Peter Havholm May 16th, 2008
We visited two universities today for talk with faculty about a range of issues, from environmental policy to caste. On our journey to the Indian Institute of Technology from the hotel, we got our first glimpse of Delhi in daylight.
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We then met with faculty from the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at IIT. Shila had arranged the visit with Rukmini Bhayya Nair, Chair of the Department, and she introduced the discussion with a brief discussion of the founding and mission of the Institute.
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Ten members of Nair’s department joined us over the following couple of hours. The group represented sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and English literature, and they introduced themselves and their work as they arrived. Our discussion hence ranged over the breadth of their interests, including the place of humanities and social science education at IIT (sometimes involving undergraduate student projects similar to Wooster’s senior Independent Study) energy and environmental policy issues in India and the U.S., gender issues in education and in India, and the role of the arts. The range and qualty of expertise represented was extraordinary, so once we had come to know one another, it became natural to raise the possibilities of Wooster student and faculty visits to Delhi and reciprocal visits from IIT to Wooster.