Enroll in RELS 200 Turkey Then & Now this Fall 2012 and earn 4 credits which can count as a pre-1800 or intercultural core course! The field study component for this course will take place over winter break in Turkey, Jan 3 - 16, 2013.

Program Description

At the juncture of two continents-Europe and Asia-Turkey is a country that has been home to an extraordinary range of peoples and cultures. These peoples and cultures have at times interacted creatively while at other times clashed violently. Remnants of these complex and variegated cultural contacts linger in the sites of Turkey, sites that are an ideal means by which students can access Turkey's past and present. The Turkey: Then & Now program aims to orient students to the richness of Turkey through the academic study of Turkey in a 4-credit Fall 2012 course with a short-term field experience led by Prof. Upson-Saia.

In the Fall semester course, students will acquire a background in the history, culture, and issues of Turkey from antiquity to the present. Students will survey the range of peoples/cultures from this region throughout history, as well as the issues over which they cooperated and battled. Specifically, we will study the Greeks and Persians of the Classical period, Romans of the Roman period, Christians of Late Antiquity and Byzantium, and Turks from the Ottoman period to Atatürk's reform and the modern Republic. Throughout this historical survey, we will concentrate on three themes:

1. exchange-the interactions, exchanges, and conflicts between these groups; the consequences of travel, trade, and conquest
2. landscape-the way in which the topography of Turkey informs its culture
3. daily life-the unique industries and crafts of Turks past and present

In addition to attending our regular class meetings, students will be expected to participate in several additional excursions and film screenings to complement the material covered in class. Finally, at the end of the semester, students will conduct research projects on an aspect of Turkish history/culture that builds from their unique intellectual interests and major curriculum.

Participants will ground and expand their studies by traveling throughout Turkey over the Winter Break. Our field study will take us to the ancient capital of Istanbul, to the modern capitol of Ankara to the interior of the country (Cappadocia), then over to the Aegean coast and up the Gallipoli. (For a detailed itinerary, click on the link below.) On site, students will learn from the expert guidance of Prof. Upson-Saia and from a Turkish guide. Moreover, students will learn from one another as they will present their research findings a site related to their topic.

Faculty Leader

Professor Upson-Saia, Historian of the ancient Mediterranean world, will lead the Turkey: Then & Now program. Prof. Upson-Saia is the author of Early Christian Dress: Gender, Virtue, and Authority (Routledge 2011). She is currently working on a second book project on the signification of scars and wounds in late antiquity. A good portion of her sources derive from ancient Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and she has travelled to Turkey on several research trips. This is her second time leading this program at Occidental.


For a detailed itinerary click on the following link: Itinerary January 2013


12-16 students, 1 faculty instructor (Professor Upson-Saia, Religious Studies), a support staff person from Occidental, and a Turkish guide.

Because the program aims to be largely interdisciplinary, we will accept a group of participants who represent a broad range of majors/minors. We are seeking bright students who possess the willingness and ability to engage seriously with course material, to conduct rigorous independent research, and to engage with the intellectual interests of their faculty member and peers.

It is essential that participants be flexible and mature. We are looking for students who can adapt with ease to new cultures and unfamiliar conditions, who handle with grace unexpected problems, and who will possess positive attitudes in any circumstance. 

The program requires a good deal of walking, up to 6-8 hours/day, sometimes over uneven terrain. Additionally, some days our meal options will be limited. Finally, students will be limited to one small piece of luggage, which they will be responsible to carry on their own.

Information Session

Come to an info session to talk to the Professor & the IPO staff about the program:
Tues. Feb 14th noon-1pm- JSC Morrison
Wed. Feb 22nd noon-1pm- JSC Morrison


Field Study Fee: $4,450 
Includes $500 non-refundable deposit due upon acceptance plus $3,950 charged to student account upon pre-enrollment.

Estimated Additional Costs: $1,660 
Such as international airfare, lunches, some dinners, passport, visa, etc.

Financial Aid

The total additional cost ($6,110) will be included in Financial Aid calculations for Fall semester 2012. A Financial Aid officer will to determine how your package may be adjusted depending upon your need.

The application period for this course is now closed.

Contact International Programs
McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson 102