Xu Jia’s new hope

When the dream suddenly come ? Last time you climbMeiliSnowMountainwith a lot of strange Tibetan people, you stand at the top of one mountain , a sea level of 3500m. That moment you can seize your own freedom, which seems like all dreams can come true. And this time ,after today’s interview , your heart be fired again. She is right ,since you are so young , what the reasons for worrying about registered residence ,why not just give yourself a chance and have a try ,why not just believe in yourself. God will bless me . These days we do many interviews of professors, NGO officials and journalists. They dedicated themselves to the public career and without any pay. It is with passion, courageous conviction and strong sense of self that take our next steps into the world. So congratulations, these are good signals .Wish me have a good job .

Xu Jia's new hope

When the dream suddenly come ? Last time you climbMeiliSnowMountainwith a lot of strange Tibetan people, you stand at the top of one mountain , a sea level of 3500m. That moment you can seize your own freedom, which seems like all dreams can come true. And this time ,after today’s interview , your heart be fired again. She is right ,since you are so young , what the reasons for worrying about registered residence ,why not just give yourself a chance and have a try ,why not just believe in yourself. God will bless me . These days we do many interviews of professors, NGO officials and journalists. They dedicated themselves to the public career and without any pay. It is with passion, courageous conviction and strong sense of self that take our next steps into the world. So congratulations, these are good signals .Wish me have a good job .

Fall 2012 Course: Ecology and the Himalaya

Ecology and the Himalayaginacoursephoto Fall 2012 Course: Ecology and the Himalaya

IS 8277 – UENV 3707

Instructor: Georgina Drew

4:00-5:50 Tuesdays

66 West 12th Room 405

Overview

Join us for an interdisciplinary seminar that engages the key issues and debates on the state of Himalayan ecologies and the human-nature interactions that influence resource management strategies. The aim of the course is to encourage the exploration of environmental challenges while addressing the complex social and cultural practices that inform, and/or deter, efforts to promote sustainability and human resilience in the face of rapid ecological change. Students will have the opportunity to pursue their own areas of interest in this course and to identify or expand upon areas for future research and writing. The course is cross listed in environmental studies and global studies and is open to students of diverse disciplinary backgrounds.

Course Context

This course is linked with an initiative on Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalayas (ERSEH) that is coordinated by the The New School’s India China Institute. The initiative, chaired by Ashok Gurung, is in collaboration with the departments of Environmental Studies, Religious Studies, Global Studies, and the Parsons School of Design. Inquiries that ERSEH asks include: What does “sustainability” mean in, and for, the Himalayas? How do ecological interconnections, social systems, and politics constitute and transform the “Himalayas”? What role does everyday religion have on human interactions with the environment?

Instructor

Dr. Georgina Drew is a postdoctoral scholar for the India China Institute’s initiative on Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalayas. Her work at the institute builds upon her doctoral studies and her extensive research activities in the Indian and Nepali Himalayas.

ICI Sponsored Fall 2011 Courses

India China Institute is proud to announce two upcoming Fall 2011 courses sponsored in part by ICI. Students interested in South and South East Asian politics, history, and ecology are encouraged to join. Space is limited!

India and China: ULEC 2710
Professor Sanjay Ruparelia, former ICI fellow, will teach an undergraduate level course on the relationship and history between India and China.

Ecology in the Himalayas: UENC 3707
Join ICI’s post-doctorate fellow, Georgina Drew for an Independent Study course on the intersection of religion and environments in the himalayas. Instructor approval required for enrollment. This course is part of the Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalayas initiative, sponsored by the Luce Foundation and ICI.

