Expedition Escape from the Classroom

Political Outings on the Campus and the Anxiety of Teaching IR

Subjects: Political Science, International Relations, Education, Higher Education, Memoir
Paperback : 9780472057115, 272 pages, 37 images, 6 x 9, November 2024
Hardcover : 9780472077113, 272 pages, 37 images, 6 x 9, November 2024
Open Access : 9780472904723, 272 pages, 37 images, 6 x 9, November 2024
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Breaking out of the classroom to explore how international relations manifest on campus

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Series Editor Patrick Thaddeus Jackson
Introduction: My Teaching Anxiety and Its Sources
Chapter 1: Out of the Classroom: A Conceptual and Pedagogical Rationale for this Book
Chapter 2: To the British Jerusalem War Cemetery: Heterotopia and Associative Encounters with the (Foreign, Imperial) War Dead
Chapter 3: Looking for Roots in the Mount Scopus Botanical Garden: Ideological Flora, Buffer Zones, and Seeing/Ignoring
Chapter 4: The Enigma of Portrait Busts: Exploring Power, Art, and History in Honorific Sculpting on Campus and Beyond 
Chapter 5: Layers of Memory and Identity: Exploring the Spaces and Stories of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace
Conclusions: Analytical Axes, Writing Drawbacks, and the Author-Book Separation


Despite facing profound teaching anxiety stemming from the politically intense surroundings in Israel and his own writer’s block, Oded Löwenheim crafted an innovative college course that breaks free from the traditional classroom setting to explore the depths of Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus campus. He takes his class—and by extension, the reader—to explore the political and historical imprints scattered throughout Mount Scopus, such as the Jerusalem British War Cemetery, the botanical garden of the campus, and the bomb shelter of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute. Drawing from a rich tapestry of disciplines that include political geography, botany, literature, history, and archaeology, this book invites readers to find the international in the everyday.

Expedition Escape from the Classroom offers a unique narrative where teaching and its inherent challenges intersect with the intricacies of global politics, history, and identity. While recounting his academic experiment, Löwenheim grapples with the changing landscape of academia in a neoliberal age, while illustrating how personal vulnerabilities can transform into powerful tools for growth, exploration, and enlightenment. Whether you’re an educator, student, or just a curious reader, Expedition Escape from the Classroom promises a journey of reflection, critical thinking, and profound revelations.

Oded Löwenheim is Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Expedition Escape from the Classroom is a highly engaging, vulnerable, and personal book. A pioneer of autoethnography in IR, Löwenheim draws the reader into his journey outside the classroom, showing that IR is all around them, inspiring the reader to look inward and advance their own craft as scholar-teachers with thoughtfulness and care. This book expands his oeuvre into pedagogy, drawing back the curtain on the intellectual, political, and emotional work that goes into teaching. This is a very important and valuable move for the field.”

- Mira Sucharov, Carleton University

“Lowenheim’s original course, ‘The Mount Scopus Enclave: Hebrew University’s Campus as a Political-Security-Academic Space,’ creatively disrupts the traditional teaching and learning experience as he takes his students on ‘adventures’ to different sites around campus. This book is an autoethnographic account of his experience teaching this course, engaging with questions around the purpose and conduct of teaching, and how faculty must navigate the various pressures of academic life. It also provokes us all to reconsider the boundaries of classroom spaces and the politics of the everyday in campus life.”

- Andrea Paras, University of Guelph