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Birmingham-Southern begins month-long Exploration Term

Birmingham-Southern begins month-long Exploration Term

For Immediate Release
Jan. 2, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Birmingham-Southern students will travel with faculty, conduct internships in Birmingham and away, and stay on campus to conduct research or take courses that approach subjects in a whole new way during the college’s annual Exploration Term this January.

Eterm photo

E-Term, as the one-month mini-semester is called, is one of the most popular features of BSC’s academic program and boasts a range of unique learning experiences.

This year, several on-campus projects delve into a deeper understanding of popular culture. “Star Wars: You’ve Never Heard of the Millennium Falcon?,” taught by BSC art professors Kevin Shook and John Lytle Wilson ’99, will explore the mythology and cultural impact of the Star Wars movie franchise. “Islam and Hip-Hop,” led by BSC Assistant Professor of Religion Dr. Keely Sutton, will look at how popular artists like Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest have been influenced by the religion or have shaped Muslim identity through their music. And “Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan in America,” taught by BSC Professor of History Dr. Mark Schantz, includes sing-alongs of Dylan tunes. Last year, the project produced a Dylan cover band comprised of BSC students--Complete Unknowns--that performed on campus that spring.

“Not only will students learn about the ways in which the Nobel Prize laureate’s music has riffed on important and various musical styles and forms in American history,” said Schantz, “but they’ll also take a close look at Dylan’s music and lyrics in historical context.”

On-campus courses also include several that look at food through the lens of science, psychology, or culture, including “Cooking and Food Preservation,” led by BSC Instructor of Physics Tyler Dart; “May I Take Your Order?: The Forces that Shape our Food Choices,” taught by BSC Assistant Professor of Psychology Greta Valenti; and “Southern Cooking and Culture: We Are What We Eat,” led by BSC Instructor of English Melinda Rainey Thompson.

For students who want to experience cultural wonders outside the United States, BSC Art History Professors Dr. Tim Smith and Dr. Kathleen Spies are leading students on excursions to London and Paris to examine the art, history and lifestyles of those cities. Other overseas trips include a project guided by BSC Professor of Political Science Dr. Vince Gawronski and BSC Chaplain Julie Blackwelder Holly ’01 that will travel to Cuba to explore its culture, while serving in partnership with United Methodist churches on the island and a comparison of Birmingham’s civil rights movement of the 1960s with Ireland’s movement, with travel to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

As always, many of the projects allow students to experience learning hands-on through service-learning, internships, and more, including projects that will revive BSC’s community garden; teach in schools locally and in Uganda; pit students against each other to run their own companies; take students to San Francisco for urban outreach; and teach them how to create their own podcasts.

Students will also participate in a variety of E-Term activities on campus including martial arts, cooking workshops, movies, and guest speakers.

About Birmingham-Southern College:
Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,300 students from more than 30 states and 15 foreign countries. Learn more online at