[INDOLOGY] Indologist at Center of Sexual Harassment Mess at Berkeley

Walter Slaje slaje at kabelmail.de
Thu Oct 6 02:19:05 EDT 2016


Might I draw the gentle readership’s attention to the purpose of this list
as published on their guidelines page (http://listinfo.indology.info/):



INDOLOGY forum for Classical South Asian studies:

INDOLOGY is an internet discussion group whose primary purpose is to
provide a *forum* for discussion *among professional scholars of classical
Indian* (South Asian) *civilization*. *The central focus of the list is the
history and culture of ancient and classical India* [...]



It is clear from this statement – but also from the general practice
followed so far by its members – that the list is to focus on research
pertaining to „ancient and classical India“  – but not to pursuing the
immoral conduct of selected American South Asianists. To this day it has
served the purely scholarly purpose very well indeed.



I am concerned that the shift now introduced towards naming and shaming is
not only a violation of the guidelines above, but will undermine the
reputation of the list and make scholars, who feel disgusted by public
pillorying, turn away from it. After all, it is for the courts to assess,
for the media to publicize, and for the tabloids to expose.

I can see no scholarship in any of it which would befit this list.



It is certainly legitimate to take an interest in the morals of South Asian
scholars. Whoever does so and considers the issue important enough might
perhaps want to establish something like The American South Asianists
Immorality Discussion Forum. I really don’t think we should subscribe to
such news feed here on this list.



Regards,

WS
​​

2016-10-05 20:56 GMT+02:00 Antonia Ruppel <rhododaktylos at gmail.com>:

> Dear Audrey,
>
> Many thanks for the links and the excellent overview. You're absolutely
> right that we need to be aware of what is going on. Whenever something like
> this comes to light about someone who is a colleague or perhaps even a
> friend, it is shocking and uncomfortable. Still, the more information we
> have, the better we are able to find the right side to be on here. (And
> yes, I think that unfortunately there are sides here, and many of us close
> enough to the situation need to choose one.)
>
> All best,
>      Antonia
>
> On 29 September 2016 at 16:52, Audrey Truschke <audrey.truschke at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Dear Colleagues,
>>
>> List members may be interested in an ongoing sexual harassment scandal at
>> UC Berkeley involving an Indologist, Blake Wentworth.
>>
>> Wentworth, who works on classical Tamil literature, was found guilty of
>> sexual harassment and misconduct last year by the university, and three of
>> his victims came forward with details of the case (here
>> <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/10/uc-berkeley-students-professor-sexual-harassment-complaint>
>> and here
>> <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/27/uc-berkeley-sexual-harassment-scandal-blake-wentworth>)
>> after being frustrated with delays in firing Wentworth.
>>
>> Now Wentworth is trying to silence the women he harassed with a
>> defamation lawsuit (here
>> <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/29/uc-berkeley-sexual-harassment-blake-wentworth-sues-victims>
>> ).
>>
>> As many of you know, sexual harassment is an ongoing issue in many
>> disciplines, and our corner of the academy, it seems, is no exception.
>>
>> Audrey Truschke
>> Assistant Professor
>> Department of History
>> Rutgers University-Newark
>>
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>
>
>
> --
> Antonia Ruppel
> Richmond (UK)
>
> Out soon: The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit
> http://www.cambridge.org/ir/academic/subjects/religion/buddh
> ism-and-eastern-religions/cambridge-introduction-sanskrit
>
>
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