Six Credits

Finding real passion for your learning can be tricky in any given semester, because you have so many different classes to take and so many responsibilities outside of school. Enter The Catalyst. With us, you will be taking two courses that relate to our classroom cities in vitally important and exciting ways. (Meanwhile, you and your fellow students will be freed from work commitments and all of the other distractions of a typical semester.) The dynamism of our program’s academics is its beauty. In each of our cities, our faculty will give you the wide-angle view of the European classroom you meet each day, from the Renaissance to the Holocaust. While your two Elective Courses will be your summer’s telephoto lenses, bringing your classroom cities and your material into a special focus that only specific disciplines can help you to attain. You will take one of these three-credit courses in London/Paris and the other of them in Berlin/Prague. Students who come on The Catalyst receive credits approved and administered by the University of West Florida. If you’re not a student at UWF, no worries. Our credits transfer to any university or college in the USA, but you should still print up the syllabi below for the classes you want to take with us and discuss these with your academic advisor(s).

  1. First Session Electives

    First Session Elective Courses: London and Paris

    Choose your first-session Catalyst elective course so that the disciplinary and intellectual direction you take feeds your passion and advances the goals you’ve set for your Catalyst journey. All courses are three credit hours and are taught in London and Paris, during the first two weeks of The Catalyst. You must take one of these courses but may not take more than one.

    • HISTORY: Raiders: Hunting for the Heart, Soul and Society of the Ancient World in London and Paris Today (HIS4955)

      To paraphrase many an historian prior to lecture: “Today’s class will turn both brutal and beautiful directions.” Our Catalyst class will feature two intensive weeks of this adage in high resolution. As we focus on the stories of blood spilled in war, the sacrifices made to gods long forgotten and the treasured monuments erected to memorialize the heroic dead. As we make London and Paris our living classrooms, we’ll not simply study the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and their neighbors, but will get up close and personal with the artifacts and creations their sometimes poetic and sometimes brutal efforts to offer homage to eternity left behind. Each day in class, we will use the trove of ancient artifacts as our source materials to interrogate how power, religion and social life operated among the ancients.

      While traversing the busy metropolitan streets of what were once only colonies of an ancient empire, we will meditate on what urban life was like 2,000 years ago. Not only will we read about gladiators and the politics of Roman games, but we will do so in the ruins of an arena, the very place where gladiators fought and died. We will retread the steps of the followers of the mysterious god Mithras as we walk through his temple, brought to life by the latest technology. We will read the work of Julius Caesar on his war with the ancestors of the French, while gathered in the famous cafés of Paris. Standing before the tomb of Napoleon, we will discover how his conquest of Egypt in the 18th century lit the spark of Europe’s obsession with “exotic” ancient Egypt.

      As we walk through the celebrated halls of the Louvre in Paris, and the British Museum in London, we will reconstruct the histories of the ancient past through its remains. Our course would not be complete without experiencing the physical dominance of Hammurabi’s Code, one of the oldest law codes in the world, or gazing upon the imposing, colossal statues of Akhenaten, Egypt’s heretical king. Using the most famous royal decree from antiquity, the Rosetta Stone, we will learn to read some basic Egyptian hieroglyphs. From there, we turn our attention to the controversial Elgin marbles, taken from the Athenian Parthenon, a symbol to one of the world’s first democracies.

      Come uncover the ancient past and experience for yourself the world of the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. The sacred and the profane will both be in your view, so will the brutal and the eternally beautiful.

    • HISTORY: The Sorrow and the Pity: World War Two in London, Paris and on the D-Day Beaches (HIS4955)

      There’s no feeling as a learner to match what it is to stand above Omaha Beach in the American military cemetery there, as your History class walks you where the brave soldiers of D-Day fought and fell to launch the liberation of the European continent. In this course, you’ll have that experience. Along with a full week in London to explore how that great city and citizens experienced the battlefront when it came to them with the horrors of “the blitz.” Finally, as you walk the quiet streets of Paris where the Jewish ghetto had thrived for centuries, you’ll have your feet on the cobblestones of what was occupied France from June 1940 until August 1944. What was occupation like? How did the Holocaust happen to French Jews? What did the French do to resist the Nazi occupation? And why was the greatest film ever made about this time period called “The Sorrow and the Pity?” You’ll have other great college courses to be sure, but you’ll never learn with your whole heart and soul like you will with us in London, Normandy and Paris on this special learning adventure.

