Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beyond Wendy Doniger

Beyond Batra and Wendy Doniger: Reflections on the study of Hinduism in the American Academy in Chapati Mystery
Such investigations are recommended by Garrett Field in his review of Amanda Weidman, Lakshmi Subramanian books on South Indian music"This would lead to larger questions about the history of the interaction of American universities, American financed but South Asian based language-training programs, and fellowship organizations, fieldwork experience, and with the scholarship ethnomusicologists produced in the twentieth century. Such a history of scholarly patronage would include a comprehensive understanding of change in historicism. Moreover, while there has been a surge of interest in the ways academic disciplines like philology articulated central aspects of European modernity, the emergence of institutional support in America for the ethnomusicological task of studying the entire world’s music must articulate something significant about American history in the 1950s and 1960s.
These kinds of inquiries are reflexive in their own way since they shift the focus onto “us,” the imagined community of ethnomusicologists, and the institutions that enable us to produce scholarship on the music of India. “Reflexive” writing often means bringing our subjective experience as ethnographers into the fabric of our texts, holding out the promise of “distancing us from historically colonialist approaches” (Kisliuk 1997:23). However true this is, reflexive writing often ignores the fascinating interactions of American universities, language-training programs, and fellowship organizations, with fieldwork, scholarship and the maintenance of academic disciplines. These kinds of investigations would get at the logic behind the paradigm shift found in the scholarship of Higgins, Neuman, Weidman, and Subramanian."

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