Youth Culture/ContemporaryYouth: The Making of a New Italy
Manka Varghese is currently co-director (with Julie Villegas, Associate Director, Honors) of the 2011 Rome Winter Program, the Honors-Education class, which is happening this quarter, includes four education ESL minor students and three ECFS major students.
The 2011 Winter in Rome Program addresses youth identity and, more broadly, the identity of a country that is navigating extreme demographic changes. Italy is navigating programmatic and instructional decisions pertaining to youth, thereby crafting identities for them. The complex interplay of the dynamic force of the young population and the influence of the nation state, and its investment in maintaining the illusion of one cohesive "Italian Identity", is a challenging area of study. This program engages deeply with these issues through a combination of on-site classroom instruction, excursions to schools, community ethnic and arts centers, and nonprofit social organizations, and also direct interaction with youth groups in Italy.
Varghese taught the first half of the course and Dean Edward Taylor, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, visited the program in late February. Varghese notes that the service learning component sets this study abroad apart.
"Mainly what is innovative is this aspect," Varghese writes, "is that students are going to four different organizations and volunteering. One is a school, Iqbal Masih; another is ArciGay (a gay rights foundation); the third is St. Paul's Refugee Center and the fourth is a cooperative of young artists. It is all around the theme of the program - the changing face of youth in Italy. They keep a journal and we do check-ins every week to discuss their learning/reflections. They also do research papers at the end of the program and many are connected to their service learning projects."
Learn more through the 2011 Winter in Rome Program blog.