Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A New Project

It's embarrassing to look at how long it has been since I have posted here. In my defense, there have been a lot of things happening, and one of the things that has NOT been happening is training for marathons or triathlons or anything physical for that matter.
But I don't have time to dwell on that right now. I have decided to take advantage of this little blog space to create a travelogue of my upcoming trip to Lima, Peru.
Here's the situation:
I have been accepted to present at the IX Congreso Internacional de Literatura Hispanica (CILH) in Lima. My most excellent department at UNA has generously offered to finance this professional development opportunity for me, and it almost coincides with spring break, so I am taking advantage and making this a 2-week trip. I am not going exclusively for fun, as I will have responsibilities at the conference from the 17-20, but I want to use the rest of my time in Peru to lay the foundation for a study abroad experience that I may offer to my students in the next academic year or two.
My primary objective is to present my work at the CILH conference. (This should also lead to a publication if all goes well.) My secondary objective is to establish professional relationships with appropriate travel companies as well as universities in Peru that will allow me to create 1) a two-week study abroad experience in Peru focused on Peruvian culture as it balances its pre-Columbian and colonial Spanish heritage, and 2) an arrangement with a quality institution of higher education for UNA students to study in Peru for a full semester or academic year.
The goals for the two-week program are:
1- offer a broad range of culturally, linguistically, and academically significant experiences
2- develop a program that will be inviting to a broader number of students than those already listed as FL majors and minors
3- keep the cost below $1750 per participant
I intend to use this blog as a forum in which I can chronicle my intelligence gathering mission, with all of its successes and setbacks. A few of my students seem interested in actually reading a blog about this trip, so I will humor them, as well as anyone else who may stumble upon this site.
My journey will begin on Saturday, March 13.

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