[INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY governing committee

Jeffery Long dharmaprof108 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 3 14:39:39 UTC 2019

Dear Colleagues,
I would like to add my voice to second what Malcolm, Herman, Ramprasad, John, and others have said.  Scholars in our field, or any field, being subjected to sexism and chauvinism of any kind is unacceptable.  We need to stand together against such behavior, as well as, for those of us who are male, reflecting on ways in which we may have been complicit, even if inadvertently, in creating and sustaining an environment in which some feel they can behave in this way toward female colleagues.
All the best,Jeff
Dr. Jeffery D. Long
Professor of Religion and Asian Studies
Elizabethtown CollegeElizabethtown, PA
Series Editor, Explorations in Indic Traditions: Theological, Ethical, and PhilosophicalLexington Books
"One who makes a habit of prayer and meditation will easily overcome all difficulties and remain calm and unruffled in the midst of the trials of life."  (Holy Mother Sarada Devi)
"We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)

    On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 2:08:56 AM EDT, Malcolm Keating via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:  
Dear all,
1. Regarding Dr. Truschke's concerns about gender parity, I would draw attention to an analogous effort being made in philosophy, which is a field that is also heavily male-dominated and has its share of problems with sexism, from egregious cases of harassment to pernicious and persistent cases of stereotyping. The idea of aiming toward gender parity in conferences has been present there for a decade now (see the "Gendered Conference Campaign" post at the Feminist Philosophers Blog:https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/gendered-conference-campaign/). This post includes links to some discussion about implicit bias, stereotype threat, etc. I raise the question of whether analogous efforts within Indology more broadly might not also have salutary effects.
2. I would like to echo Dr. Sauthoff's concerns about the experiences of women in academia. As another junior academic, I post to this list with trepidation, aware of its public nature and wide reach. At the same time, I have enough evidence, testimonial, perceptual, and inferential, to believe that there persist widespread problems in academia more generally, and Indian philosophy (my own subfield) more specifically. I also agree that the problems are more entrenched than what might be visible from the vantage point of most men, myself included. Perhaps these may be mostly structural, and not a matter of individual bad intentions. That possibility does not mean those of us within these structures aren't responsible for seeking solutions. And finally, if my female colleagues are speaking out at the risk of their reputations--at least in the sense of reputations for not stirring things up--I cannot simply watch. What the implications are for this list, I am in no position to say. However, I would like to add my voice to those who would like to see more discussion of how to create a more humane and equitable environment for scholars.
 Malcolm Keating
  Yale-NUS College | Assistant Professor | Humanities Division (Philosophy) | malcolm.keating at yale-nus.edu.sg
 Office hours may be scheduled here: https://malcolmkeating.youcanbook.me
 Academic website: http://www.malcolmkeating.com/

|  Subject:  Re: [INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY governing committee |
|  From:  Audrey Truschke <audrey.truschke at gmail.com> |
|  Date:  2/4/19, 8:11 pm |

|  CC:  "Indology List (indology at list.indology.info)" <indology at list.indology.info> |

 Dear Friends and Colleagues, 
  Dr. Silk raises a valid point, which is that I am slightly vague in my account of what has happened. I would encourage everyone to be sensitive to the fact that other committee members have repeatedly told me, often angrily, to not share their emails and to not discuss any of this with the list at large. There are real risks for women who choose to come forward with these sorts of concerns. 
  That said, I do point to some specific things, such as an attempt to encourage me to resign when I pointed out bias (March 2019; in an e-mail), refusals to talk about possible bias (numerous e-mails; fall 2018), and persistent demands that I keep silent about what I experience as abuse and intimidation (repeated over the past year or so). To add another specific case, last week a committee member wrote to Dr. Paturi and chastised him for writing 'thank you' to the entire list regarding the post I sent around sharing Anand Venkatkrishnan's excellent blog post on female Sanskritists and sexism. Indology members say thank you to the list all the time without complaint, and so this was a targeted silencing of a discussion about discrimination against women in our profession (and it worked). I think this is a fair amount of precision and several discrete instances. I do not know whether the intent was sexist or biased in any specific case, but the effects were. 
  So far as how to move forward, I recommend a few concrete steps. All are aimed to redirecting the committee's energy toward making both the committee and the list a more equitable, welcoming place. (1) I want gender parity, or at least approaching gender parity, on the INDOLOGY governing committee by adding female members. I think everyone on this list should value and want gender parity. (2) I want the committee to take further steps to address bias issues, whether that is bias training, a system for adjudicating complaints, shaking up committee membership, or something else. Whatever we decide, I would like those steps announced to the list at large. (3) Personally, I think that the individual who suggested that I resign after pointing out bias should instead, himself, consider stepping down. But I will not press this particular point. 
  Another thing that I wish to achieve here is awareness and space for conversation. Indology as a discipline may be focused on classical India, but we exist in the modern world, and modern issues of bias are a legitimate topic for scholars to discuss on INDOLOGY (preferably without declarations by list members that a given discussion of bias and discrimination is inappropriate on INDOLOGY). I would like issues of bias and discrimination treated seriously on this list and on the governing committee going forward. 
  Thank you for your time and consideration. 
  All the Best, 
     Audrey Truschke  Assistant Professor Department of History
 Rutgers University-Newark       Audrey Truschke Assistant Professor Department of History
 Rutgers University-Newark 
|  Subject:  Re: [INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY governing committee |
|  From:  Audrey Truschke <audrey.truschke at gmail.com> |
|  Date:  2/4/19, 8:11 pm |


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