May 20 - June 7, 2019

Required Course: UNIV 266

Program Application

Program Overview

There is no other American City that is so emblematic of our country's history and spirit, but at the same time so marginalized and neglected, so economically depressed and environmentally degraded. New Orleans (NOLA) has been the site of important colonial, imperial, and civil war battles; its location at the mouth of the Mississippi made its harbor a natural gateway for the economic triangle of slavery, cotton and rum; its blend of European, Caribbean and African peoples forged a unique musical tradition in jazz; it was a pivotal part of America's westward expansion in the Louisiana Purchase; its Civil Rights legacy spans from 1896's Plessy v. Ferguson case to the school integration battles of the 1960s. Most recently, the disastrous levee failures after Hurricane Katrina riveted our attention and revealed inequity of impacts along racial and class lines, and the BP oil spills threatened our largest estuarine ecosystem. It is safe to say that these things make NOLA one of the most talked about cities in the world.  


This course is designed for you to see New Orleans through various disciplinary lenses to discover the underlying dynamics of this amazing urban area. In the three week course, students will spend one week in New Orleans with one week at Bucknell's campus both before and after. The first week will frame New Orleans in the contexts of its natural setting, cultural heritage, longstanding jazz tradition, socioeconomic systems, and built environment. The second week will be spent touring important sites and sounds throughout the greater NOLA area and experiencing the city through different disciplinary perspectives, facilitated by the diverse backgrounds of the instructors. Students will journal their experiences in writing, will listen to live and recorded music across different time periods, and will also learn to use technical software applications to create a geospatial project analyzing selected aspects of the city over time and/or space. We will also participate in service-learning activities while there. Upon return to Bucknell, students will spend the final week integrating their journal writings with their mapping project and drawing summative reflections on their experiences in the course.  

Program Instructors  

The course is intentionally designed to lead students to view the natural environment, built infrastructure, and human experience in an integrated way. To achieve this, the course brings together Professors Barry Long (Department of Music), Terri Norton (Associate Dean of Engineering), Ellen Chamberlin (Geology), and Brian Gockley (Teaching & Learning Center). By integrating these varied perspectives on this great city, we hope to model the same process among students of diverse educational backgrounds as well.

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid has some need-based institutional financial aid available for summer study abroad programs for select students.

Program Cost

$4,400 to $5,400, depending on enrollment.

*The total program fee includes Bucknell University tuition for a summer course, accommodations and local transportation, round trip airfare, food, and living expenses.