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.

About the Course

    • ISD 3334: Year of India
    • Spring 2018
    • Wed 3:30 - 6:15 pm

    Co-taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty, the Year of India course will explore a wide-range of topics pertinent to India’s ever-changing post-modern contexts and enduring cultural traditions. Topics include: 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 will select topics of their own interest for further research guided by individual members of the faculty team. Students will have a choice of engaging with a local Indian American community organization or participating in a study abroad program that will provide an immersive, global learning experience aimed at broadening students’ worldviews and increasing their intercultural competence.

    For the seminar abroad, student participants will travel 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 will also meet with United Nations CIFAL Bangalore officials as well as visit numerous important cultural and historic sites including the Golden Temple of Amritsar, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This educational experience will introduce 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 will develop 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
    • rghadge@kennesaw.edu

    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
    • aricha31@kennesaw.edu  

    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
    • dsen@kennesaw.edu 

    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
    • kwhit162@kennesaw.edu 

    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
    • gzhan@kennesaw.edu

    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
    • dparacka@kennesaw.edu

    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.