When Anu Taranath led a study abroad program in Mexico this summer, the focus was LGBTQ issues. But the group also discussed migration. And xenophobia. And politics. And health. And numerous other related topics.
“Nothing happens in isolation from anything else,” explains Taranath, senior lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) program. “We are trained not to see the connection between things. Once you start seeing the connections, it’s illuminating but also can be overwhelming. ‘This has everything to do with that? My god!’”
“We make sense of the world through stories,” she says. “We tell stories about ourselves, our families, our communities and our nation, stories about who is deserving and who is not. Our program helped us examine these stories and ask ourselves, ‘Why do I think what I think? How do I know what I know? Who does that story I’ve been telling myself serve, and who might it hurt?’ Such simple questions can be dramatically profound.”