This course establishes a linguistic and socio-historical framework for learning about Indian society with a special focus on the Southwestern Malayalam-speaking state of Kerala. In addition to developing basic Malayalam speaking, reading, and writing skills through daily language classes, participants attend seminars on Indian history, society, gender, religion, culture, and geography. Regular discussion sessions offer opportunities for reflection on intercultural communication and adaptation.
Bridge course synthesizing knowledge and, experiences gained in the program. Students will, do independent research and complete a holistic, project focusing on phenomena common to the many, program locations visited throughout India.
This course examines art worlds of North India with a special focus on Delhi, Agra, and Rajasthan. Students learn about oral epics, poetry, music, theater, dance, film, crafts, visual art, and architecture. In addition to keeping creative agents (artists and artisans) at the center of our engagement with local scenes, a focus on “art worlds” encourages students to think about expressive culture as interdependent rather than as separate domains of human aesthetic experience. From Sanskrit treatises, religious experience, and courtly entertainment, to cinema, galleries, craft workshops, and performing arts schools—the course builds a frame of reference for situating artistic styles, sensibilities, patronage, and media in relation to larger historical forces and diverse subject locations. In the process, we also develop ethnographic skills sets and representational strategies for writing about encounters with difference in South Asia.
Examination of development in India from, interdisciplinary perspectives. Drawing on, literature in anthropology, sociology,, environmental studies, history, and food studies,, students learn in a seminar classroom as well as, through direct experience on field trips in, semi-urban and rural locations in Northern Kerala,, including the biodiversity hot spot of the Western, Ghats.

In this course, we will read and discuss theories of secularism and secularization – with their narratives of “disenchantment,” “despiritualization” and “rationalization” – from the fields of history, philosophy, sociology, and religious studies.  Our inquiry will include questions about the imperial and racial dimensions of claims about Britain’s superior rationality, as well as the dominance of Protestant Christianity as the supposed pinnacle of human spiritual traditions. We will delve into several case studies from England, both past and present, in light of such theories. We will visit spots said to be endowed with ancient mystical powers, while debating the merits of claims that magic -- and religion -- are a thing of the past in 21st century England.