Program Administrator: 

Coimbatore, Kochi, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur India

Winter term


  • Enrolled in the MA or M.A.I.S. in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, or instructor consent
  • For graduate students from other programs, WGSS 514, WGSS 518, WGSS 585, or instructor consent
  • For undergraduate students, WGSS 223, WGSS 224, WGSS 280, or instructor consent
  • Good academic standing, with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Clear OSU Student Conduct Record
  • Maturity and the ability to participate in a rigorous daily program
Application Deadlines: 
Mandatory Application Checklist: 
Program Details: 


Students have a unique opportunity to learn about women, gender, and sexuality in India through this short-term study abroad program, to be held for two weeks during winter term 2014 (Jan 15-31, tentatively). We will travel to Coimbatore, India, where, in collaboration with Women’s Studies faculty and students at PSGR Krishnammal College for Women, we will spend two weeks exploring women’s experiences in India. We will also travel to other parts of the country including Kochi, Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Using an experiential learning model, students will learn about Indian feminist movements, women’s history in India, and gender issues considered most significant to local scholars and activists. We will hear from activists and scholars working to end violence against women, LGTBQ organizers, advocates for reproductive health and justice, and rural women organizing within their communities. We will focus specifically on women, gender, and sexuality as they intersect with other categories (race, culture, caste, class, age, and ability) within the context of India. As participants in the course, students will engage in an active daily program of study, including visits to NGOs, temples, and sites of historic and cultural significance.

This seminar is designed for graduate students in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, to meet the Global Studies requirement (WGSS 586, 587, 588). However, undergraduates and graduate students in other programs are welcome to participate if they meet the prerequisites or by instructor consent. To prepare for the program, all students will be required to participate in pre-departure meetings.

For graduate students in WGSS, this travel seminar is embedded into two required courses: WGSS 518: Feminist Research (4 cred.) and WGSS 585: Transnational Feminisms (3 cred.). In addition, graduate students in WGSS should register for WGSS 586, 587, and 588: Global Experience (1 cred. each), and thesis credits.



The following are tentative details regarding program content and site visits:

  •   Meet with Women’s Studies faculty and students at PSGR Krishnammal College to explore women’s positions and roles in the Indian social structure
  •  Attend a panel on women in Indian literature and history
  •  Learn about the Dalit women’s movement in India
  •  Visit a women’s reproductive health clinic
  •  Visit Shanti Ashram
  •  Visit Perur Temple in Tamil Nadu
  • Meet with grassroots women’s organizations working in rural communities to advance social justice
  • Visit the Women’s Development Corporation and learn about women in the Indian economy
  • Meet with members of a women’s self-help (entrepreneurial) group
  • Visit Guild for Service to learn about the experiences of widows in India
  • Attend a lecture on ayurvedic medicine
  • Visit the Isha Foundation Yoga Center and attend a lecture and workshop on women and yoga in India
  • Visit Kali Press for Women and meet with founder Ritu Menon
  • Exchange experiences with local feminist community activists working to end violence against women
  • Visit the Taj Mahal
  • Listen to a panel on LGBTQ experience and same-sex legislation in India
  • Visit the home based care program for children at Naz India, an NGO working on HIV/AIDS and sexual health issues, and meet with founder Anjali Gopalan



Dr. Patti Duncan is an Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at OSU. She specializes in transnational feminist theories and movements, women of color feminisms, and feminist media studies. She is the author of Tell This Silence: Asian American Women Writers and the Politics of Speech (2004); co-editor, with Gina Wong, of East Asian Mothering: Politics and Practices (forthcoming), and co-director/producer of Finding Face (2009), a documentary film exploring the effects of gendered violence in Cambodia. Her current research focuses on representations of rescue, migration, and illegitimate motherhood among women in the global South. She has taught and/or conducted research in South Korea, Mexico, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Africa, India, China, and Brazil, among other places.

Dr. Mehra Shirazi is an Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at OSU. Her work focuses on health disparities through the lens of social justice with regard to class, race, geography, environment, immigration status, and gender. Her current research addresses breast health knowledge and early detection behaviors among immigrant and refugee women. She teaches “Global Perspectives on Women’s Health,” “Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Health,” and “Feminist Research,” a graduate seminar focusing on community-based participatory research.



The application deadline has been extended to October 31, 2013.

1. Submit the OSU Online Education Abroad Application:  (select Education Abroad, then select India, and then select the program OSU|COIMBATORE|WGSS SHORT-TERM TRAVEL SEMINAR)

2. Submit a one page (minimum) typed essay via email to and which answers the following question:

How do you anticipate your participation in this seminar impacting your academic experience and future career?

Applicants from outside of the WGSS department may be contacted for an interview with the program leaders before the acceptance decision occurs.

All applicants will be notified of acceptance by October 31, 2013.  The first required orientation meeting will occur shortly after notification of acceptance.

PLEASE NOTE:  All applicants must hold a valid passport at the time they apply for this program given the quick turn-around time required in order to secure a visa to travel to India.

    Program Costs: 

    Estimates as of August 2013 are as follows:

    The program fee $1500 (includes in-country transportation, lodging, meals, excursion fees, and honoraria for guest speakers, depending on the total number of participants.)

    Student participants are responsible for paying round-trip airfare from PDX to Delhi (depending on when purchased, approximately $1400).

    To enter India you will need a passport ($135 if you are applying for or renewing your passport) and visa ($75). In addition,

    OSU requires that you be enrolled in safety and risk insurance (charged to your student account): $60

    Student participants are also expected to cover their own personal expenses (communications, laundry, spending money, etc.)

    Note: The School of Language, Culture, and Society has generously agreed to cover the costs of the two trip leaders, a fee normally included in program cost. This significantly reduces the expense for student participants (estimated to lower the cost per participant by approximately $500-750).

    Academic Emphasis: 
    Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies