GeoLyceum, LLC was founded in 2015 in response to the decline in country studies in higher education. As Charles King pointed out in this article in Foreign Affairs, federal funding for country studies has steadily declined since the end of the Cold War. Programs like those for language study, for translation (such as the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, or FBIS), and for regional specialization have all been killed off. The well-established think tanks have followed suit, ending studies of other societies, even as they make up the shortfall in federal funding elsewhere.
The effect is to increase ignorance at the very time that more knowledge is required. As King writes, consuming the world or its products is not equivalent to understanding it.
Hence, this series of courses in country studies: crash courses in a country’s background. GeoLyceum does the research into a country’s history, politics, economics, and culture, then puts in into an easy-to-learn format. You learn at your own pace, but you have access to classmates in a forum. These are moderated by a subject-area expert, who can also answer your questions and guide your research efforts if you want to know more.
We believe these introductions will be useful to many different audiences: students studying abroad, people who travel for work or pleasure, and even for teachers or social workers who need to know something about immigrant students’ and clients’ backgrounds.
GeoLyceum’s name is a portmanteau: “geo” from the Greek prefix meaning “earth,” and
“lyceum” from the Latin word for an educational association hosting public lectures and discussions.
GeoLyceum’s logo is a stylized astrolabe, a type of navigation device showing the world in the center and surrounded by circles showing the position of celestial objects in paths in the sky.
Both together illustrate GeoLyceum’s mission: to provide people with the information they need to navigate the world successfully.