In a few weeks, students in “Space and Identity: Psychological, Artistic, and Spatial Approaches to Hamburg, Philadelphia, and Beyond,” one of three current 360° course clusters, will finish their semester by traveling to the North German port city in the course title.
While past 360°s have included travel components, “Space and Identity” marks the first time students will present their final projects to faculty and students from the host city, in this case scholars from HafenCity University (HCU). It also marks the first time the travel is planned for the end of the semester.
Since early April, select students from Bryn Mawr have started to collaborate with students in a course on “Expatriate Spaces” taught at the HafenCity University. These students have received funding through the 360° Program to stay in Hamburg until mid-July when the semester ends there.
“This group of students will have a unique opportunity to apply the analytical and history-focused approach of our course to a study of the ways in which expatriates use urban space in Hamburg and are embedded in diverse local and transnational networks” says Cities Professor Carola Hein, who is among the faculty participating in the 360° .
In another first, Patricia Roth, who is a graduate student at HCU, has been assisting with the collaboration and other aspects of the 360° during her stay as a Fulbright Fellow at Bryn Mawr.
“Patricia has been a great asset to the course. She has brought knowledge in urban design and theory to the class, complementing the academic approaches that most of our students are accustomed with,” says Hein. “As a German who has lived in Hamburg for several years, she has provided the students with a unique perspective on the city and will help us with the logistics of the trip.”
Hein and Roth met in 2011 when Roth was applying for her Fulbright Fellowship and Hein had just finished her stay as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow at HafenCity. At the time, Roth, whose research brings together multiple disciplines, was unsure of where to apply to study and asked Hein for advice.
“My research doesn’t fit neatly into a single category. It involves urban studies, art history and curatorial studies. It just so happened that Bryn Mawr is a place where I can integrate all of those fields,” says Roth.
At Bryn Mawr, Roth says she’s been struck by the level of dedication and cooperation between faculty and students.
“There’s a mutual respect here at Bryn Mawr that I don’t think you see as much at most other colleges,” says Roth.
“Space and Identity” includes the courses Spaces of Identity: Architecture and Urban Planning in Hamburg, taught by Hein, Growth and Structure of Cities; Identity under Pressure, taught by Professor Marc Schulz, Psychology, and Art of Exile: Emigration in Fiction, Film and Painting, taught by Associate Professor Tim Harte, Russian.
As their final project, some of the students in the 360° have chosen to develop a tour through Hamburg on the topic of space and identity. On Tuesday, May 7, they will lead the Hamburg students and faculty on this trip, which is tentatively titled "Creative Voices of Hamburg." In preparation for such an exploration, the students developed thematic tours through Philadelphia and led the 360° faculty on a full-day tour in April. For photos from the tour, visit this online gallery.
360° is an interdisciplinary experience that engages several aspects of a topic or theme, giving students an opportunity to investigate thoroughly and thoughtfully a range of perspectives. A cohort of students takes a cluster of classes over the course of a semester, focusing on the history, economic concerns, cultural intersections and political impact of an era, decision, event, policy, or important scientific innovation. 360° participants hone their arguments and insights through writing and research, develop strategies for teamwork that push the limits of their talents and creativity, and work with professors and scholars to promote big-picture thinking. Travel associated with the 360° program is funded by Bryn Mawr College.