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New Books in Hindu Studies - Raaga.com - A World of Music

New Books in Hindu Studies

Marshall Poe

82 Episodes Play All Episodes
A.+M.+Ruppel%2C+%22Cambridge+Introduction+to+Sanskrit%22+%28Cambridge+UP%2C+2017%29
access_time2 days ago
In this podcast, we interview Dr. Antonia Ruppel about Sanskrit Studies. Dr. Ruppel is the author the Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and also teaches online Sanskrit courses at Yogic Studies.
Ideal for courses in beginning Sanskrit or self-study, this textbook employs modern, tried-and-tested pedagogical methods and tools, but requires no prior knowledge of ancient languages or linguistics. Devanāgarī script is introduced over several chapters and used in parallel with transliteration for several chapters more, allowing students to progress in learning Sanskrit itself while still mastering the script. Students are exposed to annotated original texts in addition to practise sentences very early on, and structures and systems underlying the wealth of forms are clearly explained to facilitate memorisation. All grammar is covered in detail, with chapters dedicated to compounding and nominal derivation, and sections explaining relevant historical phenomena. The introduction also includes a variety of online resources that students may use to reinforce and expand their knowledge: flash cards; video tutorials for all chapters; and up-to-date links to writing, declension and conjugation exercises and online dictionaries, grammars, and textual databases.
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Caleb+Simmons%2C+%22Devotional+Sovereignty%3A+Kingship+and+Religion+in+India%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2020%29
access_time14 days ago
In his book Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India (Oxford University Press, 2020), Caleb Simmons examines the reigns of Tipu Sultan (r. 1782-1799) and Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (r. 1799-1868) in the South Indian kingdom of Mysore to demonstrate the extent to which both rulers--one Muslim and one Hindu--turned to religion to fortify the royal identity of kings during precarious political times.  Both courts revived pre-modern notions of Indian kingship in reaction to the British, drawing on devotion to Hindu gods, goddesses, and gurus to conceptualize and fortify their reigns.
We made mention of images in the interview, and they can be found here.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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Karl-St%C3%A9phan+Bouthillette%2C+%22Dialogue+and+Doxography+in+Indian+Philosophy%22+%28Routledge%2C+2020%29
access_time16 days ago
This ground-breaking work on Indian philosophical doxography examines the function of dialectical texts within their intellectual and religious milieu. In Dialogue and Doxography in Indian Philosophy: Points of View in Buddhist, Jaina, and Advaita Vedānta Traditions (Routledge, 2020), Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette examines the Madhyamakahṛdayakārikā of the Buddhist Bhāviveka, the Ṣaḍdarśanasamuccaya of the Jain Haribhadra, and the Sarvasiddhāntasaṅgraha attributed to the Advaitin Śaṅkara, focusing on each of their representation of Mīmāṃsā, to arguing that each of these doxographies represent forms of spiritual exercise.
We refer to Bouthillette's Instragram account in the interview. You can find it here.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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Kevin+McGrath%2C+%22Vy%C4%81sa+Redux%3A+Narrative+in+Epic+Mah%C4%81bh%C4%81rata%22+%28Anthem+Press%2C+2019%29
access_time18 days ago
In Vyāsa Redux: Narrative in Epic Mahābhārata (Anthem Press, 2019), Kevin McGrath examines the complex and enigmatic Vyāsa, both the primary creative poet of the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata and a key character in the very epic he composes. In doing so McGrath focuses on what he considers the late Bronze Age portions of the epic feature prioritizing the concerns if the warrior class. In his discussion, McGrath distinguishes between plot and story and how this distinction comes to bear on the differences between preliterate and literate phases of the epic’s compositional history.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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Alexander+Rocklin%2C+%22The+Regulation+of+Religion+and+the+Making+of+Hinduism+in+Colonial+Trinidad%22%C2%A0%28UNC+Press%2C+2019%29
access_time21 days ago
The history of the Caribbean Island of Trinidad bears witness to an important interplay between the religious practices of peoples of South Asian and those of peoples of African descent, and in particular the manner in which colonial religious categories shaped that interplay. In The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), Alexander Rocklin draws on colonial archives and ethnographic work in this pioneering examination of the realities of indentured workers in colonial Trinidad wherein he illuminates in tandem the roots of the Caribbean Hindu diaspora and the very roots of Hinduism itself and its status as a World Religion. Join us on the follow up interview on Rocklin’s fascinating findings.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.
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A+Conversation+with+Nicholas+Sutton+of+the+Oxford+Centre+for+Hindu+Studies
access_time23 days ago
Today I talked to Dr. Nicholas Sutton speaks about his work at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. We discuss his teaching philosophy, his mandate of making the study of Hinduism accessible to public audiences, and the Centre’s exciting collection of online courses. We also talked about two books he's recently published in the Oxford Centre's series on Hinduism: The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation and Study Guide (Mandala Publishing, 2019) and The Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Study Guide (Mandala Publishing, 2019).
