Monday, February 23, 2009
Experiencing Spring Grove - a colloquium
COURSE DESCRIPTION - What can we learn about ourselves, our city, and our society from a cemetery? Discover the complex overlap of history, sociology, art, horticulture and business that are intertwined at the Cincinnati's Spring Grove cemetery. Based on the methodology of the “City as Text" explorations developed by Dr. Bernice Braid of Long Island University, Brooklyn, and the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Honors Semesters Committee, you will be challenged to step outside of your customary perspective for a while and “read” Spring Grove Cemetery as you would read a literary text, trying to discern its organizational patterns, its styles, its characters, its themes, and its underlying meanings. We want you to discover the cemetery as if you were an anthropologist visiting a foreign land. Place as Text is Experiential Learning. Rather than go to a classroom, the internet or read a series of books - we are going to a Place. You learn from being immersed physically in the experience. It requires you to be an explorer in a unique space, and to discover its meaning through close, careful and continuous observation. Our "textbook" is the physical place. We will use guides, supplements, and experts, but the real source of information is the cemetery itself. This approach requires student responsibility and student active learning. You will shape this class through the questions you ask. Our goal is to answer the question "What are the many aspects of Spring Grove? " or perhaps, "What role does/can/should Spring Grove play in our community?" or maybe it is simply - "What is a cemetery?"