Global Studies

The world is a big place, but also increasingly interconnected. Success as a person and as a society is more and more reliant on having a full understanding of communities and cultures outside our own so we can see the commonalities that unite us. The specialized field of global studies is focused on increasing the understanding of the interconnectedness of people and systems on a global scale while also accepting and celebrating diverse cultures.

At Oakton College, we offer global studies as a special program and as a pre-major with an associate in arts (A.A.) degree. The global studies pre-major is recommended if you are considering completing a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies, Area Studies, or related fields after transferring to a four-year institution. If you're planning to major in Global Studies, we highly encourage you to study abroad after your first year at Oakton; you can study abroad for an entire Fall or Spring semester, for a month in the summer, or for one to three weeks over an Interim. Typically, you will take six to seven credits abroad in the Summer, including a modern language course and a Humanities course. 


Pre-Major and Concentration

Our Global Students pre-major is recommended for students who are considering completing a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies after transferring to a four-year institution. It is designed for students who have not decided upon a specific four-year college or university. 

Students planning to major in Global Studies are highly encouraged to study abroad after their first year at Oakton. Students can study abroad for an entire Fall or Spring semester, for a month in the summer, or for 1-3 weeks over an Interim. Typically, students take 6-7 credits abroad in the Summer, including a modern language course and a Humanities course. 

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The global studies concentration consists of a 15-16-credit-hour program that can be completed at the same time as you complete another pre-major. It presents a cross-disciplinary approach that allows students to explore the impact of forces such as culture and ethnicity, colonialism, industrialization, globalization, environmental sustainability and resistance and peace movements.

This program also allows you to build knowledge in a variety of subjects and topics that can assist as you pursue a variety of majors and careers, including business, government, anthropology, the sciences and more. This program will also give you the opportunity to study abroad if you are interested so you can experience global cultures and learning firsthand.

Completing the global studies concentration can earn you a Global Scholar designation on your transcript. To get the designation, you must complete all the required classes, maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.0, and finish at least two semesters of a modern language and/or participate in a study abroad experience.

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Study Abroad

One of the best ways to truly understand another culture and way of life is to immerse yourself in it. Studying abroad gives you a unique opportunity to advance your education and earn academic credits while seeing the world, meeting people from diverse backgrounds and gaining a new perspective on the way we live. Studying abroad can also aid tremendously in learning another language, as well as making your resume stand out with a unique, real-world experience.

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360 Global Learning Experiences

As an Oakton student, you'll have many opportunities inside-and-out of the classroom to broaden your horizons. Oakton community members enjoy a free subscription to 360 GLE™, an interactive platform featuring immersive international education learning materials and experiences from all over the world. Inside the platform, you can navigate to any of the locations and academic topics available to interact with educational plugins in the various scenes, modules, and videos. Your instructors may incorporate the tool into their curriculum, or you're welcome to explore on your own.

Oakton's subscription requires an email to login.

Learn more about 360 GLE™

Major Grant Awards to Globalize Oakton’s Curriculum

Oakton has received several prestigious grants for our faculty to globalize the curriculum.


Institution: Oakton College, Des Plaines, IL

Project Director: Dr. Katherine Schuster,, 847.376.7118
GPA Type: Short-Term Project
Participants: 12 community college and 2 high school instructors, 2 seminar co-directors
Priorities: 1

Oakton College identified West Africa and the African Diaspora as area studies that were underrepresented in our curriculum. We seek to fill this representation gap with the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant for “West African Anti-Colonial Imagination and Identity” including a seminar for 14 community college and 2 high school faculty in Ghana and Togo from June 18 to July 25, 2022. Oakton’s GPA proposal will contribute to developing, expanding, and strengthening the West African and African Diaspora area studies of community colleges and high schools in Illinois, including the politics of language use among the Ewe peoples, from an anti-colonial perspective. We will do this by opening dialogue among U.S. academics and Ghanaian and Togolese academic, business, civic, and cultural leaders. The GPA will meet the Fulbright-Hays’s mission by providing college and high school faculty the chance to participate in research and curriculum development projects in Ghana and Togo.

