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Every semester in our Hindi class, we have sessions where we interact and work alongside an NGO in Delhi. I’ve met with this particular NGO several times over 3 semesters. We focus on different topics in each one. For example, last year we discussed Covid-19 and how it was affecting people in India. The girls from the NGO told us about the support they give to the community such as making and handing out masks, distributing food, among other things. This semester, along with the main conversations we had with everyone… read more about Service-Learning in Hindi Classes »

Kusum Ji’s Hindi classes not only incorporate learning about the scripture and language itself, but also various activities that immerse her students in the Indian culture. This is my second class with Kusum Ji (I took Hindi 101 last semester and I am taking Hindi 102 this semester), and in both classes she has done an incredible job of exposing us to multiple facets of Indian culture through both workshops and activities. Last semester, we did a dance class, an acting workshop, and a poetry workshop. This semester, we have… read more about Haiku in Hindi »

Whether it be taking a yoga class in the Duke gardens or learning how to cook an Indian dish with your peers in a communal kitchen, Kusum-ji makes sure to switch up the weekly routine by adding a variety of excursions to keep the class engaging throughout the semester. One of our many excursions involved a class trip to the Nasher Museum of Art, where we were able to enjoy the diverse exhibits, as well as bond with our fellow classmates. Before the visit, we studied and discussed many paintings and arts from Indian artists… read more about Colors of Revolution: Dalit and Black Lives Movements Through Paintings in Hindi Classes »

On Saturday, April 2, Raia Lockerman, Kerry Rork and Anna Greenleaf all had the same two fears: presenting their undergraduate research at a big conference and being away for the Duke vs. UNC game. They were the three Trinity students selected to participate in the 2022 ACC Meeting of the Minds conference, hosted by the University of Virginia between April 1 and 3. The nomination and selection process are extremely competitive, and only five students represented Duke: Lockerman, Rork and Greenleaf from Trinity, as well as… read more about Trinity Students Go on the Road to the ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference »

The Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina invites applications for several Postdoctoral Associate positions including: Arabic Cultural Studies Israeli/Hebrew Cultural Studies Japanese/East Asian Cultural Studies read more about Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Job Opportunities »

Each year, Duke Service-Learning recognizes students, faculty, and community partners with the Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Awards. Betsy Alden was a pioneer in service-learning, beginning her work at Duke during the 1980s. Read more about the legacy of Betsy Alden HERE. Recipients are chosen because they represent an exceptional commitment to the ideals of service‐learning. Each winner receives $150 to further develop his/her community-building and leadership skills.   Recipients will be recognized in a… read more about 2022 Alden Award Winners Represent the Best of Service-Learning »

It was a sunny March afternoon, relatively warm for Durham standards. Colorful butterflies made their rounds between green grass and fresh spring blossoms, and families brought their kids and dogs to the garden to enjoy nature. The scent of new life was in their air. Slightly out of breath, I arrived at our meeting spot just in time before class started. I greeted our Hindi professor, Kusum Ji, and my classmates. Shortly after arrived our instructor, Subhas Ji. An elderly Indian man with a bright smile, Subhas Ji appeared… read more about Discovering a New Way of Life - A Yoga Class with Subhash Mitthal Ji »

It’s one thing to learn about a language in a classroom setting. It’s another to fully immerse yourself in the culture, not just from a spoken word, but through all five senses. Cooking food is one of the only activities, where we as students, can engage all five of our senses, from tasting delicious mango lassi, to hearing the sizzle of dosa batter on a hot stove, to smelling the alluring aroma of samosa chaat. Cooking class day is my favorite class of the year. On one hand, I love food, especially Indian food. Therefore… read more about Hindi Cooking Class - Immersion through Taste! »

After decades of advocacy and a unanimous vote from the Arts & Sciences Council in February, Duke undergraduates have a new option to consider when registering for fall 2022 classes: a minor in Asian American & Diaspora Studies. The Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) has partnered with the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) to offer the thematic minor, which will be housed in AMES and administered by AADS. “AMES really was the natural choice,” said AADS Director Esther Kim… read more about After Student Activism, Duke Launches Asian American & Diaspora Studies Minor »

When Michaeline Crichlow moved from her native St. Lucia to upstate New York, she had a lot to learn — and not just in the graduate program she attended at Binghamton University. “I became a Black person not in the Caribbean, but in the United States,” said the professor and interim chair of African & African American Studies. Race wasn’t often discussed in St. Lucia, where the vast majority of the population is Black. The rare times it was, the conversation wasn’t about Black and white, but the Indo-Caribbean peoples… read more about What Decolonization Means »

