J-Term 2023: Exciting Courses from Around the World

J-Term Classes 2023 see students engage in highly immersive learning experiences around the UAE.

From Mina Abu Dhabi to the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, students are engaged in the field and connecting with learning experiences that intensify their focus and reach beyond the classroom.

During J-Term 2023, where 119 courses are being taught in 24 countries, industry giants, thought leaders, and fieldwork are exposing students to experiences that are enriching their learning at NYUAD. 

Intellectually linked to their locations, the courses take advantage of local resources; explore the history, culture, economy, and society of the host communities, and often involve collaborative activities with local students and faculty. The courses illuminate the interdependence of local knowledge and global awareness while fostering cross-cultural research and insights into complex global issues.

Here is a selection of some of the classes taking place during J-Term. 

Perspectives on Neurodiversity

How can we improve clinical and educational outcomes for people of determination? That is the main question students are being challenged with during a deeply enriching three weeks. 

In this course, students are bridging multiple perspectives on neurodiversity using Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a specific case. Students are being exposed to the challenges people with ASD face through coursework and firsthand experience engaging with individuals on the spectrum. 

Taught by Associate Professor Ari Rosenberg, the course will see students foster a synergistic view that can help answer how strategies can be developed to impart essential independent living skills and improve quality of life.

Students have conducted visits to Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education to develop skills and knowledge to quantify neurodiversity and track therapeutic progress using behavioral, neural, and computational measures.

Sensory Ethnographic Methods in Kerala:  Documenting Tradition, Documenting Change 

When societies invoke their past through art, religion, and politics, they often make profound statements about the present and potential futures. Students taking the course will see how the study of heritage can track social change and document it using a variety of different tools. 

Students in this seminar will conduct fieldwork in Kerala, India, where history and culture have long synthesized global influences and where that history is now threatened by chronic flooding and rising sea levels. 

Before and after fieldwork, Samuel Mark Anderson will help students explore the politics of heritage and religion, the ethics of representation, and practical technical training as they build their own exhibition. Whether as  prospective artists, social scientists, policy designers, or coders, students will devise forms to share humanistic and social science research.

The Anthropology of Tourism

A booming multinational industry that plays a critical role in the global economy, tourism is among the most powerful mediums of transnational encounter. Before the industry ground to a halt worldwide due to the pandemic, humanity was at a tipping point in many destinations, from UNESCO World Heritage sites in European cities such as Prague and Venice to ancient cities like Machu Pichu in Peru or Angkor Wat in Cambodia. 

“Over tourism” has become common parlance but, as the industry recovers and people take to the road again, the need to rebuild sustainably in a new era of travel responsibility is imperative. The course, taught by Pegi Vail, will explore the political economy and the cultural and environmental impact of tourism through an ethnographic examination of actual sites. Students will focus on travel stories circulating in print, social media, and exhibitions spaces such as museums, cinema, and TV—exploring their role in shaping our experiences and destination perspectives. 

Memory and Visual Culture

The last several decades have witnessed a “memory boom” throughout much of the world, most visibly through the building of numerous memorials and memory museums, as well as high-profile debates about memory.

Taught by Professor Marita Sturken Department of Media, Culture, and Communication and Professor Katherine Hite Department of Political Science, this course examines the intersections of visual culture, commemoration, nationalism, and social movements with the politics of human rights and memory in the global context. 

Students will study the contestations over memorialization and artistic engagements with the memory of traumatic events, with a particular focus on the politics of memory in Argentina. Through explorations of how art, photography, digital media, and design have shaped cultural memory in these contexts, students will investigate the aesthetics of memory, the role of pedagogy in memorial museums, the spatialization of memory, the digitalization of memory, the role of human rights, and the deployment of memory into political action.

Global Business Strategy

The main objective of this course is to enrich students’ understanding of economic variations in nations and the impact of these variations on national growth, globalization and the strategic management of multinational firms.  Through a trip to Kenya, students are becoming familiar with these basic areas underlying theories of international business, environmental factors affecting international activities, and the management of business operations in an international context.  

Taught by Clinical Professor of Marketing Sunder Narayanan, the course sees students in Kenya where they are able to observe directly how the institutions and resources there impact how business is done compared to in other countries.  While in Africa, students will have an opportunity to explore the host country and participate in presentations and discussions with local experts.  They will also conduct market research to help them formulate a market entry strategy for their project report.