December 27, 2013–January 14, 2014 (provisional)
SOC291/SWK291: Production and Place—Coffee Production in Guatemala (2–4 cr)
So what does it really take to make a cup of coffee?
The social network that stretches from your coffee cup all the way back to that little tree nestled somewhere on a tropical mountainside is vast and complex. This seminar will introduce its participants to some of the people and processes that make up this network. In this seminar students will have the opportunity to meet and work alongside those who labor in every stage of production. Discover the people and conditions behind what so many around the world take for granted.
Over the course of SOC291/SWK291 Production and Place—Coffee Production in Guatemala (2-4 cr) we will get to know the people who cultivate the soil, tend the trees, and pick the cherries in the coffee fields of Guatemala. We will work alongside them, share meals with them, and hear their stories. We will meet the people who extract the beans from the fleshy fruit and who wash, sort, and grade them. We will talk with the people who buy and sell the beans, who transport them, who roast them, and who prepare and package them for sale on the retail market. We will observe the conditions of exchange that inhere between the parties all along the chain. We will examine various ways in which these processes have been organized, and we will hear what Guatemalans say about how those various arrangements have impacted their lives, their families, and their communities.
In short, this international seminar will try to make visible much of what we unwittingly take for granted when we pour that cup of coffee. In doing so, it should prompt reflection on the responsibilities that we share as consumers, as citizens, and as followers of Jesus in an increasingly interdependent world.
To learn more about one student's experience in the seminar, visit the Coffee Seminar photojournal.
This course will be taught through a combination of lecture, discussion, and field work. Consequently, students are expected to actively participate in the development and direction of this course. Students are expected to come to class fully prepared, to ask questions, to introduce ideas and topics for discussion, and to participate in discussions.
REQUIRED MEETINGS PRE- and POST SEMINAR
There will be required classes prior to Christmas break and after the seminar. Details pending.
Completed Applications for the January 2014 Coffee Seminar are due by September 23, 2013. By that date all applicants must:
Upon acceptance to the program a $450 program deposit is due.
*International seminar credits are treated separately from the semester and do not count as added credits on the spring semester load.
Global Understanding Credit for this seminar is under review. IF the seminar fulfills Global Understanding, students wishing to fulfill Global Understanding core through participation in the Coffee Seminar must:
Pre-Departure: COR210 New Perspectives in Global Understanding 1 is an all-day SATURDAY seminar taken in November. This course equips students to reflect purposefully upon the theory and praxis of what it means to be citizen-sojourners and deal with the challenges of interpreting cultural difference, ethnocentrism, and how culture shaped behavior and values.
Re-Entry: COR211 New Perspectives in Global Understanding 2 is again an all-day Saturday seminar taken in January/February upon return to campus. This course equips students to ask the deeper questions of their global experience and explore how both reintegrate and deepen the learning of your short-term cross cultural experience.
Contact the GEO for further details.
Upon receipt of the $450 deposit, the GEO will submit registration for all participants to the Registrar's Office. For Global Understanding core, accepted students will be provided with a link to register electronically for the CORE with the GEO.
The approximate total cost for the program is $3,300** which includes tuition, round trip airfare from Boston to Guatemala City, entrance fees, room and board, as well as ground transportation.
**NOTE: Actual cost dependent on final airfare rate and the exchange rate when travel expenses are arranged.
After the non-refundable application fee and program deposits have been paid, the remainder will be billed to student accounts during the fall billing period. Full details are available from Student Financial Services.
Participants are required to acquire their own passports and secure any needed immunizations. Please go to the CDC website for Guatemala and read over all the information there.