Honors News Archive

News in Brief

2018 Amsterdam

Nov 6, 2017
Amsterdam at daybreak - image by Global Grasshopper


Sponsoring Unit: Honors Program (Undergraduate Academic Affairs)

Program Dates: June 25- July 20, 2018 (Summer A Term)

The 7th Honors in Amsterdam Program, established in 2006.

This program will satisfy the following 12 credits of Honors core requirements:

CourseCreditsCredit Type
Honors 384 5 Honors Interdisciplinary
Honors 240 5 Honors Fine Arts
Honors 230 2 Honors Social Science 
3 orientations no credit  Spring quarter (time TBA)

Information Sessions

  • Thursday, January 18, 4:30-5:30 p.m., MGH 211B (Seminar rm) 

About the Program

"Infinitely Woven City: Art and Global Politics in Amsterdam" investigates the rich and complicated interrelationships between art, colonialism, trade, power, and place in a global city. Amsterdam’s renowned cultural and artistic prosperity and diversity emerged from its role at the center of vast networks of exchange and violence, including the Atlantic Slave Trade, the colonization of Indonesia and Brazil, as a well as its domination other lands and islands across the world as it traded in textiles, spice and other materials. Students in the program will be invited to explore the living histories of these processes in the vibrant streets, galleries, and cafes of one of Europe’s leading cities. Through hands-on engagement with material culture and through the creation of their own “personal atlases,” students will gain new insights into the meaning of material history, trade, and global flows of people, ideas, and violence, past and present.

The atlas was integral to the rise of Amsterdam as a major global actor. The creation of The Dutch West Indies Corporation, the world’s first transnational corporation, utilized the cartographic tool of the atlas--a means of imaging and imagining the world from particular perspectives--as a central part of the processes of colonial domination and material extraction. As a port city and key node in these global processes, Amsterdam is an ideal site from which to explore how our own globalized marketplace--from vast commodity chains to the individual products with which we surround and define ourselves--emerged and transformed. 

This program will explore the textiles that were imported from this trade and how they were merged with other Dutch textiles and with colonized cultures to create hybrid textiles through which we can trace and record these complex histories. Students will be introduced to and will learn hands-on processes such as batik, natural and synthetic dyes, Dutch embroidery, lace and crocheting. 

Program Credit: Students will receive 12 credits of Honors core credits  Participating graduate students will coordinate the allocation of credits with their advisers. Alternative credit may be available to students not currently enrolled in the Honors Program.  Alternative credit options must be arranged in advance with your departmental adviser.

Course Details

Spring Orientation Sessions

Preparation for Amsterdam Study Abroad. 

During the mandatory spring preparatory orientation sessions (x3) students will be introduced to program topics and prepare for their study abroad. The orientation sessions will build community; build on their knowledge of program topics with assigned reading and short writing assignments. Students may also create their program blogs, which will be part of the Amsterdam program blog. Culture and language instruction as preparation for in- country learning will be addressed.  In addition, students will receive basic travel orientation prior to departure.

Components of the orientation sessions:

*Safety and security and code of conduct for students, faculty, and staff will be addressed.  

Amsterdam at night - image by Robalka

*Introduction to Dutch culture, politics and art

*Safety and protocol for students studying in Amsterdam

*Introduction to program topics

*History of the Netherlands, specifically related to program topics

Summer Quarter

Honors 384: Unmaking & Making: The Politics of Contemporary and Historical Textile Art

(Honors Interdisciplinary, 5 credits, I&S and VLPA, and "W")

This studio art/research course will reveal cultural politics of cloth through the layering of histories that have been recorded by the evidence of cloth, textile processes and materials choices ending up as contemporary textile art.  Students will read interviews, articles and writings about and from historical texts and contemporary textile artists, as well as watch film, go on museum visits and listen to guest artists’ presentations.

Course goals for this course are to introduce non-art students and art students to recording and collecting visual materials as a part of developing a generative studio art practice; visit sites and locations where trade, art and culture were significant to the development of a transnational corporation; learn textile processes such as embroider, applique and quilting to create a final “atlas.”  This final piece will be made from fabric and will be an accumulation of the different textile processes and a record of the researching, making and interacting during in this course. Students will work independently and collaboratively as we participate in the age-old activist practice of community building through making a group textile piece. 

Honors 240: Bookbinding: Thread, Awl, and Needle w/Walls: Hidden Messages in the Real World  

(Honors Fine Arts, 5 credits, VLPA, and "W")

Unit 1: Bookbinding: Thread, Awl, and Needle

Artists’ books may be identified as a zone of activity, a conceptual space. May be said to interrogate the conceptual or material form of the book as part of its intention, thematic interests or production activities.  Johanna Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books

This class explores the basic elements of bookbinding, including design and construction of the traditional book as well as materials and their properties. Students construct and take away a variety of bookbinding models. A brief introduction to the history of the book, using examples from the rare book collection at UW prior to our traveling  and focusing in particular on historical and contemporary book-binding and it’s relationship to the atlas is part of the course.

Unit 2: Walls: Hidden Messages in the Real World

With the growing use of maps on the web, digital art, augmented reality, and other technologies cartography is becoming more and more experimental, experiential and personal. In this course students will create maps inspired by those in Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City: An Atlas of San Francisco.  Students will examine the many layers of meaning in one place by mapping the city as experienced by different inhabitants including themselves. Each map will illuminate more about the city and its surroundings. 

