History Seminar Series talk organized by the AUD History Students:
Topic: Rethinking Public History for our Times
Speaker: Prof. Janaki Nair, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU.
Date: 20 th March 2015 (Friday)
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Venue: CR 5
This talk, which is largely exploratory, arises out of a growing sense of disquiet about the relatively unexamined gulf between the practice of academic history – in universities, journals and conferences, scholarly publications, and largely in English – and the thriving production of histories which arise out of a demand for a past in community, regional, or caste forums, usually in several Indian languages. Although this gulf is as old as the development and institutionalization of history itself, the academic historian has cherished the hope, we now know in vain, that the protocols of her evidentiary practice will eventually triumph over heterogeneous, multiple historical productions. Yet the thriving public life of history in India is in inverse proportion to the dwindling interest in and development of academic history across India today. Recent debates and discussions about school textbooks allow us to return to the troubled relationship between these worlds of history writing, which will be critical to a meaningful response to the challenges faced by academic history in India over the years.