In days gone by, an “educated” person was required to travel in order to round out his or her education. Minnesota State University Moorhead provides the opportunity for students to broaden their education by offering a semester-length humanities program which includes:
Students earn 15 upper-division credits through their Eurospring experience. 6 credits are earned through coursework under the direction of Oxford Professor Allan Chapman and his colleagues at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. Students can choose from a variety of classes addressing the year’s chronological theme, “The Renaissance.”
3 credits are earned in a course focusing on preparation, execution, and evaluation of cultural experiences and the study tour component.
6 credits are earned as two MSUM Dragon Core/LASC classes: one in the humanities (area 6, cross-listed into area 8, Global) and one in the social sciences (area 5), which includes a writing intensive designation. In these two courses, students synthesize their overall experience and meaningfully answer broad thematic questions central to the liberal studies learning outcomes. Student experiences include prep course briefings about museum visits and cultural background, field trips and weekend trips in England and Europe, personally tailored museum and archive visits, and the Grand Tour. This flexible and dynamic assessment allows students to pursue individual interests under the guidance of the tour leader, while experiencing the relevance and connectivity of the liberal arts first-hand.
This year’s Eurospring faculty leader is Professor Anna Arnar, Art History.
All students take the main lecture course and select two classes for credit. Students may audit any of the remaining classes.
Instruction will be provided in Oxford by carefully selected British faculty, who will set and grade examinations. Examinations will be held on the last day of classes at Oxford. Students must be prepared for a full day’s examination schedule. No rescheduling is permitted. All examinations are hand-written. Grading results are final.
The faculty leader is Professor Anna Arnar, Art History (218.477.4631, firstname.lastname@example.org), who will act as resident director and advisor in Oxford, and will be responsible for grading pre-and post-departure assignments. Students will be required to keep and submit a daily journal for grading and complete papers on topics chosen in consultation with Professor Arnar. This work will be based in part on observations and material collected during the study tour.
Students must participate in all Oxford field trips, which are generally held on Saturdays. There will be time for students to pursue individual interests, such as spending time in London and other locations.
In addition to the academic coursework in Oxford, students will be required to complete all assigned pre-departure coursework and attend orientation sessions; write an autobiographical essay at the end of fall semester; attend a mandatory on-campus preparatory course lasting one week during spring semester (February 15 - 19, 2016); keep a daily journal while in Oxford and on tour; visit a minimum of two historic sites, museums, and/or other cultural events in each city on tour; and turn in written work following completion of the program.
The Renaissance, 1450 - 1600
Dr Allan Chapman, University of Oxford
It would be impossible to imagine many of the things in the modern world that we take for granted without the age of the Renaissance, which took place between 1450 and 1600: geographical discovery, global travel, big business, representational art, public theatre, Protestantism, and the mass media, which came first through printing. It was an age of immense energy, where a drive for individual fame could sometimes find itself in conflict with Christianity, as soldiers, artists, and even Popes, strove for distinction. Its explorers, such as Columbus, Magellan, and Drake, also discovered the basic shapes of the continents and oceans that we know today. Ironically, the figures of the Renaissance believed that they were re-creating the glories of ancient Greece and Rome, whereas in reality they were creating an astonishing originality all their own: an originality which we all inherit in the modern world. Amidst all of its ingenuity and grandeur, however, the people of the Renaissance believed that they lived at the end of time: dreading imminent invasion by the Turks, and awaiting the fulfillment of those Biblical prophecies that would herald the end of the world.
There will be a lecture on the origins, history, and present-day workings of Oxford University, and on student life within it. Before each field trip there will also be a full lecture; in addition, there will be a background talk on the Shakespeare play to be seen in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The following classes are offered. Each student must register for TWO classes for credit, though all classes are open for audit. Book lists will be provided to participants during fall semester.
(Course selections subject to change.)
Each of the main field trips will take place on a Saturday except that to Stratford. Students have a mini “spring holiday” from Oxford in late March or early April. During this break students can travel and explore for themselves. Students must attend classes and lectures through mid-afternoon on the Friday of break and should not book holiday reservations that require them to leave Wycliffe Hall before 3:00 PM on that day.
The three-week study tour this year will include Paris, Siena, Florence, Venice, Prague, Bruges, Ghent, and Amsterdam. Guided sightseeing tours will be planned and group entrances are sometimes included in the cost, but students will also be expected to visit other important historical sites on their own. Transportation to and around Europe will be via train, airplane, and bus.