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Field Schools

Current and upcoming field schools

Enrollment for this course is closed

The Dancing Connections and Communities field school positions dance as a lifeline for human connection and dances of the African diaspora as a conduit for understanding traditions of moving a people together as a community. Through cross-cultural connections, students will embark on a two-part experience in Columbus, Ohio.    

Course leader: Nyama McCarthy-Brown (Department of Dance)

Course dates


Enrollment for this course is closed

New York City is home to dozens of new institutions of all sizes and provides a range of alternative venues for the production, distribution and exhibition of experimental media. Over the course of this three day field school, students will be immersed in this artistic community and experience an entire gamut of institutions that make up the film and art world in New York City — from small gallery spaces to major museums. 

Course leaders: Roger Beebe (Department of Art) and Erica Levin (Department of History of Art)

Course dates


Once rescheduled, this course will be widely promoted

With the city of London as its focus, this Education Abroad course (ENGLISH 4554: English Studies and Global Human Rights) will explore global migration in the context of the current crisis around refugees. Framed around five key terms – migrationsuspicioncrisisexhaustion and fusion — we will study cultural representations (art, literature, film, theatre, exhibitions and photography) with an emphasis on London’s rich history of immigration and present emphases on national security. We will study national and international policies and debates and meet with London organizations that work with refugees.

This course will be led by Professor Wendy S. HesfordHesford is a professor of English and the faculty director of the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme. She is interested in the transformative role that critical human rights literacy plays in exposing the violence of representation, revealing hidden, repressed and silenced stories. 

Course dates

This course is in the process of being rescheduled due to COVID-19 cancellation. 

How do Ohians create a sense of place in a changing environment? Students enrolled in the spring 2020 Ohio Field School course will have the opportunity to answer this question by conducting service-learning projects in collaboration with community partners in Perry County, Ohio. The area is home to expansive forestland, rolling hills, incredible biodiversity, and rich and complicated histories of migration, labor movements, and social activism. It is a place where hardworking activists and grassroots groups struggle daily to create a future for their communities after the departure of coal companies and extractive industries.
Course leaders: Katherine Borland (Comparative Studies) and Cassie Patterson (Center for Folklore Studies)

Student resources

Livable Futures Louisiana Field School
Spring 2019 

  • Vince Bella, Education

    What stood out to me most about the work that I did in the wetlands is that I likely won’t ever see the results of my labor. I just have to trust that my work was good and that the plants will continue to grow without my aid. A metaphorized version of these lessons is a large part of the reason I want to teach young people.

  • Genevieve Wagner
    At the end of our excursion through marsh and water, I felt a greater connection to nature. The beauty of the space we were working in humbled me, as I found myself in awe of the strength and cyclical nature of the marsh. The way each water beetle, splotch of sea-weed, and bulb of grass worked in harmony with one another further engrained the importance of protecting these coastal marshes.

Defining the Color Line: Race, Democracy and the Enslaved Community at James Madison's Montpelier
Autumn 2018

  • Anna Glavaš, Political Science + International Studies
    ...the work that the Montpelier team is doing [at the Montpelier house] really gives people the inability to separate the foundations of this country, notions of freedom and democracy, from the enslavement of an entire race of people.
  • Malina Ronet Ransom, Theatre + AAAS
    We had the opportunity to take a tour of the archeology labs at Monptelier... it’s amazing to think that a single object has the power to put someone’s story in history and to bring them back and not let them be forgotten.
  • Kyle Huffman, Neuroscience
    Walking around the site at Montpelier, we chronologically dove through the history, the archaeology, the power of place. And then driving down that winding road to Charlottesville, that was a portal hundreds of years into the future where you could see that direct connection.

Email questions about Global Arts + Humanities field schools to Program Manager Puja Batra-Wells (batra-wells.1@osu.edu).


Past field schools

Thomas Davis, associate professor in English, led a field school to Louisiana in spring 2019 to explore the issue of changing environmental conditions and resilience. This program was linked to the Livable Futures project, which engages environmental conditions of crisis and generates integrated creative, intellectual and pedagogical approaches to foster transformative relations on Earth. This first Livable Futures Field School took ten undergraduate students to southern Louisiana. Over the course of a week, students learned about coastal land loss, indigenous politics and cultures, environmental racism, climate change and the ecosystems of the Gulf Coast. During their time in Louisiana, students:

  1. Assisted Common Ground Relief as they helped rebuild Louisiana’s wetlands.
  2. Collaborated with Louisiana based artists and art collectives to learn about and engage with creative practices that grapple with a range of environmental justice issues.
  3. Worked with Houma nation member, artist, activist and documentary filmmaker Monique Verdin to learn about indigenous politics, histories, lifeways and the current struggle against oil and gas pipelines in Louisiana.

To learn more about this experience, read student testimonials and view photos, visit the Livable Futures blog

"Defining the Color Line: Race, Democracy and the Enslaved Community" was the theme of Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries' field school at James Madison's home, Montpelier, and Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Hasan Kwame Jeffries: "Part of the reason why I wanted to take students down to Montpelier and to explore Charlottesville is because I wanted them to know the past, to prepare them to make sense, and better sense, of everything that it going on in the age that we live in today because I see in each and every one of them the potential for really making change in in this society. I truly felt that this experience would arm them and prepare them to be not only good people and deep thinkers, but really changemakers."

To learn more about this experience, read student testimonials, view photos and video, visit the Defining the Color Line webpage.

The Ohio State Dance Brazil program was a 15-day experience led by Professor Daniel Roberts in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Dance Brazil introduced Ohio State dancers to Brazilian art and culture, and provided the unique opportunity to study and perform with Brazilian dance masters, learn firsthand about Afro-Brazilian culture and engage in cultural exchanges with Brazilian dancers.

Before setting on this expedition, the 12 dancers took a class on the history, culture and language of Brazil in order to gain a respectful and educated global context. They also began learning ten repertoire dance pieces; these dances would be performed in Salvador and Lencois, Brazil, for grade schools, universities and communities in the area. The group also engaged in Brazilian culture by taking Capoeira and Samba classes, attending performances and meeting local collegiate and professional dancers. They also took a trip to the historic city of Lençois where the dancers gave a performance in the round.

To learn more about this experience, read student testimonials and view photos and video, visit the Department of Dance's webpage.