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2013 Seminar

Duomo in Florence

Mediterranean Trivium: Earth, Sea, and Culture in Italy

On-site seminar: June 24 – July 4, 2013

The Mediterranean Trivium seminar brought 15 faculty from five ACM colleges together in Italy to see firsthand how the singular geological framework and distinctive ecology of the Mediterranean region shaped Classical, Renaissance, and modern cultures.

Reading and communication among participants before and after the on-site portion of the seminar was directed at using the topic and site to create new multidisciplinary curricular materials for advanced undergraduates at ACM colleges, which could also serve as models for other faculty.

Seminar participants

The Mediterranean Trivium seminar was led by an interdisciplinary team of three faculty from Colorado College: Susan Ashley (history), Christine Siddoway (geology), and Sanjay Thakur (classics). The leadership team's proposal for the seminar topic and on-site location was selected through a competitive process.

Forum in Rome

Sanjay Thakur (left) makes a point during the group's visit to the Forum in Rome.

Three-member, interdisciplinary teams of faculty from Carleton, Coe, Luther, and St. Olaf were selected to participate in the seminar, also through a competitive application process.

Seminar in Italy

The faculty spent ten days on-site in Italy on June 24-July 4, 2013. The seminar itinerary began and ended in Rome, but the group was primarily based in Florence, with day trips to other cities and sites.

The leadership team divided responsibilities for seminar sessions according to their expertise, and each participant prepared a short presentation on some aspect of the seminar.

In addition, time was set aside for campus teams and individuals to work on their curricular projects and to talk together about these plans, about ways of incorporating seminar material into courses, and about strategies for interdisciplinary teaching.

Mediterranean Trivium seminar

Mediterranean Trivium group website

The leadership team and participants created a seminar website with detailed information about the on-site seminar in Italy, including:

Documents about the 2013 seminar

Curricular Projects

In the year following the on-site portion of the Mediterranean Trivium seminar, participants drew from the seminar content and structure to develop innovative, multidisciplinary curricular materials, including courses, modules, assignments and exercises, and lesson plans.

Some of the participants worked on curricular materials for courses related to the Mediterranean and Europe, while others developed themes that had been explored in Italy for courses related to other continents. The course materials that were developed reflected both the interdisciplinary focus of the seminar as well as the wide range of disciplines represented by the seminar's participants.

Go to: Curricular projects by 2013 SAIL Seminar participants