Start Date: February 1st, 2024
Duration: 1 month (2 credits; 32 hours)
Tuition Fee: $320 USD
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This course presents a cross-cutting and holistic view of exploration by comparing historical naval exploration with contemporary space exploration in a new and innovative approach. Students will attain an understanding of the risks, dilemmas, and ethical considerations associated with these endeavors. Specialized text readings will be combined with practical assignments and videoconference support sessions to facilitate a complete grasp of the syllabus.
In the first unit, “Exploration of the Unknown” students will delve into key points in history to learn the very essence of this interesting activity of the human being. They will delve into the motivations and lives of pioneering figures in naval history, as well as the challenges of navigation and the unknown territories they faced, laying the foundation for a global understanding of the historical context of this trade.
Secondly, the course delves into the tangible and material risks that explorers have faced throughout history and in modern space. Students will examine the perils of the sea, including shipwrecks, storms, and diseases that devastated maritime explorers, contrasting them with the unique hazards of space travel. Lessons from history will be drawn upon to underscore the importance of effective risk management, connecting both the past and the present to fully understand these key aspects.
The third unit, “The Human Factor” focuses on the psychological and ethical dimensions of exploration, and delves into the often-overlooked human element. Students will explore the profound psychological isolation experienced by explorers, the complex ethical dilemmas arising from colonialism and cultural encounters, and the specific challenges posed by the human presence in space, emphasizing the importance of understanding and addressing the human factor in these enterprises.
Lastly, students will critically examine the primary ethical dilemmas that have shaped and continue to shape exploration projects. They will confront the environmental issues associated with exploration, both on Earth and in space, and explore the intricate legal frameworks governing space activities and resource allocation. At the same time, debates on the importance of international collaboration and conflict resolution in the pursuit of responsible and sustainable exploration will be encouraged, bringing together the contents of the course with the trending problems of our current present.
Antonio López Amores has been a professor of Early Modern History, with experience at several universities throughout Spain, since 2016. In addition to his expertise in Western Mediterranean history, he has extensive knowledge of both Western Mediterranean and Asian history. His lectures cover a wide range of topics, such as the social and cultural history of early modern Iberia, the history and political evolution of Britain and Ireland, the history of feudal Japan, and the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire. He takes an interdisciplinary approach to his teaching, combining his knowledge of history with other areas of study.