Visit India (2017 - 2018)

The 2017-2018 academic year at Kennesaw State University was the Year of India! Featuring a full calendar of academic and cultural events exploring India's rich political, economic, and artistic history, the Year of India offered Kennesaw State students and members of the Atlanta community a variety of ways to engage with Indian culture.

The University offered several courses in the fall and spring in conjunction with the Year of India including a course in the spring semester with a study abroad component. Whether you were interested in Indian literature, cinema, gender studies, and more, there was a course that was as rewarding as it is challenging. 

Explore this site to learn more about the diverse ways that the University organized to make the Year of India into an exciting, engaging, and academically challenging country study program.

Swaminarayan Temple

Year of India logo
In addition, KSU Global Education wants to thank the students in Kristine Hwang's Design Practicum for developing the visual collateral for the Year of India, including Kate Thiel, who developed the program's logo, and Tyler Cochran, who designed that year's poster. The following students also contributed to the creation of a full suite of materials: Allie Williams, Celianne Pianeta, Jenna Amburgy, Kayleen MacDonald, Lacey Mccloskey and Project Manager Janay Griffiths.

VIEW 2017 EVENT SCHEDULE year of home

India Events

  • Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
    Kennesaw State University Convocation Center Rooms 2010/2013
    11:00 am - 12: 15 pm and 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

    Led by Kennesaw State University Yoga Instructors Shell Boyer and Susan Walker

    Wednesday, June 21st is the International Day of Yoga. Yoga Instructors Shell Boyer and Susan Walker gave a free yoga demonstration and lesson in the Kennesaw State University Convocation Center. There were two sessions, one at 11:00 am and one at 12:30 pm. Learn how yoga can enhance your physical and mental well-being. This event was free and open to the public.

    Everyone was welcome to attend, regardless of their previous yoga experience. The poses and other activities were introductory in nature and not too strenuous. Participants were recommended to wear comfortable clothes and were allowed to bring a yoga mat if they wished, though it was not required to attend.


    Woman doing yoga on the mountain.

    About International Day of Yoga

    According to the International Day of Yoga homepage, yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice created in India designed to transform both body and mind. On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. The declaration came after Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, suggested it during his address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition . It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. "

    In Suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Narendra Modi said that, "the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world."

    Yogi and mystic, Sadhguru, notes the importance of this day in the yogic tradition: “On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi [the first yogi] turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world. It is wonderful that June 21 marks this momentous event in the history of humanity.”

    The resolution to establish the International Day of Yoga was co-sponsored by 175 countries.

  • Throughout the Year of India, KSU students, faculty and staff were invited to participate in local Indian American Community tours. There were two main stops on the

    There was no cost to participate in the community tours, which included a free vegetarian lunch at the Global Mall.

    Space on the tours is limited. Those interested in participating were encouraged to sign up in advance. The community tour is only open to Kennesaw State University students, faculty, and staff.

    *Each member of your group can help the The Lilburn Swaminarayan Temple serve the community by bringing a vegetarian canned food item (no meat, poultry, or fish) during their visit. The items were donated to Atlanta Community Food Bank.

    India Global Mall

    Guidelines for Visiting the Lilburn Swaminarayan Temple

    The Lilburn Swaminarayan Temple asks that all visitors pleas adhere to the guidelines below:

    • Shorts, skirts, and sleeveless tops are not allowed.
    • Photography and videography is not allowed from the podium level and inside the Mandir.
    • All visitors must remove their shoes in the shoes drop off area before entering the Mandir. It is recommended that everyone wears socks as the marble inside the Mandir gets cold during the winter.
    • Please kindly note, the guided tour includes minimum 30 minutes of walking/standing.
    • The structure is made of stone, so we request everyone to be extra careful and use handrails when possible to prevent injuries.
  • March 28 - April 8, 2018
    As part of a Spring Semester Course, the Year of India seminar abroad:

    Provided an immersive, global learning experience that broadened the worldview and helped increase the intercultural competence of students. 
    Introduceed students to the amazing and vibrant diversity of peoples, cultures, and religions of India by visiting a variety of community organizations, academic institutions, businesses, museums, and sacred places, in both rural and urban settings.
    Developed a holistic understanding of India and gain a greater appreciation for cultural diversity and global interdependence through reflection and analysis of issues of local and global importance.
    Accompanied by experienced Year of India faculty, student participants interacted with faculty, staff and students from both Tata Institute of Social Sciences and HR College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai.

