Other Worlds Are Possible: A Summer Program in Mexico Led by Professor Anu Sharma

Other Worlds Are Possible: Life Against and Beyond Neoliberal Logics
Middletown, CT, United States; Oaxaca, Mexico

A Wesleyan faculty-led program with Professor Anu Sharma (https://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/asharma/profile.html) and Gustavo Esteva, Universidad de la Tierra (http://unitierraoax.org/en/english/)

This four-week intensive course examines radical challenges, in theory and on the ground, to mainstream neoliberal capitalism and development strategies promoted by international organizations such as World Bank and the IMF. After the 1980s, considered by many as “the lost decade” of development, some scholars and practitioners declared the development enterprise as fundamentally wrong: It was a misguided and violent neocolonial project that could never provide the answer to inequality and poverty. These radical critics argued for building a “post-development” era. In this course, we look at the conceptual history of the term “post-development” and also examine what post-development life looks like on the ground, among dispossessed communities. We will focus on lived and imagined challenges to neoliberal capitalism. We spend the first week at Wesleyan, brushing up on the critical ideas and movements that have emerged out of Mexico (and Latin America, broadly) over the past four decades in reaction to mainstream development discourse. We will then explore these ideas and lived alternatives in Oaxaca, Mexico. We will spend three weeks learning about and working with marginalized communities that are rejecting capitalist development and building and experimenting with living a “good life” (buen vivir) on their own terms.


Application and deposit due by March 8. Current sophomores and juniors may apply. Limited financial aid is available for this program.

Photos from Europe

Luke Forsthoefel is studying at UCL in London this semester and has the photos to share from his travels.

In front of Tower Bridge in London.

Posing in front of the Thames and the Shard in the background in London.

Doing some climbing in an activity called Via Ferrata in the Lake District of Northern England.

West Minster Abbey

At the summit of a hike at Montserrat in Spain. The Pyrenees are in the background.

A nice view of Barcelona in Gaudí’s Parc Guel.

Photos from China

Théo Storella is studying abroad in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in China, and has these photos to share.

These two images were both taken at a small city called XiZhou a few hours from Kunming. They show the entrances to two tie-die clothing factories, tie-die clothing is a traditional cultural characteristic unique to the Bai ethnic group of China which is the main ethnic group of XiZhou village.

CangShan Mountain which is close to the city of Dali. The mountain overlooks the city and is full of awe-inspiring views and narrow passes with petrifying stone overhangs that look like they could easily collapse on top of you.

A photo from XiShan Mountain which is just outside of Kunming. Théo and a few friends climbed the mountain in the early morning just in time to see the sun rise. Théo took this photo of a friend as he gazed meditatively at the city below. Climbing that mountain in the morning as well as the night before were both unforgettable experiences because of the beautiful views as well as the treacherous trek up an unmarked path to the summit which was intensely slippery since it had just rained.

This photo is from the summit of XiShan at night, we climbed after night had fallen and the rain had stopped, using our phones for flashlights and doing our best not to fall into the mud or onto the sharp rocks near the summit. We met a few fellow hikers who helped us hike safely, and we shared celebratory snacks and cigarettes once we reached the top.

These photos are from a recent trip to the Stone Forest just outside of Kunming. The Stone Forest is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and is something that needs to be seen to be believed. The stone forest was formed millions of years ago through the erosion of limestone, leaving building-sized, tooth-shaped formations of rock that form a maze of paths which tourists can walk through. The two first pictures are of Théo looking in disbelief at the sheer size of the formations, the third is of a particularly cool mushroom-looking one, the fourth is from a point where the expanse of the Stone Forest can be seen, and the last photo is of a narrow pass formed by rock formations colliding with each other leaving a tight road to one can pass through.

Photos from India

Emily Leff is studying abroad in India and has these pictures to share from Varanasi.

Both of these photos taken at Assi Ghat in Varanasi, India. The body of water in the photos is the Ganges River. The ghats are where people tend to hang out casually but also perform daily rituals (puja) in the mornings and evenings—the Ganga is considered holy water.

Photos from Spain

Hannah Reale is studying abroad in Spain and has these photos to share.

A concert photo from DCODE, taken on the campus of Universidad Complutense de Madrid. DCODE is an annual music festival that features artists from all over the world, usually including a few from the U.S. (this year, Bastille and Imagine Dragons drew huge crowds).

