History of Science in Early South Asia
This group will focus on the kinds of research published in journals such as the Indian Journal of History of Science, the e-Journal of Indian Medicine: EJIM, Asian Medicine, and History of Science in South Asia. The working group will bring together scholars who study the history of science in South Asia before about 1800 and as discoverable from literatures in Sanskrit and other indigenous Indian languages. We take “South Asia” as an inclusive, non-political, socio-geographic term referring to the area from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, from Pakistan to Bangladesh, and of course India. Discussions on the influences of South Asian cultures beyond these borders is also welcome, for example Nepalese or Tibetan influences on China, Sri Lankan influences on the Maldives, or Indian influences in South-East Asia. We take “science” to be broadly conceived, and to include all forms of rigorous intellectual activity that adopt at least to some extent a quantitative and empirical approach, as in the German “die Wissenschaft,” that covers most forms of academic scholarship. Theoretical discussions of the meaning of “science” in the South Asian context are welcome. The group will meet monthly during the 2020-2021 academic year and focus in the first instance on group readings of premodern scientific texts in early Indian languages, especially Sanskrit. We plan to begin with readings in South Asian medical and alchemical literatures.
Andrey Klebanov is a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Indological Studies, Kyoto University, Japan. Klebanov has published on the history of Indian medicine, Buddhism and the history of medieval literary commentaries, with a focus on the use of manuscript sources.
Dominik Wujastyk is Professor and Singhmar Chair of Classical Indian Society and Polity, Dept. of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. Previous appointments include a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship at the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. Wujastyk has taught and published on the history of science and medicine in ancient India and on Indian manuscripts and codicology . Recent work has included research on the history of classical Indian medicine, yoga and alchemy.
Kenneth Zysk is Professor of Indology, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Zysk has taught and published extensively on the history of science and medicine in ancient India. Recent projects include work on the history of physiognomy in early India and on the history of omens and prophecy in Indian astrology, with a focus on the use of manuscript sources.
Upcoming Meetings (all times Eastern)
There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.