Honors Italy 2020

Rome, Pompeii, L’Aquila, Calabria, and Sicily, Italy

Honors Italy 2020

Italy from Crisis to “Crisis”: Disaster, Migration, Politics, and Art


Locations: Rome, Pompeii, L’Aquila, Calabria, and Sicily, Italy

Sponsoring Units: Honors Program

Dates: Summer 2020 A Term: June 22 – July 19, 2020

Credits: 15 total (3 credits in spring will be joined with the 2 credits in summer to equal 5 credits of Honors core)

Course Credits Credit Type
HONORS 384: Italy in Historical and Comparative Perspective (Spring, 2020) 3 Honors Interdisciplinary, VLPA/I&S, “W”
HONORS 233 /ENV H 490: Natural Disasters and Crisis Response in Italy 5 Honors Social Science, I&S, “W”
HONORS 233: Migration, Politics, and Society in Italy 5 Honors Social Science, I&S, “W”
HONORS 384: Italian Art through the Lens of Social Change 2 Honors Interdisciplinary, VLPA/I&S, “W”

Information Sessions:

  • Nov. 25 @ 10:30 a.m. – MGH 211B (Honors Seminar)
  • Dec. 2 @ 1:30 p.m. – MGH 211E (Honors Library)
  • Zoom Meeting TBD

About the Program

About the Program

This program will explore how Italian society has experienced, constructed, and coped with crises both real and imagined from ancient times to the present. Drawing on history, political science, public health, security studies, economics, sociology, anthropology, literature, and art history, we’ll tackle the social challenges presented by two very different phenomena: natural disasters and migration. The program will be based in Rome, a legendary crossroads of ancient and modern culture. Students will have the opportunity to experience Italy through visits to important historical and cultural sites in Rome as well as excursions to Pompeii, L’Aquila, Calabria, and Sicily. In addition to lectures by faculty, other course components will include readings, films, writing assignments, ethnographic observation, blog posts, reflection, individual consultation with instructors, and free time for exploration.


We’ll be staying at the UW Rome Center, which is housed in the 15th-century Palazzo Pio in the heart of the historic city.

Program Credit / Course Description (spring seminar, UW Campus)

HONORS 384: Italy in Historical and Comparative Perspective, 3 credits (I&S/VLPA, “W”)- Spring prep seminar (UW Seattle campus)

Instructors: Kristi Govella 

This course provides an introduction to Italian society, economics, and politics. Students will learn about the rich history of this country in order to lay a foundation for the study of contemporary issues. In addition to providing historical context, this course will situate Italy in comparative perspective, allowing students to gain a sense for how the country converges and diverges with social, economic, and political trends in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Students will be introduced to fundamental theoretical frameworks related to the course from history, political science, public health, security studies, economics, sociology, anthropology, literature, and art history. They will also become familiar with the basics of Italian language in preparation for their study abroad experience.

Program Credit / Course Description (Courses in Italy)

HONORS 233/ENV H 490: Natural Disasters and Crisis Response in Italy, 5 credits (I&S, “W”)

Instructor: Flavia Fulco

This course explores how Italy deals with social crises produced by natural disasters, analyzing the issues of disaster risk and emergency management and the impact on society. Using an anthropological and historical perspective, and focusing on a comparative approach between Italy, the U.S. and Japan, this course aims to explore how local populations well-being and health have been affected by the disaster and how the perception of disaster risk affects their everyday life and activities. Italy is a country prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, which, especially in the past ten years, have produced social and financial problems related to displacement and recovery. Following a natural disaster the resulting social crisis affects the way politics addresses reconstruction and deals with public discontent. This course, analyzing the different phases of a disaster, will situate contemporary developments in historical perspective, with site visits to locations such as: Pompei, known worldwide for being destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD; L’Aquila, a historical town in Abruzzo destroyed by an earthquake in 2009; and Sicily, the theatre of many devastating earthquakes in places such as Messina in 1908 and Belice Valley in 1968. This will give students opportunities to engage with crises in Italy both synchronously and diachronically using a multidisciplinary methodological approach.

