South Asia

Organized Panel Session

Time Before 'Time' : Alternative Temporalities from Premodern South Asia

Saturday, July 7
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Marigold, New Building

History is a study of both space and time. However, while the field of regional history or area studies - such as Asian Studies - may admit of distinctive histories and geographies arising from different spatialities, social sciences in most of Asia itself, ironically, still seem to work with the premise of a uniform global time, in the past as much as in the present. In this way, denied their own temporalities, the possibility of genuinely diverse regional histories is perhaps foreclosed.


This panel is an attempt to reopen this question for Asia via four case studies that interrogate a range of premodern South Asian classical and vernacular genres of thought for their alternative conceptions and practices of the time. These relate to poetics (alamkāra), philosophy (yoga), scripture (rāmakathā), and chronicle (carita) composed in Sanskrit, Awadhi, and Malayalam respectively, in corners of north and south India. In every instance, these cases challenge and displace the modern Eurocentric belief in a linear, abbreviated, secular and irreversible time. They propose instead vast, transcendent, eternal or recursive notions of time closely connected to deeper cosmologies and weltanschauungs (world-views). Given that time is crucial to how societies understand their pasts and themselves - their genealogies - the import of the clash between these alternative temporalities runs deeper than a concern for mere chronology; it represents alternative epistemologies. To reimagine time then, and allow for local Asian varieties of it, is to open a window to reimagining Asia itself.


Shonaleeka Kaul

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Shonaleeka Kaul

Shonaleeka Kaul

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Shonaleeka Kaul

Shonaleeka Kaul

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Shonaleeka Kaul

Tarinee Awasthi

Cornell University, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Tarinee Awasthi

Aditya Chaturvedi

Nalanda University, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Aditya Chaturvedi

Dilip Menon

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Dilip M Menon is the Mellon Chair of Indian Studies and the Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at the University of Witwatersrand. He was educated at the Universities of Delhi, Oxford and Cambridge and got his PhD degree from Cambridge. He is a translator from the Malayalam and writes on film, theatre and literature. His research for the past decade has engaged with issues of caste, socialism and equality in modern India.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Dilip Menon


Assets

Time Before 'Time' : Alternative Temporalities from Premodern South Asia



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Time Before 'Time' : Alternative Temporalities from Premodern South Asia