Right on the heels of it’s national conference on improving undergraduate Hindi-Urdu language pedagogy, the Hindi Urdu Flagship convened a follow-up workshop on April 28th aimed at enhancing awareness of South Asia and Hindi-Urdu at the K-12 level. The workshop, entitled Presenting South Asia through the Traditions of Hindi and Urdu, brought together many K-12 social studies teachers and administrators to discuss the specific question, “How can Hindi and Urdu resources make a contribution to students’ understanding of world culture and literature?”
As a means of suggesting how specific Hindi or Urdu literary traditions might be projected as cultural case studies for the high school classroom, a number of HUF and HUF-affiliated faculty gave short presentations on specific Hindi-Urdu writers. HUF Director Rupert Snell spoke on the Kabir tradition of Hindi, a tradition which spans five-centuries, much of north India and is still a vibrant part of the culture today. HUF Associate Director Syed Akbar Hyder spoke on the ghazal, a tradition with an almost unparalleled geographic and temporal breadth. Finally, Amy Bard of Wellesley College led a fascinating group discussion of feminist Urdu writing and its possible use in the high-school classroom.
The workshop concluded with a lively and lengthy roundtable discussion led by K-12 curriculum designers on the development of possible lesson plans based on South Asia related material. As a follow-up to the workshop, HUF has established a working committee to develop a series of lesson plans which will be distributed both within Texas and nationally. You can download the workshop agenda here.