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Autobiography of an ArchiveA Scholar's Passage to India$
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Nicholas Dirks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169677

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169677.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

South Asian Studies

South Asian Studies

Futures Past

(p.265) 12 South Asian Studies
Autobiography of an Archive

Nicholas B. Dirks

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the history of South Asian studies in the United States. The conjuncture between Sanskritic scholarship and the strategic concerns and contexts of World War II has had vast importance in the shaping of South Asian area studies, which in its early years was dominated by a fascination with ancient Indic civilization on the one hand and with contemporary society, politics, and economy on the other hand. Only in recent years (the 1990s) have the fields of colonial and postcolonial studies, modern history, and contemporary cultural studies emerged as a new kind of foundation for the study of South Asia. The chapter charts this transition and considers its larger implications as we head to the twenty-first century. It also looks at the W. Norman Brown's role in the early development of South Asian studies in the United States. Brown was the founder of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of South Asia Regional Studies and professor of Sanskrit at the university between 1926 and 1966.

Keywords:   history, South Asian studies, United States, South Asia, cultural studies, W. Norman Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Sanskrit

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