I am Black Hawk College – Melissa Hebert-Johnson

Melissa Hebert-Johnson at the Red Fort in Old Delhi

Melissa Hebert-Johnson, associate professor of art history, spent part of her summer in India as a participant in “India’s Past and the Making of the Present,” a U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute.

She was one of 24 institute fellows who spent four weeks in July primarily in New Delhi, but also trekked to Kurukshetra, Agra and Varanasi/Sarnath.

The institute introduces participants to the most current scholarly perspectives on India so that they can broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of Indian history and culture and can enrich their teaching, particularly in humanities survey courses.

“I’ve always been interested in Indian art and culture. I teach about India in just about every class,” she said.

After four weeks immersed in the country and its culture, “I now can go more in-depth. Students can tell when you’ve been somewhere and are really excited. They can get something they wouldn’t get out of a textbook.”

Holy Buddhist site of Sarnath


Melissa is available to speak to community groups about about her trip and topics such as the Taj Mahal, Muslim rulership of India, the ancient Indus River valley and Gandhi’s public image in India.

To schedule a speaking engagement, contact the BHC Speakers Bureau at 309-796-5051 or smithh@bhc.edu.

To read Melissa’s blog about her experience in India, go to http://mhjneh.wordpress.com/.

To see photo highlights of Melissa’s trip, visit Black Hawk College on Facebook.

To see all of the pictures from her trip, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/stonecyffer/.


Hundreds of tiny icons of Hindu deities for sale outside the holy site of Jyotisar