2004 Summer Field School Training Program
7 Weeks, July 4 through August 17, 2004
The 2004 Program in Mérida and
Pisté, Yucatán, México
The OSEA Summer Field School is a seven week program designed for
undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology and related fields
of the humanities and the social sciences. The program is ideal for
students in anthropology, Latin American studies programs, cultural
studies and related humanities fields who want an intensive field
research experience. The program combines classroom based seminars
on topics in cultural anthropology and ethnography with experiential
learning at different heritage sites and with fieldwork experience
conducting independent ethnographic research. To facilitate language
proficiency, conversational courses in Spanish and Yucatec Maya language
Contact us to be added
to our mailing list for information on the 2005 Summer Field School
in Playa del Carmen, México (July and August).
The first part of the program primarily consists of seminars that
culminate in the student designing their own independent project according
to their specific interests. The second part of the program consists
of students conducting their own research and producing final projects
of notes, descriptions, data management records, and summary reports.
A weekly Fieldwork Forum provides students the opportunity to present
their successes, frustrations, dilemmas, and achievements in fieldwork
to each and receive constructive commentary during the research process.
Students have the opportunity to develop research on any topic or
theme that interests them, so far as these are suitable for realization.
Students are located in communties appropriate for their research
design. Options include but are not limited to:
The Summer Field School requires Home-Stays with Maya families
to enable language and cultural immersion. Short educational field trips
are included and an extended educational excursion is optional.
- Linguistic research on dialectical variations of spoken Maya
- Tourism, development, tourist consumption and markets
- Archaeological and/or ecological Heritage management
- Maya healing, health, religion, ritual and forms of spirituality
- Maya identity politics, Mexican party politics in communities
- Migration and urbanism, culture contact zones at tourism destinations
- Multimedia ethnography and visual anthropology
- Youth culture, transcultural dynamics of alternative modernities
- Medical anthropology of the Maya and of alternative medicines
- Anthropology of education and indigenous education
OSEA courses are accredited by the Facultad
de Ciencias Antropológicas of the UAdY, or Universidad Autónoma
de Yucatán, which provides each student with an official transcript.
Before their departure from the US, OSEA offers advice to students on
how to ensure proper transfer of the college credits they will earn
Program Cost and Deadlines
$3,200. Includes Tuition, Course Accredited Transcript, Home Stay (Room
and Board), Activities Fee and Educational Excursions and Field Trips.
Please inquire on the optional Educational Excursions and Field Trips
which include guided tours of archaeological and ecological sites in
the tourism region of Cancun and the Mayan Riviera as well as a brief
ethnographic exploration of Playa del Carmen.
Deadline for receipt of completed application:
May 24, 2004.
OSEA has a rolling deadline for applications for the Summer Field School,
and applicants receive notification of decision within one week of receipt
of completed application. After May 24, inquire as to space available.
See the Tuition & Fees page
for the complete tuition and fee schedule.
Work Exchange for Tuition Reduction
A limited number of highly competitive Work/Study Exchange Positions
are available. In exchange for research and teaching assistance, OSEA
offers a tuition reduction.
Summer Program Course Offerings
Seminar in Anthropology: Maya Peoples, Cultures, Histories
This course provides students with fundamental understanding of the
anthropology of the contemporary Maya. The course focuses on the present
histories of Maya peoples in Yucatán, identity politics, the
role and history of anthropological knowledge production about the
Maya, anthropology of education, tourism development, heritage, Maya
traditions of health, healing, religion and ritual. This course provides
the content knowledge and foundation from which students can develop
their research projects. Evaluation is based on seminar participation,
control of readings, and short written assignments.
Seminar in Ethnography: Research, Methods
This course provides students with the foundations of ethnographic
research, methodologies and fieldwork. The course explores questions
of ethics, representation, methods, fieldwork practices, and research
design. Evaluation is based on seminar participation, readings, and
short written assignments. Students are required to produce a research
design and proposal.
Independent Ethnographic Research &
This course consists two parts, the actual conduct of the research
project developed during seminars and a forum workshop conducted 3-5
hours once a week during the second half of the OSEA Training Program.
This workshop is guided and supervised presentation of independent
student research projects. Students return from their field sites
to Pisté to participate. Activities include presentation of
research problems, results, processes, dynamics, and activities. Students
learn basics of formal and informal presentation of materials as they
receive support from each other and guidance on their research from
the OSEA staff.
Independent Research Projects
These projects are determined on site in relation to the students
projected interests and research goals as presented in the application.
Although students are strongly guided and supervised in their formulation
of research, students have the fullest range possible of research
issues and themes as are viable within the context of the OSEA.
Educational Excursions & Field Trips
Included in the program are interactive learning experiences
based on educational field trips to Chichén Itzá, Uxmal,
Kabah, a colonial hacienda, the town of Oxkutzcab, and Mérida.
The optional field trip includes guided tours of archaeological and
ecological sites in the tourism region of Cancun and the Mayan Riviera
as well as a brief ethnographic exploration of Playa del Carmen.
Spoken Maya and Spanish Language for
Ethnographic Field Research
The intensive training in Spanish and Yucatec Maya is at intermediate
and beginning level respectively. The intensive training has the objective
of preparing students for total language immersion in the bi-lingual
life-world of Yucatán. Teaching methods include hands-on, interactive
assignments modeled on “Reality-TV” team-competition games.
Evaluation of learning is primarily based on student ability to successfully
interact with and engage persons in their native languages of Spanish
and Maya. Students are frequently assigned interactive tasks as part
of the practicum of language immersion.
Summer Field School Course Plan
Spoken Maya and Spanish
Language for Ethnographic Field Research
|Seminar in Anthropology
Seminar in Ethnography
|Research Forum & Fieldwork
||10 / 90 (fieldwork hours)
|Total Credit Offerings
Students must take: Seminar in Anthropology, Seminar in Ethnography
and the Research Forum and Fieldwork, and Spoken Maya and Spanish
Language for Ethnographic Field Research.
Scheduling of Weekly and Daily Classroom Hours
on Scheduling & Activities
& Anthropology) and Language Training Arrival and Orientation
to and from Mérida Airport on arrival and school closing/departure
||Seminars & Language Training
||Weekends are “Free”
– independent student activities
||Seminars & Language Training
||Independent Field Research
||Weekly Research Forum
in Pisté for Supervision
||Independent Field Research
||Finalize Projects, Evaluations,
||Write Up Reports,
Evaluations, and Closing Activities
In-Field Hours are Experiential Learning conducted with local experts
and OSEA staff; 15 class days (3 wks) of Seminars, each Seminar 2 hrs
daily plus one hour language elective; 15 days (3 wks) of Independent
Research at 6 hrs daily for 90 hrs of Course Fieldwork