GSP 2012 Overview
The inaugural Columbia University Global Scholars Program Summer Research Workshop was organized by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, in collaboration with the Columbia Global Centers and the Office of Global Programs. Professor Guobin Yang, a sociologist of China, and Professor Robert Barnett, a political scientist and historian of Tibet led eleven undergraduates through a six-week in-country research study and workshop through Beijing, Shanghai, and Mumbai on the theme of Environment and Urbanization in Asia. This immersive program provided students the opportunity to learn about field research methodologies in a comparative, cross-cultural environment.
Students visited non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools, and historical and environmental sites while taking part in a series of lectures featuring leading professionals in the field. Upon return, students will take a capstone seminar based on their summer research experience and will conduct in-depth, comparative analysis of Asian environmental conditions. This unique model of scholarship provides undergraduate students the opportunity to gain firsthand research experience, in collaboration with Columbia faculty, in subjects of transnational importance from a comparative perspective across several locations.
The Beijing and Shanghai segment will be taught by Guobin Yang, Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures and the Department of Sociology at Barnard College, Columbia University. The Mumbai segment will be taught jointly by Robert Barnett, Director of Modern Tibetan Studies at Columbia, and Jai Kasturi, an advanced doctoral student, who is an anthropologist focusing on critical South Asian studies. Dr Barnett has worked in anti-poverty and education projects in slums in Bombay and Jai Kasturi comes from Southern India and has extensive experience in the area.