2017-02-17 SICON02 S2 Examination of Pollock’s “Project SKSEC”

Swadeshi Indology Conference 2
Examination of Pollock’s “Project SKSEC”
Speaker: Manjushree H.

According to Pollock, India witnessed a great intellectual flowering in the two centuries just prior to the colonial encounter— purportedly due to the consolidation of Muslim rule in India. With the spread of British rule (in the mid eighteenth century), this “flowering”/intellectual dynamism, he says, “melted like so much snow in the light of a brilliant, pitiless sun”. Why it withered away in the face of European intellectuality is a primary question that the international collaborative project, Sanskrit Knowledge Systems on the Eve of Colonialism (SKSEC) http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/po…), seeks to address. In the present paper, I examine carefully Pollock’s idea of the “intellectual dynamism” of seventeenth-century Indian knowledge systems, their colonial encounter, and the dubious inferences they allude to.

17-19th Feb, 2017
IGNCA, New Delhi

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