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
 
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Brian+Collins%2C+%22The+Other+R%C4%81ma%3A+Matricide+and+Genocide+in+the+Mythology+of+Para%C5%9Bur%C4%81ma%22+%28SUNY+Press%2C+2020%29
access_time25 days ago
Brian Collins' book The Other Rāma Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Paraśurāma (SUNY Press, 2020) examines a fascinating, understudied figure appearing in Sanskrit narrative texts: Paraśurāma, i.e., “Rāma with the Axe”. Though he is counted as among the ten avatāras of Viṣṇu, his biography is quite grisly: Paraśurāma is best known for decapitating his own mother and launching a genocidal campaign to annihilate twenty-one generations of the warrior caste. Why do ancient Sanskrit mythmakers elevate such an arguably transgressive and antisocial figure to so exalted a religious status? The Other Rāma explores this question by undertaking analysis of the Paraśurāma myth cycle using the methods of comparative mythology and psychoanalysis.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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Peter+Adamson%2C+%22Classical+Indian+Philosophy%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2020%29
access_time1 month ago
In Classical Indian Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2020), Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri survey both the breadth and depth of Indian philosophical traditions. Their odyssey touches on the earliest extant Vedic literature, the Mahābhārata, the Bhagavad-Gīta, the rise of Buddhism and Jainism, the sūtra traditions encompassing logic, epistemology, the monism of Advaita Vedānta, and the spiritual discipline of Yoga. They even include textual traditions typically excluded from overviews of Indian philosophy, e.g., the Cārvāka school, Tantra, and Indian aesthetic theory. They address various significant themes such as non-violence, political authority, and the status of women, and the debate on the influence of Indian thought on Greek philosophy. Interestingly, this publication stems from a podcast series, which we also discuss in this podcast.
Peter Adamson received his BA from Williams College and PhD in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He worked at King's College London from 2000 until 2012. He subsequently moved to the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, where he is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy. He has published widely in ancient and medieval philosophy, and is the host of The History of Philosophy without Any Gaps podcast.
Jonardon Ganeri is a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of Attention, Not Self (2017), The Self (2012), The Lost Age of Reason (2011), and The Concealed Art of the Soul (2007). Ganeri's work draws on a variety of philosophical traditions to construct new positions in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology. He became the first philosopher to win the Infosys Prize in the Humanities in 2015.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.
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Leslie+M.+Harris%2C+%22Slavery+and+the+University%3A+Histories+and+Legacies%22+%28U+Georgia+Press%2C+2019%29
access_time1 month ago
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post–Civil War era to the present day.
The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery’s influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education.
Today I spoke with Leslie Harris about the book. Dr. Harris is a professor of history at Northwestern University. She is the coeditor, with Ira Berlin, of Slavery in New York and the coeditor, with Daina Ramey Berry, of Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (Georgia).
Adam McNeil is a History PhD student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
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Archana+Venkatesan%2C+%22Endless+Song%3A+Tiruvaymoli%22+%28Penguin%2C+2010%29
access_time1 month ago
Endless Song (Oxford University Press, 2019) is Dr. Archana Venkatesan’s exquisite translation of the Tiruvaymoli (sacred utterance), a brilliant 1102-verse ninth century tamil poem celebrating the poet Nammalvar’s mystical quest for union with his supreme lord, the Hindu great god Viṣṇu. In this interview we discuss the sophisticated structure and profound content of the Tiruvaymoli, along with the translator’s own transformative journey rending into English the meaning, emotion, cadence and kaleidoscopic brilliance proper to this Tamil masterpiece.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.
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Elizabeth+A.+Cecil%2C+%22Mapping+the+P%C4%81%C5%9Bupata+Landscape%22+%28Brill%2C+2020%29
access_time1 month ago
Elizabeth A. Cecil's Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India (Brill, 2020) weaves together material from the Sanskrit text Skandapurāṇa, physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons to provide groundbreaking insight into the earliest known community of Śiva devotees: the Pāśupatas. Through examining how the Pāśupatas were emplaced in regional Indian landscapes, this book explores issues of belonging, identity, community building and place-making in Early Medieval India.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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Susan+Newcombe%2C+%22Yoga+in+Britain%3A+Stretching+Spirituality+and+Educating+Yogis%22+%28Equinox%2C+2019%29
access_time1 month ago
Paying special attention to sociocultural threads form the period 1945-1980, Susan Newcombe's new book Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis (Equinox, 2019) charts the trajectory of how yoga in became mainstream in Britain to the point of being taught to thousands of middle-class women in adult education classes. Drawing on archival evidence and interviews, the book shows the diverse figures and movements responsible for the popularization of yoga in Britain.
Suzanne Newcombe is a Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University and a Research Fellow at Inform, a charity based at the London School of Economics. She researches yoga and ayurveda from a sociological and social historical perspective.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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Pankaj+Jain%2C+%22Dharma+in+America%3A+A+Short+History+of+Hindu-Jain+Diaspora%22+%28Routledge%2C+2019%29
access_time1 month ago
Pankaj Jain, Dharma in America: A Short History of Hindu-Jain Diaspora (Routledge, 2019) provides a concise history of Hindus and Jains in the Americas over the last two centuries, highlighting contributions to the economic and intellectual growth of the US in particular. Pankaj Jain pays special attention to contributions of the Hindu and Jain diasporas in the area of medicine and music. Listen in to learn about these contributions, along with ongoing challenges faced by these ethnic and religious groups face today.
For photos related to the book, see this Facebook page.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.
