Pre-registration form opens at midnight beginning Monday, November 11.
2014 May Modules Pre-Registration information.
Pre-registration begins Monday, November 11.
Please note: "Ancient American Mound Builders" & "Music & War" only carry MODULE credit.
2014 Module Payment Schedule
Please note that all module payments are non-refundable & non-transferable. Passport points may NOT be applied to the initial deposit. Passport Points are only applicable to international modules.
If you have a question about module, please contact nrap(at)centenary(dot)edu.
What is May Module?
In order to enrich Centenary's curriculum, we offer a variety of short courses each May. These courses explore topics of general or specialized interest not normally offered in Centenary's semester and summer courses.
All students must complete one Module for graduation, but an additional Module may be applied towards the hours required for graduation.
Centenary's Module courses literally take place across the globe. Some are offered on campus, whereas others involve study and travel in other institutions and nations. Because of the variety of options available, many students attend Module courses that serve the additional purpose of fulfilling the COMMUNITY and/or the CULTURE requirements of the Trek Experience.
Our students travel across the globe!
Click here to visit the Centenary Re-Enrollment Facebook Page
In order to travel abroad you must have an official passport valid for at least six months after you return to the States. The process of registering can be lengthy, so make sure you begin early!
All students going on a May Module are required to attend one of the scheduled orientation sessions. Orientations will be held in the spring semester.
Before You Travel
Be sure to look at the forms you need to fill out before you travel, as well as helpful resources for traveling. Click here.
Center for Disease Control
Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) before traveling to make sure you are caught up on your immunizations and aware of all health travel alerts.
2014 International Modules
Click on module titles to expand entry details.
Australia: Journey Down Under
Instructors Barbara Davis & Lea Stroud Dates Depart Shreveport, May 10th-May 24th, 2014
dates subject to change
Estimated Costs $4,350-$4,500 Enrollment Limit 18 Credit Type Module & CU Credit
This Module allows students the opportunity to interact with the various cultures of the Australian people. Although Australia is commonly referred to as the “land down under,” the country has a significant impact on global economy and business. Formerly agrarian in nature, the economy of the country has evolved so that Australia is now a competitive player in diverse international markets. Originally, native indigenous peoples and convict settlements comprised the majority of the population. Today, the country is primarily populated by people of British descent. That being said, Australia is a tolerant and inclusive society—a nation built by people from many different backgrounds. Vietnam, China, Greece and the United Kingdom are among the main countries from which Australians have migrated. Cultural diversity has become a touchstone of Australia’s national identity. Participants in this module travel to Sydney, Brisbane, Noosa and Cairns, Australia to explore the history, culture and social environment of the country. Interaction with native Australian citizens will take place on a daily basis. Key differences between the social and cultural aspects of the people of Australia and the United States will be examined.
Denmark: Lived Religion in Copenhagen
Instructors Spencer Dew (& Dr. Kristen Tobey, University of Pittsburgh) Dates May 4th-May 19th 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $3,500 Enrollment Limit 10 Credit Type Module and CU Credit
This class will expose students to a variety of lived religious cultures in contemporary Copenhagen, immerse them in the historical background of that city, and explore pressing issues in the contemporary study of religion and society, particularly the notions of “secularism” and “fundamentalism.”
The course will touch on seven major topics/questions:
• 1) In an overwhelmingly homogenous society in which citizens, by default, belong to the national church, what does it mean that the overwhelming number of these church members consider themselves either explicitly atheists or “merely” “culturally religious”? Engaging theoretical writings on “secularism” and this issue of “cultural religiosity” (wherein religious identity is manifest in foodways, songs, stories, and holidays, not in ritual practice or belief) we will question the relation of religion to culture, to nationality.
• 2) We’ll explore the rich history of Christianity in the city of Copenhagen, visiting sites including museums and churches, emphasizing, in our inquiry, trends and figures that have played some role in the trajectory toward contemporary Danish life (Protestant conceptions of the self, for instance, and the existential musings of Kierkegaard).
