Introducing the Transatlantic Academic Platform: New Courses


November 15, 2022

In partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Technische Universiteit (TU) Delft, the University of St. Martin (USM) will be offering special intensive courses through its participation in the Transatlantic Academic Platform, starting January.
As part of the Island(er)s at the Helm research program, the Transatlantic Academic
Platform encourages regional collaboration and international discussion by raising awareness of the role of social sciences and humanities in addressing climate change and other 21st-century challenges. Virtual and face-to-face classes will be made available to students and professionals across the Caribbean, Europe and North America.

The first two courses, starting in January, will provide participating students with state of the art tools as well as a review of historical knowledges and practices which speak to our search for solutions to our 21 st century challenges, such as intense migrant accommodation, hurricane preparedness, policy development, the reshaping of education and socio-economic development in non-independent Caribbean islands. These range from 5-6 weeks of intensive reading, class participation and the writing of essays.

In Urban Development Management in Uncertain Times taught by Dr. Ellen van Buren of TU Delft, participants will learn about governance and management challenges that human settlements face in times of precarity, and on the collaborative approaches needed to keep our habitat livable. USM said that climate change is calling for mitigation and adaptation pathways in which public and private stakeholders, including individual residents, need to take action to protect and adapt the places we live in, preferably in a collaborative and coordinated way.

Understanding the current institutions and drivers of urban development, such as the markets for land and real estate and the regulatory framework for land use planning and construction, will help students to identify governance strategies that will help our islands to become (more) future proof, but also to critically discuss the promises and pitfalls of these strategies. Through classroom interaction and assignments, participants learn how this knowledge is relevant for the Caribbean context and the place they live. The course is ideal for urban planners, disaster risk specialists, architects and government agencies.

Anthropologies of the Black Atlantic, offered by Dr. Francio Guadeloupe of the University of Amsterdam, deals with theoretical contributions of the historical and contemporary Black experience to understanding and interpreting reality in Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas today. In the wake of the recent Black Lives Matters protests and calls to decolonize the curriculum remind us that creating a commonwealth of decent societies remains unfinished.

This course offers students an introduction to the work of vernacular intellectuals from the underside of modernity who are rethinking human identity through an interrogation of Blackness and black politics. The underside of modernity does not refer to a specific region, nor to theories strictly from the Global South, but rather to a thinking through Blackness about the human condition expressed multimodally (in film, literature, poetry, music, and academic treatise) that connects the Americas to Africa, Asia, and Europe, thereby casting light on each other’s histories; a transversal universality.

The Transatlantic Platform is meant to open the universities to a community of learned citizens, civil servants, researchers and consultants who are concerned with sustainable life, at the same time it will bring together universities in the region and across the Atlantic in developing capacity. The intensive course will meet twice per week starting 9 January for a period of 5-6 weeks. Registration will be open until the end of November 2022.

 


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University of the Virgin Islands Business and Technology Education Council Johnson and Wales University American University of the Caribbean The Hague University of Applied Sciences University of Amsterdam European Qualifications Framework Florida Mechanical Agricultural University General Educational Development Test Monroe College Mount Saint Vincent University Leiden University NIPA University of the West Indies University of Curaçao