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Knut+A.+Jacobsen%2C+%22Yoga+in+Modern+Hinduism%3A+Harihar%C4%81nanda+%C4%80ra%E1%B9%87ya+and+S%C4%81%E1%B9%83khyayoga%22+%28Routledge%2C+2017%29
access_time2 months ago
In his book Yoga in Modern Hinduism: Hariharānanda Āraṇya and Sāṃkhyayoga (Routledge, 2017), Knut A. Jacobsen examines the Kāpil Maṭh, a Sāṃkhyayoga institution emerging in the late nineteenth century Bengal. This movement (developing contemporaneously with modern yoga) is centered on the cave-dwelling renunciant yogin Hariharānanda Āraṇya. This book offers a rare glimpse into Sāṃkhyayoga as a living tradition in terms of documenting the practices of modern Sāṃkhyayogins. It moreover maps the production of a novel sort of yogin forged by the nineteenth-century transformations of Bengali upper class religious culture.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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Kate+Imy%2C+%22Faithful+Fighters%3A+Identity+and+Power+in+the+British+Indian+Army%22+%28Stanford+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time2 months ago
In her fascinating and remarkable new book Faithful Fighters: Identity and Power in the British Indian Army (Stanford University Press, 2019), Kate Imy explores the negotiation of religious identity, military service, and imperial power in the context of twentieth century British India. How were preconceived British imperial notions of religion and loyalty to the state attached to indigenous South Asian communities frustrated by the way Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, and Nepali Gurkha (Hindu and Buddhist) soldiers engaged the state and performed their political and religious identities as part of the British Indian army.
Faithful Fighters is a powerful and brilliant meditation on the impossibility of modern colonial power to canonize religion and religious identity. The six chapters of this book examine a range of archives, themes, theaters, and actors including tensions surrounding the valorization of Sikh loyalty and controversies shadowing the Kirpān (sword), the cooptation of pan-Islamic sentiments for British imperialism, suspicions and sexual desires invested in the figure of the Pathan, Nepali Gurkhas, caste hierarchies, and rituals of purification, debates of food and religion in the military, projects of nationalism through military academies, and masculinity, fascism, and Hindu nationalism.
This thoroughly researched and multidisciplinary book will attract and interest scholars from a range of fields including South Asian history, Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Military History, and Cultural Studies. Beautifully written, and populated with enticing narratives and images, it will also be a delight to teach in a variety of classes.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome.
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Brian+A.+Hatcher%2C+%22Hinduism+Before+Reform%22+%28Harvard+UP%2C+2020%29
access_time2 months ago
Did modern Hinduism truly emerge due to the “reforms” instigated by “progressive” colonial figures such as Rammohun Roy? Brian A. Hatcher's new book Hinduism Before Reform (Harvard University Press, 2020) challenges this prevalent notion. Aimed at sidestepping the obfuscating binary of “progressive” vs “traditional”, this book examines in tandem two early nineteenth-century Hindu communities and their influential leaders: Rammohun Roy (founder of the “progressive” Brahmo Samaj) and Swami Narayan (founder of the “traditional” Swaminarayan Sampraday movement). Hinduism Before Reform advocates a radically different understanding of the origins of modern Hinduism by problematizing the notion of “reform” itself, instead advocating for viewing these movements as “religious polities.”
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.
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Matt+Cook%2C+%22Sleight+of+Mind%3A+75+Ingenious+Paradoxes+in+Mathematics%2C+Physics%2C+and+Philosophy%22+%28MIT+Press%2C+2020%29
access_time2 months ago
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions in reality, but there can appear to be. In Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy (MIT Press, 2020), Matt Cook and a few collaborators dive deeply into more than 75 paradoxes in mathematics, physics, philosophy, and the social sciences. As each paradox is discussed and resolved, Cook helps readers discover the meaning of knowledge and the proper formation of concepts―and how reason can dispel the illusion of contradiction.
The journey begins with “a most ingenious paradox” from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Readers will then travel from Ancient Greece to cutting-edge laboratories, encounter infinity and its different sizes, and discover mathematical impossibilities inherent in elections. They will tackle conundrums in probability, induction, geometry, and game theory; perform “supertasks”; build apparent perpetual motion machines; meet twins living in different millennia; explore the strange quantum world―and much more.
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Andrew+Ollett%2C+%22Language+of+the+Snakes%22+%28U+California+Press%2C+2017%29
access_time2 months ago
Andrew Ollett, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, argues in his book, Language of the Snakes: (University of California Press, 2017), that Prakrit is “the most important Indian language you’ve never heard of.” In this book, subtitled "Prakrit, Sanskrit, and the Language Order of Premodern India," Ollett writes a biography of Prakrit from the perspective of cultural history, arguing that it is a language which challenges modern theorizing about language as a natural human development grounded in speech. Rather, he claims, Prakrit was "invented" and theorized as a self-consciously literary language, opposed to Sanskrit, but yet still part of the Sanskrit cosmopolis and not a vernacular. His book draws on unpublished manuscripts, royal inscriptions, poetry, as well as literary and grammatical texts.
Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019).
