This is a content oriented language course that investigates current topic under discussion across Russian culture and media. We will consider Russia’s place in a globalizing world and how its imperial and Soviet pasts and geography shape its current development, addressing problems of gender and social equality and environmental issues in particular. As we do so, we will cover the major components of the first semester of the third-year Russian language curriculum.
Storytelling and Social Change: Russian Literature, Film, and Ethnography
This course investigates the form and contexts of Russian prose, film, and documentary storytelling that challenges norms and seeks social change. Authors will include Tolstoy, Chekhov, Zoshchenko, Tokareva, and Ulitskaya among others. We will also work with Soviet and contemporary films, and ethnographic media, considering through these various forms why storytelling endures as a medium for transforming people and environments.
Sustainability & Development in the Francophone World
This course introduces students to French and Francophone sustainability practices and provides an introduction to French and Francophone social perspectives. This course will be primarily a topics-based course, and each class will focus on a different area of sustainability policy. A strong focus of the class will be in understanding issues in the design, implementation, and evaluation of French and Francophone environmental policy. We will evaluate policies designed to reduce water use and pollution, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Japan Today is a Japanese language course held in Beppu Japan during the summer abroad program that is organized around the theme of environmental sustainability. We discuss topics including solar energy, thermal energy, biomass, garbage disposal, local produce, and the Japanese concept of "mottainai" (trying to avoid wasting things). We also take students on a farmstay, to a geothermal plant, and to an elementary school. This is a community-driven course focused on teaching students how to think about issues of sustainability in Japan.
The course will include several projects focused on the study of sustainable communities in the city of Metz, France. Students will visit various associations and community organizations about once every 2 weeks for 2 to 3 hours. Visits and service learning may replace classes on campus.
Language for Business and Technology (LBAT): France
Some courses in the LBAT France program will introduce students to the theory, principles, and practices of sustainability. They will include discussions on maintaining ecological and environmental health, creating economic welfare, and ensuring social justice. Courses focus is on sustainable development and communities in Paris, France. Students meet both in class and in town. They may interview people, shoot videos, report on sustainability practices, create websites.
This course utilizes authentic reading materials like Japanese newspaper articles related sustainability issues* and novels, essays, manga and folk tales. The students will acquire extensive and intensive reading skills through collaborative pair-work activities, class discussion, and writing assignment. These skills and knowledge of sustainability issues in Japanese society are highly useful and respected in professional environments.