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City as Text:  Birmingham & Montgomery

This interdisciplinary colloquium explores the Civil Rights Movement in the American South, primarily in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama from the 1950s to present. The course asks students to approach the Civil Rights Movement from diverse academic and non-academic perspectives, including but not limited to those that derive from primary texts and documents, visual and plastic arts, historical texts, literary texts, museum studies, music, photography, film, law, politics, and geography. This HON 300 colloquium requires a field experience. Students in the course will visit Birmingham and Montgomery during a portion of spring break 2018 and employ the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (NCHC) “City as Text” methodology as a means to deepen and broaden their thinking and engagement. This course serves as the starting point for those honors scholars who plan to complete a Capstone Experience/Thesis project in the Mahurin Honors College.


Learning Goals

  • Understand the historical complexities of the American Civil Rights Movement from various disciplinary perspectives.
  • Employ NCHC’s City as Text methodology as a way to explore Birmingham and Montgomery in the U.S. South.
  • Research and write about the American Civil Rights Movement in intellectually sophisticated and compelling ways.
  • Conduct critical and reflective thinking to gain the knowledge and skills (i.e. cross cultural competency, ethical reasoning, etc.) necessary to become engaged citizens in the Bowling Green, KY region and beyond.
  • Use coursework in HON 300 as a springboard into a completed Mahurin Honors College Capston Experience/Thesis project that develops over subsequent semesters.


Program leaders may determine stricter eligibility requirements, but at a minimum, all applicants earning credit in a program would meet these requirements:

  • Current WKU Honors student eligible to enroll in WKU.
  • Student must be in good academic standing.
  • A minimum of 16 years of age at time of departure (parental/legal guardian expressed, written consent required for those under 18 at time of departure).
  • Students must be free of active disciplinary sanctions as verified by Judicial Affairs.
  • Complete Study Away application and pay deposit.
  • Complete pre-departure program.
  • Full payment prior to departure.
  • Permission of instructor.

If a student completes a program without full payment prior to the departure, the student should receive an incomplete until the obligation is paid.  DELO will inform faculty leaders if a student is in this situation prior to the Study Away term grade deadline.

Program Package

Included in Package

  • Ground transportation from Bowling Green, KY to Birmingham and Montgomery, AL
  • All lodging accommodations during program.
  • Entrance fees for all program related activities and tips.
  • Hotel provided breakfast- when available.
  • Designated group meals.

Excluded from Package

  • Items not explicitly listed in base package.
  • Transportation between your departure location and your home.
  • Independent travel (non-program travel).
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, phone service, and Internet access.
  • Tips for guides and drivers not included in program-related activity.
  • Travel cancellation/interruption insurance.  Highly recommended.
  • Meals & Services and beverages not mentioned in the program
  • Final program fee subject to change due to travel arrangements.
  • WKU tuition discounts do not apply.

See Program Details link for specifics.

Logistical Considerations

  • Physical requirements include walking/standing approximately 4-5 hours/day. Students will be expected to participate in activities which may include: boating, snorkeling, climbing, and other similar physical activities.
  • This program includes working closely in a professional environment.  The highest levels or professionalism and maturity are required.


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Course Offered

  • HON 300

Program Leaders


  • Birmingham
  • Montgomery


  • Spring 2018

  • Study Away Component
    March 10-15, 2018    

Program Base Package

  • $960
  • Standard Tuition for spring course is separate cost

Funding Options


  • Syllabus (coming soon)






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 Last Modified 6/22/17