Yoga and Tantra with Dr. David Gitomer

ChakraswithSriYantraDavid Gitomer, the Director of DePaul’s MALS and IDS Program, is offering an amazing class next quarter.  Religion/AAS 344 is  cross listed with MLS 488:


Starting with the classical yoga of ancient India, moving to medieval Hatha Yoga concepts of the body’s chakras, and finally to Tibetan mandala and “conscious rebirth” practices that build on the earlier ideas, this course focuses on the phenomenon of spiritual liberation through the body in South Asian and Himalayan culture.  The development of modern studio yoga with its emphasis on physical and ChakraDiagrammental well-being will be traced from its origins as a response to British colonial contempt for the India body to its contemporary western practice and its role in Hindu nationalism.  Emphasis on constructions of gender in the yoga and tantra traditions will be central to the course.  Students with some background in Hinduism or Buddhism will have an advantage in preparation, but all students willing to absorb the rich philosophical and cultural texture of the pre-modern South Asian and Himalayan worldview will find the course enriching.

Susan Jacobs’ Piece for The Aldo Leopold Foundation

Susan Jacobs, the DePaul MALS/IDS associate director, academic advisor and a writing instructor contributed a wonderful piece for The Aldo Leopold Foundation’s website and blog.  The whole piece can be read here:

Bringing Interdisciplinary Sources to the Table: Urban College Writers Meet Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac


Even in Chicago’s grid we see examples of urban farming

Leopold was a prominent environmentalist, conservationist, ecologist, and scientist in the first half of the 20th century who wrote with great passion on many environmental topics, especially the field he founded: wildlife management.  His seminal work, A Sand County Almanac, advocates for a land ethic and conservation.

Susan’s post does a great job of bridging Leopold’s work and ideas to Chicago’s urban life for her freshman students to see a greener world and write with a better voice when they channel Leopold’s direct observational writing style.  To read Susan’s piece follow this link and for other great material from the Leopold foundation, please click here.

Chicago Crime Article by Friend of MALS/IDS

by Angelina Mendez

Friend and occasional MALS/IDS faculty member, Noah Isackson, has had a string of publicity lately surrounding his recent article in Chicago Magazine.

The article, an interview of Chicago Police Department Superintendant Garry McCarthy and an investigation of the rising rates of Chicago violent crime was published in the August edition of the magazine. Isackson explores the Superintendant’s history and his rise up the ranks of three cities’ departments. He then explains and examines the crime-fighting strategies used here in Chicago and how much murder rates have risen in the past year.

A recent interview Isackson did on the local Chicago Fox News channel focuses on the article and the problems with the work being done to fight violent crime as it related to gangs in the city. The Fraternal Order of Police President, Michael Shields, was also on the segment. He advocates more police officers being hired as a way to support and defend those already working to fight gang violence throughout the city.

Isackson was also interviewed on NPR recently regarding this issue. He talks about the concern with the rise in the rates of violent crime over the past year and the response that the Superintendant has been advocating to lower that rate.

If you have a chance, please read, view, and listen to these pieces. They provide a plethora of information about the problem of crime in the city and give different views of the related facts and statistics. Noah Isackson gives a grounded understanding of the problems in the city and really showcases his full understanding of the issue in these three pieces.

Again, the article can be found at; the video interview can be found at; and the radio interview can be found at

Upcoming Event with Our Associate Director!

If you teach, this presentation may be very relevant to you. Register online here to reserve your seat for this interesting event.

Lynne Copp, Faculty Director of the University Internship & Co-op Program, has organized a brief presentation/conversation to explore how we as instructors can better incorporate transferable life/learning skills  that successfully move with our students from our classrooms to the professions. We hope you will join us in one of these sessions. We are particularly interested in sharing best practices that help our students not only “buy in” to required classes, but which also help our students identify and articulate both general and specific skill sets that will be valuable to future employers. (See below for mor specific information.)

Convergence Spring 2012

by Lauren Dorman

We present to you our latest version of Convergence. We like to keep you updated on changes within our programs as well as the professional accomplishments of our distinguished alumni. If you have any news you’d like to share with the MALS and IDS communities, we encourage you to contact our office with the details.

If you’re a student, alumni, or faculty member associated with our program, you should expect to receive your copy in the mail any day now.

Below is an embedded .PDF version of our Spring 2012 issue. Best viewed in fullscreen.


Staff Profile: Javaria Afghani


by Jane Bohnsack

Javaria Afghani is a second year graduate student in the Writing and Publishing program. But she also works as a graduate assistant in The Center for Writing Based Learning, one of the best student resources on campus. At The Writing Center, students work with peer tutors who have specialized experience in whatever field of writing they may need assistance. Writing Center tutors offer help with any style of writing students and collaborate with students and faculty of all disciplines and experience levels. They’re trained and available to help hone critical academic writing skills, and really provide a good example of what DePaul is like – multi-disciplinary, knowledgeable, and expansive. This past winter, our MALS and IDS students benefited from Javaria’s expertise when she and Kate, another Writing Center Consultant, visited our “Winter Tune Up” to talk about their experiences as graduate writers and the services offered by the Writing Center that are of particular value to graduate level research/writing.

Javaria’s personal experiences at the Writing Center have definitely led her in an interdisciplinary direction. Prior to working at The Writing Center, she had no real interest in teaching. But in her time here at DePaul, Javaria has really come to appreciate the ways in which her multi-disciplinary skills provide her with the experience necessary to teach, and that she finds real joy in sharing that knowledge with other students. Javaria really considers tutoring to be the best resource available at The Writing Center. In addition to one-on-one tutoring, students can benefit from the Writing Center’s website which offers access to excellent resources, live chats, and email feedback. The students who tutor come from all backgrounds and experience levels — graduate students, undergrads, faculty, multi-lingual speakers. The Writing Center has the resources to assist in any area or field in a truly discipline-specific manner.

You can reach Javaria and other tutors at the Writing Center’s website: . You can also reach Javaria personally with any questions you may have at .