We usually associate colonialism with political domination and economic exploitation. Colonialism, however, has involved representation, study, classification, and ordering of the colonized through “intellectual” works encompassing translations, commentaries, travelogues, surveys, etc. which were disseminated through the establishment of academic institutions. This intervention systematically destroyed the native worldview wherever European colonization happened.
In short, colonialism has involved the conquest of culture through what is now being recognized in academia as “epistemic violence.” India, Hindus, and Hinduism were the victims of the epistemic violence, where reams were written to disconnect them from their epistemological and cosmological underpinnings. The effects have been twofold: 1) In current mainstream academia, the same distorted and demonized discourse continues in politically correct ways. 2) Postcolonial India has not systematically analyzed the sinister and distorted discourse, which was unleashed on its culture and traditions in general, and Hinduism in particular. Our concentration in “Postcolonial Hindu Studies” will systematically explore colonialism as a discourse, i.e. the literary, representational, and ideological component of its political and material dominance. It will explore ways of decolonization, i.e. the process of calling into question European categories and epistemologies and seeking freedom from colonial forms of knowledge and thinking. Finally, it will examine and facilitate modes of retrieval, recovery, and rejuvenation of the pre-colonial Hindu culture and knowledge.
In this 1 hour free webinar, prospective students can engage with the following questions: a) What is the opportunity and potential of a discipline called Postcolonial Hindu Studies? b) Why is it required today?
Register here for a free webinar on ‘Postcolonial Hindu Studies‘ on March 14th, 2020 – 11 am PST/ 1:00 pm CST/ 2:00 pm EST. We will send you a zoom invitation on receipt of your registration.