Bir to Bhagsu

I’ve had quite the experience since the last time I wrote! In Bir, I started spending a lot of time at Deer Park, a center for classical Indian wisdom that specializes in Buddhist philosophy. They also have an ecology program and are very serious about being a zero-waste campus, so they’ve been very interesting for my research. I was fortunate enough to be in Bir at the same time as a 4-day teaching by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, an extremely renowned lama. People from literally all around the world flew in just for this teaching, so I figured I might as well go along, since I happened to be living just a three minute walk away.
I’ve been fascinated by Buddhism for some time now, but I did not come to India with much of an agenda to learn about it. However, it seems like this is the time in my life to actually spend some time delving into it. The teaching was on The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, a central text in Mahayana Buddhism. For a teeny bit of background, a bodhisattva is a person who dedicates their life to developing compassionate and serving all sentient beings. The teaching also happened to be really relevant to my research project on how sustainability work can be more effective when approached as karma yoga, since the philosophies of karma yoga and the way of the bodhisattva are quite similar.
I would have you reading for hours if I were to describe all that I learned and considered at the teaching. It was incredibly thought-provoking and gave me something of a new framework for the kind of person I want to be. It also really helped me clarify many of my beliefs and rediscover several things I appreciate about Judaism. Mostly it just made me realize how much more I need and want to learn about Buddhism. Whenever I thought I understood something, a conversation would usually reveal that its much more complicated than I thought.
After the teaching, I spent a few more days up the mountain on the building project. I got a little better at throwing mud at walls, sifting rocks, and even Hindi! The highlight was always the incredible lunches the women made. They all brought dishes from home to share and usually forced me to eat way too much delicious food!
On my last day in Bir, I fulfilled my dream of FLYING! Bir is a world-famous site for paragliding, so I figured it was too good of a chance to pass up! It was really quite surreal.
I decided to spend my last week in India in the Dharamsala area to learn more about karma yoga from the many yoga centers there. I found a yoga course in Bhagsu that covers a lot of the theory and philosophy of yoga, in addition to the physical yoga asana practice. I’ve been practicing yoga for about four years now, but none of my yoga classes have really gone into the theory behind the poses, so this has been an incredible opportunity to learn about what exactly it is that I’ve been doing for the past few years. I’ve really been enjoying the chance to make yoga the focus of my life for a few days. I’ve been doing lots of really interesting reading, particularly on karma yoga, which is giving me so much, even beyond my research project.
Bhagsu is one of the weirdest/coolest places I’ve ever been. It’s basically an Israeli colony way up in the Himalayas. I see and hear more Hebrew than Hindi or even English. It seems like every other building is a yoga or meditation center, and the rest are hippied-out cafes filled with colorful tapestries, cushions, and lanterns. Most of the cafes have a menu that features Indian, American, Italian, Greek, Israeli, Chinese and Tibetan food. There is a huge culture of people just sitting in cafes all day and all night. One of my friends said it reminds her summer camp, which I think is pretty fitting. And its GORGEOUS!

Post-doc fellow position, Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalayas

The India China Institute is seeking a one-year post-doctoral fellow (with option of a one-year renewal) for Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environment in the Himalayas (ERSEH) project.

Supported by a grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation, ERSEH is a multi-year research and curricular initiative that explores the complex role of religion in global affairs with particular emphasis on environmental issues.  The post-doc fellow would receive a salary of $50,000 per year plus university benefits.  Preferred start date for this position would be September 1, 2011.

The India China Institute, based at The New School in New York City, is the hub of an international network of scholars and institutions with the mission of identifying mutual concerns and developing areas of cooperation between India, China, and the United States in a global context.

The New School is committed to maintaining a diverse educational and creative community, a policy of equal opportunity in all its activities and programs, including employment.  Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are welcome.  We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran or marital status.

Responsibilities:

  • Design and teach one undergraduate course per semester relevant to the ERSEH project at The New School’s Environmental Studies program
  • Work with ICI Senior Director Ashok Gurung to coordinate, develop and manage an international network of scholars for the ERSEH project, including but not limited to convening roundtable discussions and public events
  • Help develop, manage, and disseminate research materials for the ERSEH project

Requirements:

  • The ideal candidate would have a PhD (received within the last 5 years) in Religious Studies with strong interest in Environmental Studies
  • Expertise and language skills in the Himalayan region are strongly preferred
  • Candidates would also have strong interpersonal skills and comfort employing them in a variety of cultural contexts
  • Able to undertake international travel as needed
  • Open to US citizens and foreign scholars

Application Deadline: January 30, 2011

For more information, email indiachina@newschool.edu or call 212-229-6812

Applications are accepted online at: careers.newschool.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=52591

ICI to Investigate the Intersection of Himalayan Religion, Politics, and the Environment with Luce Foundation Grant

logo henry luce foundation ICI to Investigate the Intersection of Himalayan Religion, Politics, and the Environment with Luce Foundation Grant

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded the India China Institute (ICI) a $394 thousand grant to support “Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya,” a multi-year research and academic initiative that will explore the complex role of religion in global affairs, with a particular emphasis on environmental issues.

Though there has been growing academic interest in examining the relationships between religion and the environment and religion and global governance, there has been limited scholarship and research on the effect of religion on local environmental policy and international development. As home to a rich diversity of religious tradition and a focal point in the current discussion on climate change, the Himalaya serves as an ideal setting for the project.

“The growing challenge surrounding sustainable environments in the Himalaya transcends national and disciplinary boundaries,” said Ashok Gurung, senior director of ICI. “The Luce Foundation’s grant will allow ICI to convene a new global community of scholars and experts from the U.S., India, China, and their neighbors, who will better articulate pertinent questions and policy concerns surrounding ‘Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya.’”

In providing a platform for scholars, practitioners, and students to engage in critical inquiry, fieldwork, and teaching, ICI aims to create a vehicle for action. Findings from fieldwork and applied research will be disseminated through published reports, a portal on the ICI website, and through public programs and international conferences in the U.S., India, China, and other countries in the Himalaya region. Beyond the university’s academic enterprise, the availability of this knowledge will contribute to the ability of individuals, institutions, and communities within the region to engage and address contemporary issues of global, sustainable environmental policymaking.

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