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Interviews with Scholars of Hinduism with their New Books

Interviews with Scholars of Hinduism with their New Books
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United States

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Interviews with Scholars of Hinduism with their New Books

Language:

English


Episodes

McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century" (Verso, 2017)

12/6/2018
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McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2017) introduce readers to important work in Anglophone cultural studies, psychoanalysis, political theory, media theory, speculative realism, science studies, Italian and French workerist and autonomist thought, two “imaginative readings of Marx,” and two “unique takes on...

Duration:01:01:16

Sumantra Bose, "Secular States, Religious Politics, India, Turkey and the Future of Secularism" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

11/28/2018
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Sumantra Bose's new book Secular States, Religious Politics, India, Turkey and the Future of Secularism (Cambridge University Press, 2018) is a fascinating comparison of the rise of religious parties in the non-Western world’s two major attempts to establish a post-colonial secular state. The secular experiments in Turkey and India were considered success stories for the longest period of time but that has changed with the rise of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development...

Duration:00:55:22

Danna Agmon, "A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conversion, and Scandal in French India" (Cornell UP, 2017)

11/28/2018
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People sometimes forget—if they are even aware—that France’s empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries included a colonial presence in South Asia, a presence that at one time rivaled that of the British. Danna Agmon’s A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conversion, and Scandal in French India (Cornell University, 2017) zooms in on the 1716 arrest and conviction of a Tamil commercial agent and employee of the French East India Company, a legal case that resonated throughout the empire for...

Duration:00:54:42

Philip Lutgendorf, “The Epic of Ram” (Harvard University Press, 2016-)

11/2/2018
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Dr. Philip Lutgendorf is Retired Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa. He is currently working on a seven-volume translation of the Hindi devotional text, the Rāmcaritmānas written by the sixteenth-century North Indian poet, Tulsīdās. The first four volumes of the translation, entitled The Epic of Ram (Harvard University Press, 2016-), are currently available as part of the Murty Classical Library of India Series published by Harvard University Press and...

Duration:01:02:34

Anand Taneja, “Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi”

10/31/2018
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Anand Taneja’s Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi (Stanford University Press, 2017) is a landmark publication that interrogates modes of religious practice and imaginaries of time that disrupt dominant claims and narratives of the post-colonial state about religion and religious identity. Centered on the ruins of Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi, this book brings into view visions of sovereignty, ethics, hospitality, and inter-communal encounters that...

Duration:00:53:58

Shyam Ranganathan, “Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation” (Routledge, 2018)

8/20/2018
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In Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation (Routledge, 2018), Shyam Ranganathan argues that a careful philosophical study reveals telling philosophical disagreements across topics such as: ethics, logic, epistemology, moral standing, metaphysics, and politics. His analysis offers an innovative stance on the very study of Hinduism, and tensions between scholars and practitioners of Hindu traditions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:50:40

Keya Maitra, “Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)

8/15/2018
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The Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundational texts of Hinduism and probably the one most familiar and popular in the West. The moral problem that motivates the text – is it right to kill members of one’s extended family if they are on the other side in a war? – leads to an extended discussion of such themes as rebirth and reincarnation and the personal paths to unity with the universe through the yogas of action, knowledge, and devotion. In Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary...

Duration:01:01:59

Sucharita Adluri, “Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana” (Routledge, 2014)

8/2/2018
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What role, if any, do mythological texts play in philosophical discourse? While modern Hindu Studies scholars are becoming increasingly attuned to the extent to which Indian narratives encode ideology, Sucharita Adluri’s Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana (Routledge, 2014) explores the extent to which the great medieval Hindu thinker Rāmānuja himself looked to the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (a 1st-4th century narrative work extolling the glories of the great god...

Duration:00:36:07

Lavanya Vemsani, “Modern Hinduism in Text and Context” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)

7/2/2018
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Dr. Lavanya Vemsani is Distinguished Professor of India History and Religions at Shawnee University and the editor of the new volume entitled Modern Hinduism in Text and Context (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). The essays in this volume look at a variety of topics ranging from Shaivite religious texts to biographies, novels, and dance forms to show how Hinduism cannot be understood only through texts, but also through the way its lived traditions are informed by changing socio-economic and...

Duration:00:35:58

Elaine Fisher, “Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia” (U California Press, 2017)

5/21/2018
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Elaine Fisher’s Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2017) sheds light on the variegated, pluralistic texture of Hinduism in precolonial times. Drawing on Sanskrit, Telugu, and Tamil sources, Fisher argues for a uniquely South Asian form of religious pluralism, evidenced by religious performances in the public space. Her work is crucial for considering the development of Hinduism in the early modern era, and that era’s...

