Dickinson's American and global Mosaics are intensive, interdisciplinary, semester‐long research programs designed around ethnographic fieldwork and immersion in domestic and global communities.

Their objective is to encourage students to think reflexively about the diverse world in which they live as they engage in collaborative work with local, transnational and international communities. The Mosaics provide opportunities for students to meaningfully apply what they are learning in the classroom, both theoretically and methodologically, to the world beyond—and to bring their experiences back into the classroom.

The Mosaics challenge students to ask significant and relevant questions of the people and communities with which they are working; to actively listen to what others say about their lives and realities; to reflect on their own lives, worlds and perspectives; to design research that addresses the needs and interests of their partner communities; and finally to present what they have discovered in thoughtful, effective and ethical ways to multiple audiences.

Students learn not only how to design and conduct research but also how to produce their findings and analyses in various forms: written research papers and reports; conference presentations, video documentaries, audio podcasts and multimedia websites. The design of a specific Mosaic program is driven by pedagogical and research concerns and faculty interest and availability. Different Mosaic models have emerged—from a full semester of coursework taken by students with two or three faculty mebers from different disciplines, to cluster courses, to a one-credit course that integrates a "winterim" research trip.

What Is a Mosaic?

Current & Upcoming Mosaics

Natural History Sustainability Mosaic II

Fall 2016
Ashton Nichols (Environmental Studies and English), Marcus Key (Earth Sciences), and H. Eugene Wingert (Biology)

Meltdowns and Waves mini Mosaic: Responding to Disasters in the U.S. and Japan

Summer 2016
To apply please visit the Center for Global Study and Engagement.
Marcus Key (Earth Sciences) and Alex Bates (East Asian Studies)

Mediterranean Migration Mosaic: Italy at the Crossroads

Spring 2016
Marcelo Borges (History), Nicoletta Marini-Maio (Italian) and Susan Rose (Sociology and Community Studies Center)

  • While in Italy the students and professors of the mosaic were in the Italian news for International Women's Day. They were covered by il Resto del Carlino and Trama di Terre.

Cuba Mini-Mosaic

January 2016
Mark Aldrich (Spanish) and Margaret Frohlich (Spanish)

Race and Education Mosaic: Assessing American and South African Education Since Civil Rights and the End of Apartheid

Fall 2015
Jeremy Ball (History and Africana Studies) and Sarah Bair (Education)


Steps for Proposing a Mosaic:
1. Developing a Mosaic
2. Proposing a Mosaic
3. Implementing a Mosaic

Find out more about past American & Global Mosaics, apply or learn more about requirements for any current mosaics, or request more information.

You can also view CSC documentaries.

CSC Videos

 The Community Studies Center has produced many videos that can be seen on our youtube site. Below is a sample of the videos: