[INDOLOGY] Indian Way of Theorizing in Social Sciences? 12th India Studies Webinar by The India Centre, FLAME University

Professor Pankaj Jain पंकज जैन, Ph.D. pankajaindia at gmail.com
Mon Aug 22 10:27:58 UTC 2022

[image: 124d672e-51ca-4251-91d4-60be9740737c.jpg]
 30th August, Tuesday - 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm. The details are as follows.

*Zoom Link*: https://flameuniversity.zoom.us/j/91861439602

*Alternative ontologies and epistemologies: Is there an Indian way of
knowing and theorizing in social sciences? *

In an “informal essay” (1989), poet, translator, and folklorist A. K.
Ramanujam asks an intriguing question, "Is there an Indian way of
thinking?” Taking inspiration from the celebrated essay, without any
misconception of equivalent competence, I ask, Is there an Indian way of
knowing and theorizing in social sciences? Ramanujan's answer was in the
affirmative for an imagined India in the deep past, but not for the
post-colonial India of the present. The subtext of his argument was, in
contemporary India we do not have an Indian way of thinking capable of
producing context-free theories with universal applications. Provocatively,
Ramanujam suggests there are only Indian experiences but no thought. His
analysis suggests, following a violent and subjugating encounter with the
west, the Indian (or Vedic) way of thinking—rooted in a logic of chaos,
context-dependent nature of truth, and a majestic celebration of
ambiguity—was displaced by a bundle of inconsistent and contradictory
ontologies and epistemologies. In this talk, I argue for possibilities of
ontological and epistemological pluralism in context-dependent ways of
knowing. A pluralism in thinking that gives rise to concepts and associated
explications of alternative theories of society, cultures, polities, and
economies. Context-dependent alternative understanding and explanations,
which in a post-colonial sense challenge the hegemony of Eurocentrism in
knowledge production. Using some examples, including from my earlier work
on theorizing cultures of protests in *dhandak* and *jan andolan *(2014)*, *I
discuss Indian way of knowing and theorizing.

*Bio*: Anup Kumar is professor of communication in the School of
Communication, Cleveland State University. He completed his PhD from the
University of Iowa in 2008. He has published numerous articles in
peer-reviewed communication and political science journals and is the
author of *Making of a Small State *(2014). Prior to joining academia, he
was a journalist, then an environmental activist, and before that a
Thanks and regards,
Pankaj Jain, Ph.D., पंकज जैन <https://www.flame.edu.in/faculty/pankaj-jain>
Head, Humanities and Languages
Chair, The India Centre <https://indiacentre.flame.edu.in/>
Professor, Philosophy & Religious Studies
FLAME University
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