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Rosalind O'Hanlon on "Wives, Intellectuals and Ascetics: the Brahman Scholar Household in Early Modern India"
Rosalind O'Hanlon on "Wives, Intellectuals and Ascetics: the Brahman Scholar Household in Early Modern India"
WhenTuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 3 – 4 p.m.
Campus room317
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsSouth Asia Center, UW
Simpson Center for the Humanities, UW
Department of History, UW

There is an enormous body of accomplished work on Brahman scholars as intellectuals within the Mughal world.  Yet their social histories are less well developed, particularly their lives within one of the essential prerequisites for intellectual labour, the lineage and its practical locale in the scholar household.  This talk will offer a tentative exploration of the domestic world of the scholar household, where marriage provided for the social reproduction of scholar families, and brought new connections and resources within a wider world of competing scholar families.  Some Brahman ascetic lineages, with their own quasi-familial patterns of recruitment, were also a part of this extended domestic world, as teachers, mentors, intermediaries and in some cases as major benefactors.  From this perspective, the worlds of the intellectual and the domestic, the household and the ascetic, look to be rather more connected than they sometimes appear in our familiar understandings of them.

Rosalind O’Hanlon is Professor of Indian History and Culture, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Her research interests include social and intellectual history of India; histories of caste in India; histories of empire, gender and the body; and social and religious history of Maharashtra. She is currently researching caste and the making of Brahman identities in early modern Maharashtra as well as the history of penance and purification in India. O'Hanlon is also involved in the Oxford Early Modern South Asia Project and the Oxford Centre for Early Modern Studies.

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