The grant team administrators and participants will do this by meeting three goals:

  1. To develop a cohort of instructors who will become conversant with West Africa and West African and African diasporic culture, languages and literature, visual art, mass media, politics, religion, history, philosophy, social movements, and sustainability projects by connecting community college and high school educators to area experts in the United States and a range of individuals, institutions, and initiatives, including representatives from academia, civil society, political institutions, and Indigenous cultures in Ghana and Togo.
  2. To foster among the participants and individuals at affiliated institutions an understanding and appreciation of the African and African diasporic anti-colonial perspectives and frameworks from the vantage of multiple disciplines.
  3. To create innovative international and multicultural curricula that reconceptualizes West African and African diasporic identities from outside of the dominant Eurocentric narrative and draws on the participant immersion experience in Ghana and Togo, and to facilitate the inclusion of this curricula at Oakton College, partnering institutions, and surrounding secondary and post-secondary institutions.

We have established partnerships with the African Studies Centers at The University of Wisconsin - Madison, Northwestern University, and Michigan State University. We have also partnered with EDU Africa for activities and accommodations in Ghana and Togo. Oakton’s membership and leadership in the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Community Colleges for International Development will enhance and expand the dissemination of the project outcomes. Oakton’s GPA includes three US-based preparation seminars, a series of in-country experiences with independent learning objectives, and a post-seminar curriculum development period, each of which includes a robust assessment protocol. This GPA will contribute to multidisciplinary curriculum development in community colleges and the high school districts they serve by addressing gaps in area studies in West Africa and the African diaspora.

Preview the 2022 Program Itinerary here (PDF)(2MB). Read more about the academic preparation for this excursion with this Bibliography for the Ghana and Togo Trip (PDF) (197 KB).

 Participant Curriculum Development Projects

A multi-year intensive examination, expansion and revision of curriculum, faculty and staff professional development, and student study abroad opportunities to reflect the importance of South Asian content within global competency initiatives at Oakton College.

Oakton College proposes a multi-faceted project that will involve all constituencies of the College community, as well as residents of Oakton's district, local high school teachers, and colleagues from community colleges across Illinois, in gaining a greater understanding of the fascinatingly complex societies of South Asia. There will be a range of opportunities, or pathways, for learning. South Asia content will be infused in humanities, philosophy, history, women's studies, literature, anthropology, business, macroeconomics, English composition, science and technology, health careers and others. Individuals will have the opportunity to learn the Hindi and Urdu languages, and heritage speakers will become more aware of the legacy of their South Asian roots. A special topical "Pathways" series open to all Oakton employees is designed to generate interest in and celebrate Oakton's new South Asia curriculum.

Grant objectives are to:
1. Develop beginning, intermediate and conversational Hindi/Urdu language curriculum;
2. Increase faculty, administrator and staff knowledge of South Asian societies and cultures through various professional development opportunities;
3. Develop at least four new courses on South Asia, as well as enhance 20 existing courses by infusing them with South Asian content, through recruitment, support and development of selected curriculum development faculty members;
4. Establish opportunities for students and faculty members to study in India and participate in exchanges; and
5. Increase awareness of Oakton's global studies programming, specifically new courses or sections on Hindi, Urdu and South Asia, and study abroad opportunities in India.

The objectives are ambitious but nonetheless attainable. Oakton already has an established Global Studies Program, so there is significant institutional commitment for the enhancement and expansion of the existing program. The College currently offers coursework in 11 modern languages, including some priority languages, thus ensuring the successful delivery of Hindi and Urdu instruction. Oakton is privileged to receive strong support in implementing this project from the Center for South Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a Department of Education-funded National Resource Center, CSA brings area and language expertise to the project and passion for the educational initiatives that Oakton envisions. The University of Hyderabad also will play an integral part in the planning and performance of project activities. Their Study in India Program will be the model for in-country student and faculty learning opportunities. The cross-disciplinary involvement in the project will foster a vibrant and sustainable learning community.

Administrative Team

Katherine Schuster, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Global Studies Coordinator, UISFL Grant Director
Madhuri Deshmukh, Ph.D., Professor of English, Peace and Social Justice Studies Coordinator, UISFL Grant Associate Director
Linda Korbel, Dean of Languages, Humanities and the Arts, UISFL Grant Administrative Representative
Mohamed Mehdi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy, UISFL Grant Associate Director
Marguerite Solari, Ph.D., Professor of French and Spanish, Chair of Modern Languages, UISFL Grant Team Member

Kathleen Morrison, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago, UISFL Grant External Evaluator

Zeeshan Ali

Teaching and Learning Non-violence in a Globalized World
Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, Summer 2008
Led by Oakton College

In July 2008, 14 professors and high school teachers from Illinois participated in a five-week seminar in India, funded by a Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad grant. This site chronicles their experiences in India, as well as their preparation for the journey, and their post-seminar activities and projects.

