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Office of International Programs

Summer 2014 Courses


The Summer Session in San Gimignano will include two courses led by Merrimack faculty:

“Special Topics in Writing: Travel Writing”  (Dr. Deborah Burns)

Fulfills a Humanities distributional requirement, and Writing Intensive requirement for the LS Core.

This course is designed to introduce students to the art of craft of travel writing.  The course will focus on story development, structure, characters, dialogue and style appropriate for travel writing.  Students will compose a portfolio of travel writing that will include writing about their experiences.

  • In San Gimignano, students will visit the Convento d Sant’Agostino and explore the four neighborhoods of San Gimignano (e.g. San Govanni, Castell, Piazza, and San Matteo) and other historical and cultural sites.
  • In Florence, students will tour the Augustinian church of Santo Spirito and other cultural sites.
  • In Siena, students will visit the Palazzo Pubblico to examine the Allegory of Good and Bad Government, the Casa di Santa Caterina, and the Duomo.
  • In Rome, students will visit St. Peter’s, the Vatican, Catel Sant’Angelo, the ancient city (Forum and Colosseum) as well as other cultural historical sites.
  • While some of the students’ travel writing will focus the religious, cultural, and historical sites they visit, it will also derive from interviewing people of interest, sampling local cuisine, and other, perhaps serendipitous experiences.  For selective illustration or illumination, students will include original photographs in their writing.
  • Students will learn how to use the technologies (e.g., blogs and online publishing tools) that are a necessary element of all good travel writing.  Through online lectures, Kevin Salemme (Merrimack’s Director of Media) will instruct students how to produce effective photography to further enhance their travel writing.  
  • Students will compose an electronic document that will highlight examples of the best travel writing composed during the course. 

“Galileo Galilei: Tuscan Mover of Heaven and Earth” (Dr. Douglas White)

Fulfills a Math & Science distribution requirement, and a S.T.E.M requirement in the LS Core.
  • Galileo Galilei, born and educated in Pisa and Florence, played a central role in the development of modern science.  This course will put his contributions into a cultural context by first examining the contributions of his predecessors and contemporaries; including those of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Tycho, Copernicus, and Kepler.  This examination will provide an understanding of not only the cultural, social and scientific forces that Galileo was subject to in promoting a heliocentric world view and his role in developing an experimentally based natural philosophy but it will also provide an understanding that he did not stand alone in this development.
  • This course in its current form will require the use of some mathematics.  In particular algebra, some basic trigonometry, and some graphing.