Public Media, Private Media in the Land of the BBC (2017): A seminar developed for Advanced Studies in England’s (ASE) five-week summer school in the world-heritage city of Bath, England. This course compares the mass media systems of the UK and the U.S. We trace how the two systems developed historically and consider how different revenue models (e.g., advertising, subscriptions, publicly-funded, etc.) encourage particular types of content. We will also learn about the relationship between the state and the mass media in the two countries. Students will study British newspapers and TV and explore how norms concerning objectivity, censorship, and public interest programming differ from U.S. media outlets.
London: The Global City (2011, 2013): A Concordia College month-long global education course using London as a case for introducing students to two key concepts in sociology: “urbanism” and “the global city.” “Urbanism” as a concept has been used to suggest that people living in cities construct distinctive ways of life. The “global city” is a concept which encourages exploration of the special character of those cities which function as the principle nodes of global networks from which power in markets, politics, and culture emanate. These concepts allowed us to explore key patterns of urban experience in London, a city at the center of globalization. The design of the course was experiential, fieldwork-oriented, and comparative. Our goal was to simulate for students the experience of citizenship and urban living in a non-U.S. city. At the same time, we wanted to explore how those experiences are shaped by London’s status and function as a global city. Students had an immersion-like experience residing in dormitory housing with domestic UK students. Co-taught with Matthew Lindholm (Sociology).
The Ethnographic Essay (2012): In this month-long Concordia College global education course, students learned the skills of ethnography experientially, observing and interviewing in urban and rural communities throughout Scotland. We spent ten days in Edinburgh, an incredibly well-preserved historic city with its lush public parks and its famous castle overlooking the city. Then, we spent five days exploring the Scottish Highlands, including the Isle of Skye, enjoying the beauty of the countryside and the charm of the rural culture. Finally, during the final two weeks, the group resided in Glasgow, a lively, modern Scottish city where friendly (if heavily-accented) residents mix with art school hipsters. Living in downtown apartments in Glasgow, each student conduct her/his own ethnographic study of a coffeeshop, a bus line, a religious community, a bookstore, a working farm, or another microculture of their choosing. Along the way, the group mer working artists, non-profit employees working with the country’s urban poor, and a rural dog-breeder, among others. Through the visits and the research projects, students became deeply immersed in the culture of Scotland, seeing the country through the eyes of its residents. Co-taught with Karla Knutson (English).
High Impact Learning Trip (HILT) in San Diego and Tijuana (2013)
: A week-long social justice program exploring race and ethnicity, immigration policy, and inequality on the U.S.-Mexico border. This program was student-led and organized in collaboration with with Darin Johnson, a campus pastor at San Diego State University, and Transformational World Opportunities (TWO), a non-profit that promotes global understanding through immersive experiences in Mexico. The students and I described our experiences in Concordia College’s intercultural journal, Djembe