[INDOLOGY] The place of Indology in the Academy

Herman Tull hermantull at gmail.com
Mon Oct 27 22:23:08 UTC 2014

This has an interesting history in American education.  W. D. Whitney's
salary was paid through an endowment set up for Whitney by his predecessor,
E. E. Salisbury. (When Whitney nearly jumped ship to go to Harvard,
Salisbury significantly increased the endowment.)

Whitney's appointment was not originally to Yale College, but to their
nascent graduate school, The Department of Philosophy and the Arts. Based
on the German model, it was the first institution to grant the PhD in the

On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 6:03 PM, Tracy Coleman <tcoleman at coloradocollege.edu
> wrote:

>  ​Indologists -ji,
>  I would add that Indology can also survive if wealthy donors endow
> programs at institutions that are willing to accept money for such
> purposes.  The Asian Studies program at my college was established directly
> as a result of such funding.  Unfortunately, the donor favored East Asia,
> and the program has thus developed primarily in that direction.  But donors
> could specify support for Asia more broadly, or they could endow a program
> in South Asian Studies specifically.  So!  All of you wealthy Indologist
> patrons out there:  give lots of money to your favorite institution and
> create more jobs for all of our current and future students of South Asia,
> no matter their particular disciplines!!!
>  Cheers to All
> Tracy Coleman
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of Greg
> Bailey <Greg.Bailey at latrobe.edu.au>
> *Sent:* Monday, October 27, 2014 3:56 PM
> *To:* Patrick Olivelle; Dominik Wujastyk
> *Cc:* Indology
> *Subject:* Re: [INDOLOGY] The place of Indology in the Academy
>  Patrick, Dominik and Madhav,
>  I agree entirely with Patrick's sentiments. Indology will only survive
> in a larger department, usually of Asian Studies or Religious Studies.  In
> Australia the situation is very difficult and even Asian Studies is under
> threat.  The Neo-Liberal state is concerned only with knowledge–preferably
> information–that can be measured in numerical terms.
>  Greg Bailey
>   From: Patrick Olivelle <jpo at uts.cc.utexas.edu>
> Date: Tuesday, 28 October 2014 3:00 AM
> To: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
> Cc: Indology <indology at list.indology.info>
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] The place of Indology in the Academy
>   Dominik, Madhav, and all:
>  My own experience being a Chair for longer than I care to remember is
> that there is no one "optimum" institutional setting or home for
> "Indology", by which we mean, I think, the study of classical/ancient
> India. It is easy to come up with abstract optimum settings, but they are
> of little value unless local conditions are taken into account. As we know,
> all "classical" studies are under institutional and budgetary threat --
> note the elimination of classical archeology etc. even in Britain. My
> experience is "being small means being under threat". So, it is safer to
> have a broader and larger home in which factors such as student enrollments
> can be better managed to satisfy the number crunchers. In the US, in
> general Indological areas are represented in several larger settings: South
> Asian Studies, Asian Studies (thus including East Asia), and Religious
> Studies. Individual Indological faculty members may be located in other
> departments: Classics (Brown), History, Linguistics, etc. I think the most
> advantageous setting is Departments of South Asian OR Asian Studies, mainly
> because all areas of Indology can be represented there -- from Philology,
> Grammar, and Literature to Mathematics, Philosophy, and Medicine. Religion
> Departments offer only a narrow spectrum, but because they are many in the
> US they do offer the best employment opportunities to our students!!
>  Patrick
>  On Oct 27, 2014, at 10:31 AM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>   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"?
>  Best,
> Dominik
> 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
>>>  _______________________________________________
>>> INDOLOGY mailing list
>>> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
>>> http://listinfo.indology.info
>>  --
>> 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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*Herman TullPrinceton, NJ *

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