[INDOLOGY] The place of Indology in the Academy

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Mon Oct 27 15:31:23 UTC 2014

Dear Madhav,

Yes, quite.  So, could you reframe the basic question as one about the pros
and cons of different institutional locations of "South Asian Studies"?


On 27 October 2014 15:44, Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at umich.edu> wrote:

> In most American Universities, the word "Indology" is almost unheard of
> these days.  After Edward Said's "Orientalism", the word "Oriental"
> survives in a few universities only as an exception.  The Department of
> Oriental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania where I earned my Ph.D.
> in 1972 became Asian and Middle Eastern Studies in 1992.  "India" has
> been largely replaced by "South Asia" in most places.  Once I introduced to
> someone as being an Indologist, and the person asked me if that was a
> department in the hospital!
> Madhav
> On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 10:14 AM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> In Germany, there are (still) departments of Indology.  In a sense, such
>> German departments are conceptually parallel to departments of Classics.
>> In most universities elsewhere, Indology "lives" somewhere within a larger
>> unit, such as Religious Studies, Classics, Asian Studies (or Oriental
>> Studies), Philosophy or History.
>> Institutionally speaking, where does Indology flourish best?  For what
>> reasons?
>> Clearly there are determining issues, perhaps principally, "how many
>> Indologists are we talking about?"  If there is one Indological faculty
>> member, she would normally be appointed within History, Philosophy or
>> Religious Studies, etc.   But if there are three or four faculty members
>> (not so common?), a critical mass is beginning to form that requires its
>> own institutional recognition.  What is this critical mass?
>> The faculty or department with which Indology shares space will also
>> therefore form the main group of competitors for Indological resources
>> (faculty positions, library budget, teaching room allocation, etc.).  With
>> whom do Indologists compete successfully?  Perhaps this always reduces to
>> issues of personality and local dynamics.
>> Best,
>> Dominik
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> --
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
> Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
> 202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
> The University of Michigan
> Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608, USA

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