South Asian Forum aspires to provide a place for students, faculty and staff, and surrounding community to discuss South Asian contours in the global context.
South Asia—Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka—is a major player in global politics and economics, and so, it is important for our students to obtain a deeper understanding of this region. The South Asian Form (SAF) brings discussions about different issues in South Asia to campus. The South Asian Forum provides ways for all students and faculty to discuss and learn about the cultural, political, and economic life of the region through presentations, seminars from distinguished speakers, films, and art exhibitions.
Given the recent changes in the geo-politics in the world and the important role of South Asia in it, it is critical that we raise our awareness about the region. Toward that goal, we would like to hold a series of seminars and panel discussions on the campus relating to South Asia. These seminars will aim to inform, educate and engage students and Lesley community on issues that are surrounding South Asia.
Some of the topics that we have identified as themes for our seminars are:
One of our activities will focus on various cultural activities on the campus. Movies or short film has shown that they can capture issues and has been used as educational tools. We intend to hold two or three "movie nights" throughout the year. The selection of movie could be based on certain issues or aspect around the region. The movie would be followed by a discussion involving students on the content of the movie and the learning experience. Faculty or student will moderate the discussion.
Student Study Abroad
A three-week study abroad experience in South Asia that includes a week in each country: Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Students are exposed to the culture and traditions of the region. Possible topics of study might include a comparative study of themes under religion, culture, education, art or youth citizenship in the three countries; for e.g. the practice of Islam in the three countries; similarities and differences, what does youth civic engagement look like in the three countries, science education, etc.
Exchanges and Collaborations with Universities
Opportunities of having faculty exchanges for a semester of teaching in related fields, between Lesley University and Universities in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This will open the way for collaborative research and writing.
Open House Events
Possible Open Houses for the different programs as Lesley in the three countries.
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences
Chhabra is a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Education. Her interest is in the field of Peace Education and Adolescent Development. She completed her PhD in Educational Studies at Lesley University, and had been awarded two Fullbright senior scholarships to teach and conduct research in India with a focus on the conflict with Pakistan. She has published internationally, and in addition to teaching at Lesley University, she has taught in Israel and at the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica.
Clinical Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Saleem is a licensed psychologist and neuropsychologist with expertise in evaluating neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and associated behavioral difficulties. Her clinical interests include culture-sensitive assessment and care for patients with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. She was one of the gounding members of the South Asian Committee for Human Rights, and has been involved in post 9-11 civil and immigrant rights issues.
Shua Khan Arshad
Graduate Student, Lesley University
Arshad is pursuing her Masters degree in Intercultural Relations. She has taught and coached in various capacities and disciplines over a span of 15 years in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. She is a member of Groton Interfaith Council, which promotes and conducts intercultural and community dialogues for all.
South Asian Forum