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Last modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

IU India Studies announces its spring lecture series

Feb. 17, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- This spring's India Studies lecture series at Indiana University will again bring leading political, art and cultural scholars of India and South Asia to the IU Bloomington campus.

The lecture series, which is free and open to the public, will begin on Monday (Feb. 22) with a presentation by Tithi Bhattacharya, an associate professor in the Department of History at Purdue University.

The title of Bhattacharya's lecture will be "Coming Down with Modernity: Confusions, Questions and Some Perceptions from South Asia." It will begin at 5:30 p.m. in room 102 of the Fine Arts building, 1133 E. Seventh St. Visitor parking is available at the nearby Jordan Avenue Garage.

Bhattacharya will discuss the science essays of one of the leading female writers of 19th century Calcutta, Swarnakumari Debi. Her "writings on the physical and natural sciences in some of the most prominent contemporary journals marked the nodal point of several epistemic streams that have consequently become areas of debate in the current scholarship on non-European modernity," she explained.

"The notion of modernity is one of the most debated concepts, particularly in the context of non-European countries where modernity often arrived at gunpoint," Bhattacharya explained. "It is my contention that we need to re-evaluate recent postcolonial claims on multiple and/or alternative modernities in the context of the non-West and look instead towards more fuller explanations for a phenomenon as complex and historically nuanced as the modern moment."

Other events in the series will include:

  • "The Bhakti Movement -- Since When?," being presented by John Stratton Hawley, a professor in the Department of Religion in Barnard College of Columbia University, at 5:30 p.m. on March 8, in room 007 of Woodburn Hall, 1100 E. Seventh St.
  • "Sacrificed Wife Revisited," by Stephanie Jamison, a professor in the Department of Asian Cultures and Literatures at the University of California at Los Angeles, at 5:30 p.m. on April 1, in room 102 of Lindley Hall, 150 S. Woodlawn Ave.
  • "Tribal and Folk Musics of India," by Lewis Rowell, professor emeritus of music theory in the IU Jacobs School of Music and an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the IU India Studies Program, at 5 p.m. on April 8, at Sweeney Lecture Hall (room 015) of the Simon Music Building, 200 S. Jordan Ave.
  • "Early Indian Mathematics," by Samir Bose, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, at 5:30 p.m. on April 21. The location will be announced later.

For more information about India Studies, call 812-855-5798 or send a message to