Textile Book image by Jan Miller Group


Honors 230: Dutch Culture, Language and Literature  

Honors Social Science, 2 credits

This seminar will provide students with an interdisciplinary introduction to Dutch culture, crash-course in the Dutch language, history and politics, arts, and urban development. Instructor and experts from various disciplines will engage with students on topics relevant to the Amsterdam program. Students will also receive travel orientation and health and safety instruction and discussion. In-city excursions are a component of the seminar.

Program Staff


Julia Freeman is a Seattle-based teaching/artist originally from Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2007 with her MFA in Fibers. Her work is a continuous blend of printmaking, collaging, painting and drawing. Her experience with textiles and fibers heavily influences her process and material choices. She has been an arts educator for more than a decade at Cornish School for the Arts, the University of Washington (Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and the Honors School), and The Northwest School. She has exhibited at Foster/White Gallery, SOIL Art Gallery, 4Culture Gallery, Clemson University, Kirkland Arts Center, Richard Hugo House Art and at the Art Factory in Seoul, South Korea. She has been nominated for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Competition Award in 2007 and 2010 and was a finalist in the Miami University Young Painters Competitions. She is the co-founder of a contemporary art gallery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood called The Alice. She has lived and worked in Finland and Busan, Korea, and she has traveled and studied public art and material culture throughout, South America, Central America, Europe, East Asia and Australia. She is excited to discover the rich cultural space of Amsterdam together with her students and colleagues.

More about Julia's work

contact: freemanjul@gmail.com


Carey Christie is a collaborative multi-media and performance artist based in Seattle, WA. Carey runs alumni relations and communications for the Honors Program, which makes her a nexus for faculty, student, and staff ideas to collect, conglomerate, and build energy. Prior to joining UW Honors Carey was the Director of Events and Promotions at free local publication, The Stranger, where she ran the Genius Awards 501C3 and collaborated on events and special projects with creatives and cultural leaders from every sector.

Carey has been an arts-educator for ages 9-18 through Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, The Nature Consortium, and Reel Grrls, where she also designed a formal training program for mentors. She has lived in London, Chicago, New York City, and Amsterdam, where she gave walking tours and worked full time at what is now the longest-running show in Holland: an American-style improvisational cabaret called Boom Chicago. 

Courtney DeVries is the Team Lead for UW's study abroad and International exchange advising as well as the lead for application management and exchange/program partnership development.  Courtney also manages the Independent learning process and approval for the UW Study Abroad Office. Courtney received her MA from the University of Amsterdam and is fluent in Dutch. 

Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $4,400. Students also pay a $450 UW concurrent enrollment fee (students do not pay tuition; program fee and concurrent enrollment fee only)

Average Airplane Ticket: $1,500

Daily out of pocket food costs (approx): $40

Payment Schedule:

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type

Payment Amount

Payment Due Date

Non-Refundable UW Study Abroad Fee


July 6, 2018

Program Fee Balance


July 6, 2018





Making the program affordable

The Honors Program is passionate about study abroad and the incredible impact it can have on a student’s life. An education grounded in a global context provides life long skills and lifelong memories. Studying abroad deepens study at home and provides a foundation for expanded reflection and self-growth, all core tenets of the Honors Program. We want everyone to experience study abroad. Don’t assume you can’t afford to study outside of the U.S.

Here are resources to help you get started on your global adventures!

Honors Program Scholarships

The Honors Program offers a number of scholarships for current Honors Programstudents. These scholarship funds may be used for UW approved study abroad programs or exchanges. Students may apply beginning in January (deadline is April 1).

Study Abroad Scholarships at UW

The UW offers several scholarships to support students interested in studying abroad whether through a faculty led program or an exchange program.

Visit the The Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity’s Global Opportunities website to learn about scholarship opportunities.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

The summer 2018 Gilman International Scholarship application will open in mid-January 2018. Applications are due March 6, 2018 by 11:59pm (Central Time) and the certifying advisor deadline is March 13.

There are several outside resources for study abroad scholarships. Visit the UW's Study Abroad Scholarship page for more information on scholarship support as well as information about GET funds and how you may apply the GET to your study abroad costs.

Using Financial Aid for Study Abroad

You may find more information about using your existing financial aid for study abroad on the Study Abroad Office's Financial Aid webpage. In general, all financial aid awarded may be used to support study abroad. Exceptions to this include tuition waivers, work-study awards, or scholarships that are specific about using the award for tuition (although there may be flexibility with some scholarships, please check with the financial aid office). Tuition waivers and work-study are never allowed for study abroad.

Revision of Need

You may also turn in a Revision of Need form with the Financial Aid Office if you have a FAFSA on file.  Once you are accepted to a study abroad program, visit the Study Abroad Office to obtain a budget for your study abroad program then complete the Revision Request and turn in both the budget and the revision request to the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall. 

Visit the Financial Aid Study Abroad Funding Website for more information about applying for Summer quarter financial aid and for information about Exploration Seminar financial aid timeline (different than A or B term financial aid disbursement timeline).

You may also contact Honors Program Director Julie Villegas (villegas@uw.edu) to discuss additional resources and strategies.


Students will be housed in an accredited hostel in Amsterdam, centrally located. 

Application Process

This program is open to students in the Honors Program and also students across campus. The program is focused on recruiting a diverse group of students. Students of all majors are encouraged to apply and the program encourages freshmen-seniors. No prior art experience is required: this is a great introduction to artistic practice. 

Selection to the program is based on application materials, interview, and student's demonstrated motivation to challenge themselves intellectually across academic disciplines and cultures and to work both individually and in groups. 


Deadline: January 31, 2018

For more information

Julie Villegas, villegas@uw.edu