8 episodes

In this series students invite the public along with them on an inquiry to introduce and contest the frameworks of major themes in South Asian and African(a) philosophies which for all their depth and breadth and world-transforming thought have largely been excluded or undervalued in our philosophy curricula. Join us for insights into different conceptions of reality and ways of thinking about community - to map how theories of language and logic affect our daily experience and ethical choices. How might 'ubuntu' or 'emptiness' change what you choose to do when you get up tomorrow morning? Come to ask and seek with us in discussions with thinkers from around the world (as we currently know it). The path is wide open for responsible inquiry and institutional change.

Welcome to the opp African(a) and South Asian philosophies podcast series! Join us – an Oxford-student initiated group – in these episodes to begin to explore topics related to our 2021-22 journal’s themes: African(a) and South Asian philosophies and the value(s) of our education. As these topics are given little or no attention in our curricula we hope this series can begin to broaden our collective horizons as learners and aid any further engagement with the journal. We seek to foster a globally-oriented and accessible discussion that transgresses dominating disciplinary boundaries of Euro-American academic institutions.The project opens space to reflect on methodological, topical, and institutional concerns related to and as a practice of philosophy. We’ll move through episodes on methodology to South Asian philosophies to African(a) philosophies before we end with a finale linking all our themes with a particular emphasis on connecting social issues and ethical concerns to our philosophical practices. This series is a small move for reflection and decolonial transformation. Please join us.

Special thanks to our editors Zac Furlough and Kei Patrick
To the podcast team members who worked on this project
To Juniper IV (www.juniperiv.net and @juniperivband) for the introductory acoustics from ‘Fade Away’
To Zed Notts for the logo design
To AHRC-TORCH for the support
And to Oxford Podcasts

You can find further resources on our website and social media including learning resource lists and discussion group recordings. Stay attuned for the journal turn2 release this winter!

More about opp
opp works to increase the accessibility to philosophy and to create a space to actively question what philosophy is and how we’re doing it, both in form and content, and as encountered from our various positions in the world. the Oxford-student-initiated group organises activities and resources as participatory aids to discussing the (sub)themes of an annual journal that accepts art, poetry, and prose philosophy pieces. as opp’s mission states: ‘the aim is to make room for the possibility of strengthening, broadening or contesting our interpretative frameworks and field of consideration.’

Thanks to this podcast series team:
Aamir Kaderbhai
Carlotta Hartmann
Cody Fuller
Dylan Watts
Heeyoung Tae
Kei Patrick
Lea Cantor
Scarlett Wheelan
Srutokirti Basak
alicehank winham

African(a) and South Asian Philosophies Oxford University

    • Education

In this series students invite the public along with them on an inquiry to introduce and contest the frameworks of major themes in South Asian and African(a) philosophies which for all their depth and breadth and world-transforming thought have largely been excluded or undervalued in our philosophy curricula. Join us for insights into different conceptions of reality and ways of thinking about community - to map how theories of language and logic affect our daily experience and ethical choices. How might 'ubuntu' or 'emptiness' change what you choose to do when you get up tomorrow morning? Come to ask and seek with us in discussions with thinkers from around the world (as we currently know it). The path is wide open for responsible inquiry and institutional change.

Welcome to the opp African(a) and South Asian philosophies podcast series! Join us – an Oxford-student initiated group – in these episodes to begin to explore topics related to our 2021-22 journal’s themes: African(a) and South Asian philosophies and the value(s) of our education. As these topics are given little or no attention in our curricula we hope this series can begin to broaden our collective horizons as learners and aid any further engagement with the journal. We seek to foster a globally-oriented and accessible discussion that transgresses dominating disciplinary boundaries of Euro-American academic institutions.The project opens space to reflect on methodological, topical, and institutional concerns related to and as a practice of philosophy. We’ll move through episodes on methodology to South Asian philosophies to African(a) philosophies before we end with a finale linking all our themes with a particular emphasis on connecting social issues and ethical concerns to our philosophical practices. This series is a small move for reflection and decolonial transformation. Please join us.

