Enclaves of Science, Outposts of Empire

Megan Raby
University of Texas at Austin

Cross-posted from Not Even Past 

At the end of 1960, near Cienfuegos, Cuba, on the Soledad estate of a U.S.-owned sugar company, the American Director and Cuban staff of Harvard’s Atkins Institution began packing up their scientific equipment. The Cuban Revolution had caught up with them. Director Ian Duncan Clement, his wife, Vivian, and lab technician Esperanza Vega worked quickly to put the station’s herbarium, library, and lab “in stand-by condition.” The station’s horticulturalist, Felipe Gonzalez, and his assistants pruned the trees in the station’s arboretum, preparing them “to withstand a period of neglect.”

The Atkins Institution had operated as an important field research station for visiting botanists and zoologists since shortly after the 1898 Spanish American War. It had survived difficult times in the past––hurricanes, economic depression, and the Revolution of 1933. Despite the escalation of Fidel Castro’s insurgency, Harvard held its Biology field course there as usual in the summer of 1958. The station remained unscathed even as the front lines of the revolution passed over its grounds later that year. Only when the Soledad estate was nationalized and diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba disintegrated were the Clements and staff members Vega and Gonzalez forced to leave. They expected to return soon. Continue reading “Enclaves of Science, Outposts of Empire”

Hindi-Urdu advanced language training workshop

Nandini Chatterjee
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow the Exeter South Asia Centre on Twitter @SAsia_Exeter
Hindi-Urdu advanced language training workshop for language teachers and PGR students/advanced researchers
Organised by the Exeter South Asia Centre, and led with Syed Akbar Hyder, Director of UT Austin’s Hindi-Urdu Flagship programme. 
Dates and Times: Monday 14th August to Friday 18th August, 10-4 every day with lunch break
Venue: Margaret Room 1, Queen’s Building
Enrolment: Write to Dr Nandini Chatterjee, n.chatterjee@exeter.ac.uk
Fees: Participation in the workshop is free, but spaces are limited, so prior enrolment is essential. There are no funds available for supporting travel or subsistence needs of participants.
Content: The principal aim of the workshop is to train potential teachers of Exeter Foreign Language Centre’s new Hindi-Urdu programme, which will begin in October 2017, subject to sufficient enrolment. We are aiming to develop a curriculum capable of teaching Hindi and Urdu together, that is, one language in two scripts. This is unique in the UK, but successfully trialled in the USA, most eminently by UT Austin’s Hindi-Urdu Flagship programme.  As such, teachers of both or either language are very welcome to attend the workshop, which will include multiple sessions dedicated to developing teaching materials – text, videos, audio material, customised lesson plans, assessment tools and also mock teaching sessions. A range of classroom situations and student demographics will be taken into consideration, ranging from weekend classes for children in the community to university students. Actual sessions will depend on the stated interests of the participants, subject to the overall aims of the workshop.

Continue reading “Hindi-Urdu advanced language training workshop”