Upcoming Clusters

Applications for Fall clusters are now closed.  Applications for Spring 2024 will be available in mid-October.

Fall 2023

Energy Afterlives

What comes in the wake of energy extraction? This cluster will examine the afterlives of coal, oil, and nuclear energy through the lenses of the arts, political science, and earth science. In the arts course, students will consider how these three energy sources give shape to our lives in countless ways by exploring their place in literature, music, photography, creative nonfiction, and art. This approach will allow students to examine the personal, human elements of energy and extraction and their aftereffects. In the science course, through readings, specimen analyses, field sampling, and lab work, students will assess the geologic conditions under which these three energy sources form - and the long-term environmental consequences of their extraction. In the political science course, students will examine how communities have organized around places and responded to the afterlives of energy extraction.


  • GEOL 107: Geology of Coal, Oil, and Nuclear Energy (Selby Hearth, Geology)
  • POLS 304: Community and the Politics of Place (Joel Schlosser, Political Science)
  • RUSS 232: Coal, Oil, Nuclear: Narrative Afterlives (José Vergara, Russian)

360 Course Units: 3 units
Field Component: 8-day field study in Southeast Alaska (tentatively scheduled October 14-21, 2023)
Special Programming: Local field trips, film screenings, group meals, end-of-semester exhibition
Prerequisites: One social science course, or consent of instructors.
Approaches Met: CC or CI, SI
Open/Closed: all courses available to 360 students only

NOTE: No experience in Russian language or culture is required as all texts will be taught in translation.  Courses in this cluster will fulfill requirements for majors/minors in Political Science, Russian, Environmental Studies, and Comparative Literature.

Applications are now closed for this cluster.

Nicaragua: Places and Names

This cluster focuses on the rich geologic and linguistic history and present of Nicaragua to explore the ongoing interconnectedness between landscape and language.  Central to this cluster is the theme that a place must be explored through a variety of lenses to be more fully understood.  In geology, the places of Central America are often discussed because of the active tectonism that affects that region but rarely cover how geology and people intersect to produce the full history of a place. Likewise, the languages spoken in Nicaragua and those used to name (the places of) Nicaragua offer an additional view into the history of colonialism and empire and the ongoing power dynamics resulting from this.


  • GEOL 350: Geology and Place: Nicaragua (Pedro Marenco, Geology)
  • LING 105: Language and Place: Nicaragua (Brook Lillehaugen, Linguistics)

360 Course Units: 2 units
Field Component: 10-day field study in Granada/Ometepe, Nicaragua (tentatively scheduled October 14-20, 2023)
Special Programming: Language learning opportunities, group dinners
Prerequisites: SI requirement must have been met
Approaches Met: CC
Open/Closed: all courses available to 360 students only

Applications are now closed for this cluster.


The world around us contains numerous examples of hidden histories: objects, stories, or perspectives that appear one-dimensional, or familiar, on the surface, but contain other meanings—or other pasts. The contemporary world’s narratives are composed of words and images embedded in cultural, social, and scientific contexts; knowledge of these contexts can unearth these overlooked histories. This cluster uses multidisciplinary tools from language and culture, literature, and environmental science to reveal histories hidden in and around the city of Angoulême, France. Students will explore how connections between the Old and New Worlds were established, refracted, and changed over the course of its history, delving into the ways that texts obscure or embed multiple meanings within words and images. An interdisciplinary exploration of how plants and people have shaped one another over millennia and on a global scale will provide case study material for these explorations. The cluster will place a particular emphasis on building skills necessary for the production of field notes, graphic narratives, and shared universes.


  • COML B324: Version Control: Surface, Depth and the Interpretation of Texts (Shiamin Kwa, East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature)
  • ENVS H328: Botany (Jonathan Wilson, Environmental Studies)
  • FREN B225: Hidden Trajectories: a Global Simulation from Old World to New (Agnès Peysson-Zeiss, French and Francophone Studies)

360 Course Units: 3 units
Field Component: 8-day field study in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region (Bordeaux and Angoulême, France (tentatively October 12-18, 2023)), day trips to Chester County, PA and New Jersey
Special Programming: Local tours and tasting experiences, 2-day workshop with visiting artist, and guest lectures with authors, scientists, illustrators, and other professionals
Prerequisites: ENVS H101 or ENVS B101 for ENVS 328, or permission of instructor; students taking FREN 225 for Major credit will attend an extra hour and complete assignments in French, and complete a different set of assignments during the field study
Approaches Met: IP
Open/Closed: all courses available to 360 students only

NOTE: Though some STEM course experience is encouraged, it is not required for participation in this cluster.

