Short-Term Study Abroad Program, Summer 2011


Interested in studying abroad?  Don’t have much time to spare?  Enroll in the King’s College Short-Term Study Abroad Program to Italy and Turkey.  It is a great opportunity to earn 3-6 course credits; learn about how people from other societies define themselves and their worlds; see two of the West’s great cities; live in and navigate grand, historic towns; meet and engage with people from different places; and enhance your resume.   
  For More Information, Contact:
Nicole Mares, History Dept:
Daniel Clasby, Graduate Prog.:
Mrs. Mollie Farmer, Study Abroad Prog:
Thursday, Sept 16, 1:30 SF 115
Wednesday, Oct 20, 6:30, SF 115
Tuesday, Nov 16, 4:00, SF 115

Can't Make a Meeting?  Here is the Info you need!


Tentative Itinerary:


Rome, Italy

Day 1: Arrive in Rome, Italy

Day 2: Roman Ancient Sites


Venice, Italy


Day 3: Train into Venice, Italy from Rome

Day 4: Venice, morning - General city orientation and walking tour with the following highlights: St. Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge, Jewish Ghetto; Venice, afternoon – tour of Ghetto Museum and Synagogues

Day 5: Venice, morning – all-class meeting and possible guest lecture; Venice, afternoon - Accademia tour with Karena Marin

Day 6:  Venice, morning – St. Mark’s basilica and Doge’s Palace tour; Venice, afternoon – free time

Day 7: Day trip to Trieste


Potential Questions: 

1)      What is the narrative created by the exhibition at the Venetian ghetto museum in Venice?  What elements of exhibits express the terrible dilemma of forced confinement?  What elements express the perseverance of a marginalized community and does this also mean that one could argue that the ghetto was both a place of persecution and tolerance?  How does this relate to questions of belonging to Europe?  What elements of the ghetto Jews are European?  Italian?  Venetian?  How does one make such a distinction?  What are the stakes involved in each claim?

2)      What does the Holocaust memorial plaque and sculpture in the center of the ghetto vecchio contribute to understandings of Italianness?  How is it distinct from the other major ghetto memorial to Napoleon’s emancipation of the Venetian Jews and the destruction of the ghetto gates?  What role do the various ethnic Jewish neighborhoods and synagogues inside the ghetto play in questions of ethnic, religious, community and national identities?  How are these understandings complicated in the case of the Venetian ghetto and the long history of Jewish persecution in Italy and Europe?

3)      How is art and literature different from history?  How does the Accademia (Venice’s major art history museum) distinguish between the religious history of Venice and its commercial history?  How does Shaul Bassi’s work on the Shakespearean legacy in Venice distinguish itself from the way the Correr Museum presents the history of the Venetian Republic?  How do these examples complicate understandings of community, religious tolerance and minority rights in the Venice?

4)      How could we write the history of the ghetto Jews and the successes and failures of religious tolerance into the story of the Venetian Empire?

5)      Ravenna is understood by most Italians to be the repository of some of the oldest examples of European Christian identity in Italy, but when Ravenna was at its zenith, the Byzantine Empire and what would become the Eastern Orthodox Church controlled the city and there was no such thing as “Italy,” at least not the Italy we know today.  What stories do the Ravenna mosaics scattered in churches throughout the city tell us about early Christian conceptions of the West and the East?  How does this earlier framing of identity help us understand more modern notions of what it means to be Catholic, or Italian, or European?  What are the limits and possibilities of such understandings?


Trieste, Italy


Day 7: Morning bus/train to Trieste, Italy; Trieste, afternoon – tour of the raised Jewish ghetto, the New Synagogue and “Jewish” Trieste in the Old City Quarter


Potential Questions

1)      Why has the Triestine Jewish community attempted to recreate the raised Jewish ghetto and to encourage Jews to move back?

2)      The Risiera di San Sabba Museum is housed in the only Nazi extermination camp in Italy.  What does such a sad memorial to the wanton destruction of an entire group of people say about the relationship between the majority culture and its ethnic minorities in 20th century Europe?  How do Italian Jewish survivors cope with having become victims of their own government and people?

3)      Consider the architecture, the food, and other markers of environment in Venice.  Does it seem Italian to you?  German?  Slavic?  How is the culture of Trieste also informed by its function as a port city?

4)      How did the shifting border changes – physical and ideological – contribute to Trieste’s decline, once the fourth-largest city in the vast Hapsburg Empire?



Istanbul, Turkey


Day 9: Orientation to the Landscape: Bridging the Old and New Istanbul

Day 10: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Archeological Museum

Day 11: Ferry to the Black Sea

Day 12: Istanbul, morning – free time; Topkapi Palace Tour

Day 13: Sultanhammet and the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul Art Museum



Potential Questions

1)      What story should we tell about Hagia Sophia? How does it compare to the story of San Vitale in Ravenna?  St. Mark’s in Venice?

2)      How does the Blue Mosque transform Sultanhammet?  How does it write the area into European narratives?  Ottoman narratives? 

3)      How is the story of the Archeological museum in Istanbul different from the Correr Museum in Venice?  The Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana?  How does this complicate and expand our understandings of “Europeanness”?

4)      How is the art museum in Istanbul different from that in Venice?  What stories were each of the galleries hoping to tell?

5)      The Bosphorous is the geographical boundary between Europe and Asia?  How does one experience this border?  What is the difference between the Asian and European side?   How would you draw the border of Europe?


Day 14: Return to New York