The gardens at Museo Sorolla. Museo Sorolla is a small museum in Madrid that shows off Joaquín Sorolla’s work, a Spanish Impressionist painter who was popular around the turn of the century. The building itself used to be Sorolla’s home.

Bilbao, taken at the Mirador de Artxanda. The vista at Mirador de Artxanda provides a great view of the whole city, and has a hilarious fence that says “BilbaoBilbaoBilbao” over and over again to keep people from getting too close to the edge.

Photos from Scotland

Emmy Hughes, who is studying abroad in Scotland, has these photos to share

A white house from the seaside fishing village of Anstruther, a few miles from the University of St. Andrews.

Rock formations by the water, also near Anstruther.

Sandstone rock formations by the sea in the town of St. Andrews.  Can you tell Emmy is an Earth & Environmental Sciences major?

The gorgeous west sands, where the running scene from Chariots of Fire was filmed.

Photos from Sweden and Denmark

Melisa Olgun, who is studying abroad in Denmark this semester, shares these photos from Scandanavia.

Taken at ARoS Museum in Aarhus, Denmark. Entitled “Your rainbow panorama,” the work is a permanent installment at the art museum.

Taken in Malmö, Sweden, with her host sister, Amalie.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark a famous harbor and tourist spot.

Sign Up for Williams-Mystic Open House and Earth Day Beach Cleanup

Williams-Mystic invites you to celebrate Earth Day by joining us for a beach cleanup and open house this Sunday

We’ll provide free lunch and the excuse to spend your Sunday at the beach. You’ll discover the Connecticut coastline and help make it even more beautiful—and connect with Williams-Mystic students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

*Free lunch provided*

Where: Williams-Mystic campus. Meet us at our Marine Science Center, at the northeast end of the Mystic Seaport South Parking Lot.
When: 11:30 am–4:30 pm, Sunday, April 22
RSVP: At this linkSign up by Thursday, April 19 to secure your spot 

You’ll spend your day discovering a few of the many places we call our classroom during our 17–week semester:

  • You’ll start by touring our 8,000-square foot laboratory and Marine Science Center
  • Led by current students, you’ll visit a student house before heading across the street to Mystic Seaport Museum: the country’s largest maritime museum (at 19 acres) and part of our campus. 
  • After enjoying a free lunch on the banks of the Mystic River, you’ll explore the museum guided by our historian. 
  • You’ll spend the rest of your afternoon cleaning a local beach alongside Williams-Mystic students, staff, and alumni.

Don’t forget to RSVP by submitting this form no later than Thursday, April 19.  Email wmadmissions@williams.edu or reach out to me directly with any questions. 

And if you can’t make it, feel free to reach out. We have just a few spots left in our Fall ’18 class, and we’re welcoming applications for Spring ’19 as well. 

Hope to see you in Mystic this Sunday! 

Meredith Carroll
Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Social Media
Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program
P.O. Box 6000
75 Greenmanville Avenue
Mystic, CT 06355-0990

Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Info Session 3/28

This Wednesday, March 28, we invite you to more about Williams-Mystic: The Maritime Studies Semester of Williams College and Mystic Seaport.

  • Visit our table in Usdan from 11:30 – 1
  • Attend our information session in Usdan 114 from 6 – 7 pm; drop in anytime. Pizza will be served!

At Williams-Mystic, you’ll:

  • Experience field sites on all 3 of America’s coasts
  • Spend  10 days learning to sail a tall ship — no experience required
  • Gain primary research experience in all 4 of your classes. You’ll gather scientific data from local beaches, discover some of the 2 million artifacts and manuscripts at Mystic Seaport’s Collections and Research Center, and much more
  • Learn about the science, history, literature, and policy of our oceans and coasts from 5 faculty — and from fishermen, community leaders, activists, and scientists across the country
  • Engage with current environmental issues by learning how they affect our oceans and coasts and the communities that rely on them
  • Become part of a close-knit, residential community of 18–24 students from colleges across the country
  • Call Mystic Seaport, the country’s largest maritime museum, your home campus
  • All majors encouraged to attend! Credit and financial aid transfer guaranteed through the 12 College Exchange Program.
  • Spaces still available for the Fall ’18 semester.