Ananya Vajpeyi vajpeyi at csds.in
Wed Mar 6 05:08:07 UTC 2024

Thank you for your excellent letter, Professor Goldman.

Given the discussion here on Indology, this much seems clear: It is in
everyone's interest that a project as stellar as the MCLI continue to
produce editions and translations of the Indian classics across languages,
as it has done for a decade under the General Editorship of Sheldon
Pollock, together with different sets of section editors looking after
different languages, and with the exceptional publication capacities and
standards of HUP (to which I can testify from my own experience as an
author, albeit not in this series).

Since pretty much everyone with the requisite linguistic, philological,
textual and literary expertise (in various classical languages) anywhere in
the world is already involved and invested in the MCLI; since we are all in
this together as translators, editors, readers, and teachers, we do want
the series to continue, and for it to maintain its high quality into the
foreseeable future.

Like with any group endeavour, some housekeeping and some moving around of
personnel is inevitable and wouldn't surprise any of us in academia, with
our committees and departments routinely going through these sorts of
cycles, and not always smoothly.

In this case, given what Archana and her co-editors have brought to our
attention, it seems entirely fair to ask for a review or audit of the MCLI,
i.e., more transparency with regard to who is in charge of editing, for how
long, and with what sort of remit over a specified term of appointment. In
all events, on-going work should not be thrown into jeopardy while
seemingly arbitrary changes are made in the leadership, without
consultation or consensus.

We can and must hope that as a very small community (in the larger scheme
of things), between us we will be able to overcome this dispute in such a
way as to preserve the mission and vision of the MCLI, best presented in
Professor Pollock's essay "What should a Classical Library of India be?"
(written for *The Loeb Classical Library and Its Progeny. Proceedings of
the First James Loeb Biennial Conference*, edited by Jeffrey Henderson and
Richard Thomas, 63–84. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard U. Press, 2020. Available
at: https://sheldonpollock.org/archive/pollock_loeb_2020.pdf).

His essay shows that every part of this project is integral to its
conception, including scholarship, philology, pedagogy, translation,
publication, design, printing and dissemination. Right down to the
typefaces, everything is part of a plan, with an eye to the future.

Since all parties involved are superb at what they do, and since we have so
many luminous volumes already in our hands to prove it, let us focus our
collective energies on helping resolve the current contretemps speedily
and gracefully. It can be done. Especially as educators, we cannot allow
pessimism to get the better of us.

Texts that have survived and brightened the admittedly often disheartening
human condition for centuries can surely make it through and past this
transient misunderstanding among our learned colleagues and friends.

With all good wishes,


*Ananya Vajpeyi, Ph.D.*
*Fellow, **Centre for the Study of Developing Societies*
*29 Rajpur Rd., Civil Lines*
*New Delhi 110054, INDIA*
*EMAIL: vajpeyi at csds.in <vajpeyi at csds.in>*
*CSDS BIO: http://www.csds.in/faculty_ananya_vajpeyi.htm
*RESEARCH PROJECT: https://www.nilgiri.ugent.be/team/

On Wed, Mar 6, 2024 at 1:46 AM Robert P. GOLDMAN via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> Attached please find my letter to the Provost at Harvard.
> Bob
> Dr. R.P. Goldman
> William and Catherine Magistretti Professor of Sanskrit Emeritus
> and
> Professor in the Graduate School
> Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies
> Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> https://list.indology.info/mailman/listinfo/indology

*Ananya Vajpeyi*
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