Office of International Programs

Travel - History

History and Memory: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration 

Spring break travel course to the Southern US

Travel dates: March 16-23, 2019

HTY 394: Topics in History (3 credits) 


This spring break travel course will expose students to the complicated past (and present) of the Deep South, from the era of slavery to the modern era of mass incarceration.  Students will travel from Portland, Maine, to Atlanta, Georgia; and then to Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, Alabama; before returning to Atlanta to travel home to Portland.  While in Georgia and Alabama, students will visit a variety of historical sites, monuments, and museums, including:  The King Center and the Center for Human and Civil Rights in Atlanta, as well as Stone Mountain Park in Georgia; The Legacy Museum and Memorial (to lynching victims), the Rosa Parks Museum, the first Confederate White House, the Freedom Rides Museum, the Alabama State Capitol, and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery; the Lowdnes County National Park Interpretive Center, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the Voting Rights Museum in Selma (service learning project); the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, as well as a walking tour of the downtown in Birmingham (including Ingram Park, and the 16th Street Baptist Church).


This hands-on, site based travel course will take students through the living history and memory of slavery, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and modern day mass incarceration.  Students will be expected to read course texts, engage with films, and meet with course faculty and guest speakers both before departure and during the the trip itself.  While on the trip, students will keep a reflective journal and write up site visits reports. A larger paper/project will be due two weeks after returning to Maine.



Professor Leroy Rowe is an Associate Professor of African American History and Politics at USM where he teaches courses on the Civil Rights Movement, Mass Incarceration, and African American History.


Professor Libby Bischof is a Professor of History and Executive Director of the Osher Map Library at USM.  As a public historian, she is very interested in intersections of history and memory and site based work with students.


Samantha Frisk is Coordinator of Service Learning and Volunteer Programs at USM, as well as the Co-Chair, with Professor Rowe, of the Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council at USM.


In June of 2018, the course faculty traveled to Alabama together to visit The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened to the public on April 26, 2018.  Sponsored by the Equal Justice Initiative, it is "the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence." These photographs are all from their trip to Montgomery and Selma. 




The application deadline is January 25, 2019. 

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Signed, completed application form*
  • $200 non-refundable deposit (applied to the program cost) due with the application form
  • Typed 200-word essay expressing your interest in participating in the program
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor
  • Official copy of academic transcript

You can submit your application items the following ways: email to, turn them in to 101 Payson Smith on Portland's campus, mail items to Office of International Programs, 101 Payson Smith Hall, PO Box 9300, Portland, ME 0410

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be notified by e-mail of your application status. If your application is not accepted, the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. If the program is canceled for any reason by the USM, all deposits will be returned.

*If you are having trouble downloading the application, please contact us at (207) 780-4959 or and we will send you one. You may also want to try upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Tuition and Fees

The approximate program fee is estimated to be between $1,550-$1,750, not including tuition. The cost of tuition and fees at the in-state rate are in addition to the program fee. All participants on USM travel programs receive the in-state tuition rate regardless of residency.

The program fee includes accommodation, airfare, ground transportation, some group meals, academic site visits and entrance fees.

Not included in the program fee: cost of tuition, fees, books, academic supplies, most meals, or other personal expenses.

All participants will be automatically registered for a payment plan for the program fee. The $200 desposit will be applied to cost of the program fee and the remaining balance will be due as follows:

50% of the balance due TBD February 2019

Remaining balance due TBD March 2019


Financial Aid & Scholarships

If you have questions about financial aid or completing your FAFSA, please contact the financial aid office at (207) 780-4166. If you are not a matriculated student at USM, please check with the financial aid office at your institution.