SEA Summer Session

Historic Seaports of Western Europe

Explore Western Europe by sea...The historic seaports of Ireland, France, Portugal, and Spain all have stories to tell. Celebrate their past, present, and future as you explore each one from the platform of a traditional sailing vessel. Learn about the rich maritime traditions of these ancient cities and address how they have evolved over time as the result of globalization. Visit four distinct nations for a taste of their unique, vibrant cultures, drawing comparisons from each to create a truly global summer experience.

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Overview: Summer 2014 | Western Europe

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What?

This voyage will sail along the coastal waters of Western Europe, combining several short cruise legs with a single longer passage. Port stops in France, Portugal, and Spain will offer first-hand interactions with communities intricately tied to ocean resources and maritime trades both historically and today.

Where?

Cruise Track: Cork, Ireland to Cádiz, Spain
Destinations: Cork, Ireland > Douarnenez, France > Lisbon, Portugal > Cádiz, Spain

When?

July 4 - August 2, 2014

Brief shore component in Cork aboard ship
July 4 - August 2: In Cork & At Sea

Who Should Apply?

This program is ideal for Humanities or Social Science majors who are interested in learning more about the oceans from a historical perspective. We welcome students of all majors to apply.

Program Description

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The marine environment has had a major historical role in shaping the human experience of Western European ports. In this program we will examine the major historical transformations in European maritime activity in the eastern North Atlantic, paying particular attention to the development of fisheries (late medieval to the present), trade (early modern to modern), and nautical technology.

You will begin the program on board the SSV Corwith Cramer in the ancient city of Cork, Ireland, a port city that maintains a long history with the sea. After a brief shore component, you will set sail along the coastal waters of Western Europe, combining several short cruise legs with a single longer passage. Port stops in France, Portugal, and Spain will offer first-hand interactions with communities intricately tied to ocean resources and maritime trades both historically and today. Each port we visit will be a focal point of regional maritime history, where we will explore social, political, economic, environmental, and cultural changes.

Historic Seaports of Western Europe is designed for students representing a wide diversity of backgrounds and interests, but especially those who want to understand environmental, political and cultural changes within a historical context.

Course Description & Syllabus

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Academic Credit

Summer Session II carries 4 semester hour credits from Boston University for successful completion of the program.

Course Descriptions

Maritime History & Culture (300-level, 4 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Explore impacts of European maritime ventures on the societies they contacted in the Atlantic or Pacific, with focus on the resulting social, political, economic, and cultural changes. Investigate responses documented in the post-Colonial literature of indigenous people.

Syllabus

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"SEA Semester was the perfect environment to learn about a vastly important but often overlooked part of our world, the oceans. The classroom time was very engaging and I learned a great deal in this more traditional academic environment. Of course, the sea component will probably be the most memorable aspect of my undergraduate education."

Evan Oleson
Economics Major
Williams College