African Studies Center

University of Pennsylvania

Summer Institute

2011 Summer Institute

University of Pennsylvania:

African Studies Center, Middle East Center, South Asia Center, & Center for East Asian Studies

"Ibn Battuta: Lessons Learned across Lands and through Time"

Monday July 25th – Friday July 29th, 2011

"Ibn Battuta: Lessons Learned across Lands and through Time" will take educators through the life of remarkable fourteenth-century traveler Ibn Battuta (1304-1368). Ibn Battuta fascinated students, teachers, and scholars of world history. His travels took him from his Moroccan homeland to much of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. This institute will use the abundant material for the historical comparison of cultures across three continents to reflect on how that world has changed since Ibn Battuta’s time. The institute is structured to focus on a different world region each day. Each day has lectures, field trips and assignments. Educators will participate in post-lecture discussions, language lessons and write a travel blog. Educators are expected to think about what is involved in international travel, expectations about regions of the world, and how they can make these concepts more tangible in the classroom.

Host Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Dates of Seminar: Monday July 25th 2011– Friday July 29th 2011
Eligibility: K-16 educator with an interest in expanding global education curriculum*
Funding: Selected participants will receive room and board (Accommodations and $150.00 meal stipend)


  • Introductory language lessons: Arabic, Kiswahili, Hindi/Sanskrit, & Mandarin
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art: South and East Asian collections
  • Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archeology: Middle East and Africa collections
  • Merchant visits: Grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses
  • Performances: dancers and musicians
  • Plan a trip through the various regions in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and East Asia

Lectures (Sample):

  • "The Medieval Middle East and the World of Ibn Battuta "
  • "The Basics of Islam-A World Religion "
  • "Contexts of Gender and Race "
  • "Modern Africa-What would Ibn Battuta See Today? "
  • "Christianity and Traditional Beliefs in Africa "
  • "China’s Rise in Modern History "
  • "Muslims in China-The Uyger People "
  • "The Basics of Hinduism-The 'other' Religion"

* Act 48 and New Jersey Professional Development Credits available

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