Escaping snowy Hamilton for a week in January, four Sophomore Residential Seminar (SRS) classes traveled abroad to London, Crete, India, and Paris. Sophomores accepted into the SRS program spent last fall living and learning together before jetting away to connect the classroom with world culture.
As a member of Professor David McCabe’s SRS trip to London, I spent a week exploring the city’s abundant history and living in a flat just two blocks from the British Museum. Enamored with my own experience, I connected with other SRS students to hear their travel tales.
— Brianna Delaney ’19
PHIL 216: Existentialism
Professor David Dudrick (philosophy); director, SRS Program
Nietzsche, Camus, and Sartre, oh my! PHIL 216 was an introduction to the 19th and 20th century philosophy of existentialism, particularly through the lens of the Parisian existentialist couple, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
“Sharing philosophical ideas can be very personal, but the SRS experience allowed us to become comfortable enough to open up to one another. In one instance, we found ourselves walking through a museum debating the objectivity of morality.” — Michelle Tebolt ’19 (pictured second from left)
CORE 152 Challenges of Modernity
Professor David McCabe (philosophy)
London’s history as the birthplace of industrialization makes it a fitting location for a foray into the implications of modernity. By reading the works of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Virginia Woolf, students gained insight into the late 19th century changes to morality, sexuality, identity, and religion.
“We were able to actually see Freud’s house and the streets that Woolf describes in her novel Mrs. Dalloway. Similarly, we studied the artwork of Mark Rothko in class, and later saw his Seagram Murals in person at the Tate Modern art museum. Seeing the famous paintings on display in a museum as they were meant to be seen made it so much more enjoyable, and traveling to London made the class more meaningful.” — Ezra Hornik ’19 (pictured in tan hat, eighth from left)
CLAS 252 Crete: Imaginary Pasts
Professor Naomi Rood (Classics)
Crete earned its fame as the site of a number of iconic myths, including the battle between Theseus and the Minotaur, and the births of the immortal Zeus and Hera. While these stories may be ancient history, this Classics course made it clear that the legacy of these imaginary pasts continues to shape the culture and identity of the land.
“We explored the sites in which the processes of identity creation took place, and did our best to reconstruct the lives of those who contributed to these processes, taking guidance from the texts we had read, our guides, and the local people. Our experience at Colgate and abroad strengthened not only our understanding of the Cretans and of our collective history, but also of ourselves.” — Matthew Kato ’19 (pictured third from left)
ARTS 244, Temples, Caves, and Stupas: The Art and Architecture of India before 1300
Professor Padma Kaimal (art and art history)
To prepare for their trip to western India, students researched a Buddhist stupa, an early mosque, or a Hindu temple that they would later visit. Their research, as well as photos and testimonials about their travels, can be found here.
“Cave 15 at Ellora was my favorite because I did my project on the relationship between the three religions at the site. But even after all my research, nothing prepared me fully to see it with my own eyes. The idea that the site was an unfinished Buddhist cave later reconstructed for Hindu use was no longer some hypothesis from a scholar’s article, but something that I could agree with based on what I saw. It felt as if some great puzzle was being pieced together after so much time, and that’s a feeling I won’t soon forget.” — Gabby Yates ’19 (pictured on left)