South Africa: Art, Science, Biodiversity
South Africa: Cape Town, various game reserves and ecolodges
3 weeks: July 1-22, 2017
3 Credits, RISD Liberal Arts Elective
This course brings artists and scientists to explore the central question: do arts and humanities approach biodiversity differently than the sciences? If so, what are the differences and how might we bring the arts, humanities, and sciences together in order to think about biodiversity? What stories, metaphors, images, and narratives shape our understanding of biodiversity and our relationship to it? We will use South Africa as an example, a country known for ecotourism and conservation. The course is intended for visual art students interested in science, as well as for science students interested in the visual arts. We will study the concepts, theories, methods that inform how different disciplines approach biodiversity and wildlife management; discuss how biodiversity is portrayed in fiction, non-fiction, and visual art; experience different types of ecotourism; and experience first-hand how field studies are conducted and what wildlife management decisions look like on the ground. The group will collaborate with art students from Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape and visit privately- and government-run protected areas in the Eastern and Western Cape. During the final week, students will exhibit their artwork and participate in a paneldiscussion.
As this course involves travel to multiple locations, student accommodation will be a series of small hotels and eco-lodges, typical of a higher end African safari experience. Meals and transportation is all inclusive and while in country the group will always travel together. Single rooms can be arranged.
Cost: $5,900 (includes tuition, accommodation, field trips, local transportation, all meals, museum entrances, health and travel insurance).