Engage with Pakistan at Harvard University this SummerPublic Announcement

This is the only ‘live’ U.S.-based video con course linking students
with Pakistani leaders and change-makers

Harvard Summer School registration opens in mid-January
Sign up for an email reminder at www.summer.harvard.edu
Traditional and non-traditional students are welcome

South Asian Studies SAST S-140
Cross-listed in Anthropology and Government
June 25 to August 10, 2012

Prominent on everyone’s radar screen, Pakistan is a land of profound paradoxes. It is a nuclear nation whose development indicators are much lower than those of countries with similar income levels. It elected the Muslim world’s first woman head of state, but still suffers from extraordinary gender inequality. It offers a few youth unimaginable opportunities, yet confines many more to grinding poverty. It is home to Sufism, a religion of restraint, tolerance, and compassion, but plagued by horrific violence that seems to stall and, at times, to derail development.

Pakistan’s most tragic paradox may well be the dominance of a development narrative that overstates instability and underestimates the ways in which participation, cooperation, and civil discourse shape the landscape. As evidence, although Pakistan recently suffered a natural disaster greater than two earthquakes and a tsunami combined, international aid appeals met mute indifference. In this course, we aim to counter monologues on terrorism, corruption, inefficiency, and hopelessness by sampling indigenous voices of persistence, enterprise, innovation, and criticism.

Pakistani experts, advocates, and change-makers will share their strategies for countering inequality and injustice in real-time video conferences. Through conversations with these guests, students will gain grounded insights on culturally attuned and sustainable practices of poverty alleviation and, broadly, on a dynamic human-centered development story. Three-hour modules will focus on education, health care, rural and urban development, microfinance and rehabilitation, media activism, politics and human rights, religious expression, and art as social critique.

The course format will emphasize active learning organized around core readings, informed presentations and discussions, reflective blogging, and individual or team projects.

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  • Cover Reviews

    "A powerful and courageous voice that represents the best of Pakistan’s emerging journalism… The first insider view of developments in...

    Shuja Nawaz
    Author and Director South Asia Center

    "A story of a courageous journalist who defied conventional norms during times when very few other women were in this...

    Hassan Abbas
    Author and Quaid-i-Azam Chair Professor

    "It was her fierce independence and commitment to her country that inspired [Hoodbhoy’s] decision to become a newspaper reporter –...

    Frances Stead Sellers
    Deputy National Editor, Health, Science and the Environment, The Washington Post

    "Nafisa Hoodbhoy’s detailed reporting helped me look at the complex world of Pakistani politics differently. Hoodbhoy’s proximity to key players...

    Karen Frillmann
    Managing Editor - Newsroom, New York Public Radio

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