South Asian Studies
South Asian Studies October 26, 2020

The Authority of Female Speech in Indian Goddess Traditions

Anway Mukhopadhyay

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
Contemporary debates on “mansplaining” foreground the authority enjoyed by male speech, and highlight the way it projects listening as the responsibility of the dominated, and speech as the privilege of …

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Indian Ocean World October 19, 2020

The Making of an Indian Ocean World-Economy, 1250–1650

Princes, Paddy fields, and Bazaars

Ravi Palat

Hosted by Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi
Ravi Palat’s The Making of an Indian Ocean World-Economy, 1250–1650: Princes, Paddy fields, and Bazaars (Palgrave, 2015) counters eurocentric notions of long-term historical change by drawing upon the histories of …
American Studies October 16, 2020

Here, There, and Elsewhere

The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World

Tahseen Shams

Hosted by Shobhana Xavier
Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World (Stanford University Press, 2020) by Tahseen Shams (Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto) reconceptualizes …
South Asian Studies October 16, 2020

Heroic Shāktism

The Cult of Durgā in Ancient Indian Kingship

Bihani Sarkar

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
Heroic Saktism is the belief that a good king and a true warrior must worship the goddess Durga, the form and substance of kingship. This belief formed the bedrock of …
Indian Ocean World October 15, 2020

For God or Empire

Sayyid Fadl and the Indian Ocean World

Wilson Chacko Jacob

Hosted by Kelvin Ng, Saumyashree Ghosh
Sayyid Fadl, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, led a unique life—one that spanned much of the nineteenth century and connected India, Arabia, and the Ottoman Empire. For God or …
Performing Arts October 15, 2020

Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict

Practicing Bharatanatyam in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Ahalya Satkunaratnam

Hosted by Preethi Ramaprasad
“How can dance be sustained by its practitioners in the unstable political and geographical landscape of war?” Satkunaratnam asks this through her text, Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict: Practicing Bharatanatyam in …
South Asian Studies October 15, 2020

Vicissitudes of the Goddess

Reconstructions of the Gramadevata in India's Religious Traditions

Sree Padma

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
In Vicissitudes of the Goddess: Reconstructions of the Gramadevata in India's Religious Traditions (Oxford UP, 2013), Padma (Bowdoin College) focuses on two types of Gramadevatas or goddesses: deified women and …
Folklore October 13, 2020

A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses

Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond

Michael Slouber

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
Michael Slouber's new book A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond (University of California Press, 2021) surveys the diversity of India's feminine divine …
South Asian Studies October 12, 2020

Demanding Development

The Politics of Public Good Provision in India’s Urban Slums

Adam Auerbach

Hosted by Selva Swetha
India’s urban slums exhibit dramatic variation in their access to basic public goods and services—paved roads, piped water, trash removal, sewers, and streetlights. Why are some vulnerable communities able to …
South Asian Studies October 12, 2020

Devi Mahatmyam

The Glory of the Goddess

Tim Bruce

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
Today I talked to Tim Bruce, narrator of Devi Mahatmyam: The Glory of the Goddess (Raconteurs Audio LLP, 2020). For millions worldwide, the Devi Mahatmyam is of central spiritual importance …
South Asian Studies October 9, 2020

Contemplative Studies in Hinduism

Meditation, Devotion, Prayer, and Worship

Rita D. Sherma and Purushottama Bilimoria

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
What counts as contemplative practices in Hinduism? What can Hindu Studies offer Contemplative Studies as a discipline? Contemplative Studies in Hinduism: Meditation, Devotion, Prayer, and Worship (Routledge, 2020), edited by …
South Asian Studies October 6, 2020

Brand New Nation

Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in 21st-Century India

Ravinder Kaur

Hosted by Aparna Gopalan
It is 21st century commonsense that India is an “emerging” economy. But how did this common sense itself emerge? How did India’s global image shift from that of a poverty-infested …
South Asian Studies October 5, 2020

Gandhi's Thought and Liberal Democracy

Sanjay Lal

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
Is religion indispensable to public life? What can Gandhi’s thought contribute to the modern state? With an intense focus on both the depth and practicality of Mahatma Gandhi's political and …
Indian Ocean World October 1, 2020

Transregional Trade and Traders

Situating Gujarat in the Indian Ocean from Early Times to 1900

E. A. Alpers and C. Goswami (eds.)

Hosted by Kelvin Ng
Blessed with numerous safe harbors, accessible ports, and a rich hinterland, Gujarat has been central to the history of Indian Ocean maritime exchange that involved not only goods, but also …
South Asian Studies September 29, 2020

Temples of Modernity

Nationalism, Hinduism, and Transhumanism in South Indian Science

Robert M. Geraci

Hosted by Raj Balkaran
What is the relationship between science, religion and technology in Hinduism? We speak with Robert M. Geraci about his research into religious ideas and practices in Indian science and engineering …
Indian Ocean World September 28, 2020

Banishment and Belonging

Exile and Diaspora in Sarandib, Lanka and Ceylon

Ronit Ricci

Hosted by Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi and Kelvin Ng
Lanka, Ceylon, Sarandib: merely three disparate names for a single island? Perhaps. Yet the three diverge in the historical echoes, literary cultures, maps and memories they evoke. Names that have …
South Asian Studies September 25, 2020

Far from the Caliph’s Gaze

Being Ahmadi Muslim in the Holy City of Qadian

Nicholas H. A. Evans

Hosted by SherAli Tareen
A sustained and compelling critique of the doubt/belief binary in the anthropology of religion and Islam, Nicholas H. A. Evans’ Far from the Caliph’s Gaze: Being Ahmadi Muslim in the …
South Asian Studies September 21, 2020

Indian Sex Life

Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought

Durba Mitra

Hosted by Lakshita Malik
During the colonial period in India, European scholars, British officials, and elite Indian intellectuals—philologists, administrators, doctors, ethnologists, sociologists, and social critics—deployed ideas about sexuality to understand modern Indian society. In …
African Studies September 17, 2020

Malik Ambar

Power and Slavery across the Indian Ocean

Omar H. Ali

Hosted by Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi
Omar H. Ali’s Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery across the Indian Ocean (Oxford University Press, 2016), provides insight into the life of slave soldier Malik Ambar. It offers a rare …