Caribbean Literatures, Histories, & Cultures in Context

June 14 - July 6, 2015 (three-week program)

Required Course: English 277: Caribbean Literatures, Histories, & Cultures in Context

Through readings, lectures, field trips, volunteer projects, attendance and participation in cultural performances, ethnographic interviews, as well as analytical reflections on their experiences, Bucknell in the Caribbean provides first-hand information about the literatures, histories, and cultures of the Caribbean. Students will explore the long-term cross-cultural impacts of slavery, colonization, independence, and tourism. The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis will serve as our classroom.

Program Information

The program will take place on the beautiful and historic island of Nevis in the Caribbean. Along with traditional literary analyses, the course will explore oral narrative from a range of Caribbean people living on the islands we will visit. With its distinctive synthesis of British, Spanish, French and West African Cultures; its history as one of the most profitable locations for sugar cane production; its preservation of the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean; its role as slave market and as a locale where significant numbers of Africans were subject to lifetimes of enslavement; and its proximity to the islands of St. Kitts and Montserrat, the island of Nevis is an ideal location to begin exploration of the vast complexity of the region known as the Caribbean. Bucknell in the Caribbean will have its base on Nevis, where students will complete the one credit course, The Literatures, Histories, and Cultures of the Caribbean in the five weeks between mid-June and early July 2015.

The Program Course

The Bucknell in the Caribbean program is deeply experiential. Course readings and assignments will be integrated into the actual Caribbean cultural and geographical landscape. When reading novels about Caribbean life, the students will have the opportunity to encounter the tangible historical and contemporary manifestations of that experience and to immerse themselves in the cultures of the Caribbean.

The Caribbean is a significant cultural repository, but it is often appreciated by the world only for its value as a tourist commodity. This program will extend to Bucknell students an opportunity to experience true cultural diversity and to gain an appreciation for this complex geographical neighbor.

Program Excursions

The program is based on almost daily group trips to various cultural and/or historical locales on Nevis and St. Kitts. We will visit various plantations, the Botanical Gardens of Nevis, the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park and art galleries and museums, Alexander Hamilton Museum and Birthplace, Basseterre fishmarket and many, many other locations. We will hike Nevis Peak, Wingfield Phillips Rain Forest and Nature Trail.

Program Cost

$4,000 (estimate) for three weeks in the Caribbean. Please note that the program cost includes Bucknell University summer school tuition, flights to and from St. Kitts, ferry to Nevis, various trips, housing, in-country transportation, all group excursion fees, and some in-country meals. Students should budget for personal expenses and for some meals.

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