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Rabindranath Tagore was the quintessential Renaissance man and remains one of the most influential figures in India's history. Thanks to the Tagore Society of Houston (TSH), the artist's creative and intellectual energies will be celebrated through a new scholarship available to University of Houston students.
TSH in collaboration with the UH's English department and Creative Writing Program, are introducing the Tagore Scholar Passport Operating Scholarship for UH graduate students from all academic disciplines. Each year, one student will be awarded $5,000 to be applied to one semester of research or creative work dedicated to the legacy of Bengali novelist, poet, musician, social reformist, artist and playwright Tagore.
"Tagore's vision, which reaches across disciplinary areas of study, scholarship, research and creativity, speaks to UH's mission and its commitment to international study and understanding," said Wyman Herendeen, chair of UH's English department. "In that spirit, the Tagore Society wanted the scholarship to be open to all full-time UH graduate students. We are deeply honored to join in this new partnership and to support the scholarly, creative and intellectual values represented in the scholarship."
A Tagore scholar's prospective projects may include study in India at the Tagore-founded Visva-Bharti University, study to a university or library that archived the work of Tagore, study with a prominent Tagore scholar, or work on scholarly or creative projects influenced by Tagore.
"Tagore was not only a poet but also a man of many great accomplishments and a thinker with profound transformative ideas," said Surajit Dasgupta, executive director of the Tagore Society. "The scholarship was established to fulfill Tagore's vision of a ‘Vishwa Maha-Manav' which essentially means a ‘Great World Thinker' or a ‘Great World Leader.'"
Tagore was born in 1861 in Calcutta. A natural writer since he was a boy, Tagore authored many volumes of poetry including "Manasi (The Ideal One)," "Sonar Tari (The Golden Boat)," "Gitanjali (Song Offerings)," "Gitimalya (Garland of Songs)" and "Balaka (The Flight of Cranes)." He also wrote eight novels including "Chaturanga (Quartet)," "Shesher Kobita (The Last Poem)," "Char Adyhay (Four Chapters)" and "Noukadubi (The Boat Wreck)." As a songwriter, Tagore composed more than 2,000 works. Later in life, he added painting to his repertoire and became a successful and prolific artist. In 1913, he was named the Nobel Laureate of Literature. He also is noted for his close friendship with Mohandas Gandhi, 20th century leader of India's independence movement.
"This scholarship marks an exciting new opportunity for University of Houston graduate students, and it inaugurates an important partnership with the Indian and Bengali community in Houston and internationally," Herendeen said.
Applications for the inaugural Tagore Scholarship are due Oct. 15. For complete details on the application requirements and process, visit http://www.class.uh.edu/english/gradprgs_tagore.asp.