Applications are now closed for this cluster.

Spring 2024

Coasts in Transition

Coastlines, by definition transitional environments, are naturally dynamic and resilient. But climate change, sea level rise and shifting species distributions are now causing rapid physical and ecological changes to the world’s coasts. Anticipating and addressing these changes requires understanding the physical, chemical and biological processes that interact at the land-sea boundary. Two trips over the course of the semester will investigate the temperate and tropical coastal environments, including barrier islands, saltmarshes, coral reefs, and mangroves.


  • GEOL 350: Carbonate Environments (Pedro Marenco, Geology)
  • BIOL 323: Coastal & Marine Ecology (Thomas Mozdzer, Biology)

360 Course Units: 2 units
Field Component: One week-long field excursion (tentatively scheduled March 8-16, 2024), to Belize, and one day trip to a research station along the US Mid-Atlantic coast
BIOL 220: Ecology (preferred) or Biology 111 AND 1 full-semester Geology or Chemistry course
Approaches Met: None
Open/Closed: all courses available to 360 students only


Europe from the Margins

What does studying Europe look like from the perspectives of those whose voices are usually missing from mainstream narratives about Europe – the disempowered including political dissidents, queers, migrant laborers, artists, refugees, and people from Europe’s eastern and southern peripheries as well as from postcolonial states outside of Europe.  Established narratives of Europe tend to be Western European and centered around high politics. This cluster challenges these narratives by using an interdisciplinary approach (incorporating political science, history, and German studies) to critically examine Europe’s past and present from the margins. By inserting and foregrounding perspectives of the historically marginalized along with an examination of their theoretical, cultural, and political contributions to European society, this 360 aims to provide critical analytical tools not only to foster greater understanding of the broader context of political, social, and cultural history of modern Europe but to rethink what Europe itself is.

The field study in Berlin will provide an opportunity to examine historical legacies as well as current cultural politics and grassroots initiatives of the marginalized.


  • GERM 217: Representing Diversity in German Cinema (Qinna Shen, German)
  • HIST 226: History of Fascism: Then & Now (Anita Kurimay, History)
  • POLS 205: European Politics: Coming Together or Falling Apart? (Carol Hager, Political Science)

360 Course Units: 3 units
Field Component: 8-day field study in Berlin, Germany (tentatively scheduled March 8-15, 2024)
Special Programming: Guest speakers, film series, group lunches
Prerequisites: none
Approaches Met: CI, CC, IP
Open/Closed: all courses available to non-360 students

Origins of Freedom

How might human beings live according to nature? Is property natural? Is freedom or unfreedom? How can studying human societies in the past inform collective organization in the present? "Origins of Freedom" examines property, nature, and freedom as concepts for understanding the history of human civilization from the deep past until the present. The courses will converge on a recent magnum opus by anthropologist David Graeber and archaeologist David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything. This book recasts the history of humanity, calling into question assumptions dominant since the European Enlightenment about the modern state, human freedom, and the possibility of alternative social orders. Integrating archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, geography, and political theory this cluster investigates the origins of freedom through lenses of individual, social, and political agency as well as the stories we tell (and the evidence we marshal) to support these views.


  • ANTH 214: Becoming Unfree: Archaeology of Freedom’s Ontological Status (Casey Barrier, Anthropology)
  • FREN 3XX: Nature and Freedom (Rudy Le Menthéour, French and Francophone Studies)
  • POLS 358: Freedom in the 21st Century (Joel Schlosser, Political Science)

360 Course Units: 3 units
Field Component:
8-day field study in Saint Louis, Missouri (tentatively scheduled March 8-15, 2024)
Special Programming: Culminating symposium, group meals
Prerequisites: One course in philosophy or political theory, or consent of instructors
Approaches Met: CC or IP
Open/Closed: all courses available to 360 students only


Contact Us


Sarah Theobald, 360° Coordinator
Taylor 302 B
101 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010
Phone: 610-526-5509