November 5, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio — More and more students are finding themselves with less and less time to participate in study-abroad programs, but an innovative model at The College of Wooster is providing new opportunities for off-campus study.
Increasing numbers of Wooster faculty members are devising courses that incorporate a mini-study-abroad component, the most recent of which is titled “Exploring India at Home and Abroad Through the
Arts,” scheduled for the Fall of 2011. Team taught by Shirley Huston-Findley and Kim Tritt of Wooster’s Department of Theatre and Dance, this weekly seminar will provide a global perspective of the richness of the arts and culture in India, followed by a three-week field experience in southern India during winter break.
“The seminar will help students to develop an understanding of and deeper appreciation for classical and contemporary cultural and artistic practices in India by exploring the philosophy,
geography, religions, and history of the country through readings, discussions, films, videos, and guest lectures,” said Huston-Findley, who spent part of her leave studying Southern Asia at the East/West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii and is currently teaching a first-year seminar entitled Theatre and Film/East and West. “We’re hoping that students from all disciplines will participate.
“Our trip will focus on the regions of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where students will be immersed in the observation, study, and performance of various traditions in dance, theatre, music, architecture, and folk arts,” added Huston-Findley. “We will also visit historic religious sites,
artist villages, museums, and universities. In addition, we plan to attend traditional January arts festivals in Chennai, engage in folk arts in the village of Dakshinachitra, and interact with Indian artists and scholars in Kerala Kalamandalam University of Arts and Culture.”
Another important component of the trip will be a student-designed service project with the Wooster Nagar community (a small Indian town that received support in the form of aid and volunteers from Wooster following the devastating tsunami in 2004).
The primary objective of the experience is to provide a foundation for understanding the arts through the prism of different disciplines, according to Huston-Findley, who will return to India with Tritt next month to finalize the schedule for next year. “By observing and participating in the culture, students will have a better understanding of the arts in India, both performing and visual. Our hope is that they will be able to apply what they learn in the classroom to their experience in India.”
Students are invited to learn more about the opportunity at Wooster’s Off-Campus Study Fair on Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Lowry Center. Participants will be chosen on the basis of the quality of their applications (including the personal statement), information from references, and how the proposed trip fits into their four-year plan of study at Wooster as well as their future plans.
Additional information is available by phone (330-263-2543) or e-mail.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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