[INDOLOGY] 9/12 In honour of Rosane Rocher

Agathe Keller kellera at univ-paris-diderot.fr
Sun Dec 4 21:59:38 UTC 2022

Dear colleagues,

Please find enclosed the program of this hybrid event in honour of the work of Rosane Rocher, that will be held in Paris next friday.
You are all welcome,

with all best

Agathe Keller

9/12 Hommage to Rosane Rocher (org. by M. Menon, A. Keller and K. Chemla)

3-6 pm parisian time

Hybrid Event
You are welcome physically at the Condorcet Building Campus des Grands Moulins<http://www.sphere.univ-paris-diderot.fr/IMG/pdf/plan_campus_rive_gauche_2018_fleches-bleu_reduit.pdf>,  412-B Rothko
For a zoom link contact kellera at univ-paris-diderot.fr<mailto:kellera at univ-paris-diderot.fr>


Agathe Keller (Sphere, CNRS) An intellectual biography of Rosane Rocher

 We usually associate Rosane Rocher’s work with her biographies of early indologists and of some of the pandits they employed. Reflecting on her intellectual itinerary, I would like to link these publications with other facets of her activities as a researcher, underlining how these links open all sorts of new perspectives not only on her work but for our own research projects.


Minakshi Menon (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
Rosane Rocher and Histories of Science in South Asia

Historians of science have responded to the challenge of writing histories of science in the “non-west” by using the concept of the “broker” in order to analyse cross-cultural knowledge flows. The broker or go-between has been used as a capacious category to accommodate translators, spies, healers, and interestingly, pandits in the service of the English East India Company. Such histories, though, rely almost entirely on European-language sources. Rosane Rocher’s biographies of pandits, which draw on their own works in Sanskrit, act as a corrective, allowing us to recover histories of actors embedded in complex social relationships, responding to rapid changes in their social and material conditions.  The new turn to writing decolonial histories of science in South Asia, I argue, would be difficult in the absence of Rocher’s work.


Joshua Ehrlich (University of Macau) The Career of Teroovercadoo Mootiah, an Eighteenth-Century Mudaliar Scholar in British Employ

This paper takes its inspiration from Rosane Rocher's landmark study of Radhakanta Tarkavagisa. In similar fashion, it examines the career of Teroovercadoo Mootiah (Thiruverkadu Muttiah), another Indian scholar who collaborated with the Company. It compares the experiences of the two men, drawing a contrast between patterns of scholarly patronage in the south and in the north. It finds that in the growing Madras Presidency, as early as the 1790s, the East India Company sought to recruit scholar-collaborators from non-elite social groups. Mootiah, a Mudaliar and Shaivite, was different in many ways from the venerable pandit Radhakanta. But his relationship with the Company too presented both opportunities and perils.

4:30-4:45 Pause

Richard Lariviere (Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin and President Emeritus, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.) Actors in the Colonial Enterprise.

The term “colonialism” has taken on such power that it has now slipped into the category of broad-brush terms such as fascism or socialism: terms that are both short-hand for specific phenomena and terms of abuse in the political arena.  In the latter case, the terms have become nearly meaningless.  Rosane Rocher’s work is an important grounding for scholars because it shows us how individual acts and careers shaped the colonialism of the 18th and 19th century.  We come to know through her work human specifics of the colonial enterprise.  Such specific accounts of the work of scholars of this period can lead to important introspection for our own work as scholars.

5:15-6  General Discussion
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