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A new school in the study of India?

Jakob De Roover (UGent)
(2019) CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA. 27(2). p.273-285
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Abstract
By arguing that a new ‘School’ is crystallising in the study of India, Deborah Sutton (2018) has brought to the surface phenomena that are typical of any encounter between competing research traditions. Some difficulties of understanding are caused by conceptual change: in the dominant research tradition, ‘Hinduism’ and ‘the caste system’ refer to structures that exist in Indian society; in the research programme developed by Balagangadhara, these terms designate experiential entities embedded in a western cultural experience of India. This conceptual divide also extends to the empirical: because the study of caste and Hinduism is collapsing under the weight of accumulated anomalies, certain problems are crucial to the alternative theorising of the Ghent School, whereas they seem irrelevant to the dominant tradition. Sutton engages in the polemics characteristic of confrontations between competing research traditions. She distorts and domesticates unfamiliar ideas from this School by mapping them onto notions familiar to her. Consequently, she confuses Balagangadhara’s hypotheses about colonial consciousness with hackneyed stories about ‘Orientalism’. The article concludes with a puzzle: Why does Sutton recognise a group of researchers as a new School, while trying to dismiss them as ‘acolytes’ who reproduce the ‘mantras’ and ‘dogmas’ of an Indian thinker?

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
De Roover, Jakob. “A New School in the Study of India?” CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA, vol. 27, no. 2, 2019, pp. 273–85, doi:10.1080/09584935.2019.1610724.
APA
De Roover, J. (2019). A new school in the study of India? CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA, 27(2), 273–285. https://doi.org/10.1080/09584935.2019.1610724
Chicago author-date
De Roover, Jakob. 2019. “A New School in the Study of India?” CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA 27 (2): 273–85. https://doi.org/10.1080/09584935.2019.1610724.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Roover, Jakob. 2019. “A New School in the Study of India?” CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA 27 (2): 273–285. doi:10.1080/09584935.2019.1610724.
Vancouver
1.
De Roover J. A new school in the study of India? CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA. 2019;27(2):273–85.
IEEE
[1]
J. De Roover, “A new school in the study of India?,” CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 273–285, 2019.
@article{8602938,
  abstract     = {{By arguing that a new ‘School’ is crystallising in the study of India, Deborah Sutton (2018) has brought to the surface phenomena that are typical of any encounter between competing research traditions. Some difficulties of understanding are caused by conceptual change: in the dominant research tradition, ‘Hinduism’ and ‘the caste system’ refer to structures that exist in Indian society; in the research programme developed by Balagangadhara, these terms designate experiential entities embedded in a western cultural experience of India. This conceptual divide also extends to the empirical: because the study of caste and Hinduism is collapsing under the weight of accumulated anomalies, certain problems are crucial to the alternative theorising of the Ghent School, whereas they seem irrelevant to the dominant tradition. Sutton engages in the polemics characteristic of confrontations between competing research traditions. She distorts and domesticates unfamiliar ideas from this School by mapping them onto notions familiar to her. Consequently, she confuses Balagangadhara’s hypotheses about colonial consciousness with hackneyed stories about ‘Orientalism’. The article concludes with a puzzle: Why does Sutton recognise a group of researchers as a new School, while trying to dismiss them as ‘acolytes’ who reproduce the ‘mantras’ and ‘dogmas’ of an Indian thinker?}},
  author       = {{De Roover, Jakob}},
  issn         = {{0958-4935}},
  journal      = {{CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{2}},
  pages        = {{273--285}},
  title        = {{A new school in the study of India?}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09584935.2019.1610724}},
  volume       = {{27}},
  year         = {{2019}},
}

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