Dharma and Ethics V: De-colonising the Social Sciences
Organised by the
Centre for the Study of Local Cultures
Kuvempu University, Shivamogga
in collaboration with the
Research Center Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap Gent University, Belgium.
Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies, Mysore.
Dates: 22nd and 23rd January 2011
Venue: Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies, Mysore.
Over the last four years, the annual Dharma and Ethics Conference held at Kuvempu University around January-February has emerged as a forum where important issues, problems and texts that have shaped both the Kannada and Indian intellectual traditions are taken up for serious theoretical scrutiny and tested for their soundness, coherence, validity and relevance.
In this Conference, discussions around Prof. S.N. Balagangadhara’s book Smriti-Vismriti: Bharatiya Samskriti (the Kannada version of “The Heathen in his Blindness…”) will be the means to arrive at an understanding of what the project of de-colonising the social sciences must involve. As Prof. Balagangadhara demonstrates, the western description of Indian society can only tell us how westerners experienced this society. For centuries, Indians too have added their own flavour and colour to these descriptions by assuming that they constitute the true description of Indian society. However, all these efforts make our social sciences rather alien to our experience and we have failed to overcome these colonial descriptions even after more than 60 years of independence. Although this problem was identified during the 1980s, there is not much clarity on how to theorise the problems of colonial description and how to search for an alternative way of understanding Indian society. The works of S.N. Balagangadhara and the Centre for the Study of Local Cultures, we propose, addresses this problem and shows new ways of answering the questions that this situation confronts us with: How do we recognise the colonisation of the social sciences? What is its impact on our attempt to understand Indian culture? How do we make the study of a comparative science of cultures possible? The theme of the discussions in each session is structured around the work Smriti-Vismriti: Bharatiya Samskriti (Akshara Prakashana, 2010). However, we hope that the discussions that take place during the Conference will cumulatively develop the project of the de-colonisation of the social sciences.
We recommend that to make the discussions as fruitful as possible the participants read the following texts before the Conference and come prepared with their concerns and arguments: (1) S.N. Balagangadhara’s Smriti-Vismriti: Bharatiya Samskriti (Kannada) or “The Heathen in His Blindness...”, the English version of the same (Manohar 2005). (2) The keynote presentation texts of each session. (The texts will be circulated to the registered participants by the second week of January 2011.)
Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies, Mysore., Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap, Centre for The Study of Local Cultures (CSLC)
Conference / Congres / Symposium | Collaborations of UGent Faculty | Building the Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities (ĀSHA) (Social Sciences | Humanities)
Mr. Sandeep Kumar Shetty
Mr. Shankarappa N.S.
Sat, January 22nd 2011
Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies,
room: Conference Hall
#CA-2, KIADB Industrial Housing Area, Hebbal Ring Road,
570 016. Mysore