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Intercultural Learning Programs 2024


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Galesburg, IL 61401


Fax: 309-341-7166


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A handicap parking space on Cherry Street outside of George Davis Hall.

4-Week Intercultural Learning Programs

These programs are:

  • 4 weeks total in duration - occurring at various times during summer 2024. See dates below.
  • 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, on-campus with travel required, or all on-campus

Apply to Participate

All current Knox students are welcome to apply. See the project details below for more information about each project. The application is here.

Application deadline: April 20, 2024

4-week programs in 2024:

  • Instructor: Alyssa Mathias, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

    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 play repertoire from US-based Arab, Armenian, Jewish, Kurdish, and Turkish communities, while studying key moments in Middle Eastern immigrant history. Active learning 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, we will travel to Chicago, IL and Dearborn, MI for workshops with renowned musicians, visits to cultural sites, and exploratory 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 brief oral presentations on their Chicago and Dearborn experiences.

    Program Dates: June 11 - July 10, 2024

    Program Location: Knox College campus, with travel to Chicago and Detroit

    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. 

  • Instructors:
    Andy Civettini, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations
    Thomas Bell, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations

    Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and largest not located on either coast. It is a vibrant, diverse, multicultural city at the forefront of American art, culture, business, and society.Together, Knox students and faculty will spend four weeks immersed in; the life, work, community, and culture of Chicago, experiencing and sharing what life and work is like in the city. Students will have a small internship (approx. three days per week); throughout the program in order to develop a sense of what working in a large cosmopolitan city is like. In addition to internships that will be tailored to students’ interests and Knox educational pursuits, as a group we will spend the remainder of our time exploring the various cultural activities that help us understand the history, social fabric, and future of Chicago. We will explore neighborhoods by visiting museums and cultural centers such as the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Art and Culture, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. Beyond these museums, we will walk Chicago’s cultural neighborhoods, immersing ourselves and challenging students to discover what life is like in a multicultural city from different perspectives and different heritages. We will also explore the history of Chicago through visits to places such as the Chicago Cultural Center, Hull House, and the Newberry Library. Additionally, we will experience Chicago’s major cultural events together, such as music in the park at the Pritzker Pavilion and other summer events throughout the city. Students will diary their journey through the city and its diverse neighborhoods, culture, and communities throughout the four weeks. Students will leave the program with invaluable experience in an internship tied to their academic pursuits, but also with a deeper sense of the rich cultural tapestry of Chicago and how the city enhances our shared experience in the world. At the end of the program, students will draw on their diaries and reflect on the experience as a whole, writing a letter to future Knox-in-Chicago students about the experiences that they encourage those future students to have in the Second City.

    Program Dates: June 22 - July 19, 2024

    Program Location: Chicago. Students will live in Chicago in housing provided. 

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

  • Instructors:
    Katie Adelsberger, Professor of Environmental Studies; The Douglas and Maria Bayer Endowed Chair in Earth Science
    Cate Denial, Mary Elizabeth Hand Bright and Edwin Winslow Bright Distinguished Professor of American History

    The federal government’s removal of Indigenous nations from the place we currently call Illinois established an unusual relationship between Native people and the state. While we might find reservations and tribal governments within many other states, Illinois maintains archaeological and historical sites of Indigenous significance without the presence of the communities whose ancestors lived here. This four-week program will investigate the history of Native removal from Illinois within the context of settler colonialism, and examine how Indigenous communities are represented and included here today. Lectures from on- and off-campus experts will be supplemented with visits to Illinois archaeological sites and relevant museums, where students will analyze how best practices in the exhibition and preservation of Indigenous cultures and materials, including NAGPRA guidelines, are being incorporated into public-facing representations of ancestral and modern communities. At the end of the program, students will produce Story Maps to share what they have learned.

    Program Dates: June 30 to July 27, 2024

    Program Location: Knox College campus, with some travel in Illinois

    Prior Experience Needed? Students from all majors (or undeclared) are encouraged to apply. An interest in or coursework in Archeology, History, Anthropology, and digital humanities projects is advantageous. 

  • Instructor: Sami Seybold, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

    Embark on an interdisciplinary investigation of the doll, the movie, and the ethos as cultural phenomena. Using diverse scholarship ranging from feminist media studies to existentialist philosophy, we will explore how Barbie reinforces (and subverts) mainstream American ideologies surrounding gender roles, capitalism, beauty, and more. During this four-week course, students will gain firsthand experience grappling with what it means to interact with cultural products like Barbie using the central methodologies, questions, and arguments of critical media studies. Along the way, students will participate in several immersive experiences. We will run a multi-day Reacting to the Past roleplay game that investigates the feminist activism of Guerilla Girls artists in the context of the art world’s efforts (or refusal?) to grapple with depoliticized definitions of “art.” What lessons does this historical moment offer for understanding the aesthetics of Barbie as a potential reclamation, or enforcement, of mainstream femininity? We will also travel to the Chicago Art Museum to further explore questions about how gender, art, politics, and activism collide. The program concludes with a showcase featuring students’ personal reflections on what “Barbie” means to them via an expressive compilation of nonfiction analysis, poetry, short stories, and visual art.

    Program Dates: July 8 - 31, 2024

    Program Location: Knox College campus

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

  • Instructor: Jessa Dahl, Assistant Professor of History

    In this project, students will work as a team to create a proof-of-concept interactive virtual heritage experience centered on Kwassui Girls’ School, an American Missionary School founded in the Japanese treaty port of Nagasaki in 1879. Kwassui was a school founded on contradictions, built to educate Japanese girls but located in the foreign settlement of the city, where they weren’t allowed to live. Virtual heritage is a new field in digital humanities that combines historical or archeological research, 3D modeling, and interactive design to digitally recreate objects, buildings, and even cities that no longer exist. Using cutting edge techniques and software like Autodesk Maya, Unity, Audacity, and QGIS, our goal will be to recreate the grounds of Kwassui as a site of contradictions and controversy for a new audience to experience. Students involved in the project will take up the roles of researchers, writers, modelers, interactive designers, and systems engineers to work collaboratively to bring Kwassui Girls’ School back to life.

    Program Dates: August 5 - 30, 2024

    Program Location: Knox College campus

    Prior Experience Needed? One history, art, or computer science class preferred but not required.

Apply Now.

Knox College

Printed on Monday, July 22, 2024