Professor Raj Ramanathapillai is Assistant Professor of Peace Studies and Philosophy at Gettysburg College. This fall he is teaching a first year seminar entitled "Whispers of Elephants: Elephant and Human Conflict".
Travel Memories: Riding on the back of an elephant, feeling the giant roots of magnificent Bayon trees, talking to a curious child monk at the steps of a gold painted Buddhist temple, missing a flight after being caught in sheets of monsoon rain riding on the back of a motorcycle. These were not simply moments of adventure, but experiences that evoked deeper self-awareness and greater knowledge of the diverse cultures, landscapes and wildlife of Asia. In this photographic exhibition I captured many of these moments from my five years of travel and research in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, South Korea and Japan.
This project was made possible by the Research and Professional Development Grants at Gettysburg College and by library staff members Lisa McNamee, Meggan Smith, Jim Ramos and Carolyn Sautter. Barbara Herman provided me with valuable assistance in securing photographic equipment and Carrie Szarko and Gavin Foster provided helpful technical assistance. I am appreciative for the support of my wonderful philosophy colleagues for my research activities from which this unexpected project emerged. I am especially grateful for the extraordinary kindness of strangers I met on my journeys throughout Asia and for thoughtful elephants and cheerful trees.
By Prof. Raj Ramanathapillai