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Intercultural Learning Programs 2023


Office of Academic Affairs

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401


Fax: 309-341-7166


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4-Week Intercultural Learning Programs

These programs are:

  • 4 weeks total in duration - in June or July 2023
  • Require nearly full-time immersion and commitment during the experience (40 hours per week), similar to a short-term study abroad program
  • May be either off-campus (with travel required), a mix of on- and off-campus, or all on-campus

Apply to Participate

All Knox students are welcome to apply. See the project details below for more information about each project.

Application deadline: 26 March 2023

4-week programs in 2023:

  • Lisa Harris, Director, Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study and Health Professions Advising
    Judy Thorn, Professor of Biology and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Assessment

    Why does it matter who your healthcare provider is? Aren't providers all the same? Aren't patients all the same? This project will engage students in a careful examination of the collaboration between physician and patient, and how this collaboration is impacted by the socioeconomic status, gender identity, and racial identity of each, which influences the quality of healthcare. Observations and conversations will happen both in the classroom and during off-campus site visits to medical schools within the region allowing students to hear first-hand accounts of healthcare providers. Students will be encouraged to engage their own personal reflections and experiences as they grapple with the larger systemic issues of intersectionality, social justice, and equity. This project is open to students across the spectrum from those interested in health careers to those interested in the manner in which services and resources are apportioned in American society.

    Program Dates: 12 June-30 June (plus a remote component the week of 10 July)

    Prior Experience Needed? None. Students from all majors (or undeclared) are encouraged to apply.

  • Instructor: Deirdre Dougherty

    Participants will explore the educational and community experiences of Mexican Americans in Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois through a series of seminars, field trips, and service projects that will immerse them in local history and contextualize contemporary struggle. Structured as a series of interactive seminars, participants will engage various scholars whose work specializes on the history of Chicano education in the Midwest. We will work closely with community-based organizations, visit historical sites in the Quad Cities area, and engage in collaborative archival research at the Iowa State Historical Society and the University of Iowa's Women's Archives. Together, using our background knowledge and drawing on our original research, we will develop curriculum materials for the Davenport Community School District with the aim of preserving collective memory through the development of public facing resources that highlight histories of marginalized, othered, or oppressed groups. 

    Program Dates: 6 July-3 August, 2023

    Prior Experience Needed? Students from all majors (or undeclared) are encouraged to apply. An interest in or coursework in Spanish / Latin American Studies, History, and/or Educational Studies is advantageous. 

  • Instructor: Natsumi Hayashi

    This experiential learning project will explore the history of Japanese Americans living in Chicago, following their footsteps. Compared to Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans on the West Coast, Japanese Americans in Chicago are not often featured. How did Chicago's relationship with Japan begin? Did you know many Japanese Americans came to Chicago after leaving the internment camps? We will use online sources, experts' talks, and descendants' experiences of their involvement in activities regarding historic preservation. We'll also conduct field research to decipher where they came from, how they lived before, during, and after World War II, and what Japanese Americans are doing now. During a one-week stay in Chicago, we will visit the University of Chicago Library, Buddhist temples and a Christian church, Japanese American cemetery, the old 'Japan town' area and Japanese American internment camp, and the Phoenix Gardens, where the prewar World's Fair and Japanese Pavilion were located. The importance of history as a link to the present and the importance of passing on history will be understood through research on the history of Japanese Americans and the context in which it exists in today's society. The intercultural project can also be an opportunity to reflect on personal family history. As a culmination, students will learn how to conduct research through practice and create a digital archive on the research experience. 

    Program Dates: 7 June-3 July, 2023

    Prior Experience Needed? None. Students from all majors (or undeclared) are encouraged to apply.

  • Instructor: Alyssa Mathias

    This program uses music to explore the diversity of Middle Eastern cultural life in the United States. It is open to students at all levels of musical experience (including beginners). Participants will learn to perform repertoire from US-based Arab, Armenian, Jewish, Kurdish, and Turkish communities, while learning about key moments in Middle Eastern immigrant history. Hands-on immersion starts from day one at Knox, with rehearsals, listening exercises, private lessons, and movie nights, alongside classroom discussion of history and culture. During the third week, participants travel to Chicago, IL and Dearborn, MI for workshops with renowned musicians, visits to cultural sites, and independent research at the Arab American National Museum. Expect good food and plenty of dancing. Back on campus, the program culminates in a public concert, where students will also deliver oral presentations on their Chicago and Dearborn experiences. 

    Program Dates: 5 June- 30 June, 2023

    Prior Experience Needed? None. Students from all majors (or undeclared) are encouraged to apply. Music performance experience is beneficial, but not required. Selected students will represent a mix of experience levels and should be open to learning new musical techniques and/or instruments. 

  • Instructor: Gonzalo Pinilla

    This immersive experience will introduce students to Latino immigrants' contribution to the Chicago Mural Movement, a pivotal moment in the history of community activism in Chicago. By exploring art history research theory and practice and curatorial methods through a series of seminars, assigned readings, field trips, and independent research, students will learn about the history and contemporary discussions on community activism through the visual arts. Particular emphasis will be placed on how education, immigration, identity, and political and social issues affect visual representation. The experience will include a one-week trip to Chicago to study cultural artifacts and historical sites in the Pilsen neighborhood area, attend private lectures, visit artists studios, and conduct self-led research at places such as the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. For the interdisciplinary project students will learn about some open educational resource tools such as StoryMap JS to produce a map that charts the locations of murals and explore how public art is imbued with questions about space, power, and community. 

    Program Dates: 6 June- 3 July, 2023

    Prior Experience Needed? None. Students from all majors (or undeclared) are encouraged to apply. Completion of some coursework at the 200-level or higher in ART, ARTH, LAST, SPAN, EDUC, HIST, or ANDO would be beneficial but not required. 

  • Instructor: Brandy Wilcox

    What defines an "American" identity? Is it heritage? Is it the performance of culture? And in that case, what makes up that culture? From enslavement, colonization, and immigration, it is nearly impossible to define "American" without a multitude of other identities included within the definition. Whether African-American, German-American, LGBTQ+-American, Disabled-American, or any other _____-American identity, the performance of these identities are informed by the multiple experiences of the intersectional heritages, practices, and traditions of these folk groups.

    This project explores the intersection of multiple identities present in the population of Knox College students, faculty, and the communities that connect us throughout the midwest. Not limited to those with a government-defined "American" identity, we will examine and analyze the traditions and cultural practices of various identities in contact with US-American culture. Through the lens of folklore, we seek to identify, analyze, and present how various folk groups respect and honor their multiple identities while living within a US-American context. Beginning with the Abolitionist-American identity of Knox College, we will then travel for German-American heritage and 4th of July celebrations. Each of these themes will be the research for the first three episodes of the project's podcast, tentatively titled "Performing [____]-American Identity," with the last episodes coming from students' personal projects. 

    Program Dates: 20 June- 18 July, 2023

    Prior Experience Needed? None. Students from all majors (or undeclared) are encouraged to apply. Ability to identify an element of identity you would like to explore in the context of how it intersects with the questions of "American" identity. 
    Preferred: Podcasting experience, audio editing experience (ie: Audacity), journalism and/or informational interviewing experience, performance background, formal or informal affiliation with a heritage group. 

Knox College

Printed on Monday, July 22, 2024