[INDOLOGY] Clarification Request

Uskokov, Aleksandar aleksandar.uskokov at yale.edu
Wed Apr 3 20:45:46 UTC 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I asked Dr. Truschke a clarification question yesterday, concerning the role of the forum committee, hoping to understand better where the problem is. I understand from her automated reply that she is currently traveling, so I would like to open the question for other committee members, past or present, female or male.

Let me clarify first that I do not question the gender parity aspiration, in academia as everywhere else. I also agree that it is an issue very much worthy of discussion on this forum, as far as it pertains the study of South Asia and our own profession, its history and present (and hopefully bright future). Coming originally from a tiny, corrupt place, I do have some experience of what being powerless feels like, though I certainly do not claim that I know what our female colleagues undergo in their careers. My question is not about that general issue. What I fail to understand is why having gender parity or parity of any kind (senior/junior, India/Europe/US/South America etc.) matters here, in the INDOLOGY forum committee, because I do not understand where the power problem is. What is it that the committee does other than approving membership requests and occasionally intervening if discussions go astray? Since the forum follows what I would describe as “an honor system” and the only expectation is for members to be respectful in their posts, the forum is not moderated: what are the issues that could be gender-sensitive in the work of the committee? Is there anything else that the committee does, other than approving membership requests? Related to this, why is it important to have more female members for the sake of parity, rather than, say, a two-member team (with gender parity)?

Let me emphasize – as I believe that many of our ("our" as "humanity") issues stem from misunderstanding and psychoanalyzing one another – that my question is not rhetorical. I genuinely do not understand and hope to learn.



Aleksandar Uskokov

Lector in Sanskrit

South Asian Studies Council, Yale University

203-432-1972 | aleksandar.uskokov at yale.edu

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