Past Program

India: Cosmic Comics: Imaging the Ganga-Jamuna Doab of North India

There has come to be an expansive space over 800 kilometers long with a width ranging between 90 km and 0.7cm that is revered by millions of people as holy, otherworldly, with super-natural powers in northern India.

At-A-Glance

What
Wintersession Travel Course
Where
  • Ganga-Jamuna, India
When
Winter 2010

Course Dates: Jan 4, 2010 — Feb 10, 2010

Who
Open to RISD students, Brown University students
Faculty
Academic Credits
6
Department
  • Architecture
Course Numbers
  • ARCH W202 04
Cost
$3532

Includes accommodation, field trips, local transportation, all meals, museum entrances, health and travel insurance.

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Full Course Description

There has come to be an expansive space over 800 kilometers long with a width ranging between 90 km and 0.7cm that is revered by millions of people as holy, otherworldly, with super-natural powers in northern India. It has been extensively written about, studied in fragments, and captivated the imaginations of tyrants, empires, the handicapped, priests, artists, designers, and engineers alike. Today millions of homes line the edges of this space as do wildlife, farms, highways, factories, cities, and temples not too mention all of the living and non-living materials that reside within it. This space, the Ganga-Jamuna doab of India, has been a testing ground for imagining and synthesizing new conceptualizations of nature and space. This travel course will explore the possibilities of representing and navigating the environment between the Ganga (Ganges) and Jamuna Rivers (known as the doab) of northern India through modes of comic representation. Comics, unlike other forms of media, require a viewer to make associations and connections across images and narratives, encouraging visual and intellectual participation in the subject. The tradition of comic books in India is one of incorporating mythology, history, and contemporary environmental issues from urbanization to pollution. Similarly, artists, architects, designers, activists, and global foundations use the medium of comic books to explore and disseminate specific ideas and morals. Students will develop a series of comic books that explore the unique scales and instruments of this environment to picture a new understanding of this territory and its representation. Text, photography, advertising, cartography, as well as collage and montage will serve to foreground the unique spatial and cultural customs of this landscape in order to engage a larger public beyond our respective disciplines. We will traverse this space along the major infrastructural routes—namely highways, canals, rivers, and rail lines—culminating at the confluence of the Ganga and Jamuna Rivers, the most sacred space in all of Hinduism where millions come to bathe during the month of January.

Program Details

Wintersession Travel Courses are open to all RISD + Brown University students. To apply for a Wintersession Travel Course, you must:

  • attend an infosession with faculty (general or course-specific)
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of application (Note: Students seeking exception to this academic policy should contact the Registrar at registrar@risd.edu with any questions.)
  • be in good standing in terms of conduct and finances
  • First year students must provide approval from the Dean of Experimental & Foundation Studies as part of their applications.
  • Brown University students are eligible to apply, but priority will be given to RISD students.

Per Student Financial Service requirements, students who plan to travel on school-sponsored trips must first pay their student account in full. Students with an account balance are ineligible for travel and may forfeit any funds already used to book travel arrangements. Contact Student Financial Services at sfs@risd.edu with any questions.

Co-Requisite Courses

The course is open to all departments at RISD and may be taken as a 3 credit architecture elective (non majors with instructor’s permission) or as a 6 credit architecture studio.

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