What is Madhubani Art?   Madhubani Art is a style of Indian Painting, named after a district in Bihar, India. It is known for:   A. Stark Geometrical Patterns   B. Vibrant Colors   C. Side Profiles of Characters Madhubani Art often depicts scenes from Hindu epics, people’s relationship with nature, or nature itself.     The Project   In our Hindi class, we were tasked with creating our own Madhubani art piece. In most language classes, we become familiar with a culture’s spoken word, but rarely the other aspects. It… read more about Madhubani Art - A Binary World Captured in Color »

In our AMES 191 class, Dr. Knapczyk has made it one of her primary goals to give us real-world experiences and interactions with the topics that we explore within the classroom. At the end of our unit on Dalit literature and liberation, we forged attending a traditional class in favor of taking part in a discussion-based speaker series event that she facilitated. The event featured three well-known Indian academics: Professor Raj Kumar (of the English department at Delhi University), Professor Aparna Lanjewar Bose (of the… read more about Literature of the Indian Marginalized: Monthly Speaker Series »

In Hindi classes, Kusum Ji always makes sure to do a variety of activities in our Hindi class to keep it interesting and engaging. Whether it's bringing in a guest every Friday to talk about cultural experiences or just playing fun games, or just having fun group activities to do during class while we learn Hindi, she takes it upon herself to keep it interesting. As a part of that, she came up with the idea for a scavenger hunt, as a way to celebrate Diwali.   The class separated into groups, each with their own unique set… read more about Scavenger Hunt in Duke Gardens  »

Every semester, Kusum Ji has exposed us to various aspects of Indian culture and allowed us to explore different issues plaguing India. This semester, in Hindi 203, one of the activities to expose us to Indian culture was talking to people from the Delhi Young Artist Forum and to create a poster for them to help promote their cause. The Delhi Young Artist Forum is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that seeks to educate the youth through multiple facets in order to combat social injustice. We had previously met with the… read more about Increasing Cultural Competency Through Meeting with NGOs  »

In all of Kusum Ji’s Hindi classes, she makes it her mission to help engage the class in a more interactive manner than simply lecturing and giving homework assignments. Throughout my semester in Hindi 101, I have had the opportunity to take part in activities that introduced me to new aspects of Indian culture and creativity, beyond the language, such as a dance class, a poetry workshop, and, my favorite, an acting workshop.   Varoon P. Anand, the creator of a performing arts and production company called Kaivalya Plays,… read more about Duke Hindi Class Improv Session Student Reflection »

While everyone has celebrated the return to in-person classes at Duke this fall, the use of Zoom still holds a very important place in Kusum ji’s elementary Hindi course. Every Friday, students look forward to turning on their cameras and microphones to meet with members of the local and international Hindi-speaking community. Activities this semester have ranged from Bollywood Dance lessons to improv sessions, meetings with NGOs, and, most recently, a session with poet Jagdish Vyom.  Born and raised in Delhi, India,… read more about Poetry with Jagdish Vyom: Taking Hindi from the Textbook to Real Life  »

That Squid Game became an international hit may have even surprised Netflix executives, but the international reach of Korean culture has been growing for a long time. However, the gorefest of “Squid Game” is another popular example of a particular genre of Korean films and TV shows, a genre that includes Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” and “Snowpiercer,” and even the zombie film “Train to Busan.” Like “Squid Game,” the terror of the action in these show is matched by the trauma created by a society built on extreme class… read more about Korean Film Goes Global »

Throughout our semesters taking Hindi, one thing I have always enjoyed are the efforts by instructors to bring in speakers/presenters to class to expose my peers and I to a new and interesting aspect of Indian culture.   One such effort was earlier this semester, when Kusumji brought in Anviksha Srivastava to our class. She is a student at UC Riverside with a passion for Bollywood dance and a fluency in Hindi. She came to teach us a few dance moves to a famous Bollywood song. When I was younger, I (along with many other… read more about Dance With Passion »

More than 50 people gathered in a Duke classroom both in-person and remotely this September to consider whether “Truth is a Linguistic Question” – a prompt provided by faculty leading the ongoing Sawyer Seminar Series on language discrimination in fragile and precarious communities. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the series launched in spring 2020 and continued throughout the pandemic thanks to a combination of perseverance and the power of Zoom. This latest seminar kicked off a slate of events for this fall.… read more about ‘Truth is a Linguistic Question’ Talks by Five Trinity Scholars Relaunch Series on Language Discrimination »