Study Away and Abroad

Professional Writing London  | June 8 – July 24, 2015
Participatory Cultures: Fandom & Memory  |  June 8 – July 3, 2015


Come join us in our study abroad programs!
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Professional Writing London: Creative People and Workplaces with Professor Jeff Grabill
June 8 – July 24, 2015

London is one of the world’s leading cities for creative professionals. Our program uses the city, its cultural institutions and firms, and an internship experience to explore how people and places make us more creative and lead to valuable innovations. PW London connects students to design firms, communication professionals, and cultural institutions in the city as ways to learn to be a creative professional.

This program is designed for Professional Writing and Experience Architecture students but also welcomes any student with relevant experiences and background. Our approach to learning is grounded in research and experience, which means that students will learn how to conduct research that explores how creativity works in the world and experience what it means to work in creative workplaces. Our goal is to provide a conceptual background relevant to creativity and innovation to support an internship experience.

WRA 330: Writing Research in Communities and Cultures (3 credits)
London focus: Creativity, People, and Places

This project and research intensive course takes place in London, relying on its history, physical and cultural space, and its virtual connections.

During our time in London, we will use the cultural institutions in particular as resources for learning. We will visit various museums and monuments, as well as attend guest lectures–some with partners in London design firms who will work with you. Visits will include not only museums to orient you to London, but also field trips to public spaces that emphasize and expand what we are learning in our classroom. Examples of relevant field trips within London may include Churchill War Room (part of the Imperial War Museums), Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, London Transport Museum to understand the Tube itself as a space for transport, refuge, and community; Millenium Bridge as a site of architectural innovation, connecting the Old (St Paul’s Cathedral) with the new (Tate Modern) and the simulated (Shakespeare’s Globe). Guest lectures will range from local researchers and museum curators to industry professionals. These experiences will provide the students with opportunities to interact with local professionals and researchers.

WRA 493: Internship (3 credits)

The internship course structures how and what you learn on your internship. We will assist with a placement with a partner in London. As an experiential learning opportunity, the goal is to learn about yourself, about the organization, and about creativity and innovation. Meaningful and substantial work will be expected of you, of course, but there are course-related work expectations (e.g., papers) in addition to the work product required by your internship placement.

Participatory Cultures: Fandom & Memory
A Research Study Abroad with Professor Liza Potts
June 8 – July 3, 2015 based in London with travel to Cardiff Bay and various spaces across England

Are you a fan of Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, the Royal Family, Shakespeare, or King Arthur? Come to London, where on this study and research abroad program, we’ll explore your favorite fandoms while learning how fans have created spaces where many different stakeholders can share ideas, commemorate events, and celebrate their histories.

By studying the cultures and places where fandoms such as these take shape, we’ll explore how interactive experiences make spaces for fans while supporting their favorite obsessions. During these four weeks, we’ll learn how fans operate in physical and digital spaces, how copyright holders react to these fandoms, and how cities can successfully partner with both. Emphasizing the role of research and communication, we’ll learn how people and organizations engage in public spaces through what they write, architect, and design. Through participating in and observing activity, we will explore brand-making and fan appeals. You will learn how to analyze findings, interview fans and makers, and deliver insights to your peers and other professionals.

Come explore fan cultures and communities, learn how communities and communicators shape experiences, and create networks that will last the rest of your life!

WRA 330 Writing Research in Communities and Cultures (3 credits)
WRA 499: International Research (3 credits)

These two courses will focus on communication, and experience architecture in digital and physical spaces. Our work will be grounded in a very old rhetorical question: how to be an effective communicator in public spaces. How are physical, discursive, and digital worlds designed to support engagement? How can we architect better experiences for fans and other participants? Our work will be rooted in three discourses: rhetorical theory, participatory culture, and internet studies. Our projects will be participant-focused and research-intensive, using London and beyond as our site of study, relying on its history, the physical and cultural space of contemporary London and Cardiff Bay, and its virtual connections online.