Duration:00:34:32

Walter N. Hakala, “Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia” (Columbia UP, 2016)

5/2/2018
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For many people language is a central characteristic of their social identity. In modern South Asia, the production of Urdu and Hindi as national languages was intricately tied to the hardening of religious identities. South Asian lexicographers, those folks who were most intimately working with language, were at the center of this political realignment. In Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia (Columbia University Press, 2016), Walter N. Hakala,...

Duration:01:10:16

Hugh Urban, “Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement” (U. Cal Press, 2016)

10/9/2017
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Many contemporary spiritual movements are characterized by denial of material pleasures, subjugation of the self, and focus on transcendence. A spiritual program that cultivates embodied satisfaction is often seen as inauthentic and fraudulent. These public understandings of new religious movements are part of the reason why the Indian Guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh or Osho, is so controversial. In Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement (University of...

Duration:00:42:07

Michael J. Altman, “Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893” (Oxford UP, 2017)

9/12/2017
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Scholars regularly assert that at Chicago’s World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 Swami Vivekananda initiated Hinduism in America. Many histories of Hinduism in America reproduce this type of synthesizing narrative. But how was Hinduism defined by Vivekananda and how was it understood by his American audience? How did it relate to the various South Asian religious practices and beliefs that are subsumed under this term Hinduism? In Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of...

Duration:00:52:59

William Elison, et.al. “Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation” (Harvard UP, 2016)

6/20/2017
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Amar Akbar Anthony is a film like no other. When you see it you cannot forget it. Filled with music, comedy, drama, and love it captures audiences in multiple ways. But what can we learn from a deeper look at this classic of Hindi cinema? William Elison, Assistant Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, Christian Lee Novetzke, Professor at the University of Washington, and Andy Rotman, Professor at Smith College offer a layered analysis of the 1977 blockbuster in Amar Akbar...

Duration:01:11:31

Rupa Viswanath, “The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India” (Columbia UP, 2014)

11/2/2016
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The so called “Pariah Problem” emerged in public consciousness in the 1890s in India as state officials, missionaries and “upper”caste landlords, among others, struggled to understood the situation of Dalits (those subordinated populations once called untouchables). In The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India (Columbia University Press, 2014) Rupa Viswanath unpacks the creation and application of this so called “problem.”The interview explores the ways in which...

Duration:00:33:03

Roman Sieler, “Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India” (Oxford UP, 2015)

10/28/2016
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Roman Sieler’s Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India (Oxford University Press, 2015) is a fine-grained ethnographic study of varmakkalai–the art of vital spots, a South Indian practice that encompasses both martial and medical activities. The interview explores how varmakkalai relates to the wider field of manual therapies and martial traditions in the subcontinent, the theories that inform the practice, the relationship between healing and fighting, as well...

Duration:01:15:03

Arie L. Molendijk, “Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East” (Oxford UP, 2016)

10/18/2016
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Arie L. Molendijk is Professor of the History of Christianity and Philosophy in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has written Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East (Oxford University Press, 2016) to study how this seminal series of translations had started a novel way of understanding religions through a comparative study of texts and how it led to the shaping of the Western understanding of Eastern...

Duration:00:50:14

Sangay Mishra, “Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans” (U of Minnesota Press, 2016)

4/12/2016
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Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University. While the number of South Asian Americans living in the U.S. has been growing rapidly over the last several decades, many still ignore their politics. Instead, the model-minority myth leads many to assume the community is a homogenous and largely economically successful group. Mishra...

Duration:00:22:22

Amanda Lucia, “Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace” (University of California Press, 2014)

9/26/2015
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Waiting several hours in line for a hug is well worth it for thousands of people, the devotees of the Guru, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi. In Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (University of California Press, 2014), Amanda Lucia, Associate Professor of Religion at UC Riverside, provides a rich ethnographic account of Amma’s American followers and convincingly argues that there is much to learn here about gender, interpretation, and contemporary American religiosity. Amma’s...

Duration:00:55:23

Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, “New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India” (Oxford UPs 2015)

9/8/2015
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New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 2015), edited by Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, is a wonderfully rich and theoretically coherent collection of texts that critically assess the legacies of Subaltern Studies through research into political movements in India today. The case studies range from students at elite higher education institutes shoring up their privilege, to queer activism in Kolkata, to Dalit...

Duration:00:35:35