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Interviews with Scholars of South Asia about their New Books

New Books in South Asian Studies New Books Network

    • 社会/文化

Interviews with Scholars of South Asia about their New Books

    Kenneth R. Valpey, "Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

    Kenneth R. Valpey, "Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

    What does cow care in India have to offer modern Western discourse animal ethics? Why are cows treated with such reverence in the Indian context? Join us as we speak to Kenneth R. Valpey about his new book Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Valpey discusses his methodological odyssey looking at ancient Hindu scriptural accounts of cows, to modern Hindu thinkers (Gandhi, Ambedkar) on cow protection, to ethnographic work on individuals engaged in the modern Indian cow protection movement.
    This book is Open Access, and you can download a free copy here.
    For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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    • 59分
    Dr. Alice Collett, "Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns: Biographies as History" (Oxford UP, 2016)

    Dr. Alice Collett, "Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns: Biographies as History" (Oxford UP, 2016)

    Dr. Alice Collett’s monograph Lives of Early Buddhist Nuns: Biographies as History (Oxford University Press, 2016) delves into the lives of six of the best-known nuns from the period of early Buddhism: Dhammadinnā, Khemā, Kisāgotamī, Paṭācārā, Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā, and Uppalavaṇṇā, all of whom are said to have been direct disciples of the historical Buddha. Collett does the thankless task of sorting through the biographical information scattered throughout the canonical and commenterial literature to present a richly textured account of the these six extraordinary women’s lives. She further analyzes the differences between the various biographical accounts to glean historical information about the position of women and changing gender relations in the early centuries of Buddhism in India. One of the main contributions of her monograph is the finding that women were treated more favorably in the Pāli Canon than is commonly presented. She also gains insight into an impressive number of other themes ranging from notions of beauty and bodily adornment, to family, class, and marriage to name just a few. This book is sure to be of value to a wide audience, especially those interested in women in Buddhism, early Buddhism and early Indian society.
    Alex Carroll studies Buddhist Studies at the University of South Wales and is primarily interested in Theravāda and early Buddhism. He lives in Oslo, Norway and can be reached via his website here. 
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    • 1 時間6分
    Kim A. Wagner, "Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre" (Yale UP, 2019)

    Kim A. Wagner, "Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre" (Yale UP, 2019)

    You've probably seen the film Gandhi and you likely think that you know all about the Amritsar Massacre of 1919. After all, Richard Attenborough’s 1982 academy award winning film did an incredible job of recreating every detail of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordering his Gurkha and Sikh troops to open fire on a peaceful crowd listening to a nationalist speech. Right? Well, professor Kim Wagner of the University of London Queen Mary wants to undo the mythology that surrounds this event.
    Critiquing both Indian nationalist narratives and Raj nostalgia, Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre (Yale University Press, 2019) puts this act of colonial violence in its proper historical context. Based on meticulous archival research and presented in a lively and engaging style, Wagner argues that this massacre was not an aberration from an otherwise just and well-managed British colony. Rather, the massacre was part of a longer history of violence that includes the suppression of the Thugee, the brutal crushing of the 1857 mutiny, and a series of other violent events. Indeed, Wagner sees British violence as central to the imperial project. The book also explores the afterlife of the massacre, including popular British support for the disgraced Dyer and the uses of the event by the Indian nationalist movement. Considering President Trump’s recent pardoning of a Navy SEAL convicted of war crimes, our discussion of Amritsar 1919 resonates with current events.
    Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.
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    • 1 時間16分
    Ajantha Subramanian, "The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India" (Harvard UP, 2019)

    Ajantha Subramanian, "The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India" (Harvard UP, 2019)

    What is merit? How is it claimed? In her much-awaited book The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India (Harvard University Press, 2019), Ajantha Subramanian addresses the pertinent question of caste inheritance and privilege in the making of merit and meritocracies. Focusing her attention on the premier institutions of engineering education in India, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Subramanian provides an insightful account of their emergence is post-independence India as a set of distinct and “world class” institutions underwritten by the Indian state. As Subramanian traces the colonial career of technical knowledge as the prehistory of the formation of IITs as well as the global circulation of ‘Brand IIT’, she provides us an account of how the alibis of caste inheritance emerge against graded inequalities. Whether it is through the language of law that only names caste discrimination as the basis of non-achievement while leaving unnamed caste inheritances as the basis of achievement, or through the judicial monikers of ‘general category’ and ‘reserved category’ or better still the ‘middle classness’ of those who claim educational achievement as their only capital, Subramanian’s book unravels the claims to casteless-ness crucial to the discourse on meritocracy in India and in the United States.
    Ajantha Subramanian is a Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. Tune in to listen to the author talk about the dual value of technical education, the relationships between caste and mobility, the Indian diaspora in the Silicon Valley and the methodological repertoire and dilemmas of (not) talking about caste privilege.
    Bhoomika Joshi is a doctoral student in the department of anthropology at Yale University. 
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    • 1 時間5分
    Simon Brodbeck, "Krishna's Lineage: The Harivamsha of Vyasa's Mahabharata" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Simon Brodbeck, "Krishna's Lineage: The Harivamsha of Vyasa's Mahabharata" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    While typically circulating as a separate text, The Harivamsha forms the final part of the Mahabharata storyline. Beyond this, it is rich storehouse of cosmological, genealogical, theological materials, detailing the biography of Krishna (avatar of the Hindu great god Vishnu), along with much more mythic material. Join us as we speak with Simon Brodbeck about the significance of the Harivamsha, and about his process producing this fine, accessible English translation, Krishna's Lineage: The Harivamsha of Vyasa's Mahabharata (Oxford University Press, 2019).
    For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 47分
    James M. Vaughn, "The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III" (Yale UP, 2019)

    James M. Vaughn, "The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III" (Yale UP, 2019)

    In his notes for a speech to be delivered in the House of Commons in the wake of American Independence, the MP and imperial reformer Edmund Burke observed that ‘Some people are great Lovers of uniformity - They are not satisfied with a rebellion in the West. They must have one in the East: They are not satisfied with losing one Empire - they must lose another. Lord North will weep that he has not more worlds to lose’. At its eighteenth-century height, the British Empire extended its power over two vast indigenous spaces: one in North America, and the other in India. The question of what this empire was, and how it should be governed was the subject of intense debate in Britain. For decades, historians have maintained that the acquisition of vast territorial domains was unexpected and unplanned – in a ‘fit of absence of mind’.
    In The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III: The East India Company and the Crisis and Transformation of Britain’s Imperial State (Yale University Press, 2019), James M. Vaughn offers an powerful challenge to the received view that the Asian domains were acquired by accident and formed part of an empire of liberty. By charting a fundamental shift in British politics during the eighteenth century, he reveals that the imperial project in India was defined by conquest and domination and driven by a new kind of politics.
    Charles Prior is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull (UK), who has written on the politics of religion in early modern Britain, and whose work has recently expanded to the intersection of colonial, indigenous, and imperial politics in early America. He co-leads the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster.
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    • 42分

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