Professors Jessica Harland-Jacobs and Matt Jacobs went on a cruise.
On June 17, 2013, they departed Southampton, England, on board the MV Explorer with their two children, sixty fellow faculty and staff, 200 crew members, and 533 undergraduate students for a nine-week voyage through the Mediterranean. Faculty in the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea Program [link: http://www.sas.org], they taught upper-division history courses to students from universities across the United States and the world. Professor Harland-Jacobs offered a course entitled “War, Trade, and Empire in the Mediterranean World, 1500-1800,” and Professor Jacobs taught “The United States and the Contemporary Mediterranean World.” Classes were held nearly every day the ship was at sea. Ports of call included Casablanca, Morocco; Antalya, Turkey; Iraklion, Crete; Kusadasi, Turkey; Piraeus, Greece; Livorno, Italy; Civitavecchia, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Cadiz, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.
Students enrolled in three courses: a global comparative lens course and two upper division courses (in anthropology, business, chemistry, history, marine biology, linguistics, literature, political science, sociology, and urban planning). Each course included one day-long field lab. Professor Jacobs took his class to the American cemetery outside Florence, Italy, and Professor Harland-Jacobs conducted a field lab across several historical sites in Valletta, Malta. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors participated in the program.
Highlights of the voyage included excursions to the Atlas Mountains (Morocco), Ephesus (Turkey), and Cinque Terra (Italy); competing in the Sea Olympics; experiencing Mediterranean markets and cuisines; visiting the new MUSEO in Marseille; and exploring the port cities of Valletta and Barcelona. Best of all was the amazing community that faculty, staff, and students built together over the course of the sixty-six day voyage. The Explorer returned to Southampton on August 22.