    • ART–ShutterSPEED: Telling your Visual Story through Art Photography in London and Paris (ARH4955)

      When students finish college and go on to their busy professional lives, plenty of things are forgotten from four years on campus. This course will see to it that almost nothing you see and do on your study-abroad summer with us will fail to live into the future. Because if there’s ever been a time when sophisticated visual story telling has mattered to the brands we love and the brands we are, that time is now. In our course, you’ll take two weeks to learn how to see beauty all around you and to capture that beauty. London and Paris will be your classrooms each day, as our class uses museums, galleries, streets, parks and outsider art/street art to change forever how you use your own visual fluency and images to tell the story of your life and of the world around you. Warning: your Instagram and Snap followers might just come to hate you after seeing the world of London and Paris through your images. Click here to the the Shutterspeed 2017 syllabus (1)

    • ENGLISH–Shakespearience: Finding the Literary and Historic Bard in England, France and Beyond (ENL4224)

      William Shakespeare has been rightly called the greatest writer in the English language. What’s less know about is the sweep his works have enjoyed for centuries beyond the English speaking world or the merry olde England where he was the ultimate “player.” As we read his plays and sonnets and attend productions of his works, we will seek each day to understand who Shakespeare was and why his genius has spoken so powerfully for centuries to both the powerful and the oppressed.

      Part of searching for Shakespeare will mean walking along the once-seamy South Bank of the Thames in London, where in the “Bard’s” era bawdy theatre, fire eating and bear baiting were popular amusements to enjoy before going to The Globe for a performance of Hamlet.  While our course will take a day to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was born and died. What can we learn about the writer from his own will and testament? How can we meet his genius more intimately by seeing where he lived and wrote? Part of our search will also feature the green spaces of London and what it feels like to sit in them and passionately unpack some of the most lyrical and hilarious lines ever written in our native tongue.

      Finally our course will take a global view on the majestic legacy of the international settings and controversial play stagings that have been the history of many of Shakespeare’s works. As we explore how his history plays in particular were performed all along the western front in France during World War One. And the life that his works enjoyed in France under the Nazi occupation, as covert performances became resolute reminders that eventually liberation from and victory over Hitler would come. And how he imagined a great city like Paris–where we’re quite sure he never visited other than in texts and images–with sufficient clarity and conviction to write it as he needed it to be written for his plays to be effective.

      Our class gets our hands dirty, as we muck around the dig sites of the old Rose and Curtain theaters. While we also clean our hearts of some of the clutter and confusion that we all carry with us in life. Because from London to Stratford to Normandy and Paris, we’ll search for clarity and the eternal in our quest to know the sources and the scope of William Shakespeare’s stunning genius and literary reach.

       

    • PSYCHOLOGY–Madness: Psychopathology in European History and Today (PSY3905)

      Madness has been conceptualized in many ways over the centuries. From the iconic statues of “Raving and Melancholy Madness” that stood outside of Bedlam in the 17th century; to the fits and poses of the “hysterics” in Charcot’s La Salpetriere; to the mute soldiers of the Great War suffering from “shell shock”; to modern day notions of “mental illness”. This class travels to these historic institutions and takes a close-up look at the connections between trauma and the development of human problems over the centuries. The course also explores what social psychology teaches us regarding the development of historic political movements like the French Revolution? This course will use social psychological concepts to analyze these movements, the coming to power of individuals like Napoleon, and Robespierre and the various methods and workings of propaganda during the eras of the two world wars. An analysis that informs not only the past, but current political movements and world leaders as well, Hysteria–as we explore trauma, propaganda, and leadership, will definitely not be your typical psychology class. But then, London and Paris are far indeed from you normal classrooms! And neither are the D-Day landing beaches, where we’ll study first-hand the battlefield context for what what would be called “battle fatigue” in the era of World War Two.

       

    • PSYCHOLOGY–Mindfulness: Theories and Practices of Positive Psychology in Europe Today (PSY3095)

      Vast bodies of research have shown that the negative stories we tell ourselves are contrary to our own wellness. Similarly, it’s well documented that higher expressions of personal and collective wellness can correlate with the mindful practice of everyday life. This course explores how positive psychology is understood and developed in the UK and France by various governmental and institutional entities today.

  2. Second Session Electives

    Second Session Elective Courses: Berlin and Prague

    Choose your second-session Catalyst elective course to complement what you studied in London and Paris. All of our second session courses are three credit hours and are taught in Berlin and Prague, during the second two weeks of The Catalyst. You must take one of these courses but may not take more than one.

