Engage with Pakistan at Harvard University this Summer

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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