Global Course Connections Student Conference at JCU

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Students from Prof. Fabrizio Conti’s course HS 235 The Birth of Medieval Europe and from Prof. Matthew Schoene’s course SOC 340 European Integration taught at Albion College, Michigan, met at John Cabot University for a Global Course Connection student conference on November 20, 2018. Students presented and discussed the topics they had been working on remotely in pairs throughout Fall 2018. The conference was sponsored by the Department of History and Humanities.

Global Course Connection student conference

Global Course Connection Student Conference

A group of 10 students from Albion College traveled to John Cabot University, accompanied by their professor and Director of International Education, Cristen Casey. The initiative is part of new “Global Course Connections” program sponsored by the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA). The aim of the program is to connect two courses taught at two different universities in the world, allowing students to work together on a specific assignment with overlapping topics. The conference was an opportunity for students to overcome methodological boundaries and to learn from a transdisciplinary perspective.

Professors adhering to this project met on June 12-15, 2018 at FLAME University in Pune, India, for the international workshop organized by the GLAA to finalize the connections among partners and share teaching methods and experiences. “I had the chance and the pleasure to meet Dr. Schoene and to work with him for the creation of our course connection where we combined the sociological approach to contemporary Europe with its historical roots and developments,” says Professor Fabrizio Conti.

The students have been developing joint presentations on overlapping historical/sociological topics such as: the Byzantine Empire/the states of Eastern Europe; the Carolingian world/the institutions of European Union; Islamic Civilizations and European Identity/Culture, Race & Ethnic Relations; Historical Economic Crisis/Contemporary Economic Crisis; Urban, Social and Territorial Dynamics/Euroscepticism; Violence and Peace/Peace and Security; the Age of Migration/Migrations.

The Global Course Connection provides students with the opportunity to consider the topics and the issues they deal with from the perspective of a different discipline, while professors have the chance to develop cross-disciplinary curricula and nurture international collaborations. Professor Fabrizio Conti concluded, “I do hope that the John Cabot-Albion experience will encourage others to engage in similar projects, and will help to develop new paths and ideas of cross-cultural and transdisciplinary cooperation, which, as we know, is one of the keys to inspire and foster learning within the liberal arts realm.”