The Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center has three main goals: to showcase innovative research on Bangladesh; to train the next generation of scholars on Bangladesh, and to create opportunities for collaborative research between UC Berkeley and top institutions in Bangladesh.
The Chowdhury Center and the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley are partnering with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) for a faculty exchange program. This exchange program will bring BUET faculty specializing in Bioengineering to UC Berkeley for a period of one to two months. During this time, they will have the opportunity to learn and engage in the educational and research opportunities at UC Berkeley's Bioengineering Department and allow for potential research collaborations to develop.
The Chowdhury Center in partnership with the American Institute for Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) and the US Embassy in Dhaka will be hosting eight faculty members from top universities in Bangladesh to participate in a program focused on academic writing and publishing this October. Titled Faculty Workshop on Research Writing & Publishing, this program will bring eight faculty members from Bangladeshi institutions of higher education to be in residence for one week at the Chowdhury Center, where they will take part in workshops on research methodologies, writing, and the publishing process led by UC Berkeley faculty. Faculty will arrive in Berkeley and be in residence from Oct 11-19, 2016. After the week at Berkeley, the Bangladeshi faculty will travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the annual South Asia Conference where they will attend a pre-conference on Oct 20, 2016 and present their papers in progress. The final product, as a result of this workshop, will be an academic paper that can be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Feedback from the workshop can be found here.
In December 2015, four UCB faculty; Lawrence Cohen (Anthropology), Raka Ray (Sociology), Poulomi Saha (English), and Allan Smith (Epidemiology), spent a week at BRAC University and conducted workshops on undergraduate teaching and research methodology as well as engaged with BRAC faculty on collaborative research.
Prof. Lawrence Cohen's workshop titled, Rethinking Medical Anthropology and its Methodology, included discussions on the body in modernization theory and explored ways in which those theories could be integrated into participants’ research projects. He also conducted an interactive session for faculty members on methodologies of teaching sensitive topics such as race, gender, and sexuality. (Picture on right),
An expert on gender and feminist theory, inequality and emerging middle classes, Prof. Raka Ray's workshop entitled, Searching for the Middle Classes, raised the question of whether the middle class was an economical or a cultural category and explored the politics of class and gender within the emerging middle classes in South Asia. (Picture on right),
Prof. Poulomi Saha, Assistant Prof. of English conducted a workshop titled Theory of Methodology in which she looked at the application of critical theory to disciplines such as English and Anthropology that are engaged in analyzing culture through texts. She also focused on the concept of interdisciplinarity and the need for going across disciplines in pursuit of research objectives. (Picture on right),
Professor Allan Smith a global expert on public health, conducted an intensive workshop on Arsenic Contamination in Drinking Water in Bangladesh. Highlighting the urgency of the problem and its implications on future generations, the workshop focused on new areas of research on the effects of arsenic contamination on pregnant mothers. (Picture on Left)
In the summer of 2016, Independent University, Bangladesh will be hosting faculty for a series of workshops on teaching general education classes, health and mobile technology, and the garment industry.
The Center developed a workshop on Methodological Tools for Social Scientists for the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), an international health research organization located in Dhaka, a two-week long course that included workshops on: Research design, Interviews and coding, Gender analysis, Community based participatory methods, Survey Research, Experimental design for project evaluation, Evaluating PoUs, Library research, Modes of explanation in the social sciences and Writing for social scientists. Site visits to the Center for Global Health and the Center for Neglected Diseases were also a part of the workshop.