University of South Florida
Winter (Fall Reg.)
|Eligibility:||Please see below for requirements.|
|Dates / Deadlines:|
|Language of Instruction:||English||Language Requirements:||None|
|Program Type:||USF Sponsored||Level of Study:||Graduate, Undergraduate|
|Open to:||No Requirement||Credit Offered:||USF Credit|
|Program Advisor:||Carleen Ben||Minimum GPA:||Academic Good Standing|
|Sponsoring College:||Arts and Sciences||Program Primary Subject:||Humanities, History, and Media Studies, Social Sciences|
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Dr. Carlos Lopez, (Religious Studies) will be leading an 14-day education abroad to India! The program will visit multiple locations from Delhi, Agra, where the world famous Taj Mahal is located, the area of Mathura/Vridavan, the land of Lord Krishna, and Jaipur, the ‘pink city’ and gateway to the Indian state of Rajasthan from May 7 – May 21, 2013. Participants will visit locations in urban and rural India and conduct research and field site visits around issues relating to religion, culture, and environment.
While India is one of the centers of the global information technology industry, a majority of its population lives in rural settings and continues to depend directly on agriculture for its livelihood. India serves as a case study for examining the coexistence of metropolitan, urban and rural landscapes and traditional cultural, religious and socio-economic systems, and the ongoing process and progress of the globalization of the world economy.
The course will focus in three distinct geographical areas– Delhi, Agra, and Mathura – which together provide the opportunity to contrasts urban and rural cultural, economic, environmental, and religious contexts.
The urban, metropolitan focus of the course will be Delhi, the historical capital of India, an area that has witnessed rapid suburbanization and environmental problems associated with urban growth. Students will explore the complex cultural, political, and religious development of this great India city through exploration of various sectors of the city and many of its cultural monuments, which reflect the historical formation of the city the from early Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526) period to the modern, post-Independence period. In Delhi, we will explore the cultural, linguistic, political and religious diversity of India as we visit important places of worship associated with the Hindu, Jain, Muslim, and Sikh traditions. Through the exploration of Indo-Muslim and colonial monuments, students will explore the political history of the city of Delhi and their connection to larger historical developments of India.
One of the important environmental features of Delhi is the Yamuna River, one of the great rivers of northern India, which will provide a context to explore the political, religious, and environmental significance of rivers in India. In addition to being economic resources, rivers are also understood understood as physical manifestations of the great Goddess (devi). As we follow the Yamuna River from Delhi and its environs to the land of Braj and finally to Agra, we will explore the changing contexts, meanings, and valuation of this great river in South Asia.
From Delhi, we will follow the Yamuna River to Agra, an ancient city already mentioned in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata (c. 500 BCE – 500 CE). Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodi (d. 1517) in 1504 and served as the capital of Mughal rulers of India from 1526-1658. Agra is the site of the world famous Taj Mahal, considered to be the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles. Through the great monuments of Agra and Delhi, we will explore the political, economic, and cultural histories of India. Agra, one of the most populous cities inf Uttar Pradesh, will also serve as to explore the various ways of understanding the urban-rural divide in India.
After exploring the Indo-Muslim cultural context of Agra, we will continue along the course of the Yamuna, westward to the region of Mathura-Vrindavan, the sacred land of Lord Krishna. Mathura, a little town on the banks of Yamuna, was transformed into one of the most important places of pilgrimage (yatra) in India through its intimate connection to Lord Krishna. The village of Vrindavan, where Krishna spent an eventful youth, and numerous other spots in the area are the focus of one of the most popular religious pilgrimages of the Hindu tradition, the Ban Yatra. Through an investigation of the region of Mathura-Vrindavan, its various temples, and some of the key elements of the Ban Yatra, we will explore the Hindu tradition through the major themes of ritualism, devotionalism, and pluralism.
Re-Imagining India: Delhi, Agra, Mathura, and Jaipur (may be subject to change)
Saturday May 5 Depart for Delhi
Tuesday May 7 New Delhi – Urban New Delhi: colonial and post-colonial
Wednesday May 8 New Delhi – Red Fort, Jami Masjid, Jain Temple, Qtub Minar
Thursday May New Delhi – Hindu Temples
Friday May 10 New Delhi – Water Keepers Alliance
Saturday May 11 Agra – Red Fort (pm)
Sunday May 12 Agra – Fatehpur sikri
Monday May 13 Mathura – Krishna Janbhumi Area
Tuesday May 14 Mathura – Vrindavan and boat ride during Yamuna puja
Wednesday May 15 Agra – Taj Mahal (leave for Jaipur afternoon)
Thursday May 16 Jaipur
Friday May 17 Jaipur
Saturday May 18 Jaipur (afternoon train to Delhi if possible)
Sunday May 19 New Delhi - Akshardham
Monday May 20 New Delhi
Tuesday May 21 Depart for tampa (early AM flights probably)
This is a USF faculty-led program with accommodations in hotels arranged by a travel service provider.
