River Semester

August 22nd, 2019

Over the course of eighty days, this canoe expedition offers an immersive research program on and along the Mississippi River.

The River Semester 2019 program conducted by Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers a full semester of courses for national and international students traveling eighty days on and along the Mississippi River from the headwaters in Northern Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico via canoe and van. Participants develop field research projects on topics such as environmental justice, agriculture in the watershed, political organization around environmental issues, race relations and social justice, and urban riverfront revitalization.

During their time on the river, participants are sharing their observations and research here on this site, using the online platform to collect their ongoing explorations as they meander downstream.

The outreach expansion of Augsburg University’s River Semester 2019 offers an eighty-day expedition by canoe and van down the length of the Mississippi River—from the headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico— in the company of twenty-five international scholars, artists, and activists. Building upon two previous expeditions that took place in 2015 and 2018, The River Semester entails both a set of courses—in Environmental Studies, Political Science, Biology, Art, Astronomy and History—and a creative response to the global challenges of climate change, sustainability, and resilience. As such, the program constitutes a lived experiment in post-carbon living and a performative protest against the collective impacts of the Anthropocene.

The River Semester will anchor the Anthropocene River Journey, its timeline, and field site engagement to correspond with the public-facing events organized by the five Field Stations along the river.