    Two men in India in a small green car.


    • Dr. Ravi Ghadge, Assistant Professor of Sociology
    • Dr. Douglas Moodie, Professor of Management
    • Dr. Dan Paracka, Professor of Education
    • Dr. Anne R. Richards, Professor of English
    • Dr. Debarati Sen, Associate Professor of Conflict Management & Anthropology
    • Dr. Katherine White, Assistant Professor of Psychology
    • Dr. Ginny Zhan, Professor of Psychology
  • Saturday
    March 17
    8 PM

    Tabla Master Zakir Hussain with Rakesh Chaurasia, Bansuri

    This very special performance featured Zakir Hussain, tabla virtuoso and internationally acclaimed percussionist and world musician, with bansuri player Rakesh Chaurasia. Zakir Hussain is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon and one of the greatest musicians of our time. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution to world music has been unique with many significant collaborations, recordings, and performances featuring a vast array of diverse and notable artists.

    Tabla Master Zakir Hussain playing the drums.
  • Year of India Conference 2018

    Kennesaw State University hosted Envisioning the Future and Understanding the Realities of India’s Urban Ecologies. The primary focus of the conference was Sustainability in India’s rapidly developing urban areas.

    Conference Date:
    Thursday, March 15 - 17, 2018

    India, a land of ancient wisdom and cultural world heritage, is home to the world’s first
    cities. In the last twenty years it has experienced unprecedented growth, development, and change, altering its physical, cultural, and social landscape with dramatic effect. Today, its cities embody a paradoxical mix of globalization, modernity, and advanced technology with regionalism, tradition, and religion, juxtaposed with extreme poverty and

    Sustainability, in all its facets has emerged as a key problem in India’s development story. Urbanization is not an independent variable of development, but an integral part and product of the development process itself. Therefore, there is a need to understand urban issues as part of a larger development process affecting both rural and urban communities and livelihoods, employing historical and contemporary perspectives (with regional and global implications).

    Building off research in the fields of Sociology, Biology, and Architecture, the conference will examine contemporary urban growth in India and its effects on the everyday ecologies of its people. Our goal is a more holistic understanding of India’s urban ecologies, their interdependence, and the need for more sustainable strategies for urbanization. India’s cities can provide applicable lessons to the more global concerns of urbanization around the world.

    view schedule

Year of India Film Series

The Indian Cinema film series held weekly screenings highlighting India's history and culture through film. The films ranged from cinema classics to cultural dramas and feel-good comedies. Kennesaw State University was proud to share India’s rich and diverse culture through film.

Available only to Kennesaw State students, faculty, and staff.

  • Directed by Kabir Khan


    A man with a magnanimous heart takes a young mute Pakistani girl back to her homeland to reunite her with her family.

    view video learn more
  • Directed by Rajkumar Hirani


    A stranger in the city asks questions no one has asked before. His childlike curiosity will take him on a journey of love, laughter, and letting go. 

    view video learn more
  • Directed by Rajkumar Hirani


    Two friends are searching for their long lost companion. They revisit their college days and recall the memories of their friend who inspired them to think differently, even as the rest of the world called them "idiots".

    learn more
  • Directed by Farah Khan


    In the 1970s, Om, an aspiring actor, is murdered, but is immediately reincarnated into the present day. He attempts to discover the mystery of his demise and find Shanti, the love of his previous life. 

    learn more
  • Directed by Mira Nair


    American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family's unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.

    view video learn more
  • Directed by Mira Nair


    A stressed father, a bride-to-be with a secret, a smitten event planner, and relatives from around the world create much ado about the preparations for an arranged marriage in India.

    view video learn more
  • Directed by Aditya Chopra


    When Raj meets Simran in Europe, it isn't love at first sight but when Simran moves to India for an arranged marriage, love makes its presence felt.