Educators should feel free to utilize any of the curriculum development project ideas in their classrooms. The links and events pages will also be consistently updated with information on Peace Studies, non-violence, and general information on India for use in schools and colleges.

Pre- and Post- Departure Activities

"Global Legacies of Non-Violence: From Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Jr."
April 17-18, 2008
2-day conference, hosted by Oakton College, open to all area high school, college and university educators, students, and community members.

Peace Studies Curriculum Development Retreat
Loyola University - Chicago
February 7th, 2009

Reading List

Parekh, Bhikhu. Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2001.

Gandhi, M.K. Hind Swaraj and Other Writings. Ed. Anthony Parel. Cambridge University Press, 1997.

-----. An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

Payne, Robert. The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi. 1969. New York : Konecky Konecky, 1998.

Nandy, Ashis. The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism. 1983. In Exiled at Home. Oxford India Omnibus Edition. New Delhi: Oxford UP, 2005. (a second reading from this work is listed for April)

Nehru, Jawaralal. Discovery of India . 1946. New York : Penguin, 2004. (Selected Chapters)

Shiva, Vandana. India Divided: Diversity and Democracy Under Attack. New York : Seven Stories Press, 2005.

Kapur, Sudarshan.  Raising Up a Prophet The African-American Encounter with Gandhi.   Boston :  Beacon Press, 1992.

Rudolph, Lloyd I. and Susanne Hoeber. Postmodern Gandhi and Other Essays: Gandhi in the World and at Home. Chicago : U of Chicago P, 2006. (Selected Chapters TBA)

Raghuramaraju, A., ed. Debating Gandhi: A Reader. New Delhi: Oxford UP, 2006. (available at

  • Basham, A.L., "Traditional Influences on the Thought of Mahatma Gandhi," 19-45.
  • Guha, Ramchandra,"Mahatma Gandhi and the Environmental Movement," 223-239.
  • Kishwar, Madhu,"Gandhi on Women," 269-324.
  • Nagaraj, D.R., "Self-Purification versus Self-Respect: On the Roots of the Dalit Movement," 359-389.

Narayan, R.K. Waiting for the Mahatma. Chicago : U of Chicago P, 1981.

Also Recommended
Gandhi, M.K. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi . Government of India

Ashe, Geoffrey. Gandhi. 1969. New York : Stein and Day, 1980.

Fisher, Louis. Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World. 1951. New York HarperCollins, 1997.

Gandhi, Rajmohan. Gandhi: The Man, His People, and the Empire. Berkeley : U of California P, 2008. (Forthcoming)

Works about Gandhi and India
Lal, Vinay. "Gandhi, The Civilizational Crucible and the Future of Dissent." Futures. 31 (1999). Website Manas: gandhi_civil_crucible.pdf

-----."Too Deep for Deep Ecology: Gandhi and the Ecological Vision of Life", in Hinduism and Ecology : The Intersection of Earth, Sky, and Water , eds. Christopher Key Chapple and Mary Evelyn Tucker ( Cambridge , Mass. : Harvard UP for Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University , 2000), pp. 183-212.

Nandy, Ashis. "Final Encounter: The Politics of the Assassination of Gandhi." In At the Edge of Psychology. 1983. In Exiled at Home. Oxford India Omnibus Edition. New Delhi: Oxford UP, 2005.

Read one participant's blog
This link will take you to an unofficial page or a page outside of Oakton; any opinions expressed in the page are strictly those of the author and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by Oakton College.

