My name is Doug Osto and I am a new lecturer teaching Asian religions at Massey University (Palmerston North). I would like to offer an introductory Sanskrit paper for anyone interested through Massey’s extramural program. In this way, anyone interested in learning the basics of Sanskrit in New Zealand can learn them anywhere in the country. After a full year of study, one would have enough knowledge to begin reading such scriptures as the Bhagavad Gita for instance.
About me: I have studied Sanskrit for over ten years at Harvard University, the University of Washington, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London). For three years, I have taught introductory Sanskrit at SOAS.
About the paper: The main textbook will be Michael Coulson’s Sanskrit: An Introduction to the Classical Language. The paper will be web-supported (so that I can assist with questions about pronunciation, grammar, etc), include two take-home tests and one final exam each semester. If I can get enough people interested the paper will start in February 2007.
Before I am able to make this paper official, I have been told that I need to demonstrate that there is interest in New Zealand to learn Sanskrit (of course there is!). Therefore, if you think that you would like to learn Sanskrit in this way, please email me. At this point all you need to do is supply me with your name and a list of names of anyone else who has also expressed similar interest. No personal details, or any kind of commitment is need at this point.
Also, please feel free to forward this message to anyone you might think is interested or post this message on any message boards, news letters, etc.
Dr. Douglas Osto
Religious Studies Programme
School of History, Philosophy and Politics
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Tel: 64 6 356 9099 ex. 7608