  • Directed by Satyajit Ray


    When the movie opens, a woman is recalling the events that molded her perspective on the world. Years ago, her husband, a wealthy Western-educated landowner, challenged tradition by providing her with schooling, and inviting her out of the seclusion in which married women were kept, to the consternation of more conservative relatives. Meeting her husband's visiting friend from college, a leader of an economic rebellion against the British, she takes up his political cause, despite her husbands warnings. As the story progresses, the relationship between the woman and the visitor becomes more than platonic, and the political battles, pitting rich against poor and Hindu against Moslem, turn out not to be quite as simple as she had first thought.

    learn more
  • Direccted by Shekhar Kapur


    A poor but big-hearted man takes orphans into his home. After discovering his scientist father's invisibility device, he rises to the occasion and fights to save his children and all of India from the clutches of a megalomaniac.

    learn more
  • Directed by Richard Attenborough


    Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.

    learn more
  • Directed by Yash Chopra


    Vijay struggles as a dockworker. Eventually, he becomes a leading figure of the underworld, while his younger brother, Ravi, is an educated, upright policeman. This divide causes problems in their relationship.

    learn more
  • Directed by K. Asif


    A 16th century prince falls in love with a court dancer and battles with his emperor father.

    learn more
  • Directed by Raj Kapoor


    Raju lives as a derelict as a result of being estranged from his bitter father, a district judge, who threw Raju's mother out of the house years ago. Raju shacks up with a Dacoit (pickpocket bandit) as his surrogate father only to realize that the man is actually responsible for the original misunderstanding between his parents. Raju kills him, and then tries killing his father, but fails, is arrested, and is taken to court right before his very own father, who presides there as the Judge. Raju has his childhood girlfriend as his legal representative, and the onus is now on his father, who must pass judgment without showing any personal sentiment.

    learn more

Faculty Learning Community

The Year of India Faculty Learning Community designed a team-taught course offered in Spring 2018. Students in this course will study a variety of topics relavant to post-modern India. They will also have the opportunity to participate in a Spring education abroad experience to India.

    • ISD 3334: Year of India

    Co-taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty, the Year of India course explored a wide-range of topics pertinent to India’s ever-changing post-modern contexts and enduring cultural traditions. Topics included: Peace and Conflict in India, Gender and Sustainable Development, Urban India: Promises and Challenges, The Agrarian Crisis in India, Doing Business in India, Indian influences on the Hippie Movement, Vivekananda’s influence on Interreligious Dialogue, Indian Muslims in America, Colorism and Identity, and Choice and Personal Agency: A cross-cultural comparison between India and Western cultures.

    Students selected topics of their own interest for further research guided by individual members of the faculty team. Students had a choice of engaging with a local Indian American community organization or participating in a study abroad program that provided an immersive, global learning experience aimed at broadening students’ worldviews and increasing their intercultural competence.

    For the seminar abroad, student participants traveled to India over spring break in order to interact with faculty, staff and students from both Tata Institute of Social Sciences and HR College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. They also met with United Nations CIFAL Bangalore officials as well as visited numerous important cultural and historic sites including the Golden Temple of Amritsar, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This educational experience introduced students firsthand to the amazing and vibrant diversity of peoples, cultures, and religions of India by visiting a variety of community organizations, academic institutions, businesses, museums, and sacred places, in both rural and urban settings.

