The History Department of Bowling Green State University offers a three & a half-week summer seminar in the Republic of Benin. Offered in cooperation with the National University of the Republic of Benin, this seminar is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Interested individuals who are not students at BGSU are also invited to participate in the seminar as well. During this study abroad, BGSU professors will travel with the group and participate in all scheduled activities and field trips.
Study Benin's multicultural history and creative arts for academic/vocational enrichment and particularly as background for Africana Studies in the U.S. The cultural unity of West Africa, the Atlantic slave trade, the continuity of African culture among Blacks in the Americas, and the history of ethnic diversity within Benin Republic comprise the thematic foci of the seminar. Based in the Francophone city of Cotonou, this seminar provides opportunities for conversations in French; however, lectures, discussions, and field trips are conducted in English. Bowling Green State University and National University of Benin professors provide lectures and participate in field trips.
I. The Experience
Experience "Africa" while studying history, culture, art and conducting research designed to fit individual majors and interests. Learn while enjoying Benin's palm tree-laden beaches and gleaming crystalline sands! Reflect on your experiences while walking daily along the shore, thinking about friendly Beninese from diverse ethnic groups, scrumptious local fruits, French pastries, flaky meat pies--and wonder of all wonders--soul food at Maman Benin's and around the city! Sing at Crystal Palace Karaoke and swing at the So What Jazz Club or at New York/ New York.
Contonou, Republic of Benin
Participants enjoyed an authentic dinner with a Beninese. (top)
Professors enjoyed lunch with a family in Lagos, Nigeria. (bottom)
|II. The Interaction|
Seminar participants are encouraged to meet Beninese people and to explore the diverse cultural communities. Evenings and some afternoons are open for participants to experience the day-to-day life of the city. To enhance the experience, there are opportunities to spend time with university students and in the selected homes of Cotonou families.
Participants with students at the National University of Benin.
III. The Exploration
Participants of this seminar will be accompanied on field trips aimed at heightening visual interpretations or connections of course readings and discussions to the "real life" culture of Benin.
The seminar's field trips include:
International Dantokpa Market
Gahou Koffi Workshop
Abomey Museum/Arts Center
Songhai [Ecological] Center
Creddesa [Holistic Health]
Muslim & Traditional Sites in
Archaeological Sites in Togo
Ghana (Tentative / Extra)
African Christian Churches
Traditional Temple Sites & Compounds
Ouidah: Slave Trade Route /"Door of No Return"
Undergraduate: (6 Credit Hours)
HIST 495: Beninese History, Culture, and Art -
HIST 495: Africanisms in African/American Culture- 3 Hrs.
Graduate: (6 Credit Hours)
HIST 586: Beninese History, Culture, and Art -
HIST 587: Africanisms in African/American Culture - 2 Hrs.