Pierce Salguero, assistant professor of Asian history at Penn State Abington, spent last semester in the Humanities Writ Large initiative at Duke University. As a visiting faculty fellow, he immersed himself in the North Carolina campus community -- teaching, learning, examining, and discussing concepts to enhance the experiences of Abington students.
His research on the connections between Buddhism and medicine in world history is broad and interdisciplinary so while at Duke he proposed teaching a course that allowed him to explore this theme.
Salgero recently shared his experiences and the impact he foresees it having on the Abington campus community.
“I spent the semester with 15 students reading scholarly articles, historical sources and ethnographic reports related to religion and medicine in Asia. It gave me the chance to develop a new course for Abington and to work with students from a wide range of disciplines including a large number of science and pre-med majors."
"I allowed the students to develop final projects that spoke to them individually. All were based on solid academic research, but they ranged from a historical fiction, to a screenplay, a health care policy proposal, an ethnographic report on the local yoga scene, a syllabus for a course on energy medicine, and a Wikipedia entry (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda_in_America) in addition to conventional term papers.”
"I allowed the students to develop final projects that spoke to them individually. They ranged from a historical fiction, to a screenplay, a health care policy proposal, an ethnographic report on the local yoga scene, a syllabus for a course on energy medicine, and a Wikipedia entry.”
-- Pierce Salguero, assistant professor of Asian history at Penn State Abington
“A surprisingly fruitful cluster of cross-disciplinary conversations took place with faculty and staff involved with mindfulness meditation and gave me a sense of the ‘ecology of meditation’ at Duke. These discussions about the ways meditation is taught, researched, used, and explained in different contexts across the university have begun to coalesce in my mind and will likely become the basis for a chapter in my upcoming book on the global history of Buddhism and medicine.”
“Insights gained from those involved in the digital humanities have begun to percolate into my teaching at Abington and have sparked conversations with colleagues about collaborative digital projects.”
“The impact that Duke’s culture of interdisciplinarity has had on me is clear, and I am brainstorming how to modify some of these innovations to bring them to Abington.”
Fresh from the visiting faculty fellowship, Salguero helped launch the new Asian studies minor at Abington this semester. He is also preparing to teach the course he developed while at Duke. “Religion and Medicine in Asia,” which debuts this fall, gives students the opportunity to trace its connections from ancient history to today.
For more information about the new Asia studies minor and Salguero, go to www.abington.psu.edu/academics/faculty/dr-c-pierce-salguero