|Stretching Space, Keeping Time: The Explorative Abundance of Rahul Sankrityayan|
This talk traces the life and work of Rahul Sankrityayan, 1893-1963, a fascinating polymath born in India who left behind a multi-disciplinary legacy of works, largely in Hindi, though he worked with languages as diverse as Tibetan and Tajik, Sanskrit and Bhojpuri. His largely autodidactic trajectory, inspired by innate wanderlust, buttressed by philosophical conviction, enlivened by extraordinary linguistic abilities, and charged by urgent activist concern, cuts across the domains of politics, philosophy, history, and literature. He concerns himself with nothing less than the past, present, and future of India and the world. Buddhism and Marxism are the lode stars for this exploration. While his remarkable life tempts one to a reading of it as irreducibly unique, my attempt is to locate it within a larger intellectual and political milieu.
Maya Joshi is Associate Professor in English at Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. She is currently Fulbright Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, working towards an intellectual biography of Rahul Sankrityayan. She has worked closely with Tibet House, Delhi over the years, has published on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, aspects of Buddhism in India today, and on different aspects of Rahul Sankrityayan, especially his engagements with Buddhism and Marxism.
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Free and open to the public.