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Engaging Australia CAPA: University of Sydney Direct Enroll Program Spring 2024 Semester - Sydney

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Engaging Australia

Engaging Australia Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: CAPA Sydney Center
Location: Sydney, Australia
Primary Subject Area: Cultural Studies
Instruction in: English
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45


This course is designed to give direct-enroll students a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary understanding of the national, regional, and local context in which they are studying. By exploring key issues and debates that are shaping contemporary Australia-and situating them historically-students gain nuanced awareness of the social, cultural, political, and economic currents surrounding them. In so doing, this curricular component supports and enhances students' direct-enroll coursework and opens the possibility of more intentional exploration and engagement with Australia during their time abroad.

In addition to classroom-based teaching and learning, Engaging Australia makes extensive use of experiential learning and field study as a means of engaging the content and the host location. Through a series of guest lectures, workshops, and excursions, students are introduced to key issues in identity, place, and belonging, and learn how to discuss how these are experienced and contested in Australia. Structured self-reflection is another important pedagogical tool that allows students to unpack and understand their academic and lived experience abroad.

The course is embedded in the field of cultural studies and draws on insights from politics, history, environmental studies, anthropology, geography and sociology. Sydney is foregrounded and used as a means in which issues on local, regional and national levels will be explored. The core topics examine the forces shaping contemporary Australia and their historical context, and include:
- Engaging (and unpacking) Sydney
- The construction of the nation: collision and hybridity of past and present
- Sustainability and the environment
- Power relations: ethnicity, gender, class, and religion
- Contemporary issues in the news
- The Australian culture of education and lessons to be learned from studying abroad
- Sport, music, and culture: the glue that binds us

A unique aspect of this course is a focus on the multiplicity of 'authentic voices' of social, cultural, economic, and political change-frequently conflicting and contradictory-which enhance students' appreciation of the arbitrary nature of historical change and the creation of the modern.

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