The Center for Southeast Asian Studies of the University of Michigan is part of a 12-university group working with the International Education Foundation (IIE) to spearhead their United-States-Indonesia Partnership Project. In this project, six American universities and six Indonesian universities are looking for ways that they can partner with each other to provide cross-cultural and collaborative learning opportunities to their students. The partnership between University of Michigan, Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, and Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta is supported by this initiative.
We have developed a one-month summer study project in which American students and Indonesian students travel together in both countries looking at the same issues of religious pluralism and democratic society. Students will travel in Yogyakarta and surrounding areas in central Java in Indonesia, and then will travel as a group in southeastern Michigan, including Detroit, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor, as well as Bethlehem Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C. In each place, we will examine local histories of religious diversity and local understandings of religious difference. At the same time, we will think about the ways in which democratic practices shape, or are shaped by, religious practices.
And of course, we will blog our thoughts. The students will describe our activities and post their comments and photos throughout the trip.
Stay tuned for an exciting journey!