Learning History in Emergency Zones

We are proposing to join the work of InZone at the University of Geneva (which offers training and learning opportunities for students and scholars working emergency zones) and the Global History Lab (which offers an online course to tens of thousands of students worldwide and at Princeton) to extend Princeton's online course to refugees in Azraq refugee camp and in Amman, Jordan, and in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya (year 1) and to undergraduates from the University of Geneva (year 2). The overall goals are to deepen the immersion of the world into a single course and to study the possibilities, challenges and limits of global collaborative learning. This initiative has two dimensions, one is to conduct research on the humanitarian potential of online collaboration, and the second is to pilot what we hope will become the first cross-listed undergraduate course between Princeton and Geneva. The first is to explore a humanitarian program within the course.  To that end, we are creating three offshore sites for the Lab. One in a United Nations High Commission for Refugee camp in Kenya, called Kakuma, home to Sudanese and Somali refugees and two in Jordan for Syrians (Asraq refugee camp, home to 25,000 Syrian refugees, and Amman). We are partnering with the UNHCR for all three locations, and the Norwegian Refugee Council for the Jordan locations. The present grant will sustain research and data collection piggy backed on this experiment.  We propose to do this over two years, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The second is to explore the prospects of bringing Princeton and Geneva undergraduates into joint teams within the course. This will roll out in the Fall of 2017 through the creation of a cross-listed, accredited, course for students at both universities, using digital technologies to foster their learning through cross-border collaboration.  In turn, the Princeton and Geneva students will be expected to participate in exchanges with the refugee learners in the three sites, thus widening the radius of exchanges and communications about our global past -- which has a long record of forced migration. This project is, in sum, a significant step in the evolution of online education and a new experiment in conjugating Geneva and Princeton's hopes for internationalizing their universities. It teams up universities; it teams up its students (graduate students who will conduct the research together, as well as undergraduates who will collaborate on assignments within the course); it teams up with international organisations and NGOs to create humanities learning opportunities in fragile settings.

Participants : 
Prof Jeremy Adelman, Princeton - History
Prof Barbara Moser-Mercer, UNIGE - Global Studies Institute/InZone