Course content: Readings in race theory from early theoreticians of race; the development of the “two stocks” theory of humankind by Friedrich Schlegel; its development and application in the “biracial theory” of India by his brother A. W. Schlegel; the anchoring of the “biracial theory” in Indian history by Schlegel’s student Christian Lassen through his researches into the Mahābhārata; the expansion of this concept to explain all aspects of Indian culture, including its aesthetics, religion, philosophy, worldview, and its textual productions; the application of this principle to separate, date, and refashion Indian texts; the racism espoused by German Indologists; the rise of Aryan ideology and its interaction with German anti-Semitism; the impact of Indologists’ racist theories on Indian intellectuals in the twentieth century; the turn to physical, sociological, and mechanical explanations of Indian texts.
Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will be able to:
- Learn about the theological roots of the concept of race.
- Trace how the concept was scientized, reified, and universalized.
- How the concept has shaped modern humanities.
The class will meet for three hours each week. Students will be required to summarize and present one reading and to write a final paper on the author of their chosen reading.
Area of Study: History & Methods
Required / Elective: Elective
Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study / Concurrently enrolled or completed Orientation to Hindu Studies.
Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee
Start Date: 17 January 2021
End Date: 28 March 2021
Quarter Offered: Winter 2021