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AUGUSTANA FACULTY LED PROGRAM: Dharma: Life, Religion, and Literature in Contemporary India
Agra, India; Aurangabad, India; Delhi, India; Jaipur, India; Mumbai, India; Rishikesh, India; Varanasi, India (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: January Interim
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
Language of Instruction:
Course Leader:
Looney, Sandra, Pennington, John
Program Provider:
Augustana College
Program Capacity:
Additional Prerequisites:
Academic Good Standing, Dean of Students Approval
Fulfills Gen Ed/SOPHIA:
Area 3.6
Major/Minor Credit:
Additional Fees:
$150 IPO Administrative Fee
Program Description:
DHARMA:  Life, Religion, Music and Literature in Contemporary India

Casey in India with snake  

Academic Overview (GENL 257, AREA 3.6)
This travel seminar experiences the incredible sights and sounds of northern India.  We will study Hinduism on the banks of the Ganges and Buddhism at Bodhgaya.  We will study Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita as foundation texts.

The seminar begins in Delhi, India's capital city, seeing the Moghul influence on old Delhi as well as the memorial museums of India's past leaders- Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Mahatma Gandhi.  From Delhi we fly to Kolkata, the home of famous poets and artists, including national icon Rabindranath Tagore.  We will tour the city, the capital of British India until the beginning of the 20th century, visit the Kali Temple and Mother Teresa's Orphanage and Mission and meet Professor Anand Lal, son of the late P. Lal, at the Calcutta Writers Workshop.

In Varanasi, Shiva's holy city of pilgrimage, we will visit Hindu temples and observe the religious ceremonies along the Ganges and travel to Sarnath and the Deer Park, where Buddha delivered his first sermon.

In Haridwar and Rishikesh we will continue our study of Hindu temples, experience yoga classes and evening Aarti, the ceremony of lights, on the banks of the Ganges.  We will be introduced to Indian music, hear performing artists, and learn vocal music and history with Professor Bhatt of the Haridwar Classical Indian Studies Program.  We will plan outdoor activities, and trekking.  We will travel to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal and other Moghul sights. 

In Jaipur, we attend the Jaipur Literature Festival - the largest literary festival in the world.  Sightseeing in this beautiful Moghul city will be part of our stay.  Our trip concludes as guests of Sushil and Neelam Bansal for a farewell dinner, relaxation, and henna paintings at their home in Delhi before our flight home.

Comprehensive Fee
Costs: $4,800-$5,100 plus $150 IPO Administrative Fee
Comprehensive Fee includes: round trip airfare from Sioux Falls, transportation, course arrangements, site visits and hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms.  Most meals are included. 

Approved Credit: Area 3.6
Prerequisites: This course does not have any academic prerequisites.

Required Readings
The Bhagavad Gita.  Trans. Eknath Easwaran.  New York:  Vintage Spiritual Classics, 1985.
Eck, Diana L.  Darsan:  Seeing the Divine Image in India.  Third Edition.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1998.
Narayan, R.K.  Malgudi Days.  New York:  Penguin Books, 1984.
The Ramayana:  A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic.  New York:  Penguin Classics, 1978.
Swami Bhaskarananda.  The Essentials of Hinduism.  Seattle:  Viveka Press, 2002.
Trainor, Kevin, ed.  Buddhism:  The Illustrated Guide.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2001.
Texts to be announced:  Works by Indian novelists appearing at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Reading handouts include poems from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore, the parable of The Wish-Fulfilling Tree by P. Lal, and the essay "What has India Contributed to Human Welfare?" by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy.

20%  Group Discussions/Conversations
15%  Attitude, Punctuality, Interest and Discovery
35%  Short Answer Quizzes
30%  Final Evaluative Essay

Program Directors
Sandra Looney, Ph.D., Augustana College:
John Pennington, Ph.D., Augustana College:

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
January Interim 2018 10/01/2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.