• 3) We’ll also explore the history and roles of Judaism in Copenhagen, learning about the medieval Jewish community there, the Holocaust and the Danish Resistance against the Nazis, and how in contemporary Copenhagen a a small pocket of ultra-Orthodox Hasidim are respected (even idealized) by “secular” Jews for their commitment to a rigorous otherness.
• 4) We will consider the issue of immigrant minority religions in Denmark, specifically Islam. At 4% of the population, Islam is the second-largest religion, overwhelmingly practiced by first- or second-generation immigrants. Again engaging contemporary academic writings, we will consider the use of the term “fundamentalism” as it relates to a wide spectrum of Islam practices in “secular” Danish society. Moreover, we will explore differences of theology and approaches to evangelism within Danish Islamic communities, visiting an Amadiyya site just outside of the city, we will visit the Islamic Arabic School in Copenhagen and discuss, with scholars and citizens, the issues at play in and repercussions of the 2005 “Jlyyands-Posten” cartoon controversy.
• 5) Building on our critical engagements with and evaluations of lived “secularisms” and “fundamentalisms”, we’ll turn to other minority religions in Copenhagen, particularly two strands of popular new religious movements. We’ll meet with representatives of the Church of Scientology in Copenhagen, reflecting on academic analysis of this group and its liminal position in contemporary Danish society.
• 6) We’ll explore, via historical reenactments at the open-air Lejre museum and archaeological exhibits at the Viking Ship Museum, Denmark’s pre-Christian history before turning to the “resurgence” of Forn Siðr and Ásatrú neopaganism, exploring rhetorical arguments about “blood and soil” and nostalgic constructions of the past.
• 7) Finally, we will, throughout our time in Copenhagen, pay attention to the city’s unique architectural, literary, and artistic heritage, attending a dance performance, visiting the famed Louisiana art collection, and thinking about the relation of such seminal figures as Kierkegaard (whose life and work is a feature of an exhibit at the Museum of Copenhagen) to the wider intellectual concerns of our class.
France: Americans in Paris-The Quest for the Good Life
Instructors Jeff Hendricks and Bruce Allen Dates May 5 – May 18, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $3,095 Enrollment Limit 20 Credit Type Module & CU Credit
At the end of World War I, Parisians danced in the streets with British, Canadian, and American soldiers to celebrate the end of the war. The party continued into the roaring 20s, when artists like Cocteau, Picasso, Chagall, and Man Ray; intellectuals like André Gide and Colette; performers like Josephine Baker; and expatriates like Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald flooded Paris's cafés and bistros. Whereas Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin loved Paris during the 18th century as the city of Light and Reason; Ernest Hemingway and the Lost Generation of the 1920s and 30s were attracted to Paris as a site of artistic energy and cultural tolerance; Americans (and many other nationalities) today visit Paris because it has come to represent the embodiment of "the good life." In this module we will examine this proposition by living for two weeks in Paris and asking each student to compare aspects of French culture with aspects of their own culture, with the goal of wrestling with the question of what it means to live a “good” and “meaningful” and “quality” life.
This module—"Americans in Paris: The Quest for the Good Life" – will examine numerous texts by American writers, artists, musicians, and intellectuals about Paris. We then ask Centenary students to compare and contrast their own experience of Paris with their own lived-experiences in the U.S. and with these readings from American writers, philosophers, statesmen, and artists who have traveled to Paris since before the American Revolution. We ask students to focus their cultural comparisons around the following topics, picking one from the following to write about in-depth: 1) religion, 2) food, 3) art, 4) music, 5) fashion and dress, or 6) transportation. As much as it's possible, we will try to live as the Parisians themselves: we will buy bread and cheese and ham from the corner markets; we will wash our clothes in the hotel laundromat; we will negotiate our way around the city using public buses and the metro; we will live for two weeks amidst some of the world's greatest historical monuments and art. All the while we will be reading, observing, taking notes, and talking to the French that we meet about our impressions and our thoughts.
