Sitting at the northwest corner of Africa and seven short miles across from Spain, Morocco has for centuries been an important gateway between Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the West. Contemporary Morocco thus reflects layers of cultural, political, religious and philosophical influences from many regions. It has also long served as a gateway of imagination that filters and shapes perceptions that the East and West have of each other. This program combines classroom instruction on Morocco while at DePaul with first-hand experience in Morocco, the latter of which includes seminars with Moroccan scholars, guided and self-tours, on-site class meetings, and living for one week with a Moroccan host family.
While in Morocco, we will travel to four destinations that illustrate just part of the country’s diversity cultural and geographical diversity. We start in Rabat (the current capitol of Morocco), noting the historic Chellah ruins and Kasbah in the context of contemporary urbanism. We will also observe the effect of recent gentrification on the more traditional neighboring town of Salee. We will then visit Meknes, its ancient medina, and its imperial architectural complexes. We then head to Fez, touring on the way the 2000-yr old Roman ruins of Volubilis, and the centuries old shrine city of Moulay Idriss. We settle in Fez for oneweek, during which students reside with local host families. With its 1000 year-old medina and several major mosques, Fez has been an important center of Islamic learning and civilization for centuries. The upon departing Fez, students will trek through the Sahara desert on camels before proceeding to Marrakech for the final leg. The program ends with a 1-day layover in Paris, during which we will visit the Louvre Museum’s new installation on Islamic art and/or the Institute of the Arab World.
Students register for a total of 8 credits for this program.
In the fall quarter, students register for PSC 255/395 – Middle East Politics: Religion, Politics and Democratic Reform in Morocco, taught by Christina Rivers. This course examines the politics of the Morocco--both the religious dimension of Moroccan politics and developments in democratic reform. It begins with a brief historical overview of Morocco, with an emphasis on the colonial and post-colonial periods. The course then turns to more recent events and examines the legacies of Kings Hassan II and Mohammad VI, the rise of Islamist politics, and the challenge of militancy in the region. Part of this section will be an in-depth analysis of the socio-economic conditions that have fueled Morocco’s political opposition. The course then turns to the question of democratic reform, the effects of the “Arab Spring” on Morocco, and recent constitutional reforms. It closes with a brief review of American foreign policy in the Maghreb. This course fulfills the Self, Society and Modern World or the Junior Year Experiential Learning Liberal Studies domain.
In the winter quarter, students register for ENG 398/INT 368 – Topics in Global Culture: Maghrebi Immigration and Beur Literature, taught by Shailja Sharma. This course will examine issues of the Moroccan diaspora and its culture. Since 3.3 million Moroccans emigrate to Northwestern Europe and their remittances total about $5.7 billion annually, their impact on Moroccan society is large. Morocco's foreign policy is also geared to protecting its diaspora. Through this course, students will study the postcolonial history of Morocco, the causes and effects of migration and aspects of its diaspora's culture. The course focuses on the history of immigration from North Africa into France, and the debates around culture, identity and belonging that have taken place as a result of that ongoing immigration. The course will consist of two parts: the first part will look at the history of migration from the postwar period until the present, the patterns of settlement and employment in France and examine some debates around race, post-colonialism and identity. The second part of the course will read novels and film narratives from the second and third generation of Maghrebi-French authors and examine the issues that they raise about diasporic identity, transnational affiliation and the role of culture. This course fulfills the Arts and Literature or Junior Year Experiential Learning Liberal Studies domain.
Dr. Christina Rivers: My research interests are in American politics, African-American politics, black political thought and civil rights law. I have a life-long interest in study abroad. As an undergraduate, I studied for a year in Pau and Paris, France, during which I spent a good deal of time with Moroccans both in France and in Morocco. While at DePaul, I accompanied students on DePaul's winter 2009 Morocco study abroad program. I then served as the Faculty Director for DePaul's summer 2011 Arabic language program in Fez, Morocco, and am scheduled as Faculty Director for the summer 2013 language program in Fez.
Dr. Shailja Sharma: My area of interest includes migration, especially in France and the UK, postcolonial societies, citizenship issues and culture and identity. Since southern Europe and North Africa have had centuries of trade, cultural links, and population movements, my interest is in seeing them as one unit: as societies of the Mediterranean. I have previously led a Study Abroad program to India.
Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND CULTURAL EVENTS
Extracurricular and cultural events include: guided and self tours of Rabat, Meknes, and Fez; self-guided tours of several ancient ruins; group meals to sample the array of Moroccan cuisine, the experience of residing in a Moroccan home, and a desert camel ride. Students also have free time to explore various cities on their own.
Lodging is primarily in hotels, with two students per room. While in Fez, pairs of students will live with a Moroccan host family for approximately one week. Host homes are generally located in the medina area, though some are located in the Ville Nouvelle (“new city”) neighborhoods of Fez.
All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition and a program fee. Tuition is billed at the students regular DePaul tuition rate based on the number of credits enrolled. Click here for the program fee for your program. Read the details carefully to understand exactly what is included. Please also note the withdrawal policy.
PASSPORT AND VISA
If you are planning to study abroad and do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some programs require students to obtain student visas. In that case, contact the country's local consulate or embassy for up-to-date instructions. Please note that visa requirements can change quickly. The Study Abroad Program will update this website to reflect changes as they become available.
DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.