India: Exploring diversity and social conception
This course is a voyage to India to explore its diversity through its immensely disparate convictions, divergent customs and feast of viewpoints. It intends to bring out the complexity of the Indian culture through its unprecedented changes since independence from Great Britain in 1947.
To ignore this millennial culture – which today accounts for 1/6 of the world population – would negate the possibility to examine the breadth and richness of Indian civilization. More importantly, however, it would be negligent if we are to cultivate critical, culturally sensitive, and “global” (and glocal) citizens with an understanding of the world and with the capacity to act in it. This holds true particularly, but not exclusively, for learners of International relations.
It complements the existing seminar India – Relaciones con América Latina (taught in Spanish and focusing on the geo-political) by providing a space for reflection to explore diversity and social conceptions in India and the Indian subcontinent. In this line, the central themes that will be discussed are the 1947 Partition; Colonialism: effects on Indian psyche; Caste system; Role of women; Religious diversity: Hinduism – theory and practice; Languages and linguistic diversity; Pan-Indianness: Bollywood as a unifying national element.
From a pedagogical stance, the course seeks to provide opportunities to develop the English language (a basic requisite for international relations´ students who may engage in interactions of diverse nature with Indians and the Indian subcontinent); it also seeks to cultivate cultural sensitivity and soft skills based on effective communication and intercultural dialogue, developing intercultural competence. In the process, participants will be able to refine their intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and analytical skills and dispositions with a capacity to not only read the word but also read the world.