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Phillipa+Chong%2C+%E2%80%9CInside+the+Critics%E2%80%99+Circle%3A+Book+Reviewing+in+Uncertain+Times%E2%80%9D+%28Princeton+UP%2C+2020%29
access_time3 months ago
How does the world of book reviews work? In Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times (Princeton University Press, 2020), Phillipa Chong, assistant professor in sociology at McMaster University, provides a unique sociological analysis of how critics confront the different types of uncertainty associated with their practice. The book explores how reviewers get matched to books, the ethics and etiquette of negative reviews and ‘punching up’, along with professional identities and the future of criticism. The book is packed with interview material, coupled with accessible and easy to follow theoretical interventions, creating a text that will be of interest to social sciences, humanities, and general readers alike.
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Jennifer+B.+Saunders%2C+%22Imagining+Religious+Communities%3A+Transnational+Hindus+and+their+Narrative+Performances%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time3 months ago
Imagining Religious Communities: Transnational Hindus and their Narrative Performances (Oxford University Press, 2019) tells the story of the Gupta family through the personal and religious narratives they tell as they create and maintain their extended family and community across national borders. Based on ethnographic research, the book demonstrates the ways that transnational communities are involved in shaping their experiences through narrative performances.
Jennifer B. Saunders demonstrates that narrative performances shape participants' social realities in multiple ways: they define identities, they create connections between community members living on opposite sides of national borders, and they help create new homes amidst increasing mobility. The narratives are religious and include epic narratives such as excerpts from the Ramayana as well as personal narratives with dharmic implications. Saunders' analysis combines scholarly understandings of the ways in which performances shape the contexts in which they are told, indigenous comprehension of the power that reciting certain narratives can have on those who hear them, and the theory that social imaginaries define new social realities through expressing the aspirations of communities. Imagining Religious Communities argues that this Hindu community's religious narrative performances significantly contribute to shaping their transnational lives.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/scholarship.
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K.+Linder+et+al.%2C+%22Going+Alt-Ac%3A+A+Guide+to+Alternative+Academic+Careers%22+%28Stylus+Publishing%2C+2020%29
access_time4 months ago
If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. However, if you’ve spent the last several years working on a PhD, or if you’re a faculty member whose career has basically consisted of higher ed, switching isn’t so easy. PhD holders are mostly trained to work as professors, and making easy connections to other careers is no mean feat. Because the people you know were generally trained to do the same sorts of things, an easy source of advice might not be there for you.
Thankfully, for anybody who wishes there was a guidebook that would just break all of this down, that book has now been written. Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (Stylus Publishing, 2020) by Kathryn E. Linder, Kevin Kelly, and Thomas J. Tobin offers practical advice and step-by-step instructions on how to decide if you want to leave behind academia and how to start searching for a new career. If a lot of career advice is too vague or too ambiguous, this book corrects that by outlining not just how to figure out what you might want to do, but critically, how you might go about accomplishing that.
Zeb Larson is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a PhD in History. His research deals with the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to zeb.larson@gmail.com.
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Kenneth+R.+Valpey%2C+%22Cow+Care+in+Hindu+Animal+Ethics%22+%28Palgrave+Macmillan%2C+2019%29
access_time4 months ago
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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Simon+Brodbeck%2C+%22Krishna%27s+Lineage%3A+The+Harivamsha+of+Vyasa%27s+Mahabharata%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time5 months ago
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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Christopher+Austin%2C+%22Pradyumna%3A+Lover%2C+Magician%2C+and+Scion+of+the+Avatara%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time6 months ago
This is the first sustained study of an important figure in Hindu narrative, one largely obscure to readers and scholars alike: Kṛṣṇa's son Pradyumna. In Pradyumna: Lover, Magician, and Scion of the Avatara (Oxford University Press, 2019), Christopher Austin traces the evolution of Pradyumna's persona, placing it in historical context, across its iterations over time. He highlights the very gendered features of Pradyumna's Oedipal tale.
For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia
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Alberto+Cairo%2C+%22How+Charts+Lie%3A+Getting+Smarter+about+Visual+Information%22+%28Norton%2C+2019%29
access_time6 months ago
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and reason; the flashy visuals are both appealing and persuasive. Pie charts, maps, bar and line graphs, and scatter plots (to name a few) can better inform us, revealing patterns and trends hidden behind the numbers we encounter in our lives. In short, good charts make us smarter―if we know how to read them.
However, they can also lead us astray. Charts lie in a variety of ways―displaying incomplete or inaccurate data, suggesting misleading patterns, and concealing uncertainty―or are frequently misunderstood, such as the confusing cone of uncertainty maps shown on TV every hurricane season. To make matters worse, many of us are ill-equipped to interpret the visuals that politicians, journalists, advertisers, and even our employers present each day, enabling bad actors to easily manipulate them to promote their own agendas.
In How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information (W. W. Norton, 2019), data visualization expert Alberto Cairo teaches us to not only spot the lies in deceptive visuals, but also to take advantage of good ones to understand complex stories. Public conversations are increasingly propelled by numbers, and to make sense of them we must be able to decode and use visual information. By examining contemporary examples ranging from election-result infographics to global GDP maps and box-office record charts, How Charts Lie demystifies an essential new literacy, one that will make us better equipped to navigate our data-driven world.
