#TROAR (The Recipe Of A Renaissance, July 16, 2016):
Why don’t we let the past be? What do we do when there is a crisis? What do we see when we look back? What is imitated? Is a renaissance a rebirth: but of something totally new (as a non identical repetition)? What is renaissance ‘about’? Is it celebratory of a past but not necessarily redemptive? Can something ontologically preexisting (& of value) be made into a ‘currency’ by naming? Is the word renaissance substantive or does it need a geographical (say, Italian/Islamic/Bengal) or other marker? Why do we sometimes see ‘new things’ within many different domains within a short period of time? Where does the discourse of newness come from? What is the self understanding during these periods of change? Might the separation of the object from its properties be the defining epistemic break? How does one understand the context of discovery? Did women have a renaissance? Why did Petrarch write letters to a (long dead) Cicero? Is a revolution a renaissance? Does a renaissance have strategic moments to separate Us from Them? Can there be a private renaissance? Can a renaissance be caused or predicted? SynTalk thinks about these and more questions using concepts from history & philosophy of science (Prof. Nagarjuna G., HBCSE, Mumbai), literature & renaissance studies (Prof. Amlan Das Gupta, Jadavpur University, Kolkata), & philosophy & literature (Prof. R. Radhakrishnan, UCI, Irvine).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TROAR show.
Prof. Nagarjuna G. (history & philosophy of science) is with the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), TIFR in Mumbai. He is an author and maintainer of the GNU project GNOWSYS, and leads the gnowledge.org lab in Mumbai. He works at the interface of ontology, epistemology, science education and politics associated with new media. In ontology he is interested in ontological basis of life, cognition and consciousness; in epistemology he works in discovery and learning; knowledge cartography and semantic web (distributed computing platforms); in science education he designs collaborative learning environments (as against classrooms) for the construction of scientific knowledge; in politics he is an advocate of the freedom to read, write and act (particularly in the digital space), software freedom, creative commons, sharing, collaboration and distributed justice. He holds M.Sc.(Biology), M.A. (Philosophy) from University of Delhi and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in the area of Philosophy of Science. He is an advocate of free software and open standards for education, eGovernance and conducts workshops for academia and industry. He is also the Chairperson of Free Software Foundation of India. [Note: Also a SynTalkr on #TAOL (The Architecture Of Life)]
Prof. Amlan Das Gupta (english literature) is Professor of English in the Department of English, Jadavpur University (JU). His research interests are Classical and Biblical Studies, English Renaissance literature and Miltonic studies. He earned his B.A.(Hons.) from Presidency College of the University of Calcutta and went on to pursue the M.A. at Jadavpur University. He received an M. Phil. from Oxford University and did his Ph.D. from Jadavpur University. After teaching at Scottish Church College and the University of Calcutta, he joined the faculty of Jadavpur University. He has also held visiting positions at Pune University, Universiti Malaya at Kuala Lumpur and at Delhi University. Some publications in his professional field include editions of ‘Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and Aristotle’s Poetics’, an edited collection of essays on Renaissance literature, & translations of Bengali fiction into English. He has also edited ‘Renaissance Texts and Contexts (Macmillan, 2003)’, & ‘Music and Modernity: North Indian Classical Music in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Thema, 2007)’. For the last few years Prof. Das Gupta has been working on creating an archive of North Indian classical music at the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University. In 2010 he assumed charge of the School as its Director and is currently in overall charge of its current programmes. He has written on digital archiving and the history of North Indian classical music.
Prof. R. Radhakrishnan (literature, philosophy) is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests are critical Theory, postcoloniality, poststructuralism, postmodernism, cultural critique, nationalisms and diasporas, globalization, ethnicity and minority discourse, & gender and feminisms. He is also noted as a poet in Tamil and translator of contemporary Tamil into fiction. After receiving B.A. (economics) & M.A. (english) from Madras University, Prof. Radhakrishnan completed his Ph.D. in English from State University of New York Binghamton. He taught at University of Massachusetts Amherst (1984 – 2004) before he joined University of California in 2004. He has published extensively in journals and collections of essays. Some of his notable books are – ‘Diasporic Mediations (University of Minnesota Press, 1996)’, ‘Theory in an Uneven World (Blackwell, 2003)’, ‘Between Identity and Location: The Cultural Politics of Theory (Longman, 2007)’, ‘History, The Human, and The World Between (Duke University Press, 2008)’, & ‘Edward Said: A Dictionary (Blackwell/Wiley, 2012)’. He also edited ‘Theory as Variation (Pencraft, 2007)’, coedited (with Susan Koshy) ‘Transnational South Asians: The Making of a Neo Diaspora (Oxford, 2008)’, and co-edited (with Kailash Baral) ‘Theory after Derrida (Routledge, 2009)’. Prof. Radhakrishnan has received many academic awards, a few notable ones include, the Fulbright Fellowship, Lily Teaching Fellowship (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and the Distinguished Dissertation Award (SUNY-Binghamton).
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.
#TROAR mentions: Petrarch, Giorgio Vasari, Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Thomas Kuhn, Rudolf Bultmann, & Deleuze, among others.