[INDOLOGY] (no subject)

Tyler Williams tylerwwilliams at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 00:59:48 EDT 2019


Dear colleagues,


In deference to Matthew Kapstein’s wise suggestion in regard to logorrhea,
I will keep this brief. I would simply like to thank Patricia Sauthoff,
Antonia Ruppel, Jeffrey Long, and others on the list who have both
contributed in a constructive manner and who have asked to maintain the
civility that characterizes the Indology list.


In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Sauthoff for taking the time and
energy to share her personal experience with the matter under discussion;
it demonstrates just how dangerous uninformed and unchecked propaganda can
be to our ability to pursue our work.


Lest it get lost in the discussion: Dr. Sauthoff shared Jeff Stein’s
succinct but insightful essay
<http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/praxis1313/jeff-stein-strategic-speech-and-alt-right-metapolitics/>
on the dynamics of debate at the present moment, both inside and outside of
academia. The essay makes clear that what is at stake in forums such as
Indology is not free speech— we all have plenty of opportunities and forums
in which to express our ideas and opinions— but rather the maintenance of
intellectual spaces and norms of discourse that in turn rest upon rigorous
and shared notions of epistemological integrity and intellectual honesty.
And which, we may add, are spaces in which scholars can share views without
being subjected to belittling harassment. It was my concern with the slow
erosion of these norms by disingenuous projects that compelled me to speak
up in the first place.


Respectfully,

Tyler Williams
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