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National History Institute comes to Chattanooga

The Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), along with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Asia Program and the University of Pennsylvania South Asia Center, will host a national history institute for teachers on India at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12. The Saturday night address of the keynote speaker, Dr. John Williamson is open to the public.

FPRI celebrated its 50th anniversary in fall 2005. Founded in 1955, FPRI is an independent, nonprofit organization devoted to advanced research and public education on international affairs. It brings the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests abroad. FPRI’s Marvin Wachman Fund for International Education sponsors public lectures and programs for high school teachers designed to promote understanding of America's role in world affairs.

FPRI national history institutes for teachers began in 1996, and they feature nationally and internationally known scholars who spend the weekend interacting with high school teachers. Forty-five teachers from across the nation, including some local educators, will be attending the Chattanooga institute. Jeremy Henderson of Hixson Middle School, William Montgomery of Girls Preparatory School, David H. Paris of 21st Century Academy, David Stanton of High School History Chattanooga Christian School and Heather Biebel of Baylor School.

“The Chattanooga institute is the first ever FPRI history institute held outside of the Philadelphia area,” according to Dr. Lucien Ellington, Senior Fellow: Foreign Policy Research Institute, Editor, Education About Asia, and professor in the UTC Teacher Preparation Academy.

Dr. John Williamson will present “The Rise of the Indian Economy” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. Williamson is a senior fellow with the Institute for International Economics and has been associated with the Institute since 1981. He served as chief economist for South Asia at the World Bank from 1996–99, and maintains an active interest in economic developments in the region. He is author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of numerous studies on international monetary and development issues, and has held full time and visiting professorships both in the United States and in several foreign countries.

Other speakers include:

Ainslie T. Embree is Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University, where he served as director of the undergraduate programs in Asian civilization and Western civilization. He was president of the American Institute of Indian Studies and of the Association for Asian Studies. He taught in India from 1948 to 1958 and has served in the American Embassy in Delhi. He will present “Why It’s Important for Americans to Know about India”

Richard Davis teaches in the Religion and Asian Studies programs at Bard College. He has written broadly in the areas of South Asian religions, history, and art. He is currently commencing work on a cultural history of early India. He will present “Early Indian History.”

Marc Jason Gilbert is a University System of Georgia Regents Distinguished Professor of Teaching and Learning and Co-director of the University System of Georgia’s programs in India and Vietnam. He will present “Modern Indian History.”

Philip Oldenburg is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, and an Adjunct Research Associate at the Southern Asian Institute at Columbia University. He has taught political science at Columbia University since 1977. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations-Asia Society Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward South Asia. He will present “Domestic Indian Politics.”

Guy Welbon is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in the religious and cultural history of South and Southeast Asia. He is former director of Penn’s South Asia Center and former chairman of its South Asia Studies department. Welbon will present “Indian Religions.”

Sumit Ganguly is the Rabindranath Tagore Professor of Indian Cultures and Civilizations, and Professor of Political Science. He has published extensively in the areas of ethnic conflict, inter-state war and defense and security policy. He is he editor of a new journal, The India Review, published by Frank Cass and Company. Ganguly will present “India-Pakistan Relations.”

A panel discussion on teaching about India and South Asia will include Donald Johnson, New York University; Jean Johnson, Asia Society; Yasmeen Mohiuddin, University of the South; William Harman, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Lucien Ellington, Senior Fellow, Marvin Wachman Fund for International Education, and Asia Program Director, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will serve as the moderator.

FPRI’s History Institute for Teachers has also received the support of the Annenberg Foundation.

For more information about the Chattanooga Institute, please phone Dr. Lucien Ellington, (423) 425-2118

February 23, 2006

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