2013 Courses

Courses for January Term 2008

UVA in Ghana
AAS 403Z: Community as a Classroom: Urban Studies and Service Learning [3]

This course will be held in Ghana

Program Brochure and Application

Any student planning to participate in a January Term study abroad course must attend a General Information Session on study abroad before applying to the program or registering for the course.

This course is cross listed with ARCH
Maurice Cox, Professor
Scot French, Associate Professor and
Director of the Center for Digital History

This course is cross listed with ARCH 595.

Through the townscape of Cape Coast, Ghana, we will investigate methods of reading urban cultural landscapes while engaging in community-based service learning projects. The course will unfold within the diverse historical and cultural contexts of Cape Coast and its relationship to the West Coast of Africa and the Atlantic World. This course targets advanced undergraduate students whose research interests focus on discerning cultural patterns and deciphering expressions of change in the built, natural, and social environments. Faculty directors Maurice Cox and Scot French will introduce students to the overarching themes of the course through daily seminars, coordinate field sessions, and introduce diverse community stakeholders. The course and its associated service learning projects will build upon the Conservation and Tourism Development Plan for Cape Coast, developed by community stakeholders (with input from Cox and his research associate, Gina Haney) and implemented over the past eight years.

Through this unique combination of traditional classroom and field learning experience, students will gain insight into the complexities of the Cape Coast community, develop skills needed to read the cultural landscape, and produce a tangible project of value to the community. For example, students might produce walking itineraries/visual guides to Asafo shrines; community programming for the adaptive reuse of Gothic House/Oguaa Traditional Palace; or site documentation of the Islamic neighborhood known as Zongo.

The course will be taught in a seminar/workshop format with a majority of the time spent in the field with administrators and residents of Cape Coast. Students will be graded on class participation/community engagement (30%), field journal (30%), oral presentation of proposed service learning project (10%), and final presentation to community stakeholders (30%).