Finally, the ultimate goal of this class is not only to learn about another culture, in this case one of the great cultures of the world, but also to use that knowledge to reflect deeply on our own cultural background and heritage and to try to answer the question: "what does it mean to live 'the good life'"?
Greece: Life Amid the Ruins
Instructors David Havird & Lisa Nicoletti Dates May 7 – May 21, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $3,000-$3,200 Enrollment Limit 18 Credit Type Module & CU Credit
Wherever you go in Greece—on the mainland or the islands (of which we’ll visit three)—ancient Greece is present. This, the conjunction between the past and the present, will be our theme as we experience Greek culture in Athens, where we’ll take our bearings from the Acropolis; on the island of Naxos, where the marble doorway to a never finished archaic temple frames the harbor town; on the sacred slopes at Delphi, where 21st-century scientists detected the fumes that induced the oracle’s prophetic high; at a still active Byzantine monastery, where the 10th-century founder’s mummified body is an object of religious pilgrimage; and in the Peloponnese, where we’ll “drink the sun” at a seaside resort while “reading the ruins” at Mycenae, where Clytemnestra stabbed her husband, Agamemnon, in his bath; at Nemea, where Hercules, whose “blood” we’ll taste, lost a finger to the lion; and at Corinth, the Roman city where Paul stitched tents and preached. We’ll be conscious of following in the footsteps of such famous literary travelers as Lord Byron and Henry Miller, selections of whose work we’ll read along with work by Greek authors. Each of you will become an expert on some topic of Greek culture and share the expertise as we explore urban and village life on foot and by public means, reflect on Greece’s aesthetic and intellectual contributions to the ancient and modern world, attempt to communicate with our hosts in their language, consider the effects of the economic crisis, and come to appreciate the food, music, dance, religious practices, and other customs of a resilient people.
Haiti: Even Beautiful Shoes Must Walk on the Ground
Instructor Chris Ciocchetti & Amy Hammond Dates May 9 – May 26, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $2,100-$2,600 Enrollment Limit 12 Credit Type Module & CU Credit
Bel Soulyé Bezwen Mache a Té Kanmanm
(Even Beautiful Shoes Must Walk on the Ground)
We will travel to Cange, an ideal location for exploring the history, religion, and culture of Haiti’s Central Plateau. Cange was created when the US Army Corp of Engineers flooded the valley to create a hydroelectric dam to supply power to the wealthy in Port-au-Prince. The residents were some of the poorest of the poor until Father Fritz Lafontant created Zanmi Lasante (ZL), better known to us as Partners in Health. Using an approach they call “accompagnateur,” ZL has transformed Cange from a group of five families living on a treeless mountain top to a thriving village of 3,000 with trees, clean water, and high-quality healthcare for all. From our dorms in the ZL campus in Cange, we will explore. We will interview the residents of Ba Cange to preserve their oral history, spend an afternoon at the waterfalls in Saut D’Eau, the site of a major Catholic and Voudun festival in July, work with abandoned children, and experience Haitian routines. If time and conditions allow, we will visit Cap-Haiten and Port-au-Prince to contrast how the rich, middle-class, and poor live in Haiti.
India: Religions of Northern India
Instructors David Otto (& Michael Smith, Adjunct Professor) Dates May 6 – May 31, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $3,850 Enrollment Limit 20 Credit Type Module & CU & CO Credit
Students will explore the major religious traditions of Northern India, with special attention granted to the traditions and teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
1. To study Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Islam in the socio-cultural context of Northern India
2. To study Tibetan Buddhism under several high lamas (Rinpoches)
3. To visit the major temples and shrines of these religious traditions, including the Taj Mahal
4. To establish an email relationship with a Tibetan nun or monk two months prior to departure and spend significant face-to-face time with their email partner while in Dharamsala, India*
5. To provide students an optional opportunity to fulfill their Service Learning requirement while in Dharamsala.
Nicaragua: Tropical Biology
Instructors Scott Chirhart & Troy Messina Dates 15 days between May 5 and May 28, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $2,250 Enrollment Limit 10 Credit Type Module & CU OR CO Credit
The course will be an analysis of the fauna and flora on a 150 acre finca. It is a working dairy farm surrounded on two of the three sides by a tropical dry forest. The students collect samples of the fauna or flora on the finca and catalog the collection. A special attempt will be made to learn about the natural history of several species to include in the database.
