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Winter Break Worldwide!

Michael Hershey
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts

Students in Nerja

Danny Lennon’s favorite stop was the coastal town of Nerja where white stucco houses with cascading veranda gardens spilled onto quiet Mediterranean beaches. From left to right are Matthew Burger, Danny Lennon and Andrew Cogswell.

The World Language and Philosophy departments are nestled right next to one another on the third floor of Bradley Hall. This leads to collaborations, like the Andalusian Experience, a two-week study abroad trip to Andalucía, a region in southern Spain. Associate Professor of Philosophy Mike Miller, Ph.D., organized the trip, with an itinerary designed by Associate Professor of Spanish Diana Rodriguez-Lozano, Ph.D.

mz6_1511-1-in-text.jpgMany study-abroad semesters include weekend trips to other countries, to explore different cultures. But, as Rodriguez-Lozano emphasized, you don’t have to travel far in Spain to see entirely different yet intersecting cultures. Andalucía has a long history of occupation by Jewish, Muslim and Christian peoples.

Since the 8th century, Andalucía has been home to both Christians and Muslims. Despite Christian powers demanding the expulsion of Muslims, and later Jews, and Islamic leaders taxing Christian citizens, these communities rose above and showed great tolerance despite the hostilities of royal decrees. This led to a unique, heterogeneous culture, seen in the food, language, architecture and philosophy—all of which were appreciated by cordoba24-36-with-students-in-text.jpgglobetrotting Mounties. “In a lot of these cities, religious diffusion and coexistence were really prevalent because they wanted to maintain their interdependent economies…and they were all united in academics and scholarly pursuits,” Danny Lennon, C’25, observed.

The Andalusian Experience was Lennon’s first trip outside of North America. He’s found all over campus, leading Bible study, playing in the Pep Band, and participating in the Criminal Justice Student Association and the Student Government Association.

Some students, like Jane Pilkerton, C’26, prepared for this trip by taking Islamic Philosophy with Miller last fall. She had read all about toledospain24_381-in-text.jpghow Islamic philosophy is seen in architecture, art and culture, and emphasized that it did not disappoint. “You could see statues of Jewish, Islamic and Christian scholars all preserved alongside one another,” Jane recalled. “In Toledo, there is a synagogue, built in the style of a mosque, that was later converted into a cathedral.”

The journey was not limited to students: Professor and English Department Chair Indrani Mitra, Ph.D., and History Lecturer Dave Cohill, C’79, C’13, MBA’10, happily joined the trip, as well as several alumni and friends of the Mount. The trip left on New Year’s Eve and returned on January 14, a few days before spring classes began. The Mount invites students to live significantly well beyond their four years on campus, and trips like the Andalusian Experience are a great way to stay involved as alumni.

Michael Hershey
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts