I think I choose to study History at Ashoka particularly after a Foundation Course, ‘Trends in History’ back in my first semester. I was blown away by the methods that Professor Gwen Kelly employed, particularly a Wikipedia project, where we had to choose a historical theme and fix the Wikipedia page for the same. It was an exciting way of learning History from the rote learning that I had been used to till then. It opened my eyes to the use of sources and also made me realize how history is almost everywhere. My project on the Cooch Behar royal family opened new dimensions of history for me.
I chose Ashoka four years ago primarily because of the freedom it offered: the freedom to change majors, the freedom to choose courses, and not being bound by a set path. Over the four years at Ashoka though, what I appreciated the most are the small but unique things that the university has been able to offer due to its interdisciplinary nature. Being in the first cohort of the Ashoka translation program, I have been able to combine my historical zeal with my passion for literary translations. I have also been fortunate enough to be part of classes that combined the most unlikely of disciplines like history with physics.
What I have learned is to untangle the multiple facets of history and leap into new historical possibilities. I have learned to take risks and attempt really original research.
What I appreciate most is the larger history community at Ashoka. This includes professors, teaching fellows, PHD students and undergraduate students. We as a community have always tried to take history outside the classroom. One of the things I most enjoyed at Ashoka was being part of the Ashoka History Society, and being its president in 2019, It was a very exciting and enriching period, and made me a more well-rounded, budding historian.
ASP 21, Advanced History Major