PIIRS Exploration Seminars are semester-long credit-bearing courses with an international-travel component that typically takes place over fall or spring break.

Spring 2024 Exploration Seminars

SAS 303/GSS 412
Gender, Sexuality and Feminism in South Asia

Location: Delhi, India
Instructor: Fauzia Farooqui, Lecturer in South Asian Studies

Famed for its openness to sexually explicit literature and art and ill-famed for its treatment of women, South Asia often presents contradictory views about gender, sexuality, and feminism. This course will survey ideas regarding gender and sexuality at various points in the cultural history of South Asia and how these ideas have shaped women’s and men’s lives and experiences in the society. We will also examine how different communities have pushed against gender norms and cultural expectations using different ideologies and strategies resulting in a diverse range of feminist projects in South Asia, each shaped by its own concerns and contexts. The course will explore ideas about gender, sexuality, and feminism in various domains of South Asian life, including social institutions and social change; politics and activism; aesthetics of body, love, and sex; cultural products and practices; religious rituals and customs; literature and performing arts; and fashion and media. Apart from reading scholarship on relevant topics, we will analyze primary textual sources, such as religious texts, literary genres, and folklore. We will also interrogate objects and aspects of material cultural, including sculptures, paintings, music, cinema, and commercials. Applications are closed.

Info session

SPA 204 
Spanish for a Medical Caravan in Ecuador 

Location: Riobamba, Ecuador
Instructor: Paloma Moscardó-Vallés, lecturer in Spanish and Portuguese.

This is an advanced Spanish course focusing on health and medical topics. Its main purpose is to put students in contact with the reality of health care in the indigenous communities  of Ecuador. The first part of the semester will prepare the students for a medical caravan that will take place during Spring Break. All students are required to take part in this trip where we will collaborate with a group of eye doctors from Pennsylvania (Conestoga Eye group) who implement the work of a local clinic in Riobamba (FIBUSPAM). During the second part of the semester, we will continue to explore the culture and the health situation in Ecuador through research and the sharing of the experiences lived during the trip. Applications are closed.

Dakar Poster

URB 392/ARC 392/HIS 381/AFS 392
Building African Cities: Past and Present

Location: Dakar, Senegal
Instructor: Gregory H. Valdespino, Princeton-Mellon Fellow

This course examines how Africans have made cities from the Medieval era to the present day. Students will learn about the forces that have structured the buildings found on African cityscapes, the jobs done by urban workers, and the relationship African urbanites had with their environments. Students will examine how people experienced and transformed urban landscapes across Africa and develop the skills needed to critically analyze urban built environments. By doing so, students will develop the tools to interpret how cities are made and remade as well as the ability to explain how cities have structured Africa's past, present and future. Applications are closed.