UGA-Franklin: Bali and Beyond
Maymester 2022 (May 18 -June 12, 2022)
The island nation of Indonesia is famous for the richness and diversity of its cultural and natural heritage. One of Indonesia’s best known islands is Bali, which is most notable for its distinctive brand of Hinduism and its elaboration of ritual and the arts. Beginning in the 1930s, when an international collection of artists and writers began to make Bali’s unique culture known to Western audiences, the tourism industry began to flourish, and this process continues up to the present. But the development that goes along with tourism has been a mixed blessing. All over the island, and the neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan, rampant development challenges local communities to maintain the rich cultural and natural heritage that attracts visitors in the first place.
In this program, students will learn about Balinese culture through first-hand experience, traveling to a variety of communities, temples and other cultural sites throughout Bali and surrounding islands. In Bali, students will visit temple sites nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status, the center of Balinese arts and culture in Ubud, the thousand year old rice terraces of Tampak Siring, the highland village of Puakan, and the world-famous surf break Uluwatu. At each place we visit, we’ll seek out a diversity of perspectives on the challenges that tourism and development create as the people of Bali and its neighbors strive to maintain their rich natural and cultural heritage.
Students in the Bali & Beyond program earn credit from two anthropology courses. The courses are specifically designed to complement each other by the inclusion of a series of contemporary overlapping concepts focused on understanding representation and perspective, with a focus on how Bali has been represented both by Balinese and non-Balinese past and present. These concepts guide students' observations and analyses of the intersections between Balinese culture and tourism.
The Bali & Beyond program fulfills several UGA General Education Core Curriculum requirements, University-wide requirements, and Franklin College requirements.
During our time in Bali we will stay at, and visit, a range of locations. For the first three nights in Bali, we will be staying on “the Bukit” (“the hill”) in the southernmost part of Bali adjacent to the world-famous surf breaks of Padang Padang and Uluwatu. From there we will spend the next two weeks in the town of Ubud, a town renowned for its rich artistic tradition. While in Ubud we will travel to a number of communities, temples, markets and cultural sites on daily excursions throughout the region. Toward the end of the program, we will spend a week on the small island of Nusa Lembongan, which is currently experiencing a boom in tourism-related development. At the end of the program we will stay near the famous temple Tanah Lot.
Pete Brosius, Department of Anthropology & Center for Integrative Conservation Research
Pete Brosius received his MA at the University of Hawaii and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He is Professor of Anthropology and Founding Director of the Center for Integrative Conservation Research at UGA, where he has taught since 1992. Much of his career has been devoted to research in island Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines and Malaysia. He has worked with several groups of indigenous people, particularly Penan hunter-gatherers in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. His research has mostly focused on the political ecology of conservation and on issues related to the interdisciplinary study of sustainability. He has taught Study Abroad Programs Indonesia, Fiji and Costa Rica.
Sarah Hitchner, Department of Anthropology
Sarah Hitchner received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Georgia. She is an Assistant Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UGA. After living in Sarawak, Malaysia for almost three years, she completed her dissertation in 2009, which focused on conservation initiatives and heritage preservation within the cultural landscape of the Kelabit Highlands of interior Borneo. In recent years, she has been conducting ethnographic research in the southeastern United States on several topics: local impacts of bioenergy development, perceptions of climate change in urban and rural communities, and intergenerational transfer of land within African American families. She has published widely and has a particular interest in literature and ethnographic writing, including alternative forms of data presentation such as ethnographic fiction and poetry.
Students in the Bali & Beyond program will take two courses for a total of six credits:
Culture and Tourism in Bali (ANTH 4242/6242) – 3 credits/ Instructor: Pete Brosius
Writing Bali (ANTH 4235W/6235W) – 3 credits/ Instructor: Sarah Hitchner
Study Abroad Programs now satisfy the new Experiential Learning Requirement.
