University of Houston to Begin Offering India Studies Program in the Fall
Written by Sheila George
Beginning Fall 2012, the University of Houston will add a new minor to its substantial list of programs, a minor in India Studies under the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). Among the thirteen different schools at the University of Houston, CLASS is the largest college. With a large pool of departmental resources at hand, CLASS is the ideal college to house the India Studies program. Anjali Kanojia, Assistant Director of the India Studies program, states that this program has been in the back of many minds for the past few years. Interest in this program extends beyond the University of Houston administration; members of the Houston Indian community have been eager to see the University offer a chance for students to study India from an inter-disciplinary perspective.
This regional studies program is the second such program at the University of Houston. The first being the Asian American program, also under CLASS, which focuses on East Asia, primarily China. The University of Houston is committed to the study of world cultures, the promotion of global commerce, and the enhancement of international understanding. The India Studies minor promotes teaching and scholarship focused on the history, politics, anthropology, literature, economics, languages, religions, sociology and cultures of India. The India Studies department is currently working on partnering up with other CLASS departments to develop new courses such as Indian Art History, and Classical Dance and Performing Arts.
Kanojia believes that the program will help to strengthen the bond between the Houston community and the University of Houston. Professors teaching the sociology and religion courses often take students on trips to temples, gurdwaras (place of worship for Sikhs), etc., in Houston to further expose students to Indian culture and practicies. This interactive, exposure to different traditions and practices lead to an accumulation of ethnic knowledge and cultural education, and builds compassion and tolerance amongst those involved.
“I truly think that cultural/Indian Studies make a person well aware of the diversity in their own town - Houston, and anyone studying culture from different angles truly has the potential to be called a global citizen.”
-Anjali Kanojia, Assistant Director, India Studies, University of Houston
Photo credit: University of Houston India Studies Program
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