrants, including ethnic Germans. Our focus on Spain will be on the Roma minority and the most recent immigration from Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Course topics will include: diasporic communities; multi-ethnicity and the idea of Europe; youth culture and the role of music and theater in raising awareness; globalization; gender issues; individual and collective definitions of physical space, “home” and “nation”; and memory. We will study Germany's and Spain's histories dealing with “foreigners” and the language and framework these provide for everyday life in Germany and Spain, both for nationals and non-nationals. We will look through “lenses” provided by research, literature, film, and the arts to seek both answers and new questions that help us understand how national and supranational borders mirror, challenge and shape the self's internal borders. Finally, we will engage in physical and creative exercises (movement and theater exercises, intercultural communication games and creative assignments) designed to help us reflect personally and as a group on the nature of crossing external and internal borders. Another goal of these exercises will be to probe texts through physical experimentation.

Course meeting times & outside events. The seminar will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-12 with some classes devoted to lecture and discussion in English and other classes taught simultaneously in split sections in German and Spanish. In addition to the Tu/Th. class times, the class meets for Wednesday night “lab” sessions from 7:10pm-10 p.m. for film viewings and theater workshops that are a mandatory component of the course.

Please note: In addition to our regular meeting times, students will be expected to participate in special guest lectures and events linked to the class. One will be: Monday Feb. 6 from 5-9:00 p.m. (tentative times) for a talk, demonstration and workshop with guest artists from Spain on Flamenco dancing. The group will be performing at the Arc (Main Street) on Feb. 7 and you are encouraged to attend this, if at all possible. (Class on Tues. Feb. 7 will be cancelled.) Our class will be hosting guest artists from Germany between March 14-24, with films and a performance on the weekend of March 17-18 as a highlight of their stay. As final dates and details become available about this and the February events, we will let you know. Finally, depending on interest, we may stage a multi-lingual performance of texts and ideas explored in class as a multi-media end-of-term show or a dramatic reading. Our weekend to do so would be April 14th-15th. Throughout all of the semester, we will be mindful of extra time you put in for events, etc. as we assign work to you.

Homework: You should expect to spend up to 5 hours/week preparing assignments, journaling, studying and furthering your knowledge for this class outside of T/W/Th sessions. We expect you to work as a community of scholars, i.e., taking responsibility for location of some of your own learning materials, synthesizing these and sharing the best of these with others. Homework will entail: any assignments given in class or on the syllabus (frequently updated), research, outside readings, exploration of course-related materials on the web, and portfolio development. In particular, we urge you to explore original language text & media in German or Spanish and to share findings in writing and in class discussion (if appropriate). You may also take advantage of instructors' office hours to get further guidance, or discuss issues related to the class.
If you have any questions about homework or assignments, you should contact either instructor.

Course Requirements and Assessment. U-M Residential College students will receive an evaluation and a letter grade for this course, based on:
* 25% attendance and participation for T/Th
You should be present and on time for all class sessions and related events. You are expected preparation of reading assignments (this includes close reading of texts required of all, and texts in Spanish or German), evidence of engagement with reading materials, timely and thorough completion of any short oral or written assignments, active participation in class discussion (degree and quality of participation, effort, and increased familiarity with topics, etc.);

* 15% attendance and participation in Wed. night and outside workshops with guest artists)
includes: work within the group (ensemble work); experimentation on stage; growth in creative work; quality of work and effort; observations you make during discussion;

* 25% Ongoing portfolio development
You should purchase or make a portfolio/journal which you should begin today. (A book with no lines is recommended, unless you really prefer having lines.) Your portfolio will contain journal entries, creative starting points you come up with, based on texts and materials you find; reflections on course-related topics and materials you identify in your research (library materials, visual media, web materials, etc.). You are encouraged to write in your portfolio in German or Spanish (both effort and ability to do, using an increasing range of vocabulary will be taken into account, will be taken into account). You may also do some journaling in English if there are times when this is more appropriate for you. In the end, your portfolio should be FULL. It should be a place that you want to visit and visit often, both during and after the course. Your portfolio should contain a protocol of the course (your ongoing reaction to ideas discussed, readings, and what you witness and experience at Wed. night labs), a collection of starting points for future study topics related to the course (i.e., ideas you may have for creative work), and points you want to return to in your scholarship and creative work related to the course. The portfolio should contain bi-weekly entries, responding to questions that arise in readings or in class discussion. Goals will be: a) to allow for greater reflection on topics, b) to provide a mechanism for dialogue between the instructor/s and you, c) to delineate ideas you wish to explore in papers, and d) to let the instructor/s intervene with suggestions of further individual readings or art or literary works that might be of particular interest to you. The last outcome will be useful, in particular as you design and develop your final paper/project (described below).

5% contributions to course materials and web site
Since we are trying to create a community of scholars through this course and related travel, we expect you to locate useful relevant materials (scholarship, materials discovered on-line, German and Spanish-language materials related to course topics, etc.), which we you should submit to us on an ongoing basis, and again (in an organized way) at the end of the semester. You are encouraged to forward your research discoveries to us in a timely fashion, so that we may share these at times with the entire group. You may want to devote a section of your portfolio specifically to materials you find. You may also attach cartoons, pictures, etc. to your portfolio.

20% response papers/essays
There will be 4 short papers/essay (3 pages typed) required of all students. You will receive a choice of topics in advance for three of the papers, and these will be due on the last Friday of the month at noon (i.e., Jan. 27th, Feb., March ). The topic and “due date” of the fourth short paper/essay is April 10 or any point in the semester before that. We encourage you to submit it early in the semester, at a time that best suits you based on your schedule, coursework for other classes, etc. Further details about papers, expectations, etc. will be forthcoming.

10% final research or creative project
As a final project/paper, you will develop one longer (4-5 page) paper, which demonstrates thoughtful and perceptive treatment of a topic of the student's choice, related to the course. The project should include additional research (i.e., beyond that required on a week-to-week basis for class discussion). This project may be in the form of a standard short research paper, or it may be contain text and image/s. Or as an alternative to working with text and image, you may develop a piece for performance. In the latter case, the project will include: a script, a performance of the piece (either as dramatic reading or a staging of the piece through film, dance, etc.), as well as a reflection about the process you went through developing and performing the piece. If you opt to do a performance piece, you may do so with other students, but if this is the case, the project should be appropriately substantial.

Prerequisites: Admission to the course is by P.I. only. Students will be expected to have proficiency in German or Spanish and English. Each participant in the course is asked to enroll in no more than 16 academic credits (including the four for RC Hums 333), so that tuition for the additional two credits for the travel component will come at no extra cost.

Travel Component. The course will culminate in a 15-day trip (May 4-18) to Granada Spain and to Berlin Germany for which you will receive two academic credits (in Winter 2006), assuming you participate in all planned group activities. Our program in Spain and Germany has been designed to let you experience first-hand many of the issues studied in class through interaction with locals, guided tours, visits to museums, monuments and counter monuments. Details about travel will be forthcoming. Approx. cost to each student is $505 + airfare (est. $1,200) and meals (est. $225).

course web site: www.umich.edu/~jshie/culturesindialogue.html

janet hegman shier 7-4378 Mo 3-4, Fr 10-11 & by appt. 112 Greene
olga lópez cotín 7-4372 Tu/Th. 2-4 107 Greene



Worldwide, one in every thirty-five persons is a migrant.