Study Trip

Fez, Morocco

Architecture and Urban Culture

Founded in 808, Fez is often called "the best preserved medieval city" in North Africa. Held to be Morocco's spiritual capital, it functions as both a magnet for pilgrims from sub-Saharan Africa and a major draw for tourists in search of something cultural. Over the course of the trip, as you experience a type of city with which many remain unfamiliar, your learning experience will encompass the challenges of travel, how to negotiate cross-cultural encounters, and how to transfer these experiences to text and images.

The course provides training in cross-media platforms and an introduction to the workings of cultural and social life in an unusual and complex historic city.

Prof. Justin McGuinness

While discovering Islamic architecture and design and their roles in Fez's public identity, you will also be examining urban renewal and communications within a heritage city that is located in a developing country. This will be especially relevant within the context of the Fez Sacred Music Festival, which has, during the last 18 years, changed the image of Fez both in Morocco and abroad, and helped many reevaluate the roles of religion and spirituality in developing global civil societies.

You will also produce blog entries about the Fez forum, where public intellectuals work for world peace and a better global understanding of the Islamic tradition. As the course gives you more insight into the many aspects involved in working within an Arabic and Muslim context, you will develop practical projects and skills for communications, including video and blog production, communication campaigns to local populations, and creating textual and visual content that can be accessed by an international (namely, Anglophone) audience.

With training in cross-media platforms and an introduction to the workings of cultural and social life in this unusual and historic city, you will attain a more profound grasp of the relationship between media, religion, and globalization. You will also be made aware of the difficulties of capturing quality audio-visual footage of live events and will learn how to improvise and develop socio-cultural technological solutions in the complex environment of Morocco.

AUP has been bringing its students to this city and music event for years and will continue to foster this positive and pro-active relationship with the players involved.