Special thanks to our editors Zac Furlough and Kei Patrick
To the podcast team members who worked on this project
To Juniper IV (www.juniperiv.net and @juniperivband) for the introductory acoustics from ‘Fade Away’
To Zed Notts for the logo design
To AHRC-TORCH for the support
And to Oxford Podcasts

You can find further resources on our website and social media including learning resource lists and discussion group recordings. Stay attuned for the journal turn2 release this winter!

More about opp
opp works to increase the accessibility to philosophy and to create a space to actively question what philosophy is and how we’re doing it, both in form and content, and as encountered from our various positions in the world. the Oxford-student-initiated group organises activities and resources as participatory aids to discussing the (sub)themes of an annual journal that accepts art, poetry, and prose philosophy pieces. as opp’s mission states: ‘the aim is to make room for the possibility of strengthening, broadening or contesting our interpretative frameworks and field of consideration.’

Thanks to this podcast series team:
Aamir Kaderbhai
Carlotta Hartmann
Cody Fuller
Dylan Watts
Heeyoung Tae
Kei Patrick
Lea Cantor
Scarlett Wheelan
Srutokirti Basak
alicehank winham

    Episode 8: Liberatory orientations in African(a) and South Asian philosophies

    Episode 8: Liberatory orientations in African(a) and South Asian philosophies

    In this episode, Aamir Kaderbhai (Mst Study of Religions), Heeyoung Tae (BA Philosophy, Politics, & Economics), and alicehank winham (MPhil Buddhist Studies) converse with Dr. Anatanand Rambachan (Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College), Dr Brett Parris (DPhil candidate in religious ethics at Oxford) and Dr Lee McBride III (Professor of Philosophy, The College of Wooster) about the nuances of liberatory philosophies in the African(a) and South Asian philosophical traditions.

    In this series finale episode we intersect our journal’s subthemes though by no means end their exploration. Our guests link reasoning and logic to social thought and practice by reflecting on the African(a) and South Asian philosophical traditions as well as Euro-American educational practices. Their comparisons focus on liberatory philosophies that work on alleviating oppression through the transformative power of philosophy. Yet there are differences between philosophies of liberation despite this similar goal. We explore similar themes and nuanced differences between some South Asian and African(a) liberatory philosophies including new and old takes on Advaita Vedanta philosophy and insurrectionist ethics. We examine the dangers of essentialization and how we can use language in forms of coalition-based action from a philosophical lens. This ties philosophical analysis to our daily lives, socio-political institutions, and practiced norms. We become able not only to orient ourselves towards liberation but also to nuance our paths of questioning and education in that direction.

    • 1 hr 49 min
    Episode 7: The Limits of Academia with Professor Joy James

    Episode 7: The Limits of Academia with Professor Joy James

    Professor Joy James is the Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities at Williams College. In this episode, Carlotta Hartmann speaks to her about coming to philosophy and the limits of academia. Professor Joy James is the Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities at Williams College. In this episode, Carlotta Hartmann speaks to her about coming to philosophy and the limits of academia. Professor James speaks about how the presence of power in her early life informed her politics, and about the contradictions and loneliness that come with working in the academy. She has written extensively on police and prison abolitionism and radicalizing feminisms, and here speaks about her work with formerly incarcerated folk. Ultimately, she says, the academy has given her the extra time to pursue her work on social justice – the connections she makes in doing this work give her hope.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 6: Tradition and modernity in African cultural philosophy

    Episode 6: Tradition and modernity in African cultural philosophy

    Scarlett Whelan and Kei Patrick interview Prof Ochieng’-Odhiambo and Zeyad el Nabolsy about attitudes to tradition, modernity and modernisation in the work of two African philosophers: Amilcar Cabral and Henry Odera Oruka. Scarlett Whelan (Mst African Studies) and Kei Patrick (BA Philosophy and French) interview Prof. Frederick Ochieng’-Odhiambo (University of the West Indies) and Zeyad el Nabolsy (Africana Studies, Cornell), on attitudes to tradition, modernity and modernisation in the work of two African philosophers: Amilcar Cabral and Henry Odera Oruka.

    This episode aims to prepare listeners them for engagement with turn 2 of oxford public philosophy, by introducing some themes of modern Africana philosophy. We first raise and dispel some common meta-philosophical concerns about Africana discourses, and consider epistemic differences between the African and European traditions.