    • PSYCHOLOGY: Sexuality and Gender (SOP3905)

      The pink triangle was born in Nazi Germany as a means of identifying gay people to discriminate against, round up and eventually murder in the 1940s. Yet as this class will show, the sometimes brutal cultural, medical and state politics of sexual orientation and gender identities were not born with Hitler. Before and after the Nazis, sex and gender roles have been hotly contested aspects of social life in Europe and beyond and remain so to this day.

    • The Young and the Damned: Youth Culture and Rebellion from Nazi Germany to the Collapse of the Soviet Bloc (POS4905)

      One wintery afternoon in 1943 at the greatest university in Munich, a college student named Sophie Scholl walked nervously into the central administration building and climbed the stairs. From the top floor, she leaned out over the bannister and dropped hundreds of clandestinely printed leaflets that called for the end of Hitler’s regime and the Nazi party. Sophie Scholl made history that day. She paid for it not long after, when she was guillotined as a member of a secret cell of youthful resistants called the White Rose. Her final words carry with them the generous if tragic promise of a young woman no longer innocent of the life and death stakes of political engagement: “It’s such a find sunny day, and I I have to go. But what does my death matter if through us thousands are awakened and stirred to action?”

      Can a small group of college students change their society? What can ordinary people do to bring about social change? What can and have young people done to disrupt existing power and order? In this exciting travel study course we will engage with and be inspired by brilliant and bold young people who challenged power and changed our world. We will meet in coffee shops, museums, and parliaments to discuss youth political movements and revolts. Through site visits and cultural experiences in Berlin and Prague, we will enrich our understanding of youth culture and the vitally important politics of rebellion.

      Our course will look closely at the hard history and politics of the later Nazi period, through the rise of the Cold War and the Soviet Bloc. As we explore the ways in which Individuals in every society are enmeshed in powerful political, social and economic systems that are resistant to change, while we look at the architecture and apparatuses of that power as they existed in Berlin and Prague from 1943 – 1989. Our main focus, though, will not be the political tactics of power and the status quo in those places and in that era. Rather, we will give our closest attention to the heroic and sometimes doomed young people who banded together against all odds to challenge these systems. We will read their essays, look at their acerbic political cartoons and trace the evolution of their organizational energies.  While  we walk where they marched, sat-in and picketed, we’ll consider, too, how our own historic age today is seeing a proliferation of youth protest and demands for change, from memes posted online to twitter storms of every flavor. This course offers an exploration of youth culture and politics of revolt in a specific time and place. Yet our larger goals will be to examine the origins, dynamics, strategies, organizational tendencies and consequences of youth protest as a social movements in a very general sense.

      No cities on Earth offer a more rich setting to ask our questions than Berlin and Prague. We’ll have class in the former headquarters of the Gestapo, where heroic student dissidents were tortured to death. We’ll see other sites of institutional power that were used to silence dissent and rebellion, including Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the most notorious of all the Soviet era prisons in Berlin. As we use the monuments and memory sites as our classrooms, too, we’ll stop in Prague’s breathtaking old town and stand where the Soviet tanks rumbled through and butchered the high hopes of the Prague Spring. While we take the rest of the city to assess carefully how Communism was ultimately destroyed by the very forces that crushed the Berlin Wall in 1989.

       

    • Bully Pulpit: Principles of Mass Communication (MMC2000)

      In its long and sometimes terrible history, the city of Berlin has known claims of fake and real news more fully than almost anywhere on earth. Our class will walk right into the darkest history of propaganda and a state-controlled media as we explore media history in Berlin during the Nazi and Soviet-bloc eras. We’ll also explore the counter history to those repressive eras, as we interrogate how liberation struggles and resistance movements used media under the Third Reich and when the Berlin Wall cast its horrible shadows all across the globe. Then we’ll explore what media has become in its modern moment in Europe, as we use edgy content companies, PR firms, radio and TV stations and more as our roving classrooms in both Berlin and Prague. This course meets General Education Breadth requirements in the Social Sciences for students at the University of West Florida.

    • HISTORY–In the Garden of Beasts: Nazism and the Holocaust (EUH4905)

      Few classrooms can compare to Berlin and Prague when it comes to studying Nazism and the Holocaust. Berlin was the epicenter of the New Order that Hitler built, and the vestiges of the 1933-1945 era remain very present here.  From the museum that stands today where Gestapo Headquarters were in the Nazi era to the roll call field at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, our class will walk the terrible trail that was the path of the Nazis and their war against the Jews and others whom the regime deemed “undesirable.”  From Berlin, we will go as the Nazis did and follow their swath of occupation and murder East, to the Jewel of former Czechoslovakia, Prague.  Where Hitler and Himmler installed their most trusted and brutal soldier. General Reinhard Heydrich, to govern the conquered city and the “protectorate” of which it was the centerpiece. And where the covert mission “Anthropoid” crystallized in the 1942, in the assassination of Heydrich.  We will study how the Nazi occupation worked, as we also explore how resistance movements grew up in Prague and elsewhere, as we take as our classrooms such hallowed places as the village of Lidice, the Cathedral of St. Cyril and St. Methodius and Prague Castle itself. Click here to review the 2017 syllabus for Nazism and the Holocaust Syllabus (1) (1)

