After the foundation of Venice International University in 1995, the founding members began sending students to Venice to take joint courses as part of their curriculum. During that first semester, in which I myself taught, there were just ten courses on offer to the 60 students from the five member universities who enrolled. Over the course of twenty-five years, the membership of VIU has expanded to fifteen countries, and the program for students, known as the Globalization Program for the past decade, has continued to evolve and grow, becoming an articulated interdisciplinary program that attracts 150 students each semester from across the globe.
In 2021 we are introducing new Specialization Tracks in the Globalization Program: "Cities and Global Change", "Environmental Humanities", "Science and Society" and "History and Memory". The first two will be offered every year February to May. The second two from September to December. These areas of teaching represent an important expansion and addition to our activities.
The decision was taken as part of our policy to regularly review our curriculum to better suit the changing needs of our members and engage in emerging and potentially fruitful academic fields. This gave us the opportunity to discuss the course offer, in particular with the more recent associates. The themes chosen are ideal to be taught in Venice to a multicultural and multidisciplinary student body, and we believe that they will help us to engage with the city even more through fieldwork, forging new collaborations with the city institutions. We hope that the new courses will attract a broader cohort of students, further increasing recruitment and reinforcing collaboration among our member universities.
The new topics will further consolidate our interest in Environmental Studies, adding the cutting-edge discipline which combines Ecology and Humanities and which will allow local synergies with the new Master at Ca' Foscari. Opening the program to the social studies of Science will also mean new ground for us. The presence of Urban Studies will be further consolidated. Same thing for History, which combined with Memory Studies, will make us offer of courses in recent fields such as Public History.
The courses will be different every semester, but we can imagine the GP becoming a place, where professors and students will discuss also issues such as Science Communication, Memory and Conflict, The Rhetoric of Climate Change and Cities and Overtourism. With the old core courses and the two traditional tracks on "Environmental Management and Sustainable Development" and on "Economics, Management and Digital Tools for Cultural Heritage", which will continue to be taught, we expect to be offering a minimum of 20 courses per semester. I'm very much looking forward to work with future colleagues and students,
Scientific Director of the Globalization Program
Luca Pes, Ph.D. in Italian Studies, is the Vice Dean and Director of the Globalization Program at VIU, where he has taught every semester since the beginning of academic activities in 1997. He is also the scientific coordinator of the One Theme Project at Global Governance, Tor Vergata, Rome and was Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the San Raffaele University in Milan. Prof. Pes has taught Urban and Contemporary History at Iuav and Contemporary History at Ca' Foscari, while being recognized Adjunct Associate Professor of European Studies at Duke (2011-2016). He published mostly on Venetian 19th-21st Century Cultural and Social History, on the Methodology of Local and Urban History and of History of the Present. His research and teaching areas include Teaching in Multicultural and Multidisciplinary contexts, Cinema and History, Italian Society, Diaries and Historiography, the difficult transition of Venice from 20th to 21st Century.