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Extended Study to Mexico

CORE 191: Michoacan, History, Life, and Culture

Director: Laura Klugherz
December 26, 2007–January 15, 2008

“One does not explain Mexico, one believes in Mexico, with fury, with passion . . .” –Manuel Zamacona in Where the Air is Clear by Carlos Fuentes

This quote is intended to further ready you for our adventure (which also happens to be a core course). The writer Lesley Byrd Simpson coined the phrase “many Mexicos” in his classic book by the same name. During our trip, we will see but a few of the plethora of Mexicos, but we will get to know them well through home-stays, Spanish study, and becoming a part of Patzcuaro and Michoacan among ourselves and with our hosts. Hopefully you will have many opportunities to visit this varied land, but our experience will have an intimacy that eludes a tourist trip. In addition, you will draw on your knowledge from the course to enhance your experience, and facilitate your ability to function within the society.

The course:

Core 191 is a half-credit Colgate course that builds upon foundation study of Core 171: Mexico. Our time in Mexico will be divided between Spanish study, student presentations, guest speakers, and excursions. All participants are required to attend all activities as described on the syllabus.

Each of you will be responsible for a presentation of your research paper material to the group. Before your assigned date, the group will have a reading to complete, so that there is discussion. All student presentations will have a related speaker or activity in Mexico. You should be prepared to take notes on all speakers (most of talks will be in Spanish, with some translation). Please prepare any handouts or copies before you leave the US. At the conclusion of extended study, you will have a short writing assignment related to your research (due after we return).

Each day you will attend a Spanish class in a small group (according to level). This is an important part of the experience, and the method used is designed to maximize your learning during this experience.

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