T5102 – Women in the Wilderness: Exploring the Landscapes and Arts in the Southwest U.S.

Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Page, Oljato Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly
Faculty: Allison Adrian & Francine Conley

Explore the national parks in the Four Corners Area of the United States (largely Arizona & Utah) while learning about the arts inspired by the unique landscapes, histories, and cultures that intersect in the U.S. Southwest.

Academic Overview
What does it mean to be a woman in the wild? This course will introduce students to the landscapes, history, and artistic voices of the Southwest U.S. focusing on Mexican-, Native-, and Euro-American women’s roles in the creative life of the area. Many of the artistic voices of the Southwest reflect the colorful landscapes of the desert. We will learn about the arts in the places that inspired it, and read about the histories of the people who live in the landscapes we traverse.  We will read poetry, fiction, and memoirs as well as hike, meditate, and journal in the wilderness to deepen our understanding of and our connection to the Southwest.

A significant portion of our learning will happen through 10 hikes in National Parks, Forests, and Monuments (including The Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and Monument Valley) between 2 and 5 miles in mountainous, desert terrain with altitudes varying between 3000-7000 feet above sea level.  Therefore, a moderate level of physical ability is required. Temperatures in the area are generally 60 -70 degrees during the day in January, and dip into the 30s at night.

Program Fee/Cost
Program Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast daily, one lunch and five dinners (subject to change).  Domestic airline bag fees are not included.

Students must be physically fit and able to participate in multiple mandatory hikes of 3-7 miles each at high elevations, and embark on moderately steep climbs on uneven terrain lasting upwards of 2 hours.

Required Readings
Susan Wittig Albert. What Wilderness is This: Women Write about the Southwest. University of Texas Press, 2008.
Cheryl Strayed. Wild. Knopf: 2012.

Copies will be distributed within the class for:

  • Paula Gunn Allen. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. (excerpts)
  • Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Aunt Lute Books: 1987. (excerpts)
  • Amy S. Greenberg. A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 Invasion of Mexico. (excerpts)

Academic Journaling                                        25%
Critical Reading Reflections                              25%
Presentation                                                    10%
Final Paper                                                       25%
Leadership of class discussion and activity        10%
Participation                                                     5%

Faculty Directors
Allison Adrian, St. Catherine University, (651) 690-6689, email: aeadrian@stkate.edu
Francine Conley, St. Catherine University, (651)690-6804, email: fhconley@stkate.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Allison Adrian is an ethnomusicologist at St. Catherine University where she also teaches courses in Women’s Studies and Critical Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Before pursuing her graduate degrees, she worked as a technology consultant, an AmeriCorps volunteer, and a group leader for high school students studying abroad. She loves traveling as well as working with artists and museums. She has served as a consultant for The Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) and Wing Young Huie (Minneapolis). She is the editor of the anthology Voicing Girlhood in Popular Music: Performance, Authority, Authenticity (2016). She recently served as a Fulbright Scholar and is working on creating a film based upon her research among indigenous Ecuadorians.

Francine Conley is an Associate Professor in the English Department at St. Catherine University. She is a poet, performer, and director with a chapbook of poems, How Dumb the Stars, published through Parallel Press. She has a manuscript of poems in circulation, What Sweetness from Salt (2017). Francine is one of six founding and active members of Franco-American touring theatre company, Le Theatre de la Chandelle Verte. The troupe led group works from 2001-2014, and continues to tour a selection of commissioned plays, such as FEMMES DE LETTRES (currently touring since 2017).

Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2018.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2018

For more information on course content, contact Allison Adrian
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.