Global Cornell awards support new international courses

Global Cornell has awarded five International Cornell Curriculum (ICC) grants totaling $114,000 to support faculty developing courses that feature international experiences for students. The resulting courses will be offered in 2023.

The funded proposals add short-term international experiences to existing courses or create new courses designed in tandem with partners abroad. Collaboration across colleges and disciplines, experiential hands-on learning with local communities, and project sustainability were key considerations for grant selection.

This round of ICC grants will internationalize the student experience and strengthen connections with Cornell Global Hubs. The collaborators include seven Cornell faculty from three colleges, working with seven partner universities across four Hubs.

In addition to the recent round of ICC awards, Global Cornell is offering joint research and education seed grants to Cornell faculty wishing to explore potential research and teaching collaborations with colleagues at Global Hubs universities. Applications are due October 21.

The five ICC-funded projects:

Race and Racialized Groups in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey (Winter Session)

This new course introduces students interested in Ottoman and Turkish history to the complex and understudied history of race, racialization, and ethnoracial discrimination in the region, with a focus on Istanbul in the Ottoman, post-Ottoman, and contemporary periods. The course is taught in partnership with faculty at Koç University in Istanbul. The class focuses on the history of Afro-Ottomans, Afro-Turks, and Black slavery and on Istanbul as a node of a global Black intellectual movement, as well as the role that notions of Whiteness play in contemporary Turkish politics. The format includes lectures and meetings with civil society representatives working with racialized groups in Istanbul, as well as tours of related historical and contemporary sites.

Course leaders: Mostafa Minawi (History, A&S) and Begüm Adalet (Government, A&S)

Partner: Koç University

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Global Health and Environmental Justice (Summer)

Cornell students interested in fields such as biology and society, medicine, public health, public policy, and environmental studies can join this summer course to study in London, a recognized center for international health research and policy. The course is taught in partnership with faculty at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London, a Global Hubs partner. This collaborative, experience-based course offers an intellectually compelling and methodologically comprehensive undergraduate study of the most pressing global health issues facing the world today.

Course leader: Alex Nading (Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences)

Partner: King’s College London

Global Hubs location: United Kingdom

Think Globally, Act Locally: Comparative Perspectives on Community Engagement in the U.S. and Ecuador (Spring Break)

In a bidirectional international exchange, Cornell students and students at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador, a Global Hubs partner, will spend their spring breaks learning at each other’s university and in the surrounding community. Cornell students apply their learning on topics like global civic action, cultural humility, and interdependence through field site visits in Ecuador. USFQ students learn about poverty, education, and the U.S. health care system through field site visits to community organizations across New York State where Cornell students participate in engaged work. All students think comparatively in cross-cultural contexts about issues of inequality in their home countries, articulate these issues in discussions with peers, and together imagine how “thinking globally, acting locally” might help address these grand challenges.

Course leader: Julie Ficarra (Global Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

Partner: Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Global Hubs location: Ecuador

Rethinking Bamboo: A Material and Architectural Study of Southeast Asian Bamboo Construction

This course exposes students to new modes of design thinking – leveraging material-based design approaches and construction technologies using bamboo – to engage with environmental and social concerns in rural and developing regions in Asia. In East and Southeast Asia, mismanaged and invasive bamboo forests cause severe losses in biodiversity, soil retention, and water quality. Revitalizing bamboo construction could mediate the ecological impacts of invasive bamboo growth and simultaneously encourage sustainable local building practices. The course is taught in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, a Global Hubs partner, and Zhejiang University, a collaborator with the Cornell China Center.

Course leader: Leslie Lok (Architecture, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning)

Partners: Chulalongkorn University and Zhejiang University

Global Hubs locations: Thailand and China

Experiential Writing in Mexico: Environmental and Cultural Communication (Winter Session)

This popular winter session course has returned after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Now offered in Oaxaca, Mexico, this advanced writing course offers a strengthened cultural curriculum, a new co-instructor, and integration with in-country universities. Through course lectures, seminars, readings, and field trips, students explore cultural, environmental, historical, artistic, and culinary traditions in a richly diverse landscape. Students will learn to write for diverse media formats and audiences and how to handle complex or controversial issues in a balanced, nonjudgmental manner. As they hone their written communication skills, participants will also increase their understanding and appreciation of the relationship between the environment, people, and culture.

Course leaders: Lauren Chambliss (Communication, CALS) and Donald Rakow (School of Integrative Plant Sciences, CALS)

Partners: Monterey Tech and Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca

Global Hubs location: Mexico

Jessica Ames is a communications assistant for Global Cornell.

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