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Global COIL classes connect OHIO students to the world

This fall semester 2020, Ohio University students are getting the opportunity to attend class with Rhodes University students in South Africa for seven weeks as part of the Global COIL Initiative.

COIL courses connect OHIO students to the world and across disciplines, allowing them to review their education through a global and interdisciplinary lens. The experience gained working in cross cultural, interdisciplinary, and international team projects prepare students for future career opportunities. 

Starting September 28, students in the Spanish 3110- Advanced Composition and Conversation course in the Department of Modern Languages, taught by Dr. Emilia Alonso-Sameño, will join Honors students from Rhodes University in the department of Political and International Studies taking the Africa and the New Wars course taught by Dr. Siphokazi Magadla.

The two courses, which come together under the theme of criminalization of migration, will examine the politics of migration by looking at debates and experiences in Europe, Africa, and North America. This collaboration allows students to not only focus on the politicization and legislative politics of settlement by migrants in the United States, South Africa, and Spain, but also on the linguistic consequences of migration and the ways in which these shape migrant access to education, employment, relationships, and other forms of belonging and personhood, and their expressions in creative works such as music, poetry, and film, among others.

The goal is for students to see that the language and terms used to include or delegitimize and criminalize migrants in public culture and official state discourses tend to share similar strategies across countries, cultures, race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Dr. Magadla’s Africa and the New Wars course explores the different accounts that have been offered to understand the causes of war and insecurity in Africa, as well as examination of the internal and external displacement that follows. The majority of African migrants from countries like Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and other countries, who come to reside in South Africa, become migrants due to the political instability in their countries.  

Dr. Alonso-Sameño’s Advanced Composition and Conversation introduces students to current topics affecting the Latinx communities in the United States, including immigration laws, identity, acculturation versus assimilation, and teaches advanced strategies in order to communicate. Students apply critical thinking skills to discern, engage, and actively participate in decision-making activities affecting their communities and the world today.

Using Blackboard, RUconnected, Facebook, and WhatsApp, students and instructors will connect synchronously and asynchronously for class lectures, readings, and group work. Students will work in teams comprised of both OHIO and Rhodes University students to tackle case studies.

Besides connecting the students from the two institutions, the opportunity also provides for much more demographic diversity within the classroom as OHIO has majority white students while Rhodes is comprised of majority black South African students.

Ohio University offers a variety to COIL classes, and students interested COIL courses for Spring Semester should email for more information.  A list of OHIO professors who are part of the Global COIL Initiative is also available at this link.  

September 17, 2020
Staff reports