This volume examines the critical role of the humanities in universities in India and attempts to redefine its place, meaning and function in education. Bringing together distinguished scholars in the country, it debates the status and predicament of the humanities in the academic programmes within universities. The issues raised here touch upon the entire gamut of problems that a university faces in finding an adequate, rightful and wholesome place for the humanities in its academic curriculum. It discusses the difficulties in the specific identity of disciplines classed under the humanities, the powerful reach of the sciences and technological inroads in the teaching and practice of all disciplines, the relative academic balancing of disciplines in different universities in India, the culture, value and the idea of the university, digitisation of the humanities and online access and their specific impact on research in the concerned disciplines. The volume also presents an instructive debate on the so-called appropriation of traditional social science concerns by other departments.
This book will interest those in education, humanities and social sciences, governance and public policy, and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
Contributors. Preface. Introduction 1. The Humanities in The English-Speaking West 2. Re-Defining the Humanities: Place, Meaning, Function 3. The Place of Humanities 4. The Predicament of the Humanities: Reading through Bill Reading’s The University in Ruins 5. Humanities in the Age of their Digital Operability 6. The Indispensability of Humanities 7. Are We in for Post-Humanist Post-Humanities? 8. Some Stacato Observations on Interactive Studies 9. Imaginaries of Ignorance: Five Ideas of the University and The Place of Humanities Within Them 10. What Humanities/ Sicial Sciences Can Mean: Transmuting ‘Two Cultures’ Idea 11. MOOCs: Virtual But Not Virtuous 12. The Place of Humanities in University Education. Index
Mrinal Miri taught Philosophy and retired as Vice-Chancellor of North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India. He has previously served as Chairman, Indian Council of Philosophical Research; Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh; and Chairman, Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). He has also been a nominated member of the upper house (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament of India. He has a BA in Philosophy from Presidency College, Calcutta; MA in Philosophy from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi; and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has taught at St. Stephen’s College and has been Visiting Professor in many universities. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to education and literature. His main interests are in philosophy of culture and moral philosophy and issues relating to tribal cultures of India. He has published widely across journals and books, including Identity and the Moral Life (2003), Philosophy and Education (2014), The Idea of Surplus: Tagore and Contemporary Human Sciences (edited, Routledge, 2016). His translation into English of Rasna Barua’s Assamese novel Xeji Pator Kahini has been published as The Partings.