American Institute For Sri Lankan Studies, Community College Curriculum Development Grants Competition

The American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS) announces a new round in its Community College Curriculum Development Grants competition. AISLS seeks proposals for developing instructional materials that include Sri Lanka material, which are suitable for use in introductory classes in American community colleges.

AISLS expects to award one or two grants of $1,000 each. Graduate students and recent PhDs are especially encouraged to apply, but we also welcome proposals from experienced faculty, including those who teach at community colleges. Applications from teams of two persons are encouraged. Should a team win a grant, the members will share the $1,000 award.

AISLS will award grants for the creation of online teaching modules. The modules should provide resources enabling community college instructors to integrate material on a Sri Lanka topic into one or more introductory courses taught widely at US community colleges. These classes include, but are not limited to, the following: World History, Cultural Anthropology, World Religions, Comparative Politics, World Geography, World Literature, and Environmental Studies.

Two modules are already available and a third is under development:

  1. Teaching about the 2004 tsunami
  2. Teaching the Ramayana
  3. Tea Time: Implications of Plantations in Sri Lanka (under development)

We suggest that applicants review the existing modules to get a sense of possible approaches to preparing their material.

The modules must include at least one video or video link, and links to other textual and visual materials, either for in-class presentation or for the instructor’s preparation. The project must include content written by the applicant(s) that gives community college teachers sufficient background and bibliographic information. The module should not be a lesson plan for instruction, but a set of resources that instructors can insert into their lesson plans. They should not envision that their module will be used for more than one week, and they should be aware that some instructors will use it for one class session only.  In organizing modules, applicants may wish to begin by considering learning objectives for students.

Proposals may concern any topic suitable for inclusion in an introductory community college course. Some possible topics are:

  • A case study of a multi-religious site (e.g., Adam’s Peak, Kataragama)
  • Public health and welfare (e.g., the country’s traditionally high “quality of life” rankings given conventional measures of wealth)
  • Using a recent novel to discuss social changes in Sri Lanka or its diaspora.
  • The economic and social impact of contemporary labor migration (e.g., housemaids in the Middle East)
  • The history of European colonization
  • Changing patterns of family life and gender relations
  • Women in politics
  • Buddhism and society

Applicants should keep in mind that these modules will be used in a community college setting. Most students and many teachers will have little background in Asian Studies and little knowledge of Sri Lanka. Although the teaching materials should focus on Sri Lanka, their pedagogical value should lie in illustrating broader themes in international studies.

The AISLS web designer will publish the modules on the AISLS website.  Applicants are not required to have expertise or knowledge of online design and publishing. The proposal applicants must clear any copyright requirements prior to submission of the teaching module and receipt of final payment.

Proposals must include a one-page project proposal, describing the planned teaching module and its main components, and CVs of all applicants.

The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2018. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by November 1, 2018. Successful applicants will then have until September 1, 2019 to complete the teaching modules (early submission is encouraged). The online teaching modules will be announced at the AISLS Annual General Meeting at the Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison in October 2019.

Proposals, and informal enquiries, should be submitted to the AISLS US Director, John Rogers, at us.director.aisls@gmail.com.  AISLS can offer informal feedback on draft proposals and on successful grant proposals.