Culture and Tourism in Bali (ANTH 4242/6242)/ Instructor: Pete Brosius
The island of Bali is the source of many classic ethnographic studies and the birthplace of visual anthropology. It is famed for its visual exuberance and for its elaboration of the arts and ritual. There is also a long legacy of western portrayals of Bali as an exotic Paradise, and this continues to be a foundation of touristic portrayals of the island. This program brings Balinese culture alive and allows students to see first-hand what it is like to experience another way of being and to see what the world looks like through another cultural lens. The Bali & Beyond program takes students outside of the “tourist bubble” and, through first-hand field-based experiences, exposes them to the contradictions that arise in the encounter between culture and tourism.
ANTH 4242/6242 addresses these concerns through a focus on issues of representation and perspective. There is a rich legacy in Anthropology of confronting issues of representation; how do we represent another culture and what are the politics of representation when anthropologists study other societies? Students are exposed both to existing representations of Bali – from local people, from tourist literature, etc. – and through photography and writing they are encouraged to examine their own practices of representing what they experience and observe. At each place we visit, we will seek out a diversity of perspectives on the challenges that tourism and development create as the people of Bali strive to maintain their rich natural and cultural heritage. Through writing and photography, students will be encouraged to examine and analyze a series of historical and contemporary representations of Balinese culture and tourism. We will approach ethnographic observation as a collaborative project; sharing and reflecting on our observations on a daily basis. Through journaling, the keeping of ethnographic field notes, and other written and visual assignments, students will track their progress from initial observation, to written description or visual representation, to analysis.
For those taking the course as a Graduate or Honors option (ANTH 6242), in addition to being responsible for the same assignments as undergraduates, graduate students taking this course will be required to produce a 15-page research paper on a topic of their choice, chosen in consultation with the instructor.
Writing Bali (ANTH 4235W/6235W)/ Instructor: Sarah Hitchner
Bali is represented in many different literary forms, by many different authors, and for many different audiences. This course will examine both how Bali is represented in writing (by both Balinese and non-Balinese authors) and how writing about personal experiences in Bali hones observational skills, encourages self-reflection, and promotes critical thinking about current issues. The course will include Balinese guest speakers engaged in different forms of writing for different purposes and audiences: creative writers, literature professors, singers/songwriters, and tourism website managers, in addition to artists or photographers; they will present their own perspectives about what they are representing and to whom.
We will also examine and discuss various writings about Bali: (1) translated text from an ancient Balinese literature form called lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts dating to 14th century or earlier), (2) a novel by a Balinese novelist (Earth Dance by Oka Rusmini), (3) a passage of popular writing about Bali by non-Balinese author (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert), (4) an academic article about Bali famous for its literary value (Clifford Geertz: “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight”), (5) song lyrics by a contemporary Balinese songwriter (by the popular - and highly political - Balinese rock group “Superman is Dead”), and (6) various texts from tourism literature and online media (guidebooks, websites, brochures, social media). We will analyze these various texts in terms of meaning (the content), motivation (the purpose or motive), and form (the mechanics of writing and grammar).
This course will also use writing as a way to reflect on and connect readings from this course and the complementary course to each other and to personal experiences, taking an ethnographic field writing approach. Students will produce several types of writing during this course: daily on-site field notes, a daily field journal, freewrites during class sessions, and one polished essay based on these writings that have undergone several rounds of feedback from fellow students and the instructor. Students will learn not just the fundamentals of proper writing, but also how to use writing as a vehicle for deeper thought and contemplation about people, places, and ideas. Through various types of writing, they will learn to connect ideas; reflect on impressions, experiences, and personal biases; ask questions that lead to more questions; and explore options for finding answers. There will be two types of grading on writing assignments: depth of content (amount of thought and effort put into the assignment) and the mechanics of writing (correct grammar, clarity of writing, correct use of vocabulary, logical flow, clear argument/main point, etc.).
