Mission Statement

GALACTIC harnesses new media to inspire global engagement rooted in local knowledge. In virtual and face-to-face classroom settings, GALACTIC foregrounds cultural practitioners: artists, healers, cooks, and storytellers as teachers and as instrumental to an understanding of cultural diversity, conflict, and even resolution. Offering professional development workshops, we design local-centric curricula at the intersection of arts, indigenous leadership, cultural heritage policy, decolonization, compassionate listening and conflict management. Bridging local cultures is out of this world! GALACTIC is a collaboration among Navajo Technical University School of Dine' and Law Studies, Indiana University Center for The Study of the Middle East and Center for the Study of Global Change, The Ohio State University's Living Jerusalem: Ethnography and Blog-Bridging in Disputed Territory and Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.


Living Jerusalem Project

Founded in 1991, Living Jerusalem is an ongoing ethnographic engagement among Israeli, Palestinian and US scholars and students.

Balfour Scholars Program

Although the achievement gap is narrowing at the K-12 level, barriers to college enrollment still continue to exist for many traditionally underrepresented groups. Supported by a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, the Balfour Scholars Program (BSP) is a free program for high school juniors designed to help cultivate student academic and career development as well as minimize misperceptions about affordability, unfamiliarity with higher education, and difficulties with cultural adjustment that prevent students from successfully matriculating and graduating from college.

Music In Disputed Territories

This course examines the role that music plays in forging new identities and in crossing political boundaries in disputed territory. Music has played a significant, if not always recognized role in world politics from campaign jingles to revolutionary protest music. We will explore music in the context of performances in daily life, religious ritual, and cultural and political events. From the music of Israeli Jews from Islamic lands to the proliferation of Reggae and Afro-Cuban music in Europe, we will focus on how music defies national and political boundaries and creates unlikely coalitions among listeners and performers. Some of the questions we will ask are: what is the role of technology in the globalization of local music? What is the impact of community upheaval (migration, exile, refugee status, natural disaster, slavery, racial, sexual and economic discrimination, and gentrification) on music formation and change? The course challenges students to examine the asymmetrical encounters and subsequent power relationships between local African, Asian, European, North American and Latin American musical traditions. Our working definition for disputed territory will encompass contentious arenas in the U.S. as well as global conflict zones. Further, we will employ the notion of disputed territory to include disputes over sexual, ethnic, class and racial identities.
Previous Course (2011)

Human Rights and Social Movements

This class is an introduction to the topic of human rights, the movements to promote them and the forces arrayed against them, both past and present. We will examine many of the key issues of human rights, how they are defined, how respect for them is ensured, and what they are threatened by. The class will not only consider contemporary dilemmas in human rights, like humanitarian intervention, but also historical questions such as how we explain progressive steps like the end of the slave trade and the creation of the laws of war.
Course Location: This class is currently only offered in the International Studies Department at Indiana University Bloomington.
Sample Syllabus (2011)
Sample Course Readings


Formation & Foundation of Navajo Thought - Navajo Technical College - Spring 2015

Contemporary Navajo Gender, Politics, & Leadership - Navajo Technical College - Spring 2015

Cultural Revitalization: Problems, Solutions, & Possibilities - Navajo Technical College - Fall 2014

Contemporary Navajo Life & Experiences - Navajo Technical College - Spring 2015

Living Jerusalem - Ohio State - Spring 2014

Human Rights and the Arts - Indiana University - Spring 2014 

Music in Disputed Territories - Cultural Dimensions of Globalization - Ohio State - Spring 2011

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