May 27, 2020  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SOJ 3800 - Encountering Cuba: History, Culture, Environment

Credits: 4
This Study Travel Course will provide Merrimack College Honors students with a unique interdisciplinary approach to understanding Cuba and its complex relationship with the United States. The course will be structured around three thematic units or plotlines: Revolution, Race, and the Environment, and it will include a pre-travel section, where students and instructors will work together on building a framework from which to approach Cuba. This framework will be based on political, social and cultural history (from being a Spanish colony through US domination to the Revolution and beyond); constructions of and engagements with Cuba’s nature before and after the Revolution; and a study of alternative modes of social organization in Contemporary Cuba. Students and instructors will travel to La Habana, Cuba, where they will participate in workshops on topics such as US-Cuba relations, cooperative modes of production, and sustainability; they will engage with students from said university, and will visit sites of historical importance as well as contemporary relevant sites (rural co-operatives, sustainable enterprises). Upon returning, the class will decompress the experiences lived in Cuba, reflect on what they have learned and on the images of Cuba that circulate in the US, and work together on a project that will disseminate in the community the positive aspects of life in Cuba, the challenges the country faces, and any other relevant observations. This course will be team-taught by professors of History, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Global Justice, Spanish, and Social Justice. The course will also feature guest speakers from a variety of departments (such as Economics, Visual and Performing Arts, Criminology, and Spanish) that will allow the community to be better prepared to encounter Cuba and to appreciate the accomplishments that its people have achieved, and the challenges they face.