Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Aishwary Kumar – Sovereignty and the Unforgivable: Ambedkar on the Logic of the Death Penalty

Monday, March 21, 2016

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

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Aishwary Kumar is an intellectual historian specializing in nineteenth and twentieth-century thought. He joined the History Department at Stanford in 2007 after finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. Kumar works at the intersection of intellectual history, political philosophy, and modern political and historical thought. His dominant methodological focus is on genealogies of planetary political concepts and moral languages.

Kumar’s research interests span Indian and European notions of ethics and politics; Judeo-Christian and Indic conceptions of violence, nonviolence, and equality; logics of sovereignty, hospitality, and foreignness; statelessness and love in democracy; and the problem of experience in the twentieth century. He teaches courses on Liberalism and Violence; Gandhi, Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin; Empire; Introduction to the Twentieth Century; What are Concepts; Truth and Perjury; and Concepts of the Political.

Kumar is currently completing a book on equality, violence, and the paradox of fidelity in twentieth-century democratic thought, titled Touchabilities: A Planetary Measure. He is also editing a volume of essays on politics and the limits of civility, which emerges from the first of three workshops he organized at the Stanford Humanities Center on "The Future of Civility." Along with the series on civility, he has also founded and runs a national lecture and conversation series called "The Modern Argument." He has essays published and forthcoming in Modern Intellectual History, Public Culture, and Social History.

Kumar serves as a fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education, a core nationwide group of thirty professors elected to examine the future of the humanities in the United States.

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Saxena Center for Contemporary South Asia
South Asian Studies