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Embedded Spring 2021
May 18, 2021
May 29, 2021
Dec 15, 2020
This program is only available to Honors students (students in the Honors College or Honors Program).
Discover on-site the extraordinary intertwined histories of Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Spain!
Explore the cultural, religious, and political diversity of medieval Spain, focusing on the histories of its Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities. Students will visit Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Granada, and Cordoba, learning about Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Spain from Roman times through the present. Discussion themes will include the nature of religious identity, the consequences of religious intolerance, and varieties of cross-cultural influence.
We will land in Madrid, enjoy a group lunch, and visit the magnificent National Archaeological Museum, whose collections span prehistory to modern times, providing a fitting introduction to our travels.
In Segovia, we will visit the Roman aqueduct, the Jewish cemetery, and the Abraham Seneor House and Learning Center, which will provide key background on the history of the Jews in Spain.
In Toledo, we will visit the Jewish quarter, including two synagogues that became churches after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. We will also visit the El Greco museum (which displays some of the most famous works of the late 16th-century painter known as El Greco) and the 13th-century High Gothic cathedral and take a night tour of "underground Toledo." Saturday will be a free day in Toledo.
In Granada, we will enjoy a group dinner at a Moroccan restaurant and visit the 13th-century Nasrid palace and fortress known as the Alhambra, the 16th-century Royal Chapel (the burial place of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who expelled the Jews from Spain and financed Christopher Columbus's travels), and the only surviving caravansary (inn for long-distance merchants and their caravans) in Europe, some of whose medieval guests journeyed along the Silk Road.
In Córdoba, we will enjoy a group supper, visit the 14th-century Alcázar palace and attend a performance of flamenco dance. Prior to returning to Madrid to fly home, we will visit the ruins of the fortified 10th-century Umayyad palace-city known as Medina Azahara.
This embedded study abroad course is a 1-credit, 10-day long trip conducted after the end of the Spring 2021 semester. Students will participate in a semester-long, 3-credit honors seminar that will introduce topics and themes to be addressed during the trip.
The trip will be led by Professor Paola Tartakoff (Jewish Studies, History) and Laura Gatzkiewicz (Resident Director in Spain of Rutgers Global-Study Abroad). It will explore the cultural, religious, and political diversity of medieval Spain, focusing on the histories of its Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities. Students will visit Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Granada, and Cordoba, learning about Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Spain from Roman times through the present.
The syllabus for this course will be available soon. For information about study abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.
Paola Tartakoff is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Rutgers. She is currently Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of Jews and Christians in medieval and early modern Europe. She is particularly interested in conversion to and from Judaism, the medieval and Spanish inquisitions, and ritual murder accusations. Her first book was based on archival research conducted in Catalonia, Aragon, and Valencia. Her second book explores interfaith relations in Western Europe and the Mediterranean more broadly.
Laura Gatzkiewicz has been the Resident Director of the Spain Program, located in Valencia, for 16 years. She teaches a Director-led course on Spanish History, Geography, and Culture for all students on the program and leads tours and study trips on Spanish history, art, and architecture. In addition, she is a professor of writing and English literature at the Berklee College of Music’s Valencia Campus and has her own translation business specializing in medical and legal texts, as well as libretti and program notes for the Valencian opera house Palau de les Arts.