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AUGUSTANA FACULTY LED PROGRAM: Dharma: Life, Religion, and Music in Contemporary India
Agra, India; Aurangabad, India; Delhi, India; Jaipur, India; Mumbai, India; Rishikesh, India; Varanasi, India (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: January Interim
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA:
Program Type:
Language of Instruction:
Course Leader:
Looney, Sandra, Pennington, John
Program Provider:
Augustana University
Areas of Study:
Culture, English, International Studies, Music, Philosophy, Religion
Program Capacity:
Additional Prerequisites:
Academic Good Standing, Dean of Students Approval, Faculty Leader Approval
Fulfills Gen Ed/SOPHIA:
Area 3.6, SOPHIA Credit
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, P: Non-western Perspectives
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: $4,900 - $5,200 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, P: Non-western
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 ProfileDr. Sandra Looney

Sandra Looney teaches courses in nonwestern literature, including the literatures of India, Japan and Russia, world literature, Shakespeare, and advanced composition, in addition to foundational courses in composition and literature. She has also taught the capstone courses “The Gender Knot” and “Light in the Darkness: Good and Evil in the 20th Century,” as well as the Civitas literature course. She was the 2000 recipient of the Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award. Dr. Looney’s Ph.D. in English is from the University of Arkansas.

John Pennington ProfileDr. John Pennington, Chair of the Department of Music
Percussion Instructor global music/composition and arranging

John Pennington is an educator, composer, performer, author, producer and conductor and professor/chair of music at Augustana. He is also the artistic director of the Animas Music Festival (Durango, Colo.) He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, University of Arizona, and Arizona State. Pennington is an orchestral percussionist, who currently performs with the South Dakota Symphony and the Music in the Mountains Music Festival Orchestra. Pennington is currently a cultural envoy for the State Department in the Middle East (most recently Lebanon), where he presents concerts, clinics and masterclasses.

With over thirty recordings to date he has recorded for the Ensemble 21, Summit, Cristo, OCP, and Equilibrium labels. Recent recording releases include: Brasileirinho, South American Music for Guitar and Percussion (co-produced composed and arranged, 2010), Steps (co-produced composed and arranged, 2008), Music for Trumpet and Percussion with Stephen Dunn, Lou Harrison, American Gamelan (produced, conducted and performed, 2007), Compassionate and Wise (co-produced, composed and performed, 2006, Equilibrium Press). With performances on four continents and over 25 states he has performed on Prairie Home Companion and been a featured performer at three Percussive Arts Society International Conventions.

Active as a composer and arranger he has over 25 compositions for soloist, duo, chamber and films and dozens of arrangements for numerous instrumental and vocal combinations. Extensive studies in world music have included experience in African, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Cuban and the South Indian Karnatak tradition. Recently, Pennington studied the Northern Hindustani tradition of music in Haridwar and Delhi, India and the Javanese and Balinese traditions of Indonesia.

Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.