Category Archives: News

The Year of India: Neither the Beginning nor the End of Brown’s Engagement with India

6/8/10: The University’s Year of India, now concluded, has left an imprint at Brown and beyond. The program has served as a catalyst for the future by deepening India’s enduring presence at Brown – and Brown’s in India – through expanded scholarship and collaboration. In years to come, new partnerships and programs will augment the University’s India-related research and teaching capacities. Several developments have been announced, and more planning is underway.
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Honorary Degree Recipient Romila Thapar on the Historical Traditions of Early North India

6/9/10: Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons, who presented historian Romila Thapar with an honorary degree at the University’s 2010 Commencement ceremonies, began her remarks this way: “Scholar and transformative force, you have made it your lifelong mission to uncover India’s rich early past. In doing so, you have articulated the case for tolerance and humanity by exposing the uses and abuses of history.” Continue reading Honorary Degree Recipient Romila Thapar on the Historical Traditions of Early North India

Minister Advocates Change for Muslims in India

5/13/10: In his keynote address at the recent conference, Six Decades of Indian Democracy, the Honorable Salman Khurshid, Minister of State for Minority Affairs, called for leadership development among India’s Muslims and increased Muslim representation at the highest levels of Indian government. Having arrived directly from parliament, Khurshid combined a sweeping survey of pivotal moments in the history of Indian Muslims with a forward-looking discussion of policies that could improve the political status of India’s largest minority group.
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The Rudolphs on Indian Politics: Looking Back and Looking Forward

5/17/10: “What has happened shapes what can happen,” asserted Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph at the recent conference on “Six Decades of Indian Democracy,” hosted by the Watson Institute as part of the Year of India. In a joint keynote address entitled “Looking Back and Looking Forward: Researching Indian Politics for Almost Six Decades,” the husband-and-wife duo used their own sustained scholarship in India as a lens through which to view the profound changes that have reshaped the country’s political landscape. They also critically reflected on how area studies – the study of the politics of foreign countries – had changed in the United States over the last two decades or so. Continue reading The Rudolphs on Indian Politics: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Historian Romila Thapar to Receive an Honorary Degree from Brown

5/9/10: At the University’s 242nd Commencement exercises later this month, Brown will confer an honorary degree on Romila Thapar, professor emerita of ancient Indian history at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, India. Thapar, a world-renowned scholar who has revolutionized the study of early Indian history, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters.
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Conference Analyzes Six Decades of Indian Democracy

5/5/10: Friday, May 7 through Sunday, May 9, a major international conference on “Six Decades of Indian Democracy: Achievements, Failures, Promises, Challenges” is bringing together over 30 leading scholars to reflect on 60 years of India’s democracy. Salman Khurshid, India’s Minister for Minority Affairs, and Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express, will both give keynote lectures. Continue reading Conference Analyzes Six Decades of Indian Democracy

David MacDougall: Documenting a Shelter for Children on the Outskirts of Delhi

4/26/10: After living at Prayas Children’s Home for three months, ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall remains ambivalent towards the institution. The shelter on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, is “both a refuge and a prison,” he said in a question and answer session following the screening of his 2008 film, Gandhi’s Children. The film does not take a stance on the efficacy of Prayas. Rather, it takes an unflinching look at boys’ daily lives in the shelter, their reasons for coming in the first place, and their expectations for the future. Continue reading David MacDougall: Documenting a Shelter for Children on the Outskirts of Delhi

Mahābhārata Conference Opens with Message on Importance of Dialogue

4/17/10: Professor of Classics James L. Fitzgerald (at right) convened the recent Brown Conference on Early Indian Philosophy in the Mahābhārata by underscoring the importance of dialogue in philosophical inquiry. “We often squabble about the simple mechanics of reading a text,” he said. However, “reciting to oneself is uncertain if not dangerous.”
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