South Asia

Organized Panel Session

(58) Encountering the Exotic: Responses to the New and the Foreign in Early-Modern and Colonial South Asia

3/23/2018
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Virginia Suite C, Lobby Level

The Columbian Exchange and the later rapid expansion of European trade and colonial power brought a staggering array of the hitherto unknown to South Asia – new people, of course, but also new artifacts, materials, commercial goods, and flora and fauna. These immense encounters with "newness" resulted in novel exchanges of information and the creation of new information networks, and required but also facilitated new modes of engagement in intellectual, legal and political thought and practice. Despite considerable and well-received scholarly work on European engagements with the exotic, research on South-Asian intellectual responses to these novelties is a comparatively new and growing field. 

The papers in this panel will examine this hitherto little-explored perspective through a series of case studies from different parts of the sub-continent, and based on archival materials in a number of South-Asian literary languages. In other words, this panel hopes to reverse the lens of what is familiar and what is exotic, by privileging the views of South Asians as they encountered new life-worlds, from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century.

This panel, thus, will shed light on how novel and foreign material good and ideas entering the region were noted, scrutinized, celebrated, criticized, pointedly rejected, or conspicuously ignored by South Asians of various classes, be they elite intellectuals or subalterns. In doing so it hopes to probe the socio-cultural commitments and intellectual choices behind these representations of the exotic.

Presentations:

Send Email for Nicolas Roth

Mou Banerjee

Harvard University, Massachusetts

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mou Banerjee

Nicolas Roth

Harvard University, Massachusetts

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Nicolas Roth

Send Email for Andrew Amstutz

Send Email for Caleb Simmons

Swati Moitra

University of Calcutta, West Bengal, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Swati Moitra

Mou Banerjee

Harvard University, Massachusetts

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mou Banerjee


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