Executive Summary

This strategic project involves an experimental transdisciplinary pilot module on Venice and Sustainability hosted in Liberal Arts, which will also include 10 students from across various departments in the university. The module would begin in January 2019, and would be led by Dr. Bryan Brazeau (Liberal Arts) with Prof. Cathia Jenainati (SCFS), Ors. Marta Guerriero and Jonathan Clarke (Global Sustainable Development) and Dr. Caterina Sinibaldi (Italian). The module begins at Warwick in Coventry, continues at Warwick in Venice, and ends with a final session at Warwick, Coventry. It focuses on examining contemporary sustainability challenges faced by Venice in dialogue with historical and cultural perspectives. Students will be provided with a unique opportunity to travel to Venice and to consider past, present, and future threats to a sustainable Venice. Using problem-based learning, students will explore complex and unique local solutions using the three main pillars of sustainability (social, environmental, and economic areas) to focus their interdisciplinary discussions on issues such as rising sea levels, urbanization, resource management, energy production and distribution, along with historical Venetian industries such as publishing, shipbuilding, munitions, glassmaking, finance, tourism, and hospitality.

The total budget for the project is £15,000 in addition to administrative support, staff time, and teaching/resource implications for the School of Cross-Faculty studies. As this is an experimental module, we are applying for funding from IATL to help keep the costs for students in this inaugural cohort at a minimum. Such funding will enable us to include a diverse body of students in this project who would otherwise be financially disadvantaged. Moving forward, from AY 2019-2020, the Liberal Arts department will guarantee the project's future sustainability by committing to fund all staffing, resources, and delivery costs of running the module, including the week held in Venice in future years.

Additionally, this project will produce three written outputs:

  • Guidance for transdisciplinary experiential learning that can be scaled to different contexts in the form of a scholarly article with student co-authors
  • Internal recommendations on how to design and deliver interdisciplinary dual-site modules for undergraduate students
  • Internal recommendations around using Warwick's Palazzo Pesaro Papafava in Venice for short periods embedded within Warwick-based undergraduate modules (the current usage model focuses on term- length flagship modules in History and History of Art, while short-term usage as part of other modules remains to be explored).