    Diving into some approaches to particular philosophical traditions, Prof. Ochieng tells us about Kenyan philosopher Odera Oruka: his concept of philosophic sagacity, and his project of developing a truly authentic national culture, which would protect Kenya from harmful foreign practices and ideas.

    Unpacking the idea of authentic national culture, we bring Oruka into conversation with cultural philosopher Amílcar Cabral. Cabral broadly endorsed an anti-essentialist, historicized conception of culture, and saw cultural liberation in terms of cultural autonomy as opposed to the preservation of indigenous cultures. Zeyad provides us with a useful distinction between cultural influence and cultural domination, which we apply to some common discussions about tradition and cultural development in Africa.

    • 1 hr 53 min
    Episode 5: A Yogācāra Buddhist Theory of Metaphor and cross-cultural philosophy with Dr. Roy Tzohar

    Episode 5: A Yogācāra Buddhist Theory of Metaphor and cross-cultural philosophy with Dr. Roy Tzohar

    In this episode, MPhil Buddhist Studies students Cody Fuller and alicehankwinham interview Professor Tzohar (associate professor in the East and South Asian Studies Department at Tel Aviv University). They interview him about his landmark work in Buddhist philosophy of language, A Yogācāra Buddhist Theory of Metaphor (OUP 2018). They talk about compelling issues in cross-cultural hermeneutics, ethics, and philosophy of language that arise directly from the research covered in the book developing an early Indian philosophical theory of metaphor –little of the likes which exists in contemporary analytic philosophy today. We explore the implications of 6th-century Indian scholar Sthiramati’s claim that all language in figurative – how does this project affect our methodological approaches to and understanding of early Indian discourse and practice? How might this challenge Euro-American contemporary notions of ‘Realism’ and nuance understandings of its philosophies of language and perception? How might the work help us make sense of apparent contradictions in early Indian texts about what it means to be a bodhisattva committed to liberating all sentient beings from suffering and what possibilities does this renewed understanding offer to our own ethical reflection today? Join us to refresh our engagement with the possibilities of ‘non-conceptual awareness’ and more.

    • 2 hr 7 min
    Episode 4: Academic, Moral, and Spiritual Philosophy from the Ramakrishna Order

    Episode 4: Academic, Moral, and Spiritual Philosophy from the Ramakrishna Order

    Dylan Watts (UG physics and philosophy) and Aamir Kaderbhai (MSt study of religion) interview Swami Medhananda, ordained monk of the Ramakrishna Order and Senior Research Fellow at the Ramakrishna Institute of Moral and Spiritual Education, Mysore, India Rather than zooming in on a particular piece of content within Indian philosophy, our discussion explores the experience of studying it and investigates the relationship between academic and ‘spiritual’ approaches to Indian philosophy. Our conversation covers a lot of ground, from Sri Aurobindo scriptural hermeneutics, to the epistemic value of religious experience, to differences between traditional Sanskrit education and contemporary academic institutions. Swami Medhananda uses his academic knowledge and personal experience to argue for the possibility of using the tools of scholarship to further one’s own spiritual life, and the value of a practitioner’s standpoint for academic understanding.

    • 1 hr 53 min
    Episode 3: Approaches to South Asian philosophies

    Episode 3: Approaches to South Asian philosophies

    Aamir Kaderbhai and Heeyoung Tae interview Mini Chandran, Professor in the department of humanities and social sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy at Harvard University. We discuss what it is to do, study, and teach South Asian philosophy. What role should South Asian philosophy, as a living tradition of thought, play in the discipline of philosophy, and what can it contribute? What kind of attitude, and methodology, should we adopt in approaching the texts? Can we, and should we, apply sub-disciplines within the analytic tradition to South Asian material? What presuppositions should we recognise, and abandon? How about terminology, classifications and syllabus design, particularly in light of the new undergraduate paper here at Oxford, titled ‘Indian Philosophy’? We also discuss what is lost - or not lost - in translation, the question of elitism, and the urgent need to learn from and support traditionally trained scholars within traditional intellectual practices.

    Our sincere thanks to Professor Chandran and Professor Patil for joining us, we will now begin the conversation by introducing our speakers.

    • 2 hr 13 min

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