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UB to Host India-China Institute for Teachers Next Summer

For three weeks, they will explore the long, complex histories of these ancient cultures

Release Date: November 5, 2012

UB to Host India-China Institute for Teachers Next Summer

For three weeks, they will explore the long, complex histories of these ancient cultures

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In July, 2013, the University at Buffalo Asian Studies Program will present a three-week India-China summer institute that will be open to 30 K-12 teachers throughout the region and the country.

The institute "China and India: Comparisons and Connections," will explore the long histories, rich cultures and contemporary societies of China and India. It will be funded by a $170,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional support from the UB Confucius Institute.

Teachers and prospective teachers of any grade level or subject area in U.S. schools who teach about China and India in their classes are invited to apply. Participants will receive a $2,700 stipend to cover travel, accommodations and meals, and a set of textbooks and primary source materials will be sent to them prior to attending the institute.

For more information, contact Bruce Acker, assistant director of Asian Studies at UB (backer@buffalo.edu, 716-645-0763), or visit http://www.asianstudies.buffalo.edu.

The institute will be co- directed by Roger Des Forges, PhD, professor of history at UB, and Ramya Sreenivasan, PhD, associate professor, South Asia Center, University of Pennsylvania.

Des Forges is an award-winning scholar and author of Chinese, Asian and world history. His research focus is on Chinese cultural, political and social history; Chinese myth, history and historiography; and Chinese history and civilization in comparative and global perspectives.

Sreenivasan's research and publications focus on early modern South Asia, colonialism and modernity, gender history and religion and caste in early modern Rajasthan.

Des Forges says, "There is much attention paid today to the rising power of China and India in the economic and political realms. This focus, however, tends to obscure the fact that these modern nation states developed out of civilizations stretching back thousands of years, and have long histories of cultural, economic and military interaction with other peoples of Asia, and considerable influence over the course of world history.

"This program will facilitate teachers' thinking for themselves about China and India," he says, "and will help them inspire their students to begin a lifetime of the same."

The institute will be co-directed by Kristin Stapleton, associate professor of Chinese history and director of the UB Asian Studies Program, and will include experts on China and India from UB, other SUNY campuses and academic institutions throughout the northeast.

They will present daily lectures and guide participant discussion and analysis of primary sources and curriculum development. In addition to morning and afternoon classes, teachers will be invited to participate in cricket and martial arts lessons and attend music and dance performances and screenings of popular Indian and Chinese films.

In keeping with the Common Core (educational) Standards developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, significant attention will be given throughout the institute to the careful reading and analysis of texts related to Indian and Chinese history and culture. Teachers will be encouraged to consider -- through discussion, journaling and lesson plans -- the specific skills in reading, writing, analysis and cross-cultural communication that their students will develop as they learn about China and India.

Bruce Acker, assistant director of Asian Studies at UB and administrative coordinator of the summer institute, says, "Throughout the country, curriculum standards encourage greater study of Asia but most teachers have limited opportunities to take Asian history or other Asia-related courses. This institute will give teachers in many subject areas the background and understanding to teach knowledgably about these two prominent Asian countries."

Participants coming from outside Western New York will live in the state-of-the-art Greiner Hall on UB's North Campus and have access to university libraries, recreational facilities and other campus amenities. In their free time, participants can enjoy the wealth of summer concerts, festivals, films and sporting events at UB and throughout Western New York.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
Senior Editor, Arts, Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu