Sending Students Across the Globe

Twice a year, the Center for the Arts and Humanities invites proposals from Colby students for funding of original research projects in the humanities or humanistic disciplines. This fall, we funded seven students and their research projects, sending them around the globe to India, Japan, Israel, South America, and beyond. Whether it’s next door or a continent away, the Center is delighted to support our students and their meaningful work. Read more about our students’ incredible experiences here.

JanPlan Travel 

In the Israel Jan Plan course “Arab Jews: Navigating Oppositional Identity,” taught by Lauren Cohen Fisher, Director of Jewish Student Life, students learned about how Israeli Jews with recent ancestry in Arab/Muslim lands function as both insiders and outsiders in Israeli society. Referred to in Israel by the collective term “Mizrachim,” these Jewish Israelis have been given a collective identity despite coming from different countries in the Arab/Muslim World. Through food tours, explorations of markets, and visits to different restaurants, students have learned about how Moroccan, Persian, Yemenite, Iraqi, and Libyan Jews preserve cultural heritage and traditions through their recipes. 


Matias Carballo ‘23 

This Jan Plan I have been conducting an independent research project in Japan with Colby’s east Asian studies department. My project focuses on the differences in culinary traditions between the various regions of Japan. Using the incredible high-speed train infrastructure in Japan I have been able to see nearly every region of the nation and record my observations about the variety of unique dishes. I have also been able to finally use the Japanese language skills that I acquired from my courses with Colby’s Japanese department


Jade Ma ’23 

I have been learning to carve marble from the master, Christian Lange in Pietrasanta, Italy. I usually carve for around 6 hours every day from Monday to Friday, learning techniques and practicing the craft by carving some of my own abstract designs. I am using a pneumatic chisel to carve, I am working on my second sculpture that is an abstract rendition of an arch or gateway. The design came from a combined study of the many round and circular elements in ancient Roman architecture as well as the similarities I’ve found in East Asian circular doorways and gates


Rex Thors ‘23 

Paredon de los Manos de Cerro Castillo is one of many sites in Patagonia where hand markings of the indigenous people are present on rock walls. The indigenous people of Patagonia used animal products and leftover food to create the paint. Not only were markings made by placing the hand in paint then pushing against the wall, but also by blowing paint onto a hand placed on the wall using hollowed out animal bones thus creating a negative of the hand. Some of the markings on this particular wall are estimated to be roughly 3000 years old. Other walls in Patagonia are estimated to have markings over 9000 years old.