In the spirit of Gaviotis, students will participate in sustainable development projects based on methane generation, solar energy, or other projects.
Lectures on the characteristics and formation of Mesoamerica and Nicaragua will be given. The Holdridge Life Zone System and its application to the tropical dry forest will be an important biological focus. Techniques for the collection, care and preparation of specimens will be taught and used during the module.
Trips to several points of interest will be made during the 15 days of the module. Among these will be trips to Granada, Masaya and to a fishing port, La Boquita. Other trips will be to points of biological interests: Lago Nicaragua, Reserva Mombacho, the Pacific Ocean and a tropical dry forest preserve and active volcanoes.
South Africa: Culture & Business in South Africa
Instructors Kelly Weeks & Matt Weeks Dates May 6 – May 20, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $3,800 Enrollment Limit 10 Credit Type Module & CU Credit
This module will explore the cultural, historical, and political environment of South Africa. Students will learn about the systemic effects of Apartheid, including the consequences affecting the nation today. Students will interact with South Africans from a variety of socio-economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds, and hear personal stories of life during Apartheid and since. Students will also learn about the entrepreneurial spirit in the city of Johannesburg both for revitalizing the economic center of the nation, as well as for helping to solve social and political problems. In addition, the course will explore the animal life in South Africa and the methods for protecting and caring for animals in wildlife reserves.
• Explore significant differences and similarities between the students’ home culture and the South African culture, as well as the variety of cultures within South Africa;
• Explore the impact of and consequences of the Apartheid regime of South Africa, focusing on history, politics, and culture
• Explore social entrepreneurship efforts in the city of Johannesburg, as well as grass roots businesses forming in the poverty stricken areas of Alexandra and Soweto
• Explore the vast and unique animal population in South Africa, while also learning about the wildlife reserves and the methods of caring for and protecting the animals.
2014 Regional Modules
Click on module titles to expand entry details.
Mississippi Delta: Encounters at the Crossroads-Art, Music, & Literature of the Mississippi Delta
Instructors Michelle Glaros & Michael Laffey Dates May 5 – May 19, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $1,600 Enrollment Limit 10 Credit Type Module & CU Credit
By visiting the Mississippi Delta (which cultural critics claim begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and stretches south through the cotton fields along the Mississippi River) students gain an understanding and appreciation of the music, visual art, architecture, mythology, literature, and history of indigenous artists who represent the fullest flowering of culture created in the unique encounters between Europe and Africa, industry and agriculture, and privilege and poverty. The exploration of such cultural productions as Delta Blues, rock and roll, and soul music; Outsider or Self-Taught Folk Artists; and the literature of William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and Tennessee Williams will provide students with the opportunity to make connections between this uniquely rich subculture and the broader American culture it has so profoundly shaped. By the end of the module, students will appreciate the indispensable contributions Delta artists and culture have made and continue to make to the world the students inhabit.
• Ever wondered what lay at the end of Lonely Street besides “Heartbreak Hotel”?
• Ever wondered where the Rolling Stones got their name?
• Ever wondered what it really takes to get your “mojo workin’”?
• What really IS the price for stepping on his blue suede shoes?
• What DOES it take to get some R.E.S.P.E.C.T?
In this module, students will find answers to these and many more questions arising from the creative soul stew that bubbles in the birthplace of rock and roll. By visiting and engaging with the Mississippi Delta (Which natives claim “begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg.”), students will gain an understanding and appreciation of the music, visual art, architecture, mythology, literature, and history of indigenous artists; these artists here represent unique encounters at the crossroads of north and south, Europe and Africa, industry and agriculture, and privilege and poverty. The exploration of cultural productions such as Delta Blues, rock and roll, and soul music; “Outsider” or self-taught folk art; and the literature of great authors like William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and Tennessee Williams; will provide students with the opportunity to make connections between the Delta’s unique and rich subculture and the broader American culture it has so profoundly shaped. By the end of the module, students will appreciate the indispensable contributions this region’s artists have made and continue to make to the world the students inhabit.