HONORS 233: Migration, Politics, and Society in Italy, 5 credits (I&S, “W”)

Instructor: Kristi Govella

While Italy has a long history of emigration and internal migration, in recent decades it has also experienced significant inflows of Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan African workers and found itself on the frontlines of Europe’s refugee “crisis.” We will unpack the idea of migration as crisis and examine the ways that the discourse around these issues has been shaped by different actors for their own interests and purposes. This will allow us to probe the intersection of migration, politics, economics, and society in Italy historically and in the contemporary period. We will also use the framework of “human security” to think about the challenges that migration poses not only for society and the interests of the state but for the survival, well-being, and dignity of the individual migrants themselves in terms of dimensions such as economic security, food security, health security, personal security, community security, political security, and environmental security. In addition to visiting and observing neighborhoods of Rome where historical and contemporary trends have resulted in high concentrations of migrants, students will also visit Sicily, which hosts a large proportion of migrants and refugees coming from across the Mediterranean Sea.

HONORS 384: Italian Art through the Lens of Social Change, 2 credits (VLPA/I&S”W”)

Instructor: Flavia Fulco & Kristi Govella

This course will be structured around visits to the major art and architectural sites of Rome. Students will examine the evolution in Roman visual culture and identify the common connecting threads of this rich historical location. We will visit sites related to the history of migrants to Rome such as the Colosseum and the Jewish Ghetto and think about the ways that major landmarks are tied to key moments of crisis and change in Italian history. In Sicily, we will also visit sites such as Taormina and Noto Valley. Recent art historical readings and on-site discussions will facilitate this journey through Italy’s past to the present.

Program Leadership

Dr. Flavia Fulco, International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan 

Fulco is an Assistant Professor at Tohoku University and a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. The focus of her research is the formation of cultural memory and in Japan she has been working with post-disaster communities and foreign migrants. Dr. Fulco has published research on post-disaster storytelling in Japan. Prior to joining Tohoku University, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, where she co taught classes in Cultural Anthropology. Born and raised in Rome, she has strong familiarity with the local context and deep roots in the community.

Dr. Kristi Govella, Asian Studies Program, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Political scientist specializing in comparative politics and international relations. Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and will hold an appointment as a lecturer in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington during the summer program. Her work focuses on the interrelationship between politics, economics, and security, and she is currently engaged in a number of projects to topics such as economics-security linkages, regional institutional architecture, non-traditional security, and the global commons. Dr. Govella has co-directed two successful study abroad programs for the University of Washington Honors Program in Japan.

Govella is the co-editor of two books: Linking Trade and Security: Evolving Institutions and Strategies in Asia, Europe, and the United States (2013) and Responding to a Resurgent Russia: Russian Policy and Responses from the European Union and the United States (2012). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and an Associate Professor of Security Studies at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Political Science and Japanese, Cum Laude with College Honors, from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Program Expenses

Program Expenses

Anticipated Student Program Fee: $5,050(students do not pay tuition; program fee and concurrent enrollment fee only)
Average Airplane Ticket: $1,400
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 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.

Note: $5,275 program fee. Students do not pay tuition, instead they will pay a concurrent enrollment fee of $450. Total cost of program is $4,300 due in October (autumn tuition due date). Students are expected to pay for roundtrip airfare and most food (although some dinners and lunches are included).  All excursions are covered as part of the program fee.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable UW Study Abroad Fee $450
Program Fee Balance $5,050

Making the program affordable

The Honors Program is passionate about study abroad and the incredible impact it can have on a student’s life.  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 Program students. These scholarship funds may be used for UW approved study abroad programs or exchanges. Students may apply beginning in late January (deadline is March 30).

Study Abroad Scholarships at UW

Every student who applies and is accepted to a study abroad program is considered for a scholarship. Scholarship awards are dependent on need and students  may be awarded up to $4,000. Visit the study abroad office in 459 Schmitz Hall to learn more or click here.  Students may also email goglobal@uw.edu for an advising appointment.

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).

Application Process

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 with a special recruitment effort to incoming Honors freshmen. We anticipate a mix of incoming freshmen-Seniors.

No prereqs or language requirements, although the program director will encourage students to learn basic words and phrases in Italian to facilitate open and humble learning.




Deadline to apply : Jan. 31, 2020