Putting Global Intellectual History in its Place


WHEN April 14, 2014
6:30-8 PM WHERE Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi Part of "Series: How to Write Global Histories" WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute Open to the Public

This talk examines the concept of global intellectual history, using as a lens, the case of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966). An ardent Hindu nationalist even as a young boy, Savarkar became the leader of the right-wing Hindu nationalist party and was best known for his implication in the assassination of M.K. Gandhi, against whom much of his ire was directed.

In writing a history of Savarkar, the first fact to confront is that most ideas that traveled did so because they were responses to imperial rule, and displayed a remarkable uniformity even across national styles and experiences. Savarkar’s case demonstrates that revolutionary concepts and ideas are affiliated laterally: South Asia with the Middle East and Africa, Senghor with Iqbal, and al-Afghani. By putting global intellectual history in its place we see not just a significant shift from one location (Europe) to another or several (the rest of the world), but also a seismic shift of significance from the globalizing question to localized answers.

Simultaneous Arabic translation will be provided

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