Prospective students now have another option for studying abroad as Theatre and Dance Instructor Suzanne Ostersmith adds interdisciplinary arts to the curriculum of Gonzaga-In-London’s second program: “Spirituality and the Arts of England.”
Ostersmith, who brought on the program a year ago, is working alongside Professor of Religious Studies Patrick McCormick to provide students a means of completing both their religious studies and fine art core requirements while also providing an immersive experience into the diversity and history of London.
The program consists of courses in interdisciplinary arts and “Christian Spirituality: A Call to Justice,” taught by Professor McCormick.
“Students can get out both their religious studies core and fine art core in this experience,” Ostersmith said. “Across the campus, I know the students are excited, but there are also business and science students saying, ‘What, I can take both of those core requirements in London outside of the regular academic year? Fantastic!’ ”
Interdisciplinary arts is looking to include the study of theatre, dance and the visual arts, along with the innovation of how these art forms intersect as part of a curriculum based largely on religion.
“When I teach it here at Gonzaga, we talk a lot about theory, we engage in and see a lot of work,” added Ostersmith, “but in London, we’re going to talk about those forms and go to very wonderful places to talk about these arts. London is a delicious place in order to sample all these art forms.”
“A lot of students have a wonderful experience in London,” said Paul Tivet, a student interested in the program. “If it were to get bigger and a lot of students were allowed to go there, it would be very beneficial to gain that experience.”
The faculty behind “Spirituality and the Arts of England” seem eager to let students choose their interests of study in the iconic city. Ostersmith said one of the hardest aspects of planning this program with McCormick was deciding which places to go as a class given the great variety of attractions throughout London.
“What’s so great about this program is that we have classwork and places to go together, but there is also free time for students to explore further things that are of interest to them,” Ostersmith said. “This is going to be a very in-depth experience into the culture of London and really a lot of history of art and spirituality in that way, too.”
The prerequisites to take part in the program are completion of 100- and 200-level religion classes, a two-page essay explaining what one hopes to get out of the experience, and a minimum 2.5 GPA.
For more information, visit www.studyabroad.gonzaga.edu.