The Living Heritage of
Language, Society and Environment in Peru
January 3-27, 2010
Peru was the center of the ancient Inca Empire, and today it is world famous for
its archaeological splendors and colorful native cultures. The Spanish
conquistadors were lured to Peru by tales of fabulous treasures of silver and
gold. But they were astonished to discover the architecture and culture of
the highly organized and sophisticated Incas, who built their stone-walled
cities high in the rugged terrain of the Peruvian Andes. Visitors today
experience not only these wonders of the ancient world but also the profound
legacy of Spanish colonialism and the enduring traditions of the largest
About the Course:
This interdisciplinary course combines study of the language, history, culture, politics and environment of this storied country. No prior knowledge of Spanish is required for enrollment, but students will study Spanish in a language school while in Peru and will have continual opportunities to practice their Spanish with Peruvians. The course will also feature group discussions focusing on the richness of Peru's cultural and environmental heritage in a global context. This four semester hour course partially fulfills General Studies requirements in the areas of Civilization or Science (non-lab). It also satisfies the university's Experiential Learning requirement.
Student Learning Objectives
a) To understand fundamental aspects of contemporary Peruvian society - including critical economic and political issues, religious traditions, family patterns, healthcare practices, artistic and musical forms, and habits of daily living.
To know broad themes of Peruvian history, especially the tension between Spanish
colonialism and the cultures of indigenou
c) To experience the amazing diversity of Peru's natural environment and to study how humans have responded to that land and its resources from pre-Inca times to the present.
d) To develop conversational ability in Spanish so as to enable each student to function on his/her own in Peru and to interact on an elementary level with non-English-speaking Peruvians. Prior knowledge of Spanish is not a prerequisite for this course, but attaining a basic level of proficiency in "survival Spanish" is a course objective.
e) To show respect for Peruvian people and their customs and to think deeply about why their practices may differ from our own beliefs and practices in the United States.
f) To develop one's abilities as a traveler in another country - including the enhancement of intellectual curiosity, tolerance of differing worldviews, personal fortitude, self-confidence in unfamiliar situations, and cooperation with others.
(1) Insight Guides: Peru. APA Publications. Available in the Elon bookstore.
(2) Downloads of articles (to be posted on our Blackboard site)
Bring these with you to Peru in January.
Grade for the Course
Your final grade for the course will be determined as follows:
2) Knowledge of Peruvian culture and environment 25%
3) Spanish 25%
4) Final reflective paper 25%
Notes concerning these four components of your grade
1) Enthusiastic and engaged participation in all course activities will earn you high marks in this category. Be observant, be interested, be on time to events, be courteous to your companions and respectful to Peruvians, be helpful, be patient. Ask yourself whether you have made this experience better for others. Complainers and grouches score poorly in this category, as do those who contribute little to class discussions.
Your grade in Spanish will be based on two exams given in Peru, one at Máximo
Nivel (the language academy where you will take classes) and one given by your
course professors as part of your written final exam for the course. You will
earn high marks for putting your Spanish (no matter how limited) into practice
with Peruvians t
The final component of your grade will be a more formal paper, to be completed
in February 2010 after your return to campus. For thi
What grades mean
We are followers of the traditional grading scale in academia, which means that a ‘C’ indicates ‘average’ performance in any of the above categories, with the remaining grades indicating:
A = Outstanding work
B = Very good (noticeably better than average) work
C = average, acceptable work, but nothing out of the ordinary
D = borderline acceptable, but substandard
F = unacceptable
Isabella Cannon Centre for International Studies
*NOTE: After hours and on weekends, calls to this number will be forwarded to the cell phones of members of the Isabella Cannon Centre for International Studies. Someone from the office will be on call around the clock during our stay in Peru.
If a family member needs to contact you for emergency reasons while you are in Peru, the best way to do so is to call the Isabella Cannon Centre and let someone on the staff contact you in Peru. Then you can return the call to the United States. The group leaders will be in constant contact with the Isabella Cannon Centre, so that the staff there will know where we are throughout our time in Peru.
Approach this study course with an open mind and ample academic preparation and you will most likely have one of the most amazing experiences of your whole life during January 2010. We look forward to sharing it with you.
--Professors Lunsford and Gammon