Professor Profile: Surupa Gupta
By HOPE RACINE
Professor Surupa Gupta is a professor in the department of political science and international affairs. She was featured in the Honorable Mentions section in last week’s edition of the Bullet for her speech at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
How long have you been teaching at the University of Mary Washington?
Gupta: This is my sixth year teaching.
What classes do you teach?
Gupta: Almost every semester I teach the introductory International Relations class, and then in the fall I typically teach one or two sections of International Political Economy, which is one of the upper division courses in the department, and one of the requirements for the IR major. In the spring, I teach one or two sections of either Politics of South Asia or Indian Foreign Policy.
What is your favorite class to teach?
Gupta: It is always hard to answer that question. I would have to say International Political Economy. It’s not just that it is my favorite, but usually I am able to get students to interact and participate more. In my introductory classes, students are usually weary to speak in front of classmates, and in the South Asia class people typically do not know much about south Asia, so they are hesitant. With my style of teaching, I like to stop and ask questions a lot and encourage students to participate. Since students participate more in International Political Economy, it is a lot more interactive, so it is more fun.
If you could create any class to teach at UMW, what would it be?
Gupta: I’ve been thinking of developing a course on gender and economic development. From what I’ve seen there is some interest in it, such as from the women and genders studies department, as well as the IR department. While it is not a part of my focus, I’ve been interested in gender issues for a while.
What is your primary research focus?
Gupta: I focus on the politics of trade in developing countries, particularly in India, as well as Indian foreign economic policy making. I also write on India agricultural policy making under globalization.
You recently spoke at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. How was that?
Gupta: This semester I went to Copenhagen to talk about Indian foreign policy, and I focused on the economic part of it. I have a co-author who is focusing on the security aspect of it, and we are co-authoring a paper on Indian foreign policy. The project is sponsored by the Royal Danish Defense College, and then this speech was from the German Marshall Fund. They invite experts to come speak and provide workshops for their fellows, and this workshop was on India and the liberal world order. There were a couple of other panelists who talked about the security and domestic politics side of it, and I talked about the political economy side of it.