The Layers of Rome is both a study abroad program and an online educational resource for high school and college teachers who study Rome and its central role as a creator and disseminator of world culture. Since its inception as a study abroad course 15 years ago, the Layers of Rome has grown into a multi-faceted curriculum resource platform. In 2015 curriculum development advanced through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a summer institute for teachers, entitled The Monuments of Rome in English Culture. The grant allowed 25 scholar/teachers to take advantage of being immersed in the Roman environment to develop a series of lesson plans considering Roman life, culture and history. The website includes the institute lesson plans, the curriculum for the teacher institute, and a synopsis of our interactive traveling exhibit on the progress of cultural heritage preservation in Italy. The site will continue to expand each year as student and faculty research continues.
Study Abroad is the premiere activity of the Humanities Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. As a teaching method the UTEP Humanities Study Abroad Program operates on the principle that immersing students in the physical environment of the subject, in this case Roman history, art and culture, allows them to understand the importance of context and place in the evolution of world cultures. When visiting Rome and other selected Italian cities, students use all of their talents and senses, applying hands-on skills while navigating and solving real-world scenarios in the development of powerful interactive resources. During three weeks on campus and three weeks in Italy, UTEP students can earn up to 6-credit hours in the subjects of Humanities, History and Communication. Students work alongside faculty to develop their research and to publish it on the Layers of Rome website.
Preserving Identities is an interactive, bi-lingual, multimedia exhibit which examines issues and public policy concerns related to preserving the world’s cultural heritage. It was designed and created through a collaboration of faculty and students in the 2016-17 Layers of Rome study abroad. Through a combination of traditional exhibits and digital media, the site documents the condition of cultural landmarks, draws attention to the preservation of historical artifacts and publicizes efforts to maintain historical monuments. The goal of the exhibit is to emphasize the role of cultural heritage in the development of cultural ties across the globe. It specializes in the issues of preservation and transmission relevant in preserving Roman life, culture and history. The exhibit opened at The University of Texas at El Paso library. In the 2017-2018 academic year, it will travel to El Paso area high schools. Learn more about this project HERE.