All students participating in the program will be registered for REL 3936/4936 (Undergrad) or REL6938 (Graduate) for the summer semester by the Education Abroad Office if there is sufficient enrollment for the program. The course will meet twice (pre-departure & post-departure). Pre-departure meetings will focus on the following topics: Course Requirements, Discussion of Travel in India, Overview I: History, Economy, and Modern Contexts, and Overview II: Urban and Rural Environments, Gender, and Religion. Students will also make presentation of research topics assigned before leaving for India.
This study program will provide us the opportunity to study India in situ rather than as armchair scholars. We will thus have the opportunity to question our usual handbooks and to ask questions – new and old – of the material we are studying. Since this course will be conducted outside the usual classroom setting, we have to also be prepared to adjust to the new contexts to which we will be introduced. It is important that the experience of a culture different from your own be accepted as part of the learning associated with this course. There will be opportunities for informal and formal group discussions and lectures by the two faculty members.
The assigned readings are meant to provide some of the historical, cultural, religious, economic and political contexts in which to situate the various sites that we will visit during our study tour. Required readings should be prepared ahead of our pre-departure meeting and our study tour. Readings should be prepared before the actual site visit While in India, students will prepare short presentations of the readings in the context of site visits.
There will be two MANDATORY class meetings (pre-departure & post-departure) which will focus on providing the historical, political, religious, social, and environment context for study abroad program. (This does not include the MANDATORY Pre-departure Orientation Session hosted by the Education Abroad Office. Please check Education Abroad website's Event Calendar.)
Students will have the opportunity to engage in focused research of one of the topics addressed by the course. Each student focus on a topic to be consulted and agreed upon with Dr. Lopez. The paper must be at least 10 pp. (for undergraduates) and 15 pp. (for graduate students) in length and should reflect scholarly engagement and research with a particular topic that has been the focus of the study abroad program.
Directed Journal Assignment:
After returning from India, each participant will prepare a directed journal. Students will be given a set of topic questions to guide their journal entries that will focus on particular aspects of the study program. Each journal entry must be at least a full two pages. The directed journal assignment is meant to lead you to reflect on your encounter with India rather than merely consist of your perceptions, opinions, and musings about "imagined India." In order to prepare for the post-program journal assignment, participants are strongly encouraged to keep a private travel log of their daily experiences, descriptions of site visits, and questions that result from daily experience in India. Directed journal entry topics will be discussed at various points during the trip.
Dr. Carlos Lopez (Department of Religious Studies)
Dr. Lopez's area of research is the religions of South Asia, with special emphasis on the oldest historical period, 1200 BCE-200 BCE. His research is primarily philological and focuses on the ancient religious texts of South Asia, the Vedas. The study of the culture and religion of this ancient period entails the study of Sanskrit language as well as the culture, society, and religious traditions of South Asia, both ancient and modern. In addition to philological work, he is also interested in South Asian religions in their living contexts, particularly in Hinduism.
The total Study Abroad Program Cost is $2,690 for undergraduate students (This program cost does not include International Airfare and Visa.) Cost is TBD for graduate students.Return to top
Study abroad program participants will stay in pre-arranged hotels in Delhi, Agra,Mathura, and Jaipur. The hotels arranged by our travel specialist provide very good security for program participants, including guards, porters, and nighttime security.
There are no minimum academic requirements for students to qualify to participate in the program. Students from other colleges and universities are eligible for the program.
Please click here for further details regarding payment.
You will be responsible for reserving and purchasing your international transportation to and from New Delhi, India. Please do not purchase your ticket until the USF Education Abroad Office has released the official group flight schedule, as these will be the flights that the USF Program Director will travel on. It is highly advisable that program participants travel on these flights, as group ground transportation on arrival and departure will be coordinated with this flight schedule. Participants who must travel on other than the group-designated flights must arrange to arrive at the New Delhi airport at approximately the same time or earlier than the group flight.
USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. Those who will travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S.
Please click here for more detailed information.
Many funding opportunities are available to USF students who are planning to study abroad. Please see our funding page for further details.
Participant's safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Please click here for detailed safety and health information given in our Pre-Departure Guidebefore you travel. Also, don't forget to read up on country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web sites.
Students should review carefully the Education Abroad Participant Contract, included in the Education Abroad application process. It describes students' responsibilities with regard to participation, and includes information on insurance, and cancellation and refund policies. Students will be asked to electronicallysign this document. To view this document before applying, please click here.
Questions pertaining to the academic program/itinerary in-country, courses or credits:
Dr. Carlos Lopez
Department of Religious Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
Phone: (813) 974-7461
Questions regarding study abroad program enrollment, registration and payment of fees:
Education Abroad Office, USF World