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Angela+Rudert%2C+%22Shakti%27s+New+Voice%3A+Guru+Devotion+in+a+Women-Led+Spiritual+Movement%22+%28Rowman+and+Littlefield%2C+2017%29
access_time6 months ago
Angela Rudert's Shakti's New Voice: Guru Devotion in a Women-Led Spiritual Movement (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017) is the first academic study of the popular contemporary North Indian female guru Anandmurti Gurumaa. In drawing from, e.g., Sikh and Sufi traditions, Gurumaa’s syncretic approach innovates Hindu religiosity, as does her progressive attitudes towards treatment of women. Is a female guru of benefit to female disciples? What is the role of the internet and modern media in transmitting traditional teachings? What is the relationship between ashram life and social activism? How might Gurumaa compare to other contemporary female gurus, e.g. Amma? Join us as we explore these and other questions.
For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia
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Kathryn+Conrad+on+University+Press+Publishing
access_time7 months ago
As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called "fundamental research." Their authors--dedicated researchers one and all--provide the scholarly stuff upon which many non-fiction trade books are based. So when you are reading, say, a popular history, you are often reading UP books at one remove. Of course, some UP books are also bestsellers, and they are all well written (and, I should say, thoroughly vetted thanks to the peer review system), but the greatest contribution of UPs is to provide a base of fundamental research to the public. And they do a great job of it.
How do they do it? Today I talked to Kathryn Conrad, the president of the Association of University Presses, about the work of UPs, the challenges they face, and some terrific new directions they are going. We also talked about why, if you have a scholarly book in progress, you should talk to UP editors early and often. And she explains how! Listen in.
Marshall Poe is the editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@gmail.com.
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J.+Neuhaus%2C+%22Geeky+Pedagogy%3A+A+Guide+for+Intellectuals%2C+Introverts%2C+and+Nerds+Who+Want+to+Be+Effective+Teachers%22+%28West+Virginia+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time7 months ago
The things that make people academics -- as deep fascination with some arcane subject, often bordering on obsession, and a comfort with the solitude that developing expertise requires -- do not necessarily make us good teachers. Jessamyn Neuhaus’s Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers (West Virginia University Press, 2019) helps us to identify and embrace that geekiness in us and then offers practical, step-by-step guidelines for how to turn it to effective pedagogy. It’s a sharp, slim, and entertaining volume that can make better teachers of us all.
Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A Peoples History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).
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Vishwa+Adluri+and+Joydeep+Bagchee%2C+%22Philology+and+Criticism%3A+A+Guide+to+Mah%C4%81bh%C4%81rata+Textual+Criticism%22+%28Anthem+Press%2C+2018%29
access_time7 months ago
The Hindu great epic, Mahābhārata, exists today in hundreds of variant manuscripts across India. These manuscripts were painstakingly examined, sorted and reconstituted into the official Critical Edition of the Mahābhārata. Is the Critical Edition a viable means of studying India's great epic?  While several scholars critique this undertaking project, the authors of Philology and Criticism: A Guide to Mahābhārata Textual Criticism (Anthem Press, 2018), Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee, present a rigorous defense of the Mahābhārata's Critical Edition. Listen in and hear how and why they've done so.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.

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Mark+McClish%2C+%22The+History+of+the+Artha%C5%9B%C4%81stra%3A+Sovereignty+and+Sacred+Law+in+Ancient+India%22+%28Cambridge+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time8 months ago
Was ancient India ruled by politics or religion? In The History of the Arthaśāstra: Sovereignty and Sacred Law in Ancient India (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Mark McClish explores the Arthaśāstra (ancient India’s foundational treatise on statecraft and governance) to problematize the common scholarly idea that politics in ancient India was circumscribed by religion, i.e., that kings prioritized a sacred duty to abide by the spiritual law of dharma. McClish shows that this model of kingship comes to the fore only in the classical period, demonstrating that the Arthaśāstra originally espoused a political philosophy marked by empiricism and pragmatism.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alexander+Rocklin%2C+%22The+Regulation+of+Religion+and+the+Making+of+Hinduism+in+Colonial+Trinidad%22+%28UNC+Press%2C+2019%29
access_time8 months ago
Beginning in the mid 19th century, thousands of indentured laborers traveled from India to the Caribbean, and many settled in Trinidad. In The Regulation of Religion and the Making of Hinduism in Colonial Trinidad (University of North Carolina Press, 2019)  Alexander Rocklin argues that the beliefs and practices they recreated in the new world only became recognizable as a discrete entity we now call “religion” over time and as the result of social and political processes. This book tells the story of the making of Hindu in the British colonial Caribbean. Over time, interactions between colonial officials, elite Indians and workers, as well as conflicts over public performances of rituals produced something that many now call Hinduism. But Rocklin argues that this was not necessarily a foregone conclusion, and his book highlights the contingent nature of this process.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Arik+Moran%2C+%22Kingship+and+Polity+on+the+Himalayan+Borderland%22+%28Amsterdam+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time9 months ago
