WFU/India: Culture & Communication
For a video from the class of Summer 2012, go here http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151247063756757
India is a country of many contrasts, where centuries-old traditions and modern technology are at the heart of a very dynamic and hospitable culture that has dealt with globalization by sustaining the old while adopting the new. The Wake Forest University Culture & Communication program is based in Calcutta and Delhi with visits to Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty, Jaipur and Agra. Students will also participate in a 9-day service opportunity in the mountain desert of Ladakh. For more information about the program location, please download and view the following: India Slideshow
Course - Summer session II, Early July to mid August, 2015
COM 370 (3hrs). Culture and Communication in India: Sustainability vs. Globalization
The program will focus on the ways in which Indian cultural practices have developed into a hybridized format with elements that sustain some of the traditional components of Indian culture that have been synthesized with global cultural trends. Sustainability in cultural practices is an important emerging issue in understanding global trends. Most courses that deal with sustainability focus only on scientific and technological issues emphasizing the ways in which new practices are being adopted to ensure that ecosystems are protected and sustained. This course examines the issues of sustainability of the cultural ecology of a specific ancient cultural system. As such, it would examine the ways in which fundamental aspects of culture, for instance language, is being sustained in India where new language forms are emerging as the local languages are being transformed by the influence of English. The course would examine different cultural indicators made up of everyday material practices including media practices and technological adaptations that demonstrate how the people of India are creating a unique set of practices that sustain the traditional/local while adopting the modern/global trends.
Secondly, the course will examine the ways in which the hybridized sustainable practices are influencing the modes of intercultural communication as people of Indian origin take on central roles in the global arena. This component of the course would focus on specific practices such as the emergence of a global movie industry (Bollywood) that sustains the traditional Indian cultural elements like those of classical Indian music while combining that with emergent global musical forms; the intercultural component would also focus on issues surrounding interpersonal contact between people from India, like call center workers, and a global clientele.
Optional Service Opportunity
The mountain desert of Ladakh lies close to Tibet and is the home of Tibetan Buddhism. This area has a significant number of Tibetan refugees who have settled in the area of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Over the past couple of years Wake Forest students have visited this region, and in the summer of 2011 three students from Wake Forest (Kendall Hack, Carrie Stokes and Rachel Handel) spent several weeks in Leh working with the children of the Tibetan refugees. Their work has culminated in a service opportunity where the students taking the summer class would have the option of spending seven days in Leh working intensely with the children in one or more schools. During this week the students will also have the opportunity to work with Buddhist scholars in Leh to learn more about the religion and the culture associated with Buddhism. There will also be opportunities for excursions around Leh to visit monasteries that have been in continuous operation for nearly 1,000 years. There will be an additional fee associated with this service opportunity.
Excursions and Cultural Activities
There will be three major excursions that will happen during the period the students are in India. The first would be an excursion to Chennai/Bangalore/Mysore/Ooty in the southern part of India. Here students will learn about the ways in which the traditional cultural components of southern India which represents a different cultural and linguistic tradition. The students will also have the opportunity to visit places that have seen multiple religious influences –Hindu, Muslim and Christian – on the language and culture of the southern part of India. The second excursion will be to the "Golden Triangle" of India that is made up of Agra the site of the Taj Mahal and a traditional bastion of Mughal India which has had a significant impact on traditional and contemporary Indian culture. The second apex of the triangle is in Jaipur the site of some of the ancient Rajasthani culture, and in Jaipur students will learn about the ways in which the traditional cultural elements have been sustained even as Jaipur has become one of the key metropolitan areas of India. The third apex of the triangle is in Delhi which is the location of the program. There will also be a short trip from Delhi to a town in the foothills of the Himalayas. Those students who take the option of doing the service trip to Ladakh will experience the Himalayas in its full glory living in areas of elevations of nearly 13,000 feet and travelling on the highest motorable road in the World which goes up to 18,000 feet.
Students will live in houses where they will have private bedrooms that are outfitted with wall air conditioners and have attached bathrooms. The houses also have living and dining spaces and each house will have a housekeeper responsible for all household chores during the stay.
The total cost of summer study abroad can be broken down into four categories:
*Program Fee - Usually covers room, in-country travel, excursions, some meals and other costs associated with the program.
*Tuition – Students on WFU summer programs pay WFU summer school tuition per credit hour. The 2014 summer rate was $900/per credit hour. Expect a slight increase for Summer 2015.
*Airfare – Varies per location. Students are responsible for their own airfare unless otherwise noted.
*Personal Expenses – These will vary depending on the students' spending habits, cost of living in the destination country, and the number of meals included in the program fee. This cost is always an estimate.
Program Fee (estimated) - $4,500
Tuition - (3hrs, estiamted) $2,700
Airfare - $1,800 (if purchased early)
Estimated Personal Expenses - $500
Estimated total cost - $9,500
*Good academic standing
*Majors from all disciplines are welcome to apply
*There are no course prerequisites for enrollment
Please contact the Center for International Studies for information about their summer scholarship.
Dr. Ananda Mitra, Faculty Director and Communication Professor
Phone: (336) 758-5134