    Students developed a holistic understanding of India and gain a greater appreciation for cultural diversity and global interdependence through reflection and analysis of issues of local and global importance


About the Faculty Learning Community

    • Assistant Professor of Sociology
    • Interests/Specialization: Contested Urbanism and Agrarian Crisis in India

    Dr. Ghadge has a PhD in Sociology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He completed a B.A. in Sociology from University of Pune and M.A. and M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His prior work experience includes teaching in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pune and the Department of Social and International Studies at Southern Polytechnic State University. He regularly teaches the following courses: Introduction to Sociology, Comparative and Transnational Sociology, and Sociology of South Asia.

    In the context of growing economic and political significance of emerging economies in Asia, his research critically engages with city-centric growth practices in India. Based on a case study of Mumbai, India's "global city," Dr. Ghadge has explored competing claims of urban development among diverse stakeholders including planners, business associations, civic organizations, activists, and poor peoples’ movements. In doing this, his research problematizes taken-for-granted assumptions of growth and advocates for broad-based inclusive development.

    He has published articles in City and Community and Journal of Interdisciplinary Policy Research and Action.

    For the team-taught Spring 2018 interdisciplinary Yol course, Dr. Ghadge plans to develop two modules that reflect his research and teaching expertise:

    Urban India: Promises and Challenges; and
    The Agrarian Crisis in India.
    Both these modules will provide a critical introduction to the most pressing developmental challenges in India as it tries to maintain a delicate balance between sustaining growth and addressing increasing regional inequality and poverty. He has done extensive fieldwork in Mumbai to understand the contemporary contested landscape of urban planning. In addition to this, Dr. Ghadge received the 2017 CHSS Faculty Summer Research Grant to conduct an in-depth analysis on an issue of enormous policy relevance—farmers' suicides and agrarian distress in India. He plans to integrate findings from this research into modules of his India-related classes, as well as present a talk based on contested urbanism or the agrarian crisis in India for the campus and submit a paper for publication in the Journal of Global Initiatives Special Issue on India.

  • Dr. Moodie received his PhD from Syracuse University, MS and MBA degrees from Cornell University, and the BS from Bristol University, UK. His teaching and research interests focus on issues related to Project Management, Operations Management, International Management, and Quality Management.

    For the team-taught Spring 2018 interdisciplinary Yol course, Dr. Moodie will develop a module on “Doing Business in India” based on a shortened version of the Doing Business in India course that he has previously taught. As part of the Faculty Learning Community, Dr. Moodie plans to strengthen and develop partnerships with academics in India to carry out further scholarship related to Operations Management in India.

    • Coordinator of Peace Studies and Professor of English
    • Interests/Specialization: Vivekananda and Religious Dialogue, Hippie Movement, Indian Women Travelers, and Indian Muslims in America

    Dr. Richards received a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Iowa State University, an M.A. degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Iowa State University, and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Grinnell College. Here areas of specialization include: Cultural Studies, Islam in America, Professional and Technical Writing, Rhetoric, Peace Studies, Immigration Studies, Digital Culture, Visual and Document Design. She regularly teaches courses such as: Technical Writing (WRIT 3140), Writing for Digital Environments (WRIT 3150); and Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies, e.g., Writing the Spiritual Memoir (ENGL 3230/PAX 3780) and Theories of Nonviolence (PAX 3600).

    Her publications include: Historic Engagements with Occidental Cultures, Religions, Powers (edited with Iraj Omidvar), Palgrave 2014; Muslims and American Popular Culture (two volumes edited with Iraj Omidvar), Praeger 2014; Complex Worlds: Digital Culture, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication (edited with Adrienne Lamberti), Baywood Technical Communication Series 2010; Writing the Visual: A Practical Guide for Teachers of Composition and Communication (edited with Carol David), Parlor Press 2005

    Anne was a Fulbright teaching fellow with the University of Sfax, Tunisia from 2006–2007; a Fulbright ambassador from 2010–2013; and a Fulbright specialist with the University of Mindanao, Philippines in 2014. In 2013, she served as the local project scholar for a National Endowment for the Humanities project exploring Islam in America, a grant received by the KSU Sturgis Library and the KSU Museum of History and Holocaust Education.

    For the team-taught Spring 2018 interdisciplinary Yol course, Dr. Richards plans to contribute modules related to Indian Influences on the Hippie Movement, Vivekananda’s influence on Interreligious Dialogue, Indian Women Travelers to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Indian Muslims in America.

    • Assistant Professor of Conflict Management and Anthropology
    • Interests/Specialization: Gender and Sustainable Development, Peace & Conflict in India

    Dr. Sen received Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Rutgers University, M.Phil. and M.A. degrees from Delhi University, and a B.A. from Calcutta University. She holds a dual appointment between School of Conflict Management, Peacebuildng and Development and the Anthropology program at KSU. A native of India, she is a dedicated advocate for promoting women's voices in academe and beyond. This personal and professional mission is reflected in Dr. Sen's internationally recognized research, award winning teaching and service to the profession. Dr. Sen's research takes place at the confluence of cultural anthropology, development studies, gender studies and conflict studies. For the past fourteen years her research examined gendered mobilizations around sustainable development in rural India. This ethnographic work has culminated in her recently published book: Everyday Sustainability: Gender Justice and Fair Trade Tea in Darjeeling (Albany: SUNY Press, 2017). The Wenner-Gren Individual Research Grant, National Science Foundation DDIG Grant, Princeton University and Columbia University's Marion Jemmott grant funded her research. Her other publications have appeared in refereed journals such as "Anthropology in Action," "Critique of Anthropology," "Feminist Studies," "Society and Natural Resources," "Environment and Society," "Anthropology of Work Review" and JEKEM. She has also contributed to anthologies like New South Asian Feminisms (Zed Books) and "Indigenous Conflict Management Strategies" (Lexington Books). Her new book project looks at women's leadership, entrepreneurialism and issues of violence and consent in post-conflict reconstruction, comparing experiences in South Asia, Latin America and MENA. Dr. Sen serves pro-bono on the American Association of University Women's (AAUW's) national fellowship review team and is the treasurer and an executive council member of the CAORC supported Association of Nepal and Himalayan Studies.

    Graduate courses that she has taught at KSU include "Gender, Conflict, Peace," "Getting Women Ahead: A Comparison between India and USA," "Sustainable Development" and "Intercultural Dynamics of Conflict." Dr. Sen led a team of eleven CHSS faculty in submitting an approved Year of India College Spotlight proposal focused on the theme of “Peace and Conflict in India: Diverse Perspectives.

    In the Fall of 2017, Dr. Sen will teach a course titled "Men and Women in India" that examines how the identities of men and women have transformed during and after India's independence from British rule. Keeping in mind rapid changes in India's "emerging" economy, politics and culture, the course places women and men in India in a global context.

    For the team-taught Spring 2018 interdisciplinary Yol course, Dr. Sen will develop modules on: "Gender and Sustainable Development" and "Conflict in Indian Borderzones."

    • Assistant Professor of Psychology
    • Interests/Specialization: Choice and personal agency: A cross-cultural comparison between India and Western cultures

    Dr. White earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology, with a focus on Social/Cognitive/Neuroscience, from the University of Texas at El Paso. She is starting her second year at KSU and taught for four years at Columbus State University prior to arriving at KSU. At KSU, she teaches classes on cross-cultural psychology, the psychology of diversity, social psychology, and research methods/statistics. Her research interests include prejudice and intergroup relations, morality, political ideology, and cultural influences within each of these topics. Her current research projects examine how members of various racial groups respond to legitimate criticisms of their group, improving current measures of conservative ideology, and the connection between increased individualism in the United States and the rising popularity of libertarian ideology. She has also performed extensive research on the automatic activation of stereotype information in memory. She hopes to incorporate more cross-cultural comparisons in her future research endeavors, particularly with cultures from South Asia, Central/South American, and Africa.

