While Colgate’s Core Curriculum asks students to confront questions of identity, culture, and knowledge across intellectual boundaries, it also challenges faculty members who teach in the Core to stretch beyond their academic specialties.
For the class of 2014 and beyond, the theme of Colgate's Core Curriculum will be “Crossing Boundaries” a guiding principal that explicitly highlights the importance of global perspectives.
Given the growing importance of the Global South — India in particular as the world’s largest democracy and a nation with a rich and a unique model of modernization — it is a propitious moment to for an intensive faculty development trip to the region.
Not only is India poised to become an economic leader in the 21st century, its propensity for cultural and religious syncretism provides an instructive example of moving beyond rigid boundaries. Its embrace of technology and its active confrontation of environmental issues underscore how science and society can intersect.
Highlights of the trip, from Dec. 31 to Jan. 13, 2012, will include:
In the south:
Chennai: important sites include the Government Museum (home to an impressive collection of Chola bronzes) and the Victoria Railway Station (a notable mixture of British and Indian architectural styles).
Auroville: close to Chennai, this planned community is particular interest to Core Scientific Perspectives for its experiments in environmental science (e.g. reforestation, solar energy production, green building design).
Puducherry (Pondicherry), a town with a long history of cultural and economic exchange with Europe, and Bangalore, a city with industries that exemplify India’s key position in the international economy (for instance, in aerospace, biotechnology, and information technology).
Mamallapuram: this port city is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a wealth of ancient architecture.
Jaipur: this city features the Pink City, a highlight of Rajasthani architecture; it is the home of an astronomical observatory, the Jantar Mantar, that was built in the 18th century by Maharajah Jai Singh II; important forts and temples lie immediately outside the city.
Agra: the Mughal capital of India is most famous for the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort; Keoladeo National Park, formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, offers a local of great environmental interest, with multiple habitats created and managed for the preservation of birds and the protection of Bharatpur.
Delhi: the national capital provides a sense of India both past and present; it is the site of India’s largest mosque, the Jama Masjid, and the National Museum.