    • ART–MultipleEXPOSURES: Documentary Photography in Theory and Practice (ARH4955)

      Camera optics were originally not fast enough to keep up with the human smile. By the time that changed, the pace of modern life had increased to a frenzied degree that nobody could have imagined when photography began. If you love art, museums, cameras and photography, this course should be at the heart of your Catalyst journey. As you traverse The Catalyst cities, you will make galleries, museums, urban ruins, monuments and the hidden vestiges of Europe’s complicated past your unforgettable classrooms, while you take time to delve deeply into the techniques of art photography and prepare a professional-grade portfolio from the images you shoot. Click here to review the Multiple Exposures 2017 syllabus (1)

    • ENGLISH–Being and Nothingness: Mann, Camus, Fallada, Koestler, Kafka and the Contours of 20th Century European Literature (LIT3191)

      Fascism. Communism. Totalitarianism. Nationalism. Existentialism. Cubism. Dadaism. Surrealism. To the student of culture in the 20th century, it would seem that the century was driven by belief systems and movements that controlled art and politics. The individual caught in the force and current of these movements often had few options for survival; the currents of destruction and terror and isolation seemed overwhelming. This course examines these historical forces, but more importantly, it looks at the human response to these historical forces: the attempt on the part of the individual to maintain some semblance of routine and normality, the attempt on the part of the individual to maintain some sense of self and individuality, the attempt on the part of the individual to maintain some sense of meaning and purpose. Click here to review our Being and Nothingness Syllabus 2017 (1)

Faculty

Professors are selected to join The Catalyst because of their expertise in our teaching fields and because of their vast experience in global research and education. That Catalyst routinely draws top professors from 5-6 different academic institutions in the USA. If you’d like to learn more about how you can join our faculty in a future summer, contact Dr. Doug Mackaman, Director of The Catalyst.

Dr. Felicia Morgan is Associate Professor of Marketing at UWF. A specialist in consumer culture and marketing behavior, Dr. Morgan is known for her love of literature and the arts as they relate to spaces of consumer behavior in Europe. if you’ve never had class at Kensington Palace and enjoyed high tea there, you’ve missed learning from Dr. Morgan. If you don’t know your way around the most lush and amazing outdoor markets in Paris? You didn’t take Dr. Morgan’s class. And if you failed to learn how central pubs and cafes are to the social and marketing lives of UK and French citizens? That’t not Dr. Morgan’s fault.

Dr. Julia Troche is an Egyptologist. Her primary areas of interest include ancient Egyptian social history and religion, but she also conducts research on the histories of the ancient Near East and the Classical world. She has worked as an excavator, field surveyor, and epigrapher at Abydos and Luxor in Egypt, and at Petra, Jordan. Before coming to Missouri State, Dr. Troche taught undergraduate and graduate courses on ancient Egyptian art, history, religion, and hieroglyphs at her alma mater, UCLA.

Additionally, Dr. Troche has helped develop education outreach materials and programming: she co-curated the exhibition Uncovering Ancient Egypt: Ancient Crafts, Modern Technologies in 2014, worked with PublicVR to help build an exemplar of a virtual ancient Egyptian temple, and continues to write articles for the young adult history and archaeology magazines Calliope and Dig.

A personal and professional advocate for study abroad, Dr. Troche studied abroad in Paris as an undergraduate and credits that experience as critical to her decision to become a scholar.

Dr. Mickey Wadia has been teaching Theater courses abroad for many years and has served in London on multiple occasions as a campus coordinator for large study-abroad programs.  He is a Distinguished Professor in the Languages and Literature department at Austin Peay State University and specializes in the works of William Shakespeare. 

Dr. Bryan Brinkman teaches in the Department of Classics and History at Missouri State University. Dr. Brinkman received his PhD in Ancient History from Brown University in 2016. While completing his degree, he held fellowships at the German Archaeological Institute and the University of Cologne.

His work focuses on forms of popular communication—both written (e.g. graffiti) and oral (e.g. acclamation)—in antiquity, especially the Roman Empire. He has publications in Brill’s Companion to Classical Receptions and The Landmark Julius Caesar. He is also working on a monograph that explores collective vocalization in Roman history.