Following activities in Delhi , seminar participants will travel by train to the unique 20-acre organic farms of Navdanya at Ramgargh village in Dehradun in the northern state of Uttaranchal Pradesh. Here on the campus of Navdanya's Bija Vidyapeeth (The International College of Sustainable Living) in the beautiful Doon-valley, participants will engage in tutorials and dialogue on the topic of "Gandhi and Globalization," led by renowned scientist and environmentalist Vandana Shiva. Navdanya was founded in the mid-1980s as a women-led and gender-sensitive initiative to promote and provide direction to environmental activism and sustainable agriculture. Drawing on Gandhian concepts of swaraj (self-rule) and satyagraha (soul force), Navdanya is committed to the search for techniques of non-violent farming that protect the earth's biodiversity. Its contributions include the conservation of thousands of varieties of diverse and indigenous rice, grain and vegetable seeds and the establishment of 34 seed banks in 13 states in India; the training of farmers and students in the techniques of organic farming; legal efforts against corporations seeking patents on indigenous knowledge and natural varieties; and participation in global conferences on fair trade, sustainability and women's rights. Addressing such issues as rural poverty, farmers' rights, seed sovereignty, organic food and chemical-free farming, Navdanya has much to teach us about non-violent ways of living and cooperating with our natural environment. Tutorials at Navdanya are holistic. Participants will listen to presentations by Dr. Shiva and Dr. Satish Kumar, editor of the journal Resurgence , on such topics as "The Challenge of Globalization in India ," "The Agrarian Crisis in India , and on Navdanya's own commitment to a regeneration of Gandhian philosophy to non-violently address today's social problems. In addition to this intellectual engagement and dialogue, participants will have the opportunity to learn to live as a community and engage in best practices of sustainability, including cooking Navdanya's own organically grown food, gardening, composting, yoga.

** Samanvaya
SAMANVAYA has been trying to bring in to the world of modern youth, Gandhi, his ideas and perspectives. Towards the same Samanvaya has been organizing free reading sessions of Gandhi's seminal work 'Hind Swaraj' for the last few years. In Hind Swaraj, Gandhiji outlines the civilizational framework of Indian thought and goes on to explain issues and struggles on this foundation. Hind Swaraj offers a perspective on understanding Indian society and civilization and explores our interaction with the world. Samanvaya's course comes as a result of our reading sessions; based on Hind Swaraj, it attempts to provide a base to understand the problems that India as a nation faces today, and where it stands in the world arena. Samanvaya now designs and conducts regular SwaRaj programs and events. The SwaRaj programs are offered to educational institutions as a one-time orientation program, or integrated into their curriculum, and to development organizations as part of their organizational learning process. This promotes the precepts of Swaraj as an alternative to the prevalent paradigm, as well as facilitates and helps explore alternatives.

Select Speakers

Purushottam Agrawal, Ph.D. , Professor of Hindi Literature and Chairperson of the Center of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University . Dr. Agrawal recently served as chief advisor (2003-2006) of the "peaceful Co-Existence in South Asia" project of the Aman Trust, Delhi , that dealt with the challenges and prospects of inter-community relations in the South Asian countries of India , Bangladesh , Nepal and Sri Lanka . He has served as a consultant to Oxfam , India 's "Violence Amelioration and Mitigation Project." Dr. Agrawal has written numerous articles and books, including the forthcoming Kabir Vani Sanklan , a collection and analysis of Kabir's poetry.

Rajni Bakshi holds an M.A. in Philosophy and currently works as a freelance journalist for numerous major Indian newspapers. Mr. Bakshi has most recently published the books, An Economics for Well-Being (2007) and Bapu Kuit: Journeys in Rediscovery of Gandhi (1998).

Dilip Chitre is a noted author, artist and documentary filmmaker. He has produced twenty-five books, several hundred drawings and paintings, one feature film and more than two dozen documentary films and videos over the past five decades. In this period he had received many national and international honors including the Sahitya Akademi Award (1994), the Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize (1994), the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Lifetime Achievement Award (2002), the Maharashtra Foundation, U.S.A. Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), the Prix Special du Jury of the Festival des Trois Continents, Nantes, France (1984), the National Film Development Corporation of India's Best Script Award (1982). He currently edits the quarterly journal New Quest and chairs the Sant Jnanadeva Adhyasan of the University of Pune .

G. N. (Ganesh Narayandas) Devi, Ph.D. , Professor, Humanities, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication technology, Gandhinagar, and Honorary Director of the Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh. Dr. Devi has published many books, including Painted Words: Literature of Adivasis and Denotified Tribals (2002) and For a Nomad Called Thief (2006). He has founded and edited journals including Budhan: A Journal of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (1998-2002) and Bol: A Children's Magazine (2005-present). Dr. Devi founded the Bhasha Research and Publication Center, the Adivasi Academy, the Denotified and nomadic tribes Rights Action Group, and the Himloka: Himalayan Studies Institute. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to Yale University in 1992.

Asghar Ali Engineer, holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and an Honorary Doctorates of Literature from the University of Calcutta and the Islamic University, New Delhi . Dr. Engineer serves as Chairperson of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai and is Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies in Mumbai. He has published 40 books on Islam, Muslim women's rights, and ethnic clashes in India and South Asia . He also is Editor of the Indian Journal of Secularism .

