Faculty participation reaches new levels

By Dr. Chad Stebbins
Director, Institute of International Studies

Faculty participation in the Fall 2002 India Semester reached new levels, with 30 instructors responding to a survey from the Institute of International Studies. Activities ranged from serving an Indian lunch to students and faculty to burning sandalwood and frankincense one class period.

Among the faculty responding:

  • Dr. David Ackiss’ two English 111 honors classes discussed Gandhi, along with Thoreau and King, in examining civil disobedience.
  • Grace Ayton (nursing) invited a registered nurse who spent a month in Bangalore, India, interacting with nurses and patients, to her International Techno-Trends class. Karen Wells presented a video and discussed culture and health issues of the people in this part of India.
  • Dr. Dorothy Bay (biology) emphasized products and crops that originated in India and burned incense during an Economic Botany class.
  • Dr. Barbara Box invited Dr. J.S. Duggal, a native of India and an associate professor of CADD/MIMS, to her Nursing Ethics class. Duggal introduced students to the geography, population, and religions of India and then presented major ethical dilemmas occurring in the country. Box asked her students to compare cultural and societal expectations regarding the role and position of women and gender issues in nursing in the United States and India, and to research a current health-care or nursing issue occurring in India.
  • Dr. Joy Dworkin (English) gave a 40-minute presentation to the English department’s “Academic Anonymous” group, a lunch-time academic lecture on issues in contemporary Indian literature. Dworkin also gave a 50-minute presentation on “Recent Indian Literature: The Empire Writes Back” to Dr. Ree Wells’ Contemporary India course. Dworkin devoted an expanded number of class sessions to literature from India in her World Literature II class, reading three Indian stories and one Indian poet. In addition, Jayan Mitra, a student from India, gave a presentation to the class about his country, and the class listened to a musical performance of an Indian poem — sung in Urdu by a famous Indian singer.
  • Dr. Carolyn Hale (communications) included a major unit on India in her Intercultural Communication class. She also devoted a class period in each of her four Oral Communication classes to India and gave students extra credit for each India Semester event attended.
  • Dr. William Huffman (accounting) offered bonus points to his Principles of Accounting students and professional development points to his upper-level students who attended the Gockel International Symposium and wrote a short summary of the presentation.
  • Anne Jaros (theatre) designed costumes for the Indian play Rakshasa’s Ring, assembled a small panel to discuss Rakshasa’s Ring and compare Indian drama with western drama for Dr. Bill Kumbier’s World Humanities class, required a special play analysis assignment from her Theatre Appreciation students who saw Rakshasa’s Ring, spent two and a half class periods discussing Rakshasa’s Ring in her Theatre Appreciation classes, and invited a guest speaker to her Theatre Appreciation classes to discuss Indian theatre, including the history, movement, and meanings of movements.
  • Terry Marion, along with Jim Krudwig and Karen Bradshaw of the Small Business Development Center, sponsored workshops on “Doing Business in India” and “How U.S. Companies Improved Their Foothold in India.” Other business faculty attended the workshops.
  • Dr. Ann Marlowe (English) showed a video on India and Mother Teresa to her English Composition classes, and had her students write a reflective paper on India from the various India Semester presentations.
  • Dr. Allen Merriam (communications) had students in his Intercultural Communication class analyze and reenact the Gandhi-Jinnah (Hindu-Muslim) debate, showed slides from India in the same class, and referred to current events — often involving South Asia — in all of his classes.
  • Dr. Gwen Murdock (psychology) gave a presentation on Kashmir to Dr. Ree Wells’ Contemporary India course, gave a presentation on India to the Psychology Club, and served Indian food for lunch to students and faculty. Faculty from the department printed and framed several of Murdock’s photos from India for permanent display in Taylor Hall 217.
  • Dr. Karl Schmidt (history) appeared as the “Proprietor” in Southern Theatre’s production of the Indian play Rakshasa’s Ring, assigned students in his Traditional South Asia class three research projects on India, and lectured about India on numerous occasions in his Contemporary World Civilizations class.
  • Dr. Cliff Toliver (English) introduced The Bhagavad-Gita to his World Literature I class, had his class attend Dr. Stephen Cohen’s lecture on Sept. 26 and submit individual essays, then had his students discuss Cohen’s ideas and their reaction to the Gita’s philosophical and ethical implications. Toliver discussed Suzanne Fischer Staples’ Shiva’s Fire, a text about Indian culture written for children, in a class session on multi-culturalism.
  • Hartford Tunnell (computer information science) discussed the impact that India is having on U.S. technology in the International Techno-Trends class.

Several other faculty reported attending India Semester events, bringing their classes to India Semester events, and asking their students to write reaction papers.