Although the modern concept of “global” suggests a sort of unity (one planet in one universe), given the state of world affairs, there is widespread division and disunity among and between cultures and countries. This course will bridge and create understanding through examination of literature which crosses cultural borders. After all what are borders but artificial, humanly-imposed designations? As such, the readings in this course will both transcend and reflect cultural boundaries. Additionally, the material and focus will expand concepts of cultural distinctions and authors’ perspectives as reflected in their writings. By examining and discussing a sampling of literature from various cultures and countries we will visit on the Semester at Sea voyage, we will better understand the universality of literature. We will also gain perspective on individual and national identities. The texts will demand a reevaluation of history and will encourage students to re-evaluate what it means to view the world through the eyes of others.
*Note: This class is delivered when lunch is served.
Field WorkCountry: India
Date: February 29, 2020
Travel to Kumbalanghi – the first model fishery and tourism village of India which has its own tradition and culture. To reach Kumbalanghi, board traditional canoes for a short trip through the serene backwaters. View daily life on the water, such as veeshu vala (fishing with conical nets) and padal (fish trapping in coconut tree leaves). Stroll through the village to observe crab-catching, fish-flipping, and coir-making (traditional rope made from coconut palm fiber). After a delicious lunch, experience Kumbalanghi’s narrow village lanes by auto rickshaw.
1. Witness and observe first hand Indian village life
2. Reading Roy’s The God of Small Things gave you one perspective, now draw parallels, dissimilarities and discuss your impressions from observing village life
3. Document your impressions in a two-page report