All ISP students will enroll in the following two core courses:
Contemporary India: Culture, Society and Challenges (4 credits)
An overview of India's history, development and emergence as a global partner, examining its people, cultures and social fabric with an introduction to local and national languages. The course will include lectures, seminars, local, regional and national travel, family and community actives and service-learning opportunities. The course is designed to provide an integrating context and foundation for the entire semester. Course will be supervised and coordinated by the ISP director assisted by an Indian professor of history and culture and other guest lecturers.
India's Religious Landscape (3 credits)
This course will provide an introduction and comparative study of the major religious traditions and influences in Indian society and culture. Through readings, lectures, excursions, conversations with local students and families, and participation in various service outreach projects, students will engage with persons from India diverse religious traditions. Students will also examine the challenges and opportunities for expressing a Christian world and life view in a religiously diverse culture. The ISP director will work with a local Indian professor with theological training to organize and present this course and related community experiences and excursions.
Students will choose any three of the following 3-credit options. These courses, designed and prepared by each department, will involve BACAS students in course assignments, excursions and discussions.
New course starting spring 2014: Introduction to Tamil (3 credits)
This course will give an intro to the rich and ancient linguistic roots of Tamil and provide learners a introductory competence in understanding and speaking basic, simple, compound and a few complex sentences in Tamil. Class sessions will include extensive conversation drills to equip the learners for different situations they will encounter in their day-to-day activities. While the four language skills—speaking, listening, reading and writing–will will be taught, the primary focus will be on developing speaking and listening abilities in order to make the learner confident to pursue greater cultural immersion.
Indian Society & Social Work Intervention (3 credits)
A course designed for social work, community development, missions and social science majors exploring the key dimensions of Indian society and related social problems and challenges (past and present). Within this context students will explore the social work profession and methods of practice in India. Throughout the course students will interact with local social work students and participate in a variety of field work and research projects.
Indian Literature (3 credits)
A survey course examining 5 major streams of Indian literature including works written in English and in translation from tradition and contemporary India dialects. Students will read and examine works of poetry (Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore); prose (M.K.Gandhi's Shyness my Shield); a variety of short stories (The Tiger in the Tunnel by Ruskin Bond) and longer works of fiction (The Dark Holds No Terror, by Shashi Deshpande); and drama (Aurangzeb, by Indira Parthasarathy).
Indian Design: Traditional Costumes and Textiles (3 credits)
This course is designed to help students explore the relationship of cultural traditions and customs and everyday life as expressed in design, clothing and other forms of decoration and adornment. Students will examine the cultural significance of designs and costumes from each of the major regions in India. In addition students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about design and production of articles of clothing and explore the inside story of India's fashion and textile industry.
Indian Fine Arts (3 credits)
This study of Indian art aims to provide a basic introduction to the fine arts of India in all of their multi-faceted forms, primarily focusing on two-dimensional visual arts (e.g., painting and drawing), three-dimensional visual arts, (e.g., sculpture and architecture), performing arts (music, dance, and theater), and film. Each of these areas of art will be examined in turn, with lectures covering important examples of each type of art; history of the form in Indian society; and cultural and sociological significance of the various art forms both historically and today. The course is designed to help students achieve an understanding of Indian art and to look upon it aesthetically in relation to the culture and ideological concepts of this diverse and highly ritualistic civilization. The course will conclude with a discussion-based unit focused on examining the various socially-significant places in which Indian art has made itself prominent today and discussing the relevance of Indian art in an increasingly homogenized global culture.
Culinary Dimensions of Culture:
Indian Cuisine, Traditions and Festivals (3 credits)
An introduction to Indian cuisine and a study of the expression of cultural, religious and social values expressed through diet, food preparation, presentation and related customs and traditions. Students will learn some basics of food preparation and will sample a variety of cuisines from across India. The course will also explore dietary beliefs and practices common across India as well as the historical traditions and influences that have shaped Indian cooking.
Current Perspective of Business in India (3 credits)
An international business course focusing on marketing and management practices in India and its relationship to the global economy. Students will also examine the evolution of retailing in the Indian market and the role of entrepreneurship in economic development and the global economy. Similarities and differences in Indian business practices, culture and perspectives in comparison with western/US practices will be explored and analyzed.
Field Experience (3 credits)
Students in education, social work, business, communication and design with appropriate background or course work can complete an individually designed 90 hour supervised field experience. Students, in consultation with the ISP director and BACAS faculty, will develop a learning contract for onsite experience working in a local school, agency, business, microfinance project or related setting. The learning contract will include learning outcome goals, specific on site activities and responsibilities and opportunities for reflection and supervisor feedback. If desired these learning contracts could be designed in conjunction with faculty from the student's home campus.