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Cape Town, South Africa drum circle and travel-integrated course

A drum circle in South Africa, one of the Center's travel-integrated courses.

The Great Works Symposium is Drexel University’s only dedicated interdisciplinary course series. The program began in 2000 under the directorship of Professor Charles Morscheck. Under Dr. Morscheck's leadership, the Great Works Symposium offered courses on topics ranging from the "The Atomic Bomb" to "Globalization" to "The Bhagavid-Gita."

In 2007 Scott Gabriel Knowles took over as director; and in 2007-2008 the program brought in the first of its Visiting Fellows. Today the Great Works offers four courses per year gathered around a central annual theme, bringing Drexel faculty into collaboration in course design and delivery. Annual themes have included "Health and Society," Democracy," and "Energy."

The Great Works brings more than 25 speakers to campus every year, fosters interdisciplinary reading, writing, and research among its students, and occasionally sponsors special class trips and one-credit travel-integrated courses. Recent trips include Bulgaria (in conjunction with the course “Emerging Democracies”), Shanghai (in conjunction with the course “Global Cities”), Florence (in conjunction with the course “Celebrity Science”), and Cape Town (in conjunction with the course “Life and Death in the Museum”), as well as a unique trip to Washington, D.C. to witness Barack Obama's first inauguration.