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Social Justice and Artistic Expressions

Bangalore, India

Term Offered: 
CHID Bangalore
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
July 1, 2015 to July 31, 2015
Application Deadline: 
February 9, 2015

This program is co-sponsored by UW Honors.

Info session on Thursday, Jan. 22, from 2:30-3:30pm in Mary Gates 211B (the UW Honors office).

The “Social Justice and Artistic Expressions” program to Bangalore, India focuses on a cluster of provocative questions:

Given the inequalities of the world and the Global South in particular, how do artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, performers and creative people weave together their craft and hopes for a better world? The city of Bangalore has been globalizing, developing and changing dramatically over the last few decades, with questionable success. What is the role of art, film, music, literature and theatre in documenting all this change? What is the role of art and creativity in movements for social justice? Should art be linked to social themes, or does that somehow diminish the creative potential? Through an intense and intentional engagement with Bangalore’s creative scene, what might we-- a group of foreigners and cultural outsiders-- learn about, perhaps contribute, and bring home?

To help answer some of these questions, we will learn about and explore the current scene of art and activism in Bangalore through local partnerships throughout the city. We will be introduced numerous social issues that affect local communities, and focus our attention on the ways that artists, filmmakers, performers, writers and musicians use their craft to interrupt social injustices (or not). Our program in Bangalore will help us learn about the city and its people, and encourage analysis that takes into account history, language politics, gender relations, caste divisions, sexuality, culture, poverty and affluence.

The “Social Justice and NGO Activism” program consists of 20 required credits spread out in three stages:

Spring 2015—5 credit course at UW Seattle
Summer A Term 2015 (July 1-31)—12 credits while in India
Autumn 2015—5 credit seminar at UW Seattle.

The Spring 2015 5-credit course serves as the pre-departure requirement for the learning we will do in India. Through an interdisciplinary reading list comprised of literature, history, ethnography and creative nonfiction, as well as films, students will develop a shared vocabulary around issues of power, privilege, identity, travel, and global relations.

The 12 credits of coursework in Bangalore, India will consist of group projects, classroom lecture and discussion, field excursions, concerts, gallery visits, music performances, site visits, individual analysis, and creative writing assignments.

The 5-credit “reentry” seminar runs in Autumn 2014, and offers a much-needed space for students to continue discussions of transnationalism, movements for social justice, and international education’s possibilities and challenges.

This is a joint collaborative effort between CHID and Honors.


Spring 2015:

  • CHID 498 / Honors 384: Ready to Go? Travel Literatures and the Journeys through Ourselves and Others (5 credits I&S)

Summer 2015:

  • CHID 474A / Honors 381: Creative Expressions and Social Relations (5 credits VLPA)
  • CHID 474B / Honors 384: Transnational Justice, Challenges and Possibilities (5 credits I&S, VLPA)
  • CHID 470 / Honors 213: Introduction to India (2 credits I&S)

Fall 2015:

  • CHID 498 / Honors 384: How to Travel When You’re Back at Home: Global Connections and Local Lives (5 credits I&S)

This program will satisfy 20 credits of Honors core requirements (the 2 credits of HONORS 213/CHID 470 will be elective credit; only 5 credit courses can be used to fulfill Interdisciplinary Honors Core requirements).

Fulfills Requirements: 
CHID Power & Difference
I&S Credit
VLPA Credit
Total Program Fees: 

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, Study Abroad Insurance (about $42/month), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.