Speaking Otherwise: CSDS Podcast Series

Speaking Otherwise is an academic podcast on the Contemporary, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi.  In this podcast, we speak to well known scholars from the humanities and the social sciences on the critical questions of our times.

Episode 1.  Secularism and Post-Secularism (CLICK TO LISTEN)

In this episode, Prathama Banerjee speaks to Rajeev Bhargava on the place of religion in contemporary public life.  The discussion revolves around practices of secularism in India, the relationship between religion and caste, ancient and medieval histories of religious conflict and co-existence in the subcontinent and the concept of post-secularism as a possible optic to understand our times.

Rajeev Bhargava is a political philosopher and intellectual historian of religion and secularism.  He earlier taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University.  Subsequently, he was Professor and is now an honorary fellow at CSDS.  He was instrumental in setting up the Parekh Institute of Indian Thought at CSDS, a program for the study of longer intellectual histories of India in light of contemporary political and social questions.  His publications are many, including Individualism in Social Science (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992); Secularism and its Critics (edited, Oxford University Press, 1998); Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution (edited, OUP, 2008); What is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It? (OUP, Delhi, 2010); and Secular States and Religious Diversity (edited, UBC Press, Vancouver, 2013).  His recent thoughts on importance of classical ideas in the creation of an alternative political theory are available in Rajeev Bhargava, ‘The roots of Indian pluralism: A reading of Asokan edicts'. Philosophy & Social Criticism. 2015; 41(4-5):367-381.

Episode 2.  Politics and Passions (CLICK TO LISTEN)

In this episode, Prathama Banerjee speaks to Udaya Kumar on the place of passion, emotion and affect in contemporary public life.  The conversation meanders around questions of self, body, sensory, sensation, intensity, stigma, experience, ghosts, viruses and conditions of political existence today.  

Udaya Kumar is Professor at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He works on autobiographical writing; death and contemporary culture; emotions and political life; Malayali literary cultures; vernacular social thought; and cultural histories of the body and the sensory.  His publications include Writing the First Person: Literature, History and Autobiography in Modern Kerala (Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2016); The Joycean Labyrinth: Repetition, Time and Tradition in `Ulysses' (Oxford: Clarendon Press, October 1991, rpt. 2001); ‘The Strange Homeliness of the Night: Spectral Speech and the Dalit Present in C. Ayyappan's Writings,’ Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, XVII: 1 and 2 (2010, pub. 2013) pp. 177-91; ‘The Perfect Imperfect: Democracy and the Ethics of Self-ruination,’ Cultural Critique, 105 (Fall 2019), pp. 223-39; ‘The Legibility of Things: Objects and Public Histories in N. S. Madhavan’s Litanies of Dutch Battery,’ in Narratology and Ideology, eds. Divya Dwivedi, Henrik Skov Nielsen & Richard Walsh (Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 2018), pp. 74-90; and ‘Sovereignty, Allegory and Political Affect: K. Narayana Kurukkal’s Novels,’ in Novel Formations: The Indian Beginnings of a European Genre, eds. Baidik Bhattacharya and Sambudha Sen (Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2018), pp. 167-210.