2019 Winter Session Courses with International Engagement – ASTU 401

ASTU 401G Wicked Problems in Community Development

This course is available for the 2019 Winter Session (January – April 2020)

“WICKED PROBLEMS” is an upper level course led by the Faculty of Arts! This is a specialized interdisciplinary course: students from all faculties are encouraged to register. The rigour of the class lends itself from the diversity of perspectives coming together.

Designed for students who have interest in or experience with international engagement, students will focus on case studies in Karnataka, India and study the societal complexity of international community development.

In partnership with UBC’s Emerging Media Lab, the course will mobilize virtual reality (VR) footage in tandem with ongoing partnership with an NGO in the Bangalore area to approach complex social issues such as:

  • urban homelessness and housing;
  • agricultural (un)sustainability and sovereignty;
  • clean energy solutions for social services;
  • refugee migration; and
  • nomadic communities.

Students will learn to utilize the trans-disciplinary tools of systems theory, forum theatre, critical systems heuristics, strategic design and, of course, current best practices in international community engagement. Assignments will be grounded in solidarity practices with the mission of the organization. Students will gain the tools to untangle the complex systems and structures, drawing on theories such as critical pedagogy, post-development and Indigenous feminisms.

This course can be counted towards the Facilities of Science, Commerce and Engineering’s undergraduate students arts course requirement.

Eligibility Criteria: Open to all UBC students with a minimum 3rd year standing by January 2020.

Additional Details: ASTU 401G is a 3 credit course taught entirely at UBC Vancouver campus. Registration for this course is currently open on the UBC Student Service Centre (SSC). For more information visit ASTU 401G WICKED PROBLEMS.

ASTU 401H+I Community Based Participatory Research Approaches & Applications

This course is available for the 2019 Winter Session (January – April 2020) with option to continue in May – October 2020

Together, ASTU 401H+I provide a theoretically rigorous as well as an immersive and experientially engaging course that centers research as potentiating social change and sustainable development with a global view. Students learn through 12-week placements in NGOs over summer 2020 in a Global South setting.

ASTU 401H is a 3 credit course taught at the UBC Vancouver Campus from January to April, 2020. Registration is open through the SSC. Students who complete ASTU 401H may be eligible to take ASTU 401I.

ASTU 401H provides an overview of research in the social sciences, informed by post-colonial, feminist, and post-development scholarship. Focus will be given to participatory approaches that examine the operation of power through research relationships. In the international context, power operates through North-South relations conditioned by histories of colonialism and imperialism. With these relations in mind, this course will introduce techniques, methods, and tools for collaborative research in cross-cultural contexts. Our goal is to identify research practices that decolonize knowledge seeking in order to promote social justice.

ASTU 401I is 3 credit course taken while as part of an international service learning placement. Select students who complete ASTU 401H are eligible to apply to be placed internationally one of ORICE’s NGO partners in Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, Costa Rica or India, and to enroll in ASTU 401I. This optional continuation through international placement requires registration in ASTU 401I (2020S, May-October).

ASTU 401I will engage students in deep experiential learning in an international setting, and will provide students with the opportunity to relate topics discussed in the pre-placement class sessions to the “real-world.” Students will be placed with a development NGO in a non-Western country. Within this context, students will work collaboratively with members of their host organization, engage in critical self-reflection, develop their understanding of local challenges, enhance their understanding of small-scale research in practice for the organization and participate in collaborative and ethically informed ways. Students will complete in-placement assignments, and contribute to post-session discussions upon return to UBC-Vancouver.

ASTU 401I is part of the ISL (International Service Learning) program and requires full participation in:

  • ASTU 401H seminar (January – March 2020)
  • ORICE pre-departure learning program (March – May 2020)

ASTU 401I classes begin in May 2020 (2 x 4hrs per week) and include 12 weeks of fieldwork in an International Service Learning placement (June – August 2020)
Return seminar and final course-work on campus (September 2020)
Re-entry debrief and public engagement presentation on campus (September – October 2020)

Eligibility Criteria: ASTU 401H+I is open to students in all faculties with 3rd year status and beyond. Students interested in further developing their understanding of participatory research in an applied, international context are encouraged to apply for this course.

Funding: This course is eligible for the Arts Research Abroad & ORICE Regional and International Service Learning Award.

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