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Expand and Contract: E-Learning Shapes the World in Cyprus and in California


Studies in American Indian Literatures Volume 23, Number 2, ISSN 0730-3238


In the spring of 2008, university students enrolled in courses at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and the University of Cyprus (UCY) participated in a cross-cultural e-learning project in which they studied American Indian literature and history. All students followed the same six-week syllabus, which included shared readings and films. These common texts became the basis for dialogue via online discussion boards as students struggled to explain causes of prejudice, ethnic conflict, racial hatred, and genocidal acts. Their interactions and reactions with these materials brought to light the many guises of historical and contemporary cultural conflict and suffering: dominant groups marking Indigenous peoples for extinction, film and literature depicting such groups as prematurely "extinct," religious factions often being responsible for past and present horrors, and societies and institutions perpetuating hatred through focusing on skewed histories. The authors discuss the international classroom and subject exchange project, which facilitated the expanding of students' learning as their learning crossed national boundaries while encouraging them to also focus on their own country's lesser-known histories. (Contains 2 figures.)


Sheley, N.S. & Zitzer-Comfort, C. (2011). Expand and Contract: E-Learning Shapes the World in Cyprus and in California. Studies in American Indian Literatures, 23(2), 71-90. Retrieved December 3, 2021 from .

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