What role did women play in securing power in colonial Himalayan kingdoms? Kingship and Polity on the Himalayan Borderland (Amsterdam UP, 2019) specifically documents the key roles played by women - especially queen regents - in the modern transformation of state and society in the Indian Himalaya kingdoms. Arik Moran examines three Rajput kingdoms during the transition to British rule (c. 1790-1840) and their interconnected histories and court intrigues. He draws on rich archival records, local histories, and extensive ethnographic research to offer an alternative to the popular and scholarly discourses that developed with the rise of colonial knowledge.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
William+Elison%2C+%22The+Neighborhood+of+Gods%3A+The+Sacred+and+the+Visible+at+the+Margins+of+Mumbai%22+%28U+Chicago+Press%2C+2018%29
access_time9 months ago
William Elison's The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai(University of Chicago Press, 2018) explores how slum residents, tribal people, and members of other marginalized groups use religious icons to mark urban spaces in Mumbai. Interestingly, not all of Elison's interview subjects identify as Hindu, which bolsters has argument that sacred space in Mumbai is created by visual and somatic practices performed across religious boundaries. Join as as we discuss Elison's rich fieldwork in the streets, slums, and movie studios of Mumbai.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ithamar+Theodor%2C+%22Exploring+the+Bhagavad+G%C4%ABt%C4%81%3A+Philosophy%2C+Structure+and+Meaning%22+%28Routledge%2C+2016%29
access_time10 months ago
The Bhagavad Gītā remains to this day a mainstay of Hinduism and Hindu Studies alike, despite the profusion of books written on it over the centuries. While the Gītā’s profundity is evident, its meaning most certainly is not. Is there a unity within the Bhagavad Gītā? Ithamar Theodor’s Exploring the Bhagavad Gītā: Philosophy, Structure and Meaning (Routledge, 2016) proposes a unifying structure which of this seminal Hindu work, identifying multiple layers of meaning at play. Theodor provides a new translation of the full text of the Bhagavad Gita, divided into sections, and accompanied by in-depth commentary, rendering this ancient Indian classic accessible to scholars and aspirants alike.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Harshita+M.+Kamath%2C+%22The+Artifice+of+Brahmin+Masculinity+in+South+Indian+Dance%22+%28U+California+Press%2C+2019%29
access_time10 months ago
Harshita M. Kamath's new book The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance (University of California Press, 2019) features an investigation of men donning a women’s guises to impersonate female characters – most notably Satyabhāmā, the wife of the Hindu deity Krishna –within the insular Brahmin community of the Kuchipudi village in Telugu-speaking South India. Kamath broaches the practice of impersonation across various boundaries – village to urban, Brahmin to non-Brahmin, hegemonic to non-normative – to explore the artifice of Brahmin masculinity in contemporary South Indian dance. This book is available open access here.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jessica+Vantine+Birkenholtz%2C+%22Reciting+the+Goddess%3A+Narratives+of+Place+and+the+Making+of+Hinduism+in+Nepal%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2018%29
access_time10 months ago
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz's Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal (Oxford University, 2018) represents the very first study of a fascinating Hindu phenomenon: the Svasthanivratakatha (SVK), a sixteenth-century narrative textual tradition native to Nepal surrounding the Goddess, Svasthānī. This work explores Himalayan Hindu religious tradition in the making during the very self-conscious creation of Nepal as the 'world's only Hindu kingdom' in the early modern period.  Touching on the pan-Hindu goddess tradition, regional ideals of Hindu womanhood, linguistic culture, identity formation and placemaking, Reciting the Goddess makes for a rich read.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
John+Stratton+Hawley%2C+%22Bhakti+and+Power%3A+Debating+India%27s+Religion+of+the+Heart%22+%28U+Washington+Press%2C+2019%29
access_time10 months ago
What is the relationship between religion and power? With this important overarching theme in mind, Bhakti and Power: Debating India's Religion of the Heart(University of Washington Press, 2019), edited by John Stratton Hawley, Christian Lee Novetzke and Swapna Sharma, combines 17 fascinating studies which explore the ways in which bhakti - “India’s religion of the heart”, loosely translated as devotionalism – tears down power barriers, and also build them up. Bhakti and Power offers important insight on both the power and powerlessness of bhakti at various social and historical junctures.For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Marko+Geslani%2C+%22Rites+of+the+God-King%3A+%C5%9A%C4%81nti+and+Ritual+Change+in+Early+Hinduism%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2018%29
access_time11 months ago
Is “Vedic” fire sacrifice at odds with “Hindu” image worship? Through a careful study of ritual (śanti) texts geared towards appeasement of inauspicious forces (primarily the Atharva Veda and in the Bṛhatsaṃhitā, an Indian astrological work), Marko Geslani demonstrates the persistent significance and centrality of the work of Brahmanical priesthood from ancient to medieval to modern times. In doing so he aptly problematizes the scholarly tendency to demarcate Vedic ritual from popular Hinduism. Join me today as I speak with Marco about his new book Rites of the God-King: Śānti and Ritual Change in Early Hinduism(Oxford University Press, 2018).For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Patton+E.+Burchett%2C+%22A+Genealogy+of+Devotion%3A%C2%A0Bhakti%2C+Tantra%2C+Yoga%2C+and+Sufism+in+North+India%22+%28Columbia+UP%2C+2019%29
access_time12 months ago
