Roanoke College

May Term


The College provides a wide array of Intensive Learning opportunities, including travel courses as well as on-campus courses. The majority of these courses are offered in May, during a three-week term, although some travel courses may run a little over or a little under the three-week period.

Examples of Intensive Learning Courses:

Sociology Goes to Bollywood: Gender in Indian Cinema
The purpose of this course is to help students understand and critique the social construction of gender in India as reflected in Indian cinema. Students will watch several films and examine how men and women are represented in Indian films, the realities of women's and men's lives in India, and how women and men challenge traditional gender expectations. While the focus is on gender, students will also be introduced to some of the central and unique socio-cultural, economic, and political issues in India, and to the unique conventions of Indian cinema. (Dr. Meeta Mehrotra)

Understanding Poverty Through Service 
This course provides the opportunity to explore and reflect on poverty as a lived social condition in the contemporary United States. Poverty will be examined through a discussion of a variety of readings and experientially through community service. Field trips will encompass doing volunteer work as a group. (Dr. Kristi Hoffman)

All Poverty Is Not Equal 
This course provides students with unique opportunity to examine poverty in the contemporary United States. Students will engage with a few fundamental questions: What is a life of poverty like in the U.S.? What are the differences between urban and rural poverty? What are the best strategies for combating poverty, especially in nonmetropolitan areas? Students will assess the structural causes of poverty through assigned reading, critical reflection and group discussion. Students will also have the opportunity to learn firsthand about others' lived experiences of poverty through a week-long volunteering trip to the Oglala Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Students will gain knowledge about how social scientists and policymakers measure poverty, will become more familiar with the difficulties of life for the impoverished and working poor will gain a sense of the kind of social change necessary to address this form of inequality in U.S. society. (Dr. Lane Destro)

Towards the Green Society: Community Sustainability Initiatives
The course examines the ideals and principles that contribute to conceptualizations on environmental sustainability. Of focus will be the competing meanings, visions, and strategies that signal the social construction of the environmentally friendly society. Discussions on environment occur in a social context where pathways to sustainability are debated and informed by our own cultural understandings of societal organization and human nature. Implicit in the discourse on sustainable futures are the contemporary problems we now face and the foresight required to preserve society. Out of crisis surfaces the empowering challenge of being able to envision and create for ourselves communities reflective of our collective ideals. (Dr. Daniel Sarabia)

Learn more about the Intensive Learning program

 Photos from the Sociology Goes to Bollywood course