Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Presenting the Spring 2014 OP Jindal Distinguished Lectures: Ashis Nandy on Partition Violence

March 7, 2014

The Brown-India Initiative’s biannual OP Jindal Distinguished Lectures, endowed in perpetuity by Sajjan and Sangita Jindal “to promote a serious discussion of politics, economics, social and cultural change in modern India,” will be delivered on March 12th and 14th by Ashis Nandy.

Dr. Nandy is a political psychologist, social theorist, human rights activist and major cultural critic in contemporary India. His work focuses on the socially creative and destructive potential of human beings, and sources itself in Indian history and contemporary trends while seeking to create linkages with other countries in the Global South.

In this series, Nandy draws from material gathered over 10 years of interviews with hundreds of people who witnessed partition violence in India and Pakistan. He focuses on the way that ordinary people get involved in genocidal violence, either as victims or as killers, and how they cope with the experience psychologically. The lectures propose that in community-based societies, living with their own distinctive forms of cosmopolitanism, there might be other psychological and cultural resources that help the survivors to negotiate their experiences without the help of professional psychiatric help. This “alternative cosmopolitanism” allows most of them to emerge deeply wounded but not incapacitated or brutalized.



Lecture I: Wednesday, March 12th, 5:30-7:00pm
Forgetting the Unforgettable: Memories of Killing
Commentator: Vazira Zamindar, Associate Professor of History
Pembroke Hall, Room 305 | 172 Meeting Street | Reception to follow

Lecture II: Friday, March 14th, 2:00-4:00pm
Beyond Trauma: Silence, Exorcism and the Doomed Journey to a Lost Self
Commentator: Omer Bartov, John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and Professor of History and German Studies
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute | 111 Thayer Street | Reception to Follow