This program runs every other fall semester.
Director Fall 2020: Professor Sarah Wider, Colgate University
Departments of English, Native American Studies, and Women's Studies
Deeply rooted in learning that is lived, the Santa Fe study group combines community-based learning, classroom discussion, and frequent field trips. The semester focuses on both the long history of native peoples in the American Southwest, and the con- temporary issues facing Pueblo, Navajo and Apache peoples today. Interdisciplinary in nature, the courses complement many majors. Students in the past have majored in English, Education, Sociology, Anthropology, Religion, Biology, Women’s Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, as well as Native American Studies. Given the nature of the courses and the rich resources of the Santa Fe area, it is an excellent program for students interested in environmental studies (including environmental injustice, alternative energy, water management, biodiversity), public health, education, creative writing, art, anthropology and archaeology.
Community-based learning is the heart of this program. Students engage squarely in Indian Country, making the program actually a term abroad despite being located in the United States. Depending upon their interests and concentrations, students are placed at Tesuque or Cochiti Pueblo, where they assist in programs such as early childhood education, elementary education, health, environmental management, sustainable farming, eldercare, or law. Alternatively, some students may be placed at the Santa Fe Indian School if their interest is in secondary education. The service learning projects earn a half course credit, making this a 4 1/2 credit program.
Over the years, student responses to this semester-long study group indicate that it has often been a life-changing experience. Students report that they have developed new ways of thinking, formed life-long relationships, and discovered or confirmed career paths.
Located in the beautiful mountainous region of northern New Mexico, Santa Fe has long been a crossroad of cultures. Originally the home of Tesuque Pueblo, it is now the New Mexico State capital. Given its long history of resistance (the first American Revolution began here with the 1680 Pueblo Revolt), Santa Fe continues to be an active area for social justice movements, many of which overlap with the arts. Known for its international art markets in Native, Hispanic, and contemporary arts, it is a city with a vibrant performance culture. In a welcome relief to upstate New York weather, Santa Fe boasts nearly 300 sunny days a year and comfortable daily temperatures.