HOLY CROSS SUMMER (MAYMESTER) PROGRAM
IN BANGALORE, INDIA ~ 2018
“Social Justice in Context”
INFORMATION SESSIONS: Monday, 9/25 at 12:30 pm in Beaven 118
Tuesday, 10/17 at 5:30 pm in Stein 215
FACULTY: Holy Cross Professors Constance Royden (Computer Science) and Mary Conley (History), with assistance from the faculty at the Indian Social Institute.
DATES: Depart the U.S. on Saturday, May 19, 2018 with arrival in India on Sunday, May 20th – departure from India on Saturday, June 17, 2018
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Bangalore is India’s third largest city with a population of approximately 8,500,000 people. It lies in the South Indian state of Karnataka. In Kannada, the native language of Karnataka, Bangalore is called “Bengaluru,” which a popular legend says is a contraction from the Kannada phrase for “the town of boiled beans,” given to the place by a king who was generously offered boiled beans by one of the area’s residents when he became lost. Bangalore is an ideal city for encountering India’s cultural and religious diversity and for understanding the opportunities and challenges presented by urbanization in the developing world. Bangalore’s history dates from the 9th century, so it is an old city that has grown rapidly in recent decades, especially with the expansion of India’s technology sector. As Karnataka’s capital city, Bangalore draws people from nearly all of India’s ethnic and linguistic groups, including a large population of Tamils from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. The city is home to beautiful Hindu temples, Muslim mosques, Sikh gurdwaras, and Catholic churches and shrines. Bangalore is also known as India’s “Silicon Valley,” and is home to the headquarters of Infosys and Wipro, Microsoft Research, Google, Oracle, and Hewlett-Packard. Many other software and technology companies also have a significant presence in Bangalore. While Bangalore is known as India’s most developed and cosmopolitan city, it also faces a number of pressing challenges that disproportionately affect the city’s most vulnerable populations. For India as a whole, nearly 70% of the population lives on less than two dollars per day, and a third of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day (World Bank, World Development Indicators), and a recent survey puts the number of slums in Bangalore alone at over 800. Rapid population growth has not only strained the city’s infrastructure, but threatens to outstrip local water resources within a few decades. The presence of a highly developed technology sector in this context also raises difficult ethical questions about the scope and direction of urban planning and resource allocation, including access to basic necessities for women and girls as well as the impact of foreign resources and ideas on local communities. All of these issues revolve around the central concerns of social justice: Who benefits from economic development, growth, and technology? Who bears the burdens? And who gets to make those decisions?
ACADEMIC RATIONALE AND STRUCTURE: The summer program in Bangalore is intended to engage Holy Cross students in understanding the dynamism and paradoxes of modern Bangalore through intellectual inquiry, guided tours, internships, and personal reflection. Through study of the ever-changing interplay between technology, culture, economics, politics, and history, students will learn about the unbalanced, often inequitable, and sometimes disastrous social consequences of these exchanges. Students will engage directly with these complex issues through field projects and internships, and students will observe social justice in context by visiting and working in Bangalore's diverse communities.
Five components, spread over four weeks in India will provide students a distinctive opportunity for academic and personal reflection on issues relating to social justice. Each student will also select a single perspective from which to approach her/his studies, according to the specialties of the faculty accompanying the program and the students' own academic discipline and interests. Students in computer science will explore topics from a sociotechnical perspective, for example, studying the interplay of technology and social justice and how technology shapes and is shaped by individuals and communities. Meanwhile, other students may explore the same issues from religious studies, economics, or health-based perspective. When brought together, these complementary academic approaches will provide a multi-disciplinary intellectual experience for the students studying on the program. Students will reside at the Indian Social Institute, maintained by the Society of Jesus.
· The first part of the program consists of three meetings over the course of the spring semester and one full day before we depart that offers students an orientation for their journey and a brief overview of contemporary Indian society and elements of Indian history.
· After landing in Bangalore and settling into the campus of the Indian Social Institute, the second part of the program offers an in-depth look at Indian culture and society with a special emphasis upon social justice issues relating to development and urbanization in Bangalore. Morning seminars are paired with afternoon field trips around the city to visit related cultural sites and meet with some of Bangalore's varied communities. Students will maintain daily journals in which they begin to reflect upon their experiences. During this time, students will also begin to explore the different kinds of internships they could pursue later in the program.
· For the third part of the program, the program will travel to visit a rural Dalit [untouchable] community in Manvi in northern Karnataka. There, students will consider the extent to which social realities differ between city and country. This experience is designed to encourage students to “see” or “re-view” Indian society. Rather than simply go as tourists, students will bear witness to social justice in context—just as they will do at their internship sites in Bangalore.
· In the fourth part of the program, students in groups of two or three participate in a two-week internship. Evening shared group seminars each day provide students and faculty an opportunity to share and discuss their experiences, and allow students who share similar perspectives to study specific issues in greater depth. Students will continue to maintain their daily journals, reflecting on their internship experiences.
· The final part of the program will take place after return from India. Over the summer, students will write their final papers, based upon their internship experiences and outside research.
POTENTIAL INTERNSHIP SITES:
Primary internship sites:
· Sumanahali: Leprosy rehabilitation and education center. http://www.sumanahalli.net/
· Vimochana: An internationally-recognized organization advocating for women's rights and working with women and families in India and abroad. http://www.vimochana.net.in/home.html
- BIRDS (Brothers Integrated Rural Development Society): the social work organ of the Sacred Heart Brothers Society established in the year 1997 to reach out to poor and needy in remote parts of rural Karnataka. https://www.facebook.com/pg/BIRDS-858789884131388/about/
Other possible sites:
· BOSCO Yuvodaya Bangalore: An NGO for street kids and orphanage. http://www.boscoban.org/
· Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy: A non-profit organization focuses on urban renewal and citizen participation. http://www.janaagraha.org/
CREDIT: Students receive the equivalent of one Holy Cross credit that can be used to satisfy the Cross-Cultural or Religious Studies Common Area Requirements, and it can be used to fulfill CSCI 328 “Computer Science Ethics”, which counts towards the CSCI major and minor.
HOUSING: Students (and faculty) will be lodged in double rooms with an attached bathroom at the Indian Social Institute. The Indian Social Institute is an education center maintained by the Society of Jesus. It is a gated compound in a residential area of Bangalore. Meals will be provided on-site in the Institute’s canteen.
COSTS: The estimated cost for the Bangalore program is approximately $5,300-$5,800 (includes fieldtrips and local travel, room, all meals). NOT INCLUDED: round-trip airfare, passport and visa expenses, personal expenses. Limited financial aid is available for this program.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, November 17, 2017 via the online application system on the Study Abroad website: https://sa.holycross.edu
FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Prof. Royden at email@example.com, Prof. Conley at firstname.lastname@example.org, Prof. Brit Smith at email@example.com, call Study Abroad at 508.793.3082 or visit the Office of Study Abroad in Smith 216.
DATES AND PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE