Himalayan Languages, Cultures, and Communities: integrating language learning, community engagement, and Area Studies knowledge

Title Himalayan Languages, Cultures, and Communities: integrating language learning, community engagement, and Area Studies knowledge
Faculty/College/Unit Arts
Status Active
Duration 2 Year
Initiation 04/01/2017
Project Summary

We propose to develop a Himalayan Studies minor that integrates the concepts of global citizenship and local community engagement with immersive language learning—all in relation to an underserved, but culturally and geopolitically important world area. There is presently no program in Himalayan Studies at any Canadian institution; UBC is poised to be a leader in this field. Housed in the Faculty of Arts, the minor will be designed in collaboration with the Nepali and Tibetan communities of Vancouver. TLEF funding will support two primary objectives: developing a sustainability plan to ensure the long-term viability of existing intensive summer language courses in Nepali and Tibetan; and designing a 200-level year-long interdisciplinary, transregional foundational course in Himalayan Studies. Our project team includes faculty from Anthropology, Art History, Asian Studies, Economics, FNEL and IAR, who have worked together since 2014 to build the UBC Himalaya Program.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project Title Designing a Himalayan Studies minor: integrating community engagement language learning and Area Studies knowledge
Year 1: Project Year Year 1
Year 1: Funding Year 2017/2018
Year 1: Project Type Small TLEF
Year 1: Principal Investigator Sara Shneiderman
Year 1: Funded Amount 17,703
Year 1: Team Members

Sara Shneiderman, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Institute of Asian Research, Faculty of Arts
Katherine Hacker, Assistant Professor, Art History, Visual Art, and Theory, Faculty of Arts
Tsering Shakya, Associate Professor / Canada Research Chair in Religion and Contemporary Society in Asia, Institute of Asian Research, Faculty of Arts
Mark Turin, Associate Professor, First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and Anthropology, Faculty of Arts
Ratna Shrestha, Sessional Lecturer, Vancouver School of Economics, Faculty of Arts

Year 1: TLEF Showcase Year 1: TLEF Showcase
Year 2: Project Title Himalayan Languages, Cultures, and Communities: integrating language learning, community engagement, and Area Studies knowledge
Year 2: Project Year Year 2
Year 2: Funding Year 2018/2019
Year 2: Project Type Small TLEF
Year 2: Principal Investigator Sara Shneiderman
Year 2: Funded Amount 27,123
Year 2: Team Members

Sara Shneiderman, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Institute of Asian Research, Faculty of Arts
Katherine Hacker, Assistant Professor, Art History, Visual Art and Theory, Faculty of Arts
Tsering Shakya, Associate Professor, Asian Studies / School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (Institute of Asian Research), Faculty of Arts
Mark Turin, Associate Professor, Anthropology / Chair, First Nations and Endangered Languages Program
Ratna Shrestha, Lecturer, Economics, Faculty of Arts

Year 2: Summary

The UBC Himalaya Program seeks a second year of TLEF funding to further develop pedagogy that integrates language learning, community engagement and cultural understanding to create a hybrid local-global experiential education opportunity for UBC students. We will develop a broadly applicable model that emerges from our focus on the underserved, but culturally, linguistically, environmentally, and geopolitically important Himalayan region: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Tibetan cultural zones that traverse all of these countries. Our summer intensive learning experience, ‘Himalayan Languages, Cultures, and Communities’ will form the centerpiece of a new interdisciplinary Area of Focus. Created in conjunction with BC-based Nepali and Tibetan community organizations, this pathway to knowledge will include a scaffolded set of courses across several departments. Objectives include consolidation of Nepali and Tibetan language courses in a summer intensive format, a new 200-level interdisciplinary course, instructional technology development, and creation of an Area of Focus.