How distinct is Indian devotionalism from other strands of Indian religiosity? Is devotionalism necessarily at odds with asceticism in the Hindu world? What about the common contrasting of Hindu devotionalism as ‘religion’ with tantra as ‘black magic’? Patton E. Burchett's new book A Genealogy of Devotion: Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India (Columbia University Press, 2019) re-examines what we assume about the rise of devotionalism in North India, tracing its flowering since India’s early medieval “Tantric Age” to present day.  It illumines the complex historical factors at play in Sultanate and Mughal India implicating the influence of three pervasive strands in the tapestry of North Indian religiosity: tantra, yoga and Sufism. Burchett shows the extent to which Persian culture and popular Sufism contribute to a (now prevalent) Hindu devotionalism that is critical of tantric and yogic religiosity.  Prior to this, argues Burchett, Hindu devotionalism locally flowered in fruitful cross pollination with yogic and tantric forms of Indian religiosity.For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academiaLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Deonnie+Moodie%2C+%22The+Making+of+a+Modern+Temple+and+a+Hindu+City%3A+K%C4%81l%C4%ABgh%C4%81%E1%B9%AD+and+Kolkata%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2018%29
access_time1 year ago
Dr. Deonnie Moodie is Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions at the University of Oklahoma. Her book, The Making of a Modern Temple and a Hindu City: Kālīghāṭ and Kolkata (Oxford University Press, 2018), examines the history of the Kalighat temple of Kolkata and how that temple has been a symbol for competing expressions of Bengali middle class modernity.Shandip Saha is associate professor of Religious Studies at Athabasca University, the world leader in the realm of distance education and open learning. His research interests focus on religion and politics in pre-modern North India and on the changing performance practices in devotional music in India and Pakistan.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Anway+Mukhopadhyay%2C+%22The+Goddess+in+Hindu-Tantric+Traditions%3A+Dev%C4%AB+as+Corpse%22+%28Routledge%2C+2018%29
access_time1 year ago
Why is the Indian Goddess sometimes figured as a corpse in Tantric Traditions? What is the significance of this? How is it different from when the Hindu god Shiva is figured as a corpse? Centered on the myth of Sati (whereby the Goddess was dismembered after her self-immolation), Anway Mukhopadhyay's new book The Goddess in Hindu-Tantric Traditions: Devī as Corpse (Routledge, 2018) features a fascinating take on why the “death” of the Goddess in this myth is no death at all, especially in contrast to Shiva as corpse.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A.+M.+Ruppell%2C+%22The+Cambridge+Introduction+to+Sanskrit%22+%28Cambridge+UP%2C+2017%29
access_time1 year ago
Why would anyone want to study Sanskrit, an ancient complex tongue? What’s the best way to go about doing so?  Sanskrit is the highly sophisticated language of ancient India which remained in vogue for Millennia as a medium of philosophy, ritual, poetry – indeed every facet of Indian culture. Above and beyond Indian culture, it affords deep insight into the grammatical structures of language.  Join us as we talk to Antonia Ruppel (Oxford University) about her Sanskrit textbook, The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (Cambridge University Press, 2017), a much-needed accessible, comprehensive tool for learning this ancient tongue, complete with online handouts, flash cards, and videos. We delve into the unique attributes of the Sanskrit language – for example, 3 numbers, 3 genders, special case endings, sophisticated rules for combinations of sounds (elision) – and the extent to which knowledge of the Hindu ‘language of the gods’ grants us access to millennia of human enterprise that is simultaneously foreign and familiar to our own.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Raj+Balkaran%2C+%22The+Goddess+and+The+King+in+Indian+Myth%22+%28Routledge%2C+2018%29
access_time1 year ago
Why are myths of the Indian Great Goddess couched in a conversation between a deposed king and forest-dwelling ascetic? What happens when we examine these myths as a literary whole, frame and all? What interpretive clues might we find in their very narrative design? Join us in the "flip interview" as as your New Books Network Hindu Studies host Raj Balkaran (University of Toronto School of Continuing Studied) is interviewed on his new book The Goddess and The King in Indian Myth: Ring Composition, Royal Power and The Dharmic Double Helix (Routledge, 2018) by guest-interviewer Craig Ginn from the University of Calgary. Learn how the narrative design of Indian Great Goddess myths and the manner in which that design highlights the Goddess' association with royal power.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chakravarthi+Ram-Prasad%2C+%22In+Dialogue+with+Classical+Indian+Traditions%3A+Encounter%2C+Transformation+and+Interpretation%22+%28Routledge%2C+2019%29
access_time1 year ago
Why does the narrative motif of ‘dialogue’ pervade Hindu texts?  What role does it serve?  Join me as I speak with Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (Fellow of the British Academy, and distinguished professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy at Lancaster University), co-editor of In Dialogue with Classical Indian Traditions: Encounter, Transformation and Interpretation (Routledge, 2019). This volume presents 13 fascinating studies on the role of dialogue in Indian religious tradition, all of which are touched on in the interview. This book is part of a series entitled "Dialogues in South Asian Traditions: Religion, Philosophy, Literature and History."For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David+V.+Mason%2C+%22The+Performative+Ground+of+Religion+and+Theatre%22+%28Routledge%2C+2018%29
access_time1 year ago
