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UW South Asia Center welcomes K-8 teachers for Fulbright-Hays Group Seminar

July 2, 2019

The South Asia Center designed and hosted the pre-departure orientation program for the US Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Group Seminars Abroad Program in India this year. On July 2nd and 3rd 2019, it welcomed 16 K-8 teachers from across the US at UW’s Seattle campus before they departed on a 4-week trip to India. The theme of the seminar was “Exploring Cultural and Social Diversities in India.” The objective of the seminar was to expose K-8 educators and administrators to India and provide them with an understanding of India’s history, society, religion, and culture and how these aspects have influenced social, political and economic policies and reforms since independence. It also aimed at aiding US educators in identifying reference materials and resources on India for use in their own classrooms.

Drawing on the amazing strength and talent of its faculty and students, the UW South Asia Center organized talks and activities specifically geared to enrich every aspect of the teachers’ visit to the country.

 An excellent keynote speech by Prof. Priti Ramamurthy from the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies set the perfect tone for the two-day session that included talks on Indian history and politics by Prof. Anand Yang and Dr. Deep Pal, Indian education system by Debi Talukdar, gender and sexuality dynamics in India by Dr. Amy Piedalue, Indian art by Noor Asif, and Indian diasporas in the US by Janna Haider. Dr. Jameel Ahmad’s workshop on languages in India provided the teachers the opportunity to engage with India’s amazing linguistic diversity, while learning useful local phrases. Finally, Scott Halliday’s comprehensive session on sensitive, anti-racist traveling helped frame the entire trip logistically, along with the professional and intellectual framing the teachers received from UW scholars. The orientation received rave reviews and was yet another testament to the Center’s many and varied engagements with communities in and beyond academia.

Dr. Samuel Ostroff, erstwhile Managing Director of the SA center, and Akanksha Misra, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies helped co-organize this orientation that also included hosting teacher participants for two days on UW Seattle’s beautiful campus.