Accepted Paper:

Reading Gananath Obeyesekere today: Indian anthropology with south Asian perspective  


Dev Pathak (South Asian University)

Paper short abstract:

Reading the contributions of an eminent anthropologist from Sri Lanka in the contemporary scene of anthropology in India aids in developing a south Asian perspective in anthropology in India. What could be however termed a south Asian perspective, and what is the contribution of Obeyesekere?

Paper long abstract:

When sociology and social anthropology in India grappled with the binaries of fast decolonizing contexts of South Asia, Gananath Obeyesekere wrote a paper to present a systematic rebuttal of one of the key binaries, namely little tradition and great tradition. Located beyond the binaries Obeyesekere not only presented a smashing deal to the thesis of Marshal Sahlin but also revisited the discourses in psychoanalysis to comprehend the relegated religious experiences characterized by Medusa's hair. This paper, with a systematic engagement with the select works of Obeyesekere, in relation with the larger debates in Indian context, explores the covert and overt possibilities with Obeyesekere's anthropology.

Panel P065
Indian social anthropology in South Asian perspective: reflection and retrospection