2014 Local Modules
Click on module title to expand entry details.
Ancient American Mound Builders: Understanding How Culture and Psychology Interact
Instructors Jon Westfall & Ed Ragan Dates May 5 – May 23, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $300 Enrollment Limit 15 Credit Type Module Credit
Ancient Americans constructed massive mounds and earthworks, some presumably for ritual use, some as part of habitations, some even shaped in the form of animals. Long a source of fascination for the popular American imagination, such sites will be the focus of this course. We will explore what we can know about the cultures that built, inhabited, or otherwise used them, the raw data they offer up about material culture, psychological processes, and daily life, and the sorts of speculations and hypotheses advanced by various parties.
Latino Culture in ArkLaTex
Instructors Loren Demerath (& Janine Demerath, Spanish Instructor) Dates May 5 – May 18, 2014, dates subject to change Estimated Costs $200 Enrollment Limit 20 Credit Type Module & CU Credit
This course exposes students to Latino culture as it exists in the United States, with a focus on the immediate area of Shreveport and the surrounding ArkLaTex. Students become familiar with the various facets of Latino culture through readings, films, guest speakers, lectures, discussions, writing assignments, and field trips. Students also experience the culture first-hand, listening and dancing to its music, tasting its food, shopping in Latino stores, and interacting personally with Latinos themselves in the course of participating in a service-learning research project. In the service-learning project students will help collect data, interviewing Latinos and helping analyze focus group data to assess the needs and resources of the community and then match them with complementary local organizations, schools, service agencies, and businesses. This project will be conducted in conjunction with ABetterShreveport.org, a non-profit group devoted to improving quality of life for all Shreveporters.
While no knowledge of Spanish is required of students, all students learn to speak at least some Spanish in the course of the module, and there are many opportunities for those more experienced in Spanish to improve their facility with the language.
Music & War
Instructors David Hobson Dates May 5 – 23, 2014
dates subject to change
Estimated Costs $0 Enrollment Limit 30 Credit Type Module Credit
Music and War is an exploration of music’s complex cultural relationship and impact in times of war. The course will survey the variety of music's uses, including inspirational, functional, ceremonial, patriotic, propagandizing, and artistic reflection. Wars from the 18th century to the present day will serve as the primary historical focus.
Music has always been intrinsic to life, whether in religious or ceremonial contexts, or everyday life (singing to our children, in times of mourning or grief, in joy, dancing, or work). Times of intense human experience have long created an equally intense musical reflection or inspiration. Indeed, it is rare that people do not use music in some way in “life or death” situations. One of the most extreme experiences humanity can undergo is war; thus music has always had a strong association with it.
Military leaders have long known the power of music to inspire its armies before battle, to give functional signals during battle, and ceremonial reflection after battle. Civic leaders furthermore use music for propaganda as the power of word and melody joined together in a “slogan” carries deeper and longer impact. Patriotic songs bind a country’s people together in national pride.
Yet, music exhibits at least one more important intersection with war – artistic critical reflection. Often these works appear years (even decades) after a war, and offer profound commentary upon it. Throughout history these works explore the full gamut of themes, from peace to pro-war to pacifism and more. Due to the unique re-creation of historical music in modern performance, these works often take on a timeless appeal with continued reflection for current and future human cultures and civilizations.
This subject is ideally taught in the context of a module, which allows complete examination of major works in one sitting and promotes cultural reflection. Furthermore, the music presented will be of a wide variety, as it is associated with the various music uses discussed earlier: everything from patriotic to “art” music to popular and more. While students may benefit from some music background, it is not a prerequisite for the class and should not prohibit a student from fully engaging in assignments or discussion. Class sessions will have a versatile approach, from some introductory lectures to seminar to discussion.
None of these modules fit your unique interests or career goals? Develop an Independent Module.