Kasteel Well Summer Programs

Kasteel Well Summer Program

In the Kasteel Well Summer Program, you see the paintings you study. (Filmed and edited by Emerson College students.)

This summer we'll be offering three different options to study at Kasteel Well:

  • The Role of the Portrait and Self Portrait: May 19 - June 25, 2017
  • Travel Writing: June 9 - July 16, 2017
  • Berlin: The Turbulent Past and Glorious Present of a Global City: May 26 - June 25, 2017

Each course is a 4- or 5-week intensive program combining on-campus classroom lectures with off-campus museum visits and educational excursions in major European cities.  Enrollment is limited to 16 for each course.  Program participants are required to attend all mandatory travel excursions accompanied by faculty. 


May 19 - June 25
8 Credits
VM 368: Topics in Art History and Digital Photography
Cost: TBD*

Photo by Gerlo Beernink

The goal of this 5-week summer program is to study and compare two different means of artistic expression made in two completely different time periods: The ‘pre-modern’, more artisinal style, method, technique, and the meaning and methods of interpretation of old master paintings of the Renaissance, will be compared and contrasted to the methods, meaning and modes of interpretation of modern means of image-making, in particular of digital photography. Students will travel to Bruges, Florence, and Venice to examine the cultural and artistic exchange in Early Modern Europe, when international trade, migration and the process of cross-cultural awareness had just begun.


June 9 - July 16
8 Credits
WR 317: Travel Writing
Cost: TBD*

Alpine Italy

This course invites you to write, workshop, and revise short works of creative nonfiction (and some fiction) inspired by your time in Europe, and to practice attentive journaling of your observations and experiences to make the most of your travels. We will take a broad view of travel writing with an emphasis on trying out diverse approaches, styles, and techniques. 

As we explore the area around Kasteel Well and go on excursions to Amsterdam and Alpine Italy, you will read and write to unlock travel's ability to help us look both within and without, sometimes writing with yourself at the center, at others focusing on vivid depictions of the people and customs around you, and at still others allowing your imagination to go where it will. Our writing will be complemented by lectures providing literary and historical perspectives, to help us consider what it means to write responsibly and accurately about places and cultures in which we are not "local" and may not speak a common language — a conversation to be enhanced and informed by the exciting cross-cultural, cross-campus collaboration of our own class, which will bring together students from Emerson with students from Hong Kong University.


May 26 - June 25
8 Credits
IN 323: Global Cities: Berlin's Turbulent Past and Glorious Present 
HI 200: Contemporary World History
Cost: TBD*

The historical Berlin Reichstag
Photo by Ralph Trost

No other city in Europe since the First World War underwent such a variety of rapid changes  in politics, economy, in the visual arts, film and theater, and in its physical appearance than the city of Berlin. In this interdisciplinary summer program students will learn through the study of history, the visual arts, literature and film how Berlin in every decade of the 20thcentury wrote history. Berlin’s importance as a cinematic metropolis since the 1920’s offers a faithful reflection of all these decennial changes: From a city producing film with controversial, yet universal topics, it developed the cinema into an impressive propaganda machine during the Nazi period, to then focus on stories set in the post-war era of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall.

Students will stay two weeks at Emerson’s Kasteel Well in the Netherlands from where academic field trips will be undertaken to Cologne and Bonn, and sojourn two weeks in Berlin from where Potsdam and Dresden will be visited.

This course will make clear how fast Germany and its new capital recovered from the scars of war and from the east-west dichotomy growing into the young, diverse, vital and booming global city it is today.

Participants on all programs will reside at Emerson College’s Kasteel Well, a medieval, double-moated castle situated in the heart of Holland’s Limburg region. The castle is located in the village of Well in the southeastern part of the Netherlands. Well is five minutes from Germany, approximately two hours from the French-speaking region of Belgium, is easily accessible by mass transit and has a regional airport, Airport Weeze, in its direct vicinity that offers access to many European destinations.

*Prices will be published by January 2017.