Kutub Jehan Kidwai holds a M.A. in Sociology and is Executive Director of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai. Ms. Kidwai is currently working on a project on Islamic Feminism and is actively involved in Center's interventions for communal harmony in general and awareness campaign for the rights of Muslim women in particular. She also serves as the Editor of the Muslim Women's newsletter published by the Institute of Islamic Studies , as well as Editor of the monthly, Islam and Modern Age . Ms. Kidwai recently published the book, Personal Law Reforms and Gender Empowerment (2006).

Madhu Purnima Kishwar , Professor and Director of the Indic Studies Project, Center for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi . Ms. Kishwar is the Convener of a series of International Conferences on Religions and Cultures in the Indic Civilization. She is also Founder President of Manushi Sangathan, an organization committed to strengthening democratic rights and women's rights in India. She serves as Founding Editor of Manushi - A Journal About Women and Society , that has been continuously published since 1978. Ms. Kishwar has written numerous articles and books, including Deepening Democracy: Challenges of Governance and Globalization in India (2005) and Off the Beaten Track: Rethinking Gender Justice for Indian Women (1999).

Vinay Lal, Ph.D. , Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies, University of California , Los Angeles . Dr. Lal is currently the Director of the University of California India Study Center in New Delhi . He received his doctorate in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago . Dr. Lal has written many books, including Of Cricket, Guinness and Gandhi: Essays on Indian History and Culture (2005). He has written over fifty research and review articles, including "Intolerance for'hindu Tolerance': Hinduism, Religious Violence in Pre-Modern India and the Fate of a 'Modern" Discourse" (2006) and "Gandhi and the Social Sciences: Some Thoughts on the Categories of Dissent and Possible Futures" (2006).

Ashis Nandy, Ph.D., ICSSR National Fellow, Center for the Study of Developing Societies, Dehli. Dr. Nandy serves as the Chairperson of the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures, Delhi . He has held: Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC (1988), Charles Wallace Fellowship in the Department of Politics at the University of Hull, UK (1990), Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities, University of Edinburgh (1991), UNESCO Professor at the Center for European Studies, University of Trier, Germany (1994), among many other positions. Dr. Nandy's many books include, An Ambiguous Journey to the City; the Village and Other Odd Ruins of the Self in the Indian Imagination (2001), and Bonfire of Creeds: The Essential Ashis Nandy (2004).

Dilip Simeon, Ph.D., is currently writing a book on the phenomenology of violence and ahimsa. Dr. Simeon served as the Director of the Aman trust (2002-2005) and as a Senior Research Fellow for Oxfam , India 's "Violence Amelioration and Mitigation Project" (1997-2002). He has written numerous articles on lobar, non-violence and political violence.

Shankar Ramaswami is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago , and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University . His dissertation focuses on the "Ethnography of Migrant Workers' Lives and Struggles in Delhi " an dhis most recent publications deal with male Hindu-Muslim relations in the labor force, and proletarian humor in contemporary industrial Delhi .

Gayatri Chatterjee is a faculty member at the Film & Television Institute of India in Pune, and is a scholar in contemporary Indian cinema. Fluent in Bengali, English, and Hindi, he also has conducted film courses at University Film Circle, Cine Montage and the Administrative Training Institute. He has been educated at the University of Calcutta and Alliance Francaise in Paris . He is author of the forthcoming Love & Cinema. In India and Sant Tukaram: Discursive Cinema during a period of Nationalism (in progress); and received the President's Gold Medal for the best book on Cinema for his book Awaara.

Purpose Statement
This Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad contributed to Oakton College’s ongoing efforts to develop, strengthen and expand Global Studies, Latin American and Indigenous Studies offerings in community colleges and high schools by opening an interdisciplinary dialogue among U.S. academics and indigenous leaders, scholars, activists, governmental officials, policy-makers, and representatives of non-governmental organizations in the Andean region.

The project was designed to increase the global competency of community college students by first developing globally competent educators. This seminar provided challenging and inspiring professional development experiences and resources for educators. The benefits of this project also extended to the students they teach and the institutions and communities they serve in distinctly concrete ways.

Project Goals
Goal One: To develop a cohort of experts on the social, cultural, political, environmental, and economic impacts of and responses to globalization within indigenous communities in Bolivia and Peru by connecting community college and high school educators to a range of individuals, institutions, and initiatives, including representatives from academia, civil society, political institutions, and indigenous cultures in those countries.

