Sunday, 19 January 2014

Talk by Dr Antoon Vandevelde

Professor Antoon Vandevelde is visiting Christ University, Bangalore. He studied economics and philosophy at the University of Leuven and has been teaching at Leuven University. His research is mainly situated in the field of economic and biomedical ethics and political philosophy. He has taught across three continents with rich experiences in Europe, Africa and Asia.

He  is an extremely erudite scholar who has published books on Is Inheritance Legitimate?, (with G. Erreygers, Springer, 1997), on Gifts and Interests (Peeters, 2000), on Autonomy and Paternalism (with Th. Nys and Y. Denier, Peeters, 2007) and on Justice, Luck and Responsibility in Health Care (with Y. Denier and C. Gastmans, Springer, 2013). Prof Vandevelde has also published articles on the theory of justice, including global and intergenerational justice, the ethics of migration policy, trust, altruism and happiness.

In an extremely engaging lecture for the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work on January 20, 2014, Prof Vandevelde spoke on Global Justice and Duties of Humanitarianism.  He spoke about the Rawlsian Theory of Justice as he examined the concepts of humanitarianism and justice through the work of numerous scholars and philosophers like Nussbaum, Sen and Phillippe Van Parijs.
Prof Antoon Vandevelde at Christ University, Bangalore, January 20, 2014

India Gateway Program with the University of Oregon

University of Oregon
India Gateway Program

The Department of Sociology, Christ University had the privilege of hosting the students and faculty from the University of Oregon, USA between January 6 and 11, 2014. Nine students accompanied by Prof Kenneth Lieberman were with the Department of Sociology as part of the India Gateway Program.
 Ice Breakers organized by Soumya and Tanarupa from I MA Applied Sociology

 Ice breakers

 Quizzing Professor Kenneth Liberman

 Strategic Huddle
 Group Games

 An introduction to Bollywood Dancing by Shrodha and Shruthi, II MA Applied Sociology

 An animated discussion over coffee

This program began with students seminars organized by the undergraduate students of Sociology, followed by seminars by the faculty members from the Departments of Sociology, History, Political Science and Law. The focus of these seminars was Indian popular culture and issues related to gender. The student seminars were inspired by a set of essays by Patricia Uberoi and were intended to introduce the students to India and her popular culture.

Given below are the details of the papers presented:
  • Jaikishan and Shreya, students from I and II EPS presented a paper on  'Beautifull Wife, Danger Life': Engaging with Popular Culture. Their paper provided an overview of the broad themes that were to be examined over the following sessions.
  • Kasturi, Shristi, and Siddharth, II EPS, presented a paper on Feminine Identity and National Ethos in Calendar Art. This paper looked at art, Calendar art and how these representations have been linked with notions of both feminine identity and the construction of nationality.
  • Bhadra, Brinda and Mithun, students from I EPS and III PSEco, presented on Imagining the Family: An Ethnography of Viewing Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. This paper examined the notion of family in India as well as elements of ideal and real culture. The film, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, was used as a vehicle to examine and explain these notions.
  • Ann and Anshula from I EPS presented the final student paper on The Diaspora Comes Home: Disciplining Desire in DDLJ. This paper examined the notions of migration, identity, and home, through the iconic film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
  • Prof Vageshwari, Department of History, spoke on Women and Popular Culture with special reference to women's movements in Karnataka.
  • Prof Sindhujaa Iyengar from the Department of Political Science conducted an interactive session on Political Participation and Women's Empowerment
  • Prof Somu, from the School of Law, Christ University presented a paper on Law and Women's Rights in India. He focused on the importance of the Constitution and the Laws that have been enacted in India both to promote and safeguard the rights of women and other minorities.
  • Prof Suparna Kar addressed questions relating to son preference and the resultant skew in the sex ratio in India through India's Missing Millions
  • Prof Pritha Dasgupta focused on The Discipline of Women's Studies in India: Perspectives and Challenges. She looked at the major areas of focus.
Paper presentations by students

A rapt audience

Interactive sessions

These papers and the numerous interactive sessions with the students of MA Applied Sociology provided an invaluable opportunity to look at India and her society and culture.

Sociology students from Christ University, India, and the University of Oregon, USA

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Visit by Lehigh University

Visit by the students from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, USA

Lehigh University is a private, research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They run a Global Citizenship Program that draws students from all three of Lehigh’s undergraduate colleges—arts and sciences, engineering and applied science, business and economics—and prepares them to live and work in an increasingly interconnected world. 
As part of this Program, 21 students and 3 trip leaders visited the Christ University, Bangalore campus on Monday, January 6, 2014. Volunteers from 1 EPS helped organize their morning on the campus and spent time with the visiting team.
 Traditional Welcome

Students greeting the visitors with the traditional diyas and aarti

Shruti Mahadevan, a third year student from PSEco,  treated the audience to a wonderful Bharatnatyam piece on the baby Krishna. This piece was part of the invocation to start off the program on an auspicious note.

Our students were then given a brief introduction to Lehigh University and its Global Citizenship program. This helped to set the tone for the program and provide a context for the interaction between the two groups of students and faculty.
The students from I EPS participated in an interactive session to look at society, culture and education in India and in USA. These students spoke about the differences and similarities across both cultures. They examined an average day in the life of a student in both the Universities.

 Introduction to the Global Citizenship program
 MCs taking over
 Interactive session

 The interactive session was followed by a tour across the expansive campus followed by lunch in the cafeteria along with other Christites. This provided time and space to observe and learn from each other.
The visit culminated with a group photo and a vote of thanks. This visit and the interaction that it has entailed has helped to establish friendships that cut across cultural and geographic boundaries.
 Campus tour
 Lunch in the cafeteria with other Christites

The team leaders from Lehigh and Faculty from the Department of Sociology, Christ University
 The entire student group

 The send off