Director's Page

Dr. Tara Sethia


Tara Sethia is Professor of History and Shri Shantinath Endowed Chair in Ahimsa Studies. She is the founder and director of Ahimsa Center at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Under the auspices of the Center, she has helped establish on campus an interdisicpiniary program in Nonviolence studies and serves as its coordinator and advisor.

She has directed Center's national summer institutes on Nonviolence for K-12 educators. These institutes are offered every other year. They include: Nonviolence and Social Change (2005), Gandhi, Nonviolence and the Twenti-first Century Curriculum (2007), Gandhi and King (2009), Gandhi and Chavez (2011), Gandhi, Sustainability and Happiness (2013), and Gandhi and Mandela (2015), Ahimsa Seminar for Educator Leaders (2019).

Professor Sethia received her Ph.D. in History from University of California, Los Angeles and M. A. in History from Rajasthan University (India). She is recipient of several grants, awards and honors, including Gold and Silver Medals from the University of Rajasthan, India; and a multi-year major grant from the National Endowment for Humanities to direct professional development Program on India and China for K-12 Educators, 1995-98.

Following her appointment at Cal Poly Pomona in 1991, she created new courses on India and South Asia and a course on Women in Asia. She also created the coure course, Nonviolence in the Modern World (which also GE C3/D4 requirement), and capstone Seminar on Nonviolence for the Nonviolence Studies Minor and offers these on a regular bases. Her additional course offerings include a seminar on Gandhi, and senior thesis for history majors.

Her publications include following books: Gandhi: Pioneer of Nonviolent Social Change (Pearson, 2012); and and co-edited volume, The Living Gandhi: Lessons for Our Times (Penguin, 2013); Ahimsa, Anekanta and Jainism (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass , 2004); and sevaral articles, book chapters, and reviews.

She has organized several International conferences: Lessons of Ahimsa and Anekanta for Contemporary Life (January 2002) , and Creating a Culture of Ahimsa: Visions and Strategies (May 2004) , Ahimsa and the Quality of Life (April 2006), Rediscovering Gandhian Wisdom: Building a Peaceful Future (October 2008), Ahimsa and Sustainability (November 2010), Ahimsa and Sustainable Happiness (2012), Care, Compassion and Mindfulness (2014); and a conference on Giving and Forgiving (2016), India@Seventy: Building a More Inclusive Democracy (2017), and Transformative Education: Lessons from Gandhi, King, Chavez and Mandela (2018). In addition, she has organized scores of public lectures, dialogues and workshops featuring world class experts on various aspects related to ahimsa. For details visit Programs of the Ahimsa Center.

She has served on the executive board of the World History Association, and the SAT II World History Committee hosted by the Educational Testing Service and the College Board. She has also served as a consultant to the California Department of Education, the British Broadcasting Service, and has been invited as reviewer for History Textbooks by several publishers and served on the review panels of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Her involvement in the establishment of Ahimsa Center on campus and its educational activities have received coverage in the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers and magazines.

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