Rajasthan literally means “land of the princes” and this Indian state was once made up of 18 princely kingdoms ruled by Rajputs. The purpose of this program is the study of Indian, and more specifically, Rajasthani culture. Each class and activity on this program has been designed to allow students to interact closely with Indians, and thus to learn about Indian culture directly from those who are embedded in it. An introductory Hindi language class will give students basic tools for communication.
Students will learn about the intertwined nature of Indian culture, politics, religion and history through a required Anthropology of India class taught spring quarter, 2009. Once we arrive in India, a second class on culture and history will focus specifically on the state of Rajasthan in northwestern India where we will spend most of our time. During a five to six week stay in the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan students will have the opportunity to conduct their own on-site field research on a topic of their choice.
One of the underlying themes of this study abroad program is how to pray about seemingly overwhelming global issues including poverty, social hierarchies in all forms, and environmental degradation. On this program we will work together metaphysically to both pray for our group’s members, and to pray about these broader social and environmental issues that confront individuals around the world. This program welcomes the interdisciplinary learning that would come from having a variety of majors.
Dr. Sally Steindorf, assistant professor of Sociology and Anthropology, is the director of the India Abroad program. Dr. Steindorf is a graduate of Principia College and holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in cultural anthropology with a focus on India from Syracuse University in New York. Over the past decade Dr. Steindorf has traveled to India 6 times with a total of over two years of experience living in India. She has studied the Hindi language for four years including one year on site in Rajasthan, India. She spent another year living in the village of Kothariya, Rajasthan conducting doctoral research on sociocultural change and the impact of television in the village. She is looking forward to directing her second Principia College study abroad program to India!
Chestnut Booth: Following graduation from Principia College in 1974, she worked for her alma mater until 1992. During these years, she started the College’s Academic Advising Center, served as Registrar, and became the College’s first Personnel Coordinator.
In 1993 while a Journal-listed practitioner, she accompanied a group of Principia College students to Vietnam as their resident practitioner and counselor. That led to her being called back to the College from 1994 to 2008 to be Dean of Students. All told, she worked for the College for 33 years.
She has taught in Principia’s Summer Session and taken her talks and workshops to Prin Clubs throughout the United States, to England, and twice to India, where she conducted a wide variety of meetings for diverse audiences. She has spoken on the educational methods of Mrs. Morgan and Mary Baker Eddy at Daycroft conferences.
Chestnut has also done extensive inspirational speaking. She’s given Sunday School workshops for branch churches, and talks on Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science as an Assistant Committee on Publication. She has delivered addresses to several Christian Science associations and many chapel talks at Principia. She spoke on spiritual healing to the entire medical staff of a major Indian hospital and graduate school. She has been interviewed on Sentinel Radio and has had articles in the Sentinel and Journal.
Where did she get her name? After high school, she was a nurse aid at the Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association for a summer where she cared for the last living student of Mrs. Eddy—who named her “Chestnut.”