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Open Pages in South Asian Studies

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Open Pages in South Asian Studies

Authored by Dr. Joe Pellegrino

An "Open Pages in South Asian Studies" workshop was held at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, on April 27-28, 2011. The purpose was to allow scholars to concentrate on details that still remain "blank" or "unrevealed" for this or that reason, whether objective of subjective, deliberately or accidentally. Workshop panelists were asked to explore such "open pages;" this volume presents a collection of papers delivered at the workshop.
The volume is evenly divided in terms of historical research. The first four papers of the book may be regarded as belonging to "classical Indological" studies, while the next four papers address so-called modern studies. The final two papers consider the discipline as a whole, looking at who we are and how we work. Collectively, the papers included in this book show that the most common reason for "pages" to remain "open" is just the lack of data, the lack of information.
In the "classical" papers, the common denominator is the problem of origins of various cultural traditions. Thus Alexander Dubianski treats the problem of the origins of Old Tamil poetry. Sergey Kullanda tries to find linguistic data which would shed light on the "varna" system. Elisa Fresci considers the problems of the origin of Mimamsa linguistics. Two historians of philosophy, Victoria Lysenko and Artemiy Kobzev, try to find explanations for the fact that atomistic theories were conspicuously absent in Chinese thought and link this to the alphabetic (analytical) principle of writing in India (as in Greece), whereas in China, with its hieroglyphic writing system, atomism could not be easily evolved and/or assimilated.
In modern studies the paucity of information is also one of the main problems. It is clearly demonstrated by all the four papers of this section. Professor Vyacheslav Belokrenitsky assesses the situation in South Asia's Western Tribal Region. Professor Jamal Malik. deals with phenomena of "messianism," "pietism," and "fundamentalism" in "Greater South Asia" from the 16th century until the end of the 20th century. Professor Alexandra Safronova writes about the past and present of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Professor Tatyana Shaumyan treats the mystery of the death of legendary Subhas Chandra Bose.
In two papers some theoretical as well as practical questions of South Asian studies generally. This is, first, the paper of Dominik Wujastyk, who speculates on the prospects for future scholars to find unexplored problems and, secondly, the paper of Professor William Vanderbok, who analyzes the main trends of South Asian studies in the USA for the last sixty years and compares this to European trends.

Publication Date:
0983447284 / 9780983447283
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Social Science / Regional Studies

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