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circle, the world, the earth

Study other lands, cultures, and states.

Director: Dr. Mark Frisch, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

View a slide show of ORBIS's exciting work.


Fall 2016

Dr. Mark Frisch (Languages), Dir. WDLI 103C New Voices...Realities 

Themes: This course draws on fictional, dramatic, and poetic works of the late 19th and 20th centuries, as well as some film, and on authors from various countries in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Africa, and highlights the issues of Human Rights, pluralism, and diversity, and the cultural shift from high modernism to the postmodern. As formerly marginalized writers move in toward the center, it emphasizes the expressions of new voices, the raising of new questions and the affirming of new representations and visions of "reality."

Dr. Philipp Stelzel (History) HIST 151C-02 Shaping of Modern World

Themes: In this class, we will study major developments in 20th century global history. You will first learn about the origins of political ideologies such as conservatism, liberalism, socialism, and nationalism. We will then trace the rise and decline of Europe in the world since the late 19th century, by focusing on imperialism, the World Wars, the Cold War, and decolonization. Throughout the semester, we will look at the many ways in which different parts of the world were connected. We will also compare societies across the globe, in order to understand their similarities and differences. In order to understand these issues, we will read and discuss a variety of texts: for example, you will read how a famous Austrian novelist remembered life in Vienna before the outbreak of World War I, how a Russian revolutionary planned a successful revolution, how Hitler thought about foreign policy, how Nehru and Gandhi envisioned an independent India, how Mao Zedong encouraged his fellow Chinese to remember history, and how an Iranian religious leader rejected Western ideas.

Dr. Rebecca May UCOR 101C Thinking and Writing across the Curriculum (2 sections) and UCOR 100C Research and Information SkillsThemes:

In the Orbis sections of Thinking and Writing Across the Curriculum, you will reach the common goals of UCOR 101 by improving critical reading and thinking skills and by developing basic rhetorical knowledge. You'll become a better writer by thinking about argument and process, and you will write four major papers standard to the structure of 101: a rhetorical analysis, an argument of definition, an argument of evaluation, and a proposal paper.

Orbis' theme of studying other lands, cultures, and states determines the subject matter for our reading and writing assignments. You will read about Japanese Lolita subcultures, about how women of Arab Gulf nations utilize the abaya-as-fashion to articulate their individuality in culturally acceptable ways, about how some South Koreans fear "fan death," about why the misuse of Native American war bonnets constitutes disrespect, and about - to assist in our community outreach on campus - the issues international students face in adapting to life on an American college campus. Finally, we'll use our experiences to discuss whether or not our campus is truly cosmopolitan.

At all times you will gain a greater awareness of issues related to cultural literacy and cross-cultural communication. You will be come adept at articulating your point of view through responsible research and supported argumentation and will further gain experience in communicating with peers for whom English is a second language. 


Look at photos and read testimonials from ORBIS students to see how their experience outside the classroom complements what they're doing in class.


ORBIS resident students live on the exciting new Global Diversity floor in Towers Living-Learning Center, along with students in NARRATIO and a number of Duquesne's international students, women in 7A and 7B, men in 8A. ORBIS students don't need to apply to live on the Global Diversity floor; all ORBIS students who live on campus are automatically accepted onto the floor.