The talk explores the life and writings of the Indian polymath Rahul Sankrityayan (1893-1963) to tease out the implications of the phrase “to carry the fragrance of one’s land/soil” that this inveterate traveler- explorer-scholar-activist deploys in his delightful Treatise for Travelers: Ghumakkar Shastra. This ideal of response and responsibility goes beyond literal travel to embrace a vision of being and belonging in the world, in ways at once quotidian and utopian. It engages with questions of cultural myopia and cosmopolitan universalism that speak to us with great urgency today, across the spatial, temporal and linguistic divides that mark the original context of this articulation.
Dr. Maya Joshi teaches English at LSR, University of Delhi. She also studies Buddhism. She has edited a volume on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and co-edited one on Buddhist philosophical thought. As a Fulbright postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania for the year 2017-18, she plans to write an intellectual biography of the fascinating polymath Rahul Sankrityayan.
Sponsored by Department of History, Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, South Asian Studies, IPOCS
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