[INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY governing committee

Agathe Keller kelleragathe600 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 11:43:03 UTC 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I may be reacting a bit too late, but I wanted to underline something
Audrey Truschke suggested for the committee which is bias training. As a
member of a university department with an ongoing investigation concerning
sexual harassment, I can assure you that bias training if well done is an
eye opener for all, minority and women included. As scholars we know that
only the ignorant are dead sure that they don’t need to learn what they are
ignorant of. I believe that we all are actually in the process of
understanding how deeply biases are and have affected the way we work- and
training can help us assess this and help us overcome (some of) it.

I want to add that the collective response to try to make things better on
this list, the collective working out of problem is a heart warmer and
gives much hope for the future of our field! In our French History of
Science list, a similar problem ended up precisely with a whole group
leaving the list because of the violent misogynistic attacks that were not
moderated and seemed to have the approval of the majority and notably the
creator fo the list. Indology can do better of course, but Indology can be
proud of itself nonetheless!

best Agathe

From: Ananya Vajpeyi via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
<indology at list.indology.info>
Reply: Ananya Vajpeyi <vajpeyi at csds.in> <vajpeyi at csds.in>
Date: 5 April 2019 at 10:40:52
To: Indology <indology at list.indology.info> <indology at list.indology.info>
Subject:  [INDOLOGY] Sexism and Bias on INDOLOGY giverning committee

Dear Colleagues,

The discussions on gender parity in the work space, sexual harassment, "me
too" and creating more respectful, equitable and enabling environments for
women at home and at work are global and ubiquitous today. It's absolutely
in keeping with these debates unfolding all around us in practically every
profession, institution and cultural context that we should have our own
conversation here on Indology.

Whether it's looking at power imbalances, sexism, misogyny and inequality
in the texts we read, or in the classrooms where we read them; between us
as students, teachers, colleagues and friends; in the past or in the
present; in India or outside, it's an important and necessary exchange to
have and it's high time we had it amongst ourselves. Whatever our
disagreements, I think it's an opportunity for us all to look within, clean
up our act in our disciplinary settings, improve the functioning of our
scholarly association and strengthen its rules and procedures, and go
forward with -- well, for one thing, more women on board and a more open
and frank approach to the problems that affect us all and take up our time
and attention away from our beloved intellectual pursuits and pedagogical

It's good to see that many of us have jumped in to this difficult space in
good faith, believing that in the end we'll be the better for it. Seems to
me we've already made some progress relative to when we had an earlier
iteration of these and related topics last summer after the World Sanskrit

Best wishes,

Ananya Vajpeyi.


Ananya Vajpeyi
Fellow and Associate Professor
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
29 Rajpur Road, Civil Lines
New Delhi 110054

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Agathe Keller

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