Dr. Ashley Thompson is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. A veteran of study abroad program learning, coordinating and teaching, Dr. Thompson has the following as her main research themes:

Attitudes, Judgments, and Motives related to Romantic and Sexual Behavior
Gender Differences in Romantic and Sexual Experiences
Variables Influencing the Endorsement of a Sexual Double Standard
The Influence of Stereotype Threat on Gender Differences in Emotional Intelligence

Dr. Thompson is the director of the Sexuality and Relationship Science Lab at UMD.

Dr. Thompson also has a passion for applied research in social and organizational settings. Consequently, Dr. Thompson has numerous consulting experiences in which she assisted with the development, implementation, analysis, and dissemination of  campus climate surveys and other related program evaluations.

Dr. Carolyn Pritchett Assistant professor of Psychology at the University of West Florida, where she teaches general psychology, neuroscience, neuroanatomy, cognitive science, and affective neuroscience.

Dr. Pritchett specializes in biological psychology and neuroscience. She conducts research into feeding behaviors; the role diet and gut-brain hormones play in behavior and psychological well-being; and obesity, diabetes and gastric bypass (weight loss surgery).

She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Samford University, master’s in psychology with a concentration in cognition and neuroscience from the University of Missouri, and doctorate in neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine before being a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. John Bloodworth teaches Mass Communications and media at the University of West Florida.  Beloved by his students for his approachability and passion in the classroom, John had a first career in corporate law and marketing strategy as a business executive with Coca Cola. John has previously taught Mass Communications in Edinburgh to study abroad students. His research has focussed on music and youth culture in times of 20th century political rebellion.

Dr. Douglas P. Mackaman is Distinguished Visiting Professor of European History and Global Programs at the University of West Florida and founding director of The Catalyst and The Village Programs. Previously,  Dr. Mackaman was tenured full professor of French History and Global Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi, where he served as Director of The British Studies Program and was also founding Director of both The Abbey and The Compass Programs. Dr. Mackaman has written widely in the cultural history of Europe from the 18th century onward and has been teaching US students abroad since 1996. Dr. Mackaman consults widely in global program development. Dr. Mackaman is well known by generations of students as being a professor who can mostly out-walk anybody when the goal at hand is learning a European city.

Dr. Richard Seefeldt is Professor of Psychology at The University of Wisconsin River-Falls, where he is a counseling psychologist who teaches courses in General, Abnormal, Personality, and Clinical Psychology. His research interests have focused on addictive behaviors, social cognitive aspects of evaluation and relationships, and the history of madness. Dr. Seefeldt has taught study-abroad students all over Europe for more than a decade. His knowledge of our Catalyst cities is without peer, as his familiarity with the old rehearsal spaces and first live venues of the greatest punk bands in history.

Dr. Andrew Woolley is Professor of English at Southwestern Adventist University, where he also is Director of Honors. Dr. Woolley has been teaching US students abroad regularly since the early 1990s, with London, Athens, Rome, Venice and Paris as his more recent abroad “classrooms” of choice.  A class with Dr. Woolley is a life lesson in every sense, and no student who has learned from him abroad will ever forget his gentle genius and incomparable wit.

Dr. Travis Tubre is Professor and Chair of Psychology at The University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Senior Lecturer at the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Dr. Tubré has taught US students abroad in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Scotland. His students wax fondly about his infectious enthusiasm and the unending passion he has for our teaching cities in Europe.

Dr. Darren Bernal is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Asheville. He teaches counseling, group psychology, multicultural psychology, community psychology, abnormal psychology, and cultural psychology. Bernal’s research focuses on socioeconomic status, social connectedness, mindfulness and well-being. If you take his Catalyst course, you’ll walk the great parks and cityscapes of both London and Paris. As you explore what the built environments, museums and green spaces of these places do every day to encourage a mindful and positive encounter with social life. And will you adopt the practice of yoga? Will you take to meditation? Dr. Bernal is well known for bringing students into touch with a holistic way of living. His students adore these gifts.

Dr. Joni Henry Noble is Professor of Art and Photography at The University of Louisiana Monroe, where she also lives and works as a practicing and well-known visual artist. Dr. Noble’s recent honors as an artist include the presentation of her work in the famed Summer Exhibition of the British Royal Academy in 2015.  She has been teaching students in Europe regularly for a decade and is one of the founding professors of The Catalyst Programs. Dr. Noble specializes in bringing the practices of art to life, and with her beloved Europe as a muse this process catches fire each summer on The Catalyst.