The Historian and Chauvinism

February 25, 2020 - 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Professor Ramachandra Guha

Abstract: Scientists who deal with inanimate nature can seek to be wholly objective, keeping themselves and their prejudices wholly out of their research and their findings. Historians who deal with thinking, arguing, human beings know that pure or total objectivity will always be beyond them. Nonetheless, they must guard against four kinds of bias: which I term the chauvinism of discipline, the chauvinism of method, the chauvinism of ideology, and the chauvinism of nation respectively.

Speaker's bio: Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bengaluru. He has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and served as the Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.

Ramachandra Guha's most recent book is a two volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi. His books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as 'perhaps the best among India's non fiction writers'; Time Magazine has called him 'Indian democracy's pre-eminent chronicler'. He has received numerous awards over the years. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Republic of India's third highest civilian honour.

The event is sponsored by the von der Heyden Fellows Fund, established by Karl ('62) and Mary Ellen von der Heyden.

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  • Asian/Pacific Studies Institute