Goal Two: To foster among participants and affiliated institutions an understanding and appreciation of Quechua as an indigenous language and its relationship to cultural preservation and community identity, and thus, a recognition of the importance of language preservation.

Goal Three: To create innovative international and multicultural curricula that draw on the participant immersion experience in Bolivia and Peru, and to facilitate inclusion of these curricula at Oakton College, partnering institutions, and surrounding secondary and post-secondary institutions.

Recordings and Transcriptions from Bolivia and Peru - Carolina Bailey, Ph.D.

Detailed Summary of Grant Activities in Bolivia and Peru

This 35-day seminar began with 18 days in Bolivia, concentrated around the cities of Cochabamba and La Paz - El Alto. While in Bolivia, major activities included:

  • Six hours of Quechua language lessons during a stay of approximately one week in Cochabamba;
  • A meeting with Carlos Prado, curator of the Museum of Natural Medicine, and director of an NGO focused on the preservation of native medicinal plants;
  • A visit to the Fundación Abril, founded by Oscar Olivera, a leader in the water wars;
  • A discussion of microlending projects with José Pereira from Banco Unión;
  • Six hours of Quechua lessons, and a visit to the surrounding villages of Palca, Sorata, and Warisata as part of a week-long stay in La Paz;
  • A visit with sociologist, historian, and feminist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui for a discussion of indigenous movements in the Andes;
  • A visit with Maria Eugenia Choque of the Center of Aymara Studies (Aymara is an indigenous ethnic group and language), for a presentation on the role of indigenous women in social movements in contemporary Bolivia;
  • A meeting with the office of Eugenio Rojas, an Aymara head of Senate, MAS political caucus and former mayor of Achacachi;
  • Reconnecting with Félix Muruchi, who led visits to the Universidad de Campesinos to meet with prominent Aymara leader Felipe Quispe and to the Wayna Tambo radio station and Teatro Tronos, two groups propagating indigenous culture in the media and performing arts;
  • A discussion with government/policy officials from the U.S. Embassy in La Paz; and
  • A three-day rural homestay in the village of Tocoli with Aymara host families on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

On day 19, the group traveled to Cusco, Peru. With Cusco as the home base, participants spent significant time in the Sacred Valley of the Inca visiting archeological sites, agricultural communities, and campesino villages of Willoc, Chinchero, Lares, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo.

While in Chinchero, the group met with indigenous high school teachers and students regarding the building of the new international airport near their town and the impacts that will have on their community. In Lares, Margarita Gutierrez, an expert in intercultural education, led a visit to the Pukllasunchis Association Center that runs a unique school that emphasizes Quechua culture and environmental sustainability. Also at the Center, Dina Chiape gave a presentation on the Quechua language. A visit to Asociación ANDES and the Potato Park (Parque de la Papa) led to discussions on biodiversity preservation, indigenous agricultural knowledge, and indigenous land and water rights.

The final visit in Cusco was to the Broward College International Center, located at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola campus, site of the proposed future Oakton short-term study abroad program.

Field visits were augmented with evening lectures by:

  • Jorge Flores Ochoa, professor and anthropologist, Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco;
  • Ruben Orellana, anthropologist, former head of Archeology at Machu Picchu; and
  • Holly Wissler, ethnomusicologist, director of the “From Grief to Joy We Sing” documentary based on her more than 20 years of experience with the Queros community.

Two final field excursions were completed in the Cusco region. The first was a day and a half visit to Machu Picchu, led by guide Elvira Tapia Quispe. Following the experience at Machu Picchu, participants made a two-day visit to the lowland rainforest in Pilcopata with Michele Mirtani, an expert in Amazonian ethnic groups. A night was spent in a rustic lodge before hiking through the rain forest to visit the community of the Santa Rosa de Huacaria—a village of people in the Wachiperi and Machiguenga ethnic groups.

Participants spent their final week in Lima, where they:

  • Visited Museo Larco, a phenomenal collection of artifacts from Peru’s indigenous cultures spanning 5,000 years of history;
  • Visited the archaeological site of Caral, north of Lima, the site of a pyramid civilization more than 5,000 years old;
  • Visited the town of Paracas, south of Lima, to tour Tambo Colorado, a well-preserved Inca adobe complex near the coast; and
  • Attended their final three-hour Quechua class, which included an assessment of their level of knowledge attained during the seminar. In total, the seminar provided participants with 15 hours of class time in the Quechua language, supported by significant immersive language experience.

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