To what extent may we say that religion is a theatrical phenomenon, and that theatre is a religious experience? Can making sense of one help us make sense of the other? Join us as we dive into The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre (Routledge, 2018) with its author David V. Mason (editor-in-chief for Ecumenica: Performance and Religion and the South Asia area editor for Asian Theatre Journal) who posits an intriguing parity between theatre and religion.  Drawing heavily from Hindu aesthetic theory and Hindu religious performance, Mason examines the phenomenology of religion in an attempt to better understanding of the phenomenology of theatre, arguing that religion can show us the ways in which theatre is not fake.For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com/academiaLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brad+Stoddard+and+Craig+Martin%2C+%E2%80%9CStereotyping+Religion%3A+Critiquing+Clich%C3%A9s%E2%80%9D+%28Bloomsbury%2C+2017%29
access_time1 year ago
You’ve heard them all before. “Religions are Belief Systems.” “Religion is a Private Matter.” “I'm spiritual but not religious.” Our culture is full of popular stereotypes about religion, both positive and negative. Many people uncritically assume that religion is intrinsically violent, or that religion makes people moral, or that it is simply “bullshit.” In Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Clichés (Bloomsbury, 2017), edited by Brad Stoddard, Assistant Professor at McDaniel College, and Craig Martin, Associate Professor at St. Thomas Aquinas College, several clichés are understood within a social and historical context, which enables us to see how they are produced and what makes them effective. In our conversation we explore several of these stereotypes, what makes them possible and desirable for communities that reproduce and curate them, secularization theory, the role of atheism, liberal political discourse about religion, critical thinking, and how “Stereotyping Religion” works in the classroom.Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Borayin+Larios%2C+%22Embodying+the+Vedas%3A+Traditional+Vedic+Schools+of+Contemporary+Maharashtra%22%C2%A0%28De+Gruyter%2C+2017%29
access_time1 year ago
Embodying the Vedas: Traditional Vedic Schools of Contemporary Maharashtra(De Gruyter, 2017; open access) probes the backbone of what makes Hinduism the world’s oldest living tradition: the unbroken chain of transmission of Vedic texts composed over 3,000 years ago, originating circa 1750-1200 BCE.  What does the process of that transmission look like? What does it take to apprentice to learn the Vedic corpus?  Why is there an emphasis on precise ritual enunciation of these utterances even above and beyond their semantic meaning? Join me as I talk with Dr. Borayin Larios, Assistant Professor at the Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (Vienna) about his work on the traditional “gurukula” education and training of Brahmins. Based on his study of 25 contemporary Vedic schools across the state of Maharashtra, we discover how contemporary Brahmin males learn with scrupulous care how to recite, memorize and ultimately embody the Vedas.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Discussion+of+Massive+Online+Peer+Review+and+Open+Access+Publishing
access_time1 year ago
In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic. How can publishers and authors contribute to this process? This podcast addresses this issue. We interview Professor Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, whose book, The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance (forthcoming with MIT Press) is undergoing a Massive Online Peer-Review (MOPR) process, where everyone can make comments on his manuscript. Additionally, his book will be Open Access (OA) since the date of publication. We discuss with him how do MOPR and OA work, how he managed to combine both of them and how these initiatives can contribute to the democratization of knowledge.You can participate in the MOPR process of The Good Drone through this link: https://thegooddrone.pubpub.org/Felipe G. Santos is a PhD candidate at the Central European University. His research is focused on how activists care for each other and how care practices within social movements mobilize and radicalize heavily aggrieved collectives.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nathan+McGovern%2C+%22The+Snake+and+The+Mongoose%3A+The+Emergence+of+Identity+in+Early+Indian+Religion%22+%28Oxford+UP%2C+2018%29
access_time1 year ago
The history of Indian religions in the centuries leading up to the common era has been characterized in the scholarship by two distinct overarching traditions: the Brahmans (associated with Vedic texts, caste, and Vedic rituals) and the renouncer (śramaṇa) movements we see in the Upanishads, and in Jainism and Buddhism.  Were these traditions at odds with each other as “snake and mongoose” (attributed to the 2nd-century BCE Sanskrit grammarian Patañjali)?  Does “Brahmanism” pre-exist this pivotal encounter, or as it in fact forged therefrom? Was there such a thing, e.g., as a Buddhist Brahman in this era?  In his book The Snake and The Mongoose: The Emergence of Identity in Early Indian Religion (Oxford University Press, 2018), Nathan McGovern draws on ancient texts to problematize the distinction between Brahman and non-Brahman in this era, shedding light on the presence of various Buddhist, Jain and Vedic groups who equally identified as Brahmans.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Prakash+Shah%2C+%22Western+Foundations+of+the+Caste+System%22+%28Palgrave+Macmillan%2C+2017%29
access_time1 year ago
The Indian caste system is an ancient, pervasive institution of social organization within the subcontinent – or is it? Join me as I speak with Dr. Prakash Shah (Reader in Culture and Law at the Queen Mary University of London, UK) about his co-edited work, Western Foundations of the Caste System(Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Ranging from ancient Indian history to modern British law, the contributions to this book advance a provocative thesis, namely, that what we refer to as Indian caste is more a function of Western Christian encounters with India than anything historically occurring on Indian soil.  Could this be the case? Could the caste system constitute a projection born of Western interpretive bias rather than an ancient Indian indigenous social institution?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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