May Term 2007 Theme “Sustaining Self and Society”

May 9, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University’s May Term 2007, titled “Sustaining Self and Society: Practical Solutions to the World’s Problems,” began on Tuesday, May 8, with final exams to take place on Thursday, May 31. 

May Term is a month-long opportunity for IWU students to study a single subject intensively, take a travel course within the United States or abroad, or accept an internship.  The concept is designed for total immersion in order to erase the barrier between in-class and out-of-class learning.

Students staying on campus for May Term are offered multiple courses from a variety of departments.  Highlighting this year’s theme, courses from the Political Science Department will include “Peace and Justice in International Relations,” a class introducing students to ongoing discussions on poignant issues such as war and peace, the universality of human rights, and international distributive justice, and “Presidential Power in Times of War and National Emergency,” which examines the constitutionality of the actions taken by past and contemporary U.S. presidents, focusing on Supreme Court opinions.  The Physics Department will explore “Problems of Nuclear Disarmament,” teaching basic science behind nuclear technology in the historical context of the atrocities at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Other examples of May Term courses include “Exit, Pursued by a Bear,” an English playwriting course titled after a stage direction from Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, often cited as the most famous in literary history, and the anthropology course “Indian Classical Dance and Dramatic Performance,” which follows ancient Indian intellectual traditions through readings, lecture, films, and workshops, culminating in a student-produced Indian classical dance drama accompanied by live musicians.

Students taking a May Term travel course have many diverse options from which to choose, including an art course, “Street Photography in Barcelona,” an English course, “Writing in Ireland,” sociology courses, “Multiculturalism in Hawaii,” and two music courses, “Jazz in Italy” and “Cathedrals, Museums, and Concert Halls” in Italy and Austria.

In addition to coursework, May Term offers a number of student activities (see calendar as pdf). Students are also invited to participate in several day trips, such as a paintball trip and a trip to Six Flags. Sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, multiple events will take place at Hansen Student Center (300 E. Beecher St., Bloomington), including films, comedians, musical performers, and special speakers.

Founded in 1850, Illinois Wesleyan enrolls over 2,100 undergraduates.  The University is comprised of the College of Liberal Arts, with 17 academic departments, and the Schools of Art, Theatre Art, Music, and Nursing.

For additional information, contact May Term Director Jean Kerr at (309) 556-3751 or visit the May Term Office Web site at

Contact: Teresa Sherman, (309) 556-3181