Woodstock | Summer at Woodstock – Indian Culture and Heritage
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Summer at Woodstock – Indian Culture and Heritage

Please note this course is no longer available at Summer at Woodstock 2019. Click here to see the programmes on offer.

Rediscover the history of this remarkable land 

Home to a fifth of the world’s population and a giant economy, India is a bonafide global superpower. Yet where might India be headed and what exactly does it mean to be Indian now? Taking a lead from the fact that the Hindi word for ‘tomorrow’ also means ‘yesterday’, this exciting, intense course journeys back in time to answer the most pressing questions about our future. Together we rediscover the history of this remarkable land in order to help students understand their potential role in shaping its future. We will look at key figures, ideas, cultural achievements, and conflicts in order to collectively re-connect with our past heritage, present concerns, and future directions.


Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for anyone interested in the past and future of India. For students from an Indian background, this is a chance to reconnect to your heritage and consider how your career might contribute to the trajectory of your country. For non-Indian students, this is an ideal introduction to a fascinating, highly-relevant area of the world.


How will participants be different when they’ve completed this course? What skills or knowledge will they have gained?

Students will emerge from this course with both an enriched passion for India’s complex heritage and a renewed desire to contribute to its future. We will learn some of the compelling stories and ideas behind the names and figures of history textbooks. Students will learn key phrases and features of important historical Indian languages. Each student will be able to identify and describe their favorite examples of art, music, and architecture from South Asian pasts. Attentive students will also have a firm grasp on the historical roots of key issues facing modern India. Most importantly, each student will have the chance to reflect on how they might adjust their own personal vocation to address the needs and opportunities of contemporary India.


Why is your experience so relevant for this course?

Born and raised in Delhi, India has always been at the center of my personal and professional life. A childhood filled with Amar Chitra Katha and Lodi Gardens cricket matches produced a lifelong love for India’s many pasts. After graduating from Woodstock School, I ventured to the US for college and graduate school, studying under a number of masters of medieval India including Rupert Snell and Syed Akbar Hyder. After a number of years helping to set up the USA’s premier Hindi Urdu language program, I returned to Woodstock to teach and serve as Head of Upper Years. I am now completing my PhD in Indian History at the University of Texas at Austin. Through all of this, my love and concern for my home has only grown stronger. I hope to impart this passion to you through this summer course.

Age Range: 14-18

Course Timings: 75 hours of instruction


Jonny Seefeldt

Alumnus Jonny graduated from Woodstock in 2000, returning to teach and serving as Head of Upper School until June 2017 when he moved to the US to work on his PhD in Indian History at the University of Texas in Austin.