Honors Opportunities


Group Leaders: Professor Sarolta Takács & Dean Julio Nazario

Tour Leader: Ms. Laura Gatzkiewicz, Rutgers Study Abroad Director in Spain

Travel Dates: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 –Tuesday, June 14, 2017

Class Meeting Times: 5/19, 6/17, 3-5pm, 35 College Avenue Room 302, College Avenue Campus

Program Costs: TBA (approx $2,500)

Course Number: 01:959:194, 3 credits

The field experience will take students to Roman, Christian, Muslim and Jewish historical sites in Spain. Our explorations will begin in Madrid with a visit to the Archeological Museum of Madrid and a walking tour of historic Madrid. A railroad trip will bring us to Segovia, a city northwest of Madrid in central Spain, where we will explore the connections of Roman and Jewish history, narratives of the latter’s expulsion in 1492, and visit a Jewish cemetery.

Our second railroad trip will take us to Toledo, the “City of Three Cultures and a city established by the Romans,” where we will visit the primate cathedral, an episcopal seat since the time of the Visigoths. Then, we will make our way southward to Granada, Cordoba and Seville to visit Muslim sites and walk the streets of their strongholds in Spain. In contrast to the Jews, after the Christians conquered Muslim Granada, Muslims were not expelled from all of Spain.

Books for this course: J.S. Richardson, The Romans in Spain, John Wiley & Sons, reprint 1998 and M. Barry, Homage to Al-Andalus: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, reprint 2014.

Readings will be posted on Sakai among these will be Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, Book 21 as well as selections from Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, and Appian.

Film Screening: Cities of Light: The Rise & Fall of Islamic Spain, a two-hour documentary.

Course Requirements

Students will be assigned research projects on historical sites (Roman, Christian, Muslim and Jewish) as well as political and religious leaders and philosophers before the eight-day field experience in Spain. While in Spain, students will lead discussions at the various sites based on these assignments.

Focus on Places and People (Examples)

Madrid: Romanization – Cultural Interactions between Celt-Iberians and Romans / Christian, Jews, and Muslims

Segovia: Romanization in Action / Aquaduct and Alcazar / Cultural Interactions and Trade / Jewish Heritage

Toledo: Romans and Visigoths / Umayyads / Al-Mansur/ El Greco / Alfonso the Wise / Al-Zarkali

Granada: Emirate of Granada / Mohammad XII (Boabdil) / Reconquista / Breakdown of Cultural Interactions / Ferdinand and Isabella / Abdul Rahman III /Tolerance vs. Intolerance /

Cordoba: Intersections of Cultures / Seneca / Ibn Rushd (Averroes) / Moses Maimonides

Seville: Romans and Vandals / Breakdown of Cultural Interactions (Pogrom) / Golden Age and Christopher Columbus

Italica: Roman City / Trajan/ Hadrian


Written Assignments:

  • 1) FOUR two page response papers (one each on a Roman, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim site) based on readings, film, and field experiences (10% each = 40% of final grade).
  • 2) Research Paper based on one of the response papers (35% of final grade).
  • 3) Create a group Pecha Kucha (PowerPoint) class presentation reflecting on the trip (25% of final grade).

Meetings: One meeting before the field experience and one meeting after our return. These meetings will take place at 35 College Avenue, 3rd Floor, on the College Avenue Campus.

Meeting Dates

First Meeting will be on Friday, May 19, 2017 - 3:00-500pm: Orientation, overview and framework of field experience in Spain.

Second Meeting will be on Friday, June 16, 2017- 3:00-500pm: Discussion and reflection on field experience; students will present “best ideas” from the field trip. The format for the presentations will be a modified version of the international Pecha Kucha standard: (see http://www.pecha-kucha.org/).


* There are 20 available spaces. Please apply early.




honors program offices

Nelson Biological Labs
Room A-110
P 848-445-3912
Milledoler Hall
Room 119
P 848-932-1406
College Hall
Room 306
P 848-932-2011
Lucy Stone Hall
Room A-201
P 848-445-3206