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Culture, Development and Globalization in India

Bangalore, India: January 3-19, 2012

Contemporary representations of India either paint the subcontinent as a vast treasure trove of exotic culture and tradition and/or as an emergent economic powerhouse, rapidly modernizing to overtake the West. Sitting uneasily between these two images is the idea of India as a third world country, struggling with disparities of well being by trying to "develop" itself. During this two-week course based in Bangalore, India, students are offered an interdisciplinary learning experience that explores the dynamics of culture and development within globalizing India.

Professor Lukose's class visits the Hoysaleshawara at Halebid

Bangalore, considered the “Silicon Valley” of India, is at the epicenter of India’s information technology boom—its changing urban landscape a microcosm of third world urban development and globalization. In the classroom, students will be introduced to the philosophical underpinnings and practice of “development” as an important framework through which ideas of culture, economy, politics, tradition and modernity are organized and managed by the Indian state and international organizations. Background historical works will explore how the idea and practice of development are linked to colonialism and anticolonialism, capitalism, nationalism and globalization. Readings will also explore the cultural politics of tradition, tourism, heritage and monuments and the environment in order to understand how tourism is linked to development.

Taught by a Gallatin faculty member and a faculty member of the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, students will have the opportunity to share classroom time, assignments and non-classroom learning experiences with peer undergraduate students of Srishti, who will take the same class.

Excursions will include visits to heritage sites and community based NGOs focused on environmental sustainability within Bangalore.  Students will also travel to the state of Karnataka and neighboring Kerala, enabling students to understand how local NGOs and other community based organizations seek to leverage local communities, culture and history as a platform for development.

In Bangalore, students will be accommodated at Droog House in a spacious, furnished double occupancy room that includes a TV, telephone with domestic and international calling facilities, and WiFi. This is a safe and secure facility with clean and comfortable accommodations. Daily transportation to classroom facilities and on-site visits will be arranged. Outside Bangalore, students will be accommodated in suitable hotels.  Students are required to live in program housing provided by NYU Gallatin.

Students, faculty and program assistant will fly to Bangalore on a group flight departing from NYC on Jan. 3.

Faculty: Ritty Lukose, Associate Professor, NYU Gallatin

Expenses: Tuition for 4 points: $4,636

Deposit (applied to program costs, non-refundable): $400 

Program Fee (includes airfare, some meals, entrance fees, and housing): $1,000

Incidental Costs: Vaccinations, visa fee

Application Requirements:

APPLICATION HAS CLOSED; we are no longer accepting applications 

  • Completed and signed application form
  • 250-500 word personal statement addressing your academic and personal reasons for wanting to study abroad as well as any experience you may have had traveling or living in another country
  • Transcript
  • An interview with program director or administrator
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member or primary academic adviser

All application materials should be submitted to Gallatin Office of Global Programs

Admission decisions are based on strength of academic performance, interview, personal statement, and space remaining in the program. Preference will be given to students who have taken either one of two Gallatin Courses: Nationalisms in South Asia or Imagining India.  Program is filled on a rolling basis and may fill without notice. After you have been notified of acceptance, an initial deposit of $400 is due in order to secure your place in the program.

For more information regarding the application process, contact the Gallatin Office of Global Programs.

Course Notes: This course is open to undergraduate students of all NYU schools and fulfills 4 credits. Gallatin students please note this course fulfills 4 Interdisciplinary Seminar credits.

Gallatin Dean's Scholarship for Travel Courses:

Gallatin students may apply for a Dean's Scholarship for Winter and Summer Travel Courses. To apply, please complete and submit this application [APPLICATION HAS CLOSED]. Deadline for Winter 2012 is Oct. 14; the deadline for Summer 2012 is March 15.


Photos from Past Gallatin India Travel Courses