Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad--Bilateral Projects

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Summer 2012 Seminars for Secondary School Educators

| Brazil and Uruguay | India |

Countries: Brazil and Uruguay
Seminar Title: Joined by More Than a Border: Brazil and Uruguay in the Past, Present and Future
Tentative Dates: June 13 to July 21, 2012 (includes pre-departure orientation)
Participants: U.S. secondary (grades 7-12) administrators, and media resource specialists in the social sciences, humanities, foreign languages and area studies

Background:

Although neighbors, and with a land border of 600 miles, many of them with no clear borders, Brazil and Uruguay are different in several aspects. They have different languages, different backgrounds, their geographical, population sizes and economic indexes are typically not comparable. While one can boast a GDP (gross domestic product) of nearly US$ 2.2 trillion, making it the 7th largest economy among all countries, the other ranks a humble 78th with US$ 48.4 billion. One borders all countries on the continent but two; the other, only two. The former, with its 190 million inhabitants, could fit the latter's entire population of 3.3 million into its largest metropolis five and a half times over.

Closer inspection of the two countries reveals substantial similarities that signal comparable challenges and opportunities. Uruguay's economy grew at a rate of 8.5 percent in 2010, and Brazil’s at 7.5 percent. While in Brazil the services sector accounts for 67.5 percent of GDP, in Uruguay it accounts for 67.9 percent. Brazil's urbanization rate is 87 percent, and Uruguay's is 92 percent. Brazil has a male-female gender ratio of .98:1 and Uruguay one of .95:1. Uruguay has a gross per capita income of US$ 9,010 and Brazil one of US$ 8,070¹. Brazil has an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent and Uruguay of seven percent. Uruguay has a literacy rate of 97.9 percent and Brazil one of 90 percent. Uruguay is ranked 52 and Brazil 73 in the United Nations Human Development Index Ranking. The Oriental Republic of Uruguay began its independence process in 1811, declared independence from the Empire of Brazil in 1825, and was so recognized in 1828. The Federative Republic of Brazil was formed in 1889 after a coup d'état that put an end to that same Empire.

After long periods of military dictatorships, today both countries' governments are pluralist constitutional democracies, guarantee universal suffrage, and encourage participatory democracy. Both have recently elected presidents with a background to the left of the political spectrum and aim to establish their role in the region and worldwide. One is seeking to be a global player and the other trying to find its own space.

Purpose:

The main purpose of the seminar is to address the current relationship between Brazil and Uruguay, approaching topics such as education, commerce, and regional insertion with the purpose to explore new perspectives for the two countries in a globalized environment. In addition to that, other objects of interest can be immigration and frontier. This seminar will also provide U.S. educators with a first-hand opportunity to understand day-to-day life through study and travel. Thus participants will be able to present different aspects of society and culture to American students and citizens.

The program is designed to overcome stereotypical images of Brazil and Uruguay; introduce national, regional and South American dimensions into a variety of courses; and promote greater understanding between Brazil, Uruguay, and the United States through educational and cultural interchange.

Try to answer this question: are these two countries laying the basis for a beneficial relationship to the people of both countries?

The main objectives of the seminar are to:

  • Study and understand historical, social, cultural, political, and economic aspects of Brazilian and Uruguayan society;
  • Observe the interaction between tradition and modernity and the consequences of change; and
  • Engage in a series of dialogues with scholars, government officials, and people from different walks of life.

Scope:

The program will be a 37-day series of lectures, informational field trips, and recreation in Uruguay and southern, southeastern, and central Brazil.

¹ Gross national income per capita 2009, Atlas method and PPP (purchasing power parity), World Bank

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Country: India
Seminar Title: Exploring Religious Pluralism in India
Tentative Dates: Pre-departure orientation: July 2-3, 2012
Program in India: July 5 - August 10, 2012
Participants: U.S. secondary (grades 7-12) educators, administrators, and media resource specialists who have responsibility for curriculum and instruction in the social sciences, humanities, foreign languages and area studies

Program Content:

Religious diversity experienced in India is difficult to be found anywhere else in the world. All major world religious traditions are found here. India is home to Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and several other religious traditions. Hinduism is the dominant faith, practiced by over 80 percent of the population. Besides Hindus, Muslims are the most prominent religious group accounting for about 12 percent of the population. In fact, India has the second largest population of Muslims in the world. Religion and spirituality are important aspects of Indian society. The majority of Indians do associate themselves with a religion. The Indian Constitution guarantees that all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion. The constitution also ensures equal rights to all its citizens and prohibits any kind of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

The seminar provides a unique opportunity to U.S. secondary school educators to observe and understand richness of religious diversity in India and challenges that the nation faces. The seminar will also help the educators to broaden their knowledge about India's history and art and culture, which will help them in identifying reference materials on study of India. While providing an exposure to different aspects of India’s religious and cultural heritage, the program will also focus on contemporary but important issues in economic development, environment and ecology, education, gender, and Indo-American relations.

The program consists of two phases, namely, academic and field visits. The five-day academic program in New Delhi, using a multi-disciplinary approach, will involve formal lectures, interviews, and discussions with prominent scholars and public personalities. The field visit phase of four weeks will take participants to some other cities in the country exposing them to religious and cultural diversities.

The seminar is designed to enrich participants' knowledge by combining academic and cultural experiences. Visits to schools, cultural centers, museums, and rural areas will be interspersed with demonstrations of Indian dance and music. Visits will also be arranged to Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) working on developmental issues in both rural and urban settings. The program will allow the participants to pursue their individual academic interests and work on their respective curriculum projects.

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Last Modified: 08/31/2011