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circle, the world, the earth

Study other lands, cultures, and states.

Co-Directors: Emad Mirmotahari, English & Ozum Sayrak, Communication & Rhetorical Studies



Fall 2018

A World of Stories (ENGL/WDLI 112C-01 MWF 12:00-12:50pm), Dr. Emad Mirmotahari, English

This course will expose students to literary texts and traditions from around the world, and specifically from outside of the English-speaking world. We will examine how literary storytelling can act as a means of empowering and giving voice to cultures and communities that endure war, persecution, displacement, and marginality.

Exploring Intercultural Communication (COMM 114C - TR 1:40-2:55pm), Dr. Ozum Sayrak, Communication & Rhetorical Studies

Provides a foundation for improved intercultural communication. Exploring Intercultural Communication studies the influence of cultural diversity on interpersonal (one on one) interactions, but resists the temptation to trivialize intercultural communication by reducing it to a set of "do's and don'ts" of another culture. Instead, this course fosters understanding and respect for disparate worldviews. Second, the course transcends a limited "skills" approach and looks instead toward theory that grounds understanding of differences in belief, cultural practices, values, and ethics and their influence on intercultural engagement in interpersonal settings.

Thinking & Writing across the Curriculum (UCOR 101C-04 - MWF 9:00-9:50am), Rebecca May, English 

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.