    For the team-taught Spring 2018 interdisciplinary YOI course, Dr. White will develop and deliver a module titled, “Choice and personal agency: A cross-cultural comparison between India and Western cultures”. The concepts of choice and agency are tightly connected with the extent to which cultures are individualistic or collectivistic, a cultural dimension on which India and the West greatly differ. People in the United States, in particular, place a premium on the freedom to make personal choices, free from external influences (e.g., libertarian ideology). This orientation toward choice is not shared across the globe, however. This module will systematically compare Indian and Western cultures on the following subjects:

    1. the relative importance of having choices
    2. factors that influence choices
    3. how cultural differences regarding choice relate to different models of personal agency
    4. the societal consequences of different orientations toward choice
    5. the historical context and events that give rise to cultural differences regarding choice
    • Professor of Psychology
    • Interests/Specialization: The Psychological of "Colorism" in Indian Society

    Dr. Zhan earned her master's and doctoral degrees in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. Her research interests include cross-cultural developmental topics, Asian-American identities, and teaching-related areas. She has published in scholarly journals and authored book chapters, as well as presented papers and poster sessions at international, national, and regional conferences. She actively mentors research activities by honor's students, SALT students, and directed studies students. Dr. Zhan is an affiliated faculty in the Asian Studies Program in Interdisciplinary Studies Department. She is active in international teaching activities. In 2008, she was a visiting faculty at Dalian Maritime University in China. Dr Zhan has also participated in summer study abroad programs in China, Peru, Spain, Ireland and Italy. Recent courses taught include: Introduction to General Psychology, Life-span Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Ethnic Minority Psychology, Chinese Culture and Psychology, Asian American Identities, Introduction to Asian Cultures, Honor's Colloquium, and Directed Studies.

    For the team-taught Spring 2018 interdisciplinary Yol course, Dr. Zhan will develop a module titled “A Psychological Study of Colorism in Indian Society.” This module will focus on examining the widespread preference for lighter skin color, the concept referred to in the literature as “colorism” that is prevalent within the Indian society. It will trace the history of the development of this preference in India, examine how wide spread it is today, compare it with African American communities in the US, and other countries in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, and study the negative psychological effects of “colorism” on women and young girls’ self-identity.

    • ACSP Coordinator, Division of Global Affairs
    • Professor of Education, Interdisciplinary Studies Department
    • Interests/Specializations: Intercultural Competence and Global Engagement

    Dr. Paracka received a Ph.D. in International Education Policy Studies from Georgia State University, an M.S. degree in Counseling from Westchester State University and a B.A. in Economics from St. Andrews Presbyterian College. He served with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone from 1985-87 and taught English in China from 1987-89. He has worked closely with partners in more than 50 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. With more than 25 years of international education experience, Dr. Paracka’s scholarship focuses on intercultural competence and global engagement. He previously served as Chair of Region VII NAFSA: Association of International Educators and has presented widely at the state, regional, national, and international levels. Since 2004, Dan has coordinated KSU’s signature annual country study program and served as editor of KSU’s Journal of Global Initiatives’ Special Issues focused on the country of study. He has been the Principal Investigator or Co-PI for numerous grants and awards including awards from the Institute of International Education, United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, Institute of Turkish Studies, Japan Foundation, the Korea Foundation, Georgia Humanities Council, American Council on Education (ACE), NAFSA COOP Grant, USG Global Partnership for the 21st Century Grant, OSEAS Regional Linkage Program, AASCU: Excellence and Innovation Award for International Education, Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, and U.S. Summit & Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy.

    For the team-taught Spring 2018 interdisciplinary Yol course, Dr. Paracka will offer modules focused on helping students enhance their understanding of intercultural competence especially as part of their preparation for a global engagement experience in India.