||-The Bukit Peninsula
-Padang Padang Beach
-Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple/Kecak dance
-Tanah Lot Temple
|May 23-June 3
-Ogoh Ogoh Museum
-Tirta Empul Water Temple
-Agung Rai Museum of Art
-KlungKlung – Kerta Gosa, Puputan Memorial, Market
-Gunung Batur volcano climb
|June 4 - June 6
-Coral reef snorkel tour
-Excursion to Nusa Penida – Goa Giri Putri temple
-Island Bicycle tour
|June 7 - June 12
-Jalan Sulawesi cloth market
During most of the program we will be staying at small, locally-owned hotels, with the exception of a two two-night homestays in the mountain village of Puakan and Pelaga. Most meals are included in the program, though students should be prepared to pay for approximately 8 meals, mostly $5-6 each. Breakfasts are typically at our hotel, while lunches and dinners are mostly at local restaurants. Bali is famous for its elaborate food culture, and on past programs students have been pleased with the variety of foods available. This program can accommodate all food preferences (vegetarian, vegan, etc.).
- HOPE and Zell applies.
- Most Meals included - $40
- All transportation in-country provided
- Estimated airfare cost - $1500 ATL-DPS
- International health and travel insurance, etc. $30
- Additional fees (e.g., visa fee), Entry and Exit fees - $35
- Program fees - $3,365
- Tuition at in-State rate – approximately $275.00-300.00 per credit = 6 credits
- Pre-departure vaccinations – subject to consultation and pricing by UGA Travel Clinic.
- Personal expenses - extra food $100, entry fees $20, bottled water $50, souvenirs $100-$500
$300 – Due February 14
Application Deadline: February 15, 2022
- Applicant interviews are required and will be scheduled as applications are received. No letters of recommendation are required.
Scholarships are available and applicants are encouraged to apply. See the OGE Scholarship webpage for details:
For more information:
Phone: (706) 542-1463
“Every day felt like the best day; each day was filled with meaning, being fully immersed into the Balinese culture and way of life, feeling like a local, learning about the place I was at so I didn't feel like ‘a dog watching TV’."
“One of the richest, most beautiful places in the world! Sure I could have told myself that I could visit as a tourist someday, but this program was the only opportunity to live there, to be immersed in the culture. I could never have gotten that same experience had I visited on my own.”
“Going to Bali woke me up. I don't think I've ever lived more presently nor more simply. It's wild how traveling to a place so far and learning about a culture so unfamiliar can teach you so much about yourself.”
“The whole EXPERIENCE FIRST feel that enveloped the whole trip really struck a chord with me.”
“Our classroom is a Balinese temple, a rice field, a local village. We do not sit in typical classrooms; we go out and see for ourselves what Balinese culture is and the effects tourism and the Western world have had on it.”
“The culture of Bali is so rich and so unlike anything I had ever seen before. During the trip, students are immersed in everything that makes the culture so distinct - from the food, to the dress, to the arts, to temple practices.”
“You will see some of the most beautiful sights you have ever seen and meet the nicest people you have ever met. The beaches, mountains, waterfalls, and rice fields only begin to name the breathtaking sights you will see upon visiting Bali. The people are themselves the most beautiful aspect. They open their doors (literally) to you and help in any way possible. They share their knowledge and ask you to share yours.”
“This trip was the first time I've ever been able to travel abroad and fully emerge myself in the experience beyond the usual tourist bubble. The sights were breathtaking, the culture was rich, and the food was delicious! The effect this trip had on me is indescribable; Bali entirely changed my perspective on life. The instructors did such a good job of helping us connect to Bali that now whenever I hear about it, I feel a personal connection to the place.”
“Going to Bali was the best experience of my life. Because of the immersion into the culture and the constant exposure to new sights, food, people, and music I have never learned so much about a new culture in such a short period of time. Traveling to Bali through study abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made because of the ability to gain a depth of knowledge about the island and culture that I would not have been able to do on my own. Bali left a lasting mark on me figuratively and literally (I have a scar from climbing up a volcano in the dark to catch the sunrise) and I definitely plan on traveling back to once again be immersed in the amazing culture.”