Lehre Sommersemester 2019

Summer Semester 2019

Seminar: Animals in the History of Ideas in India, 1850-1990

Von 25 April 2019

16:00-18:00 Uhr
Moritzstr. 2, raum- Incon

The seminar begins from 25 April 2019. This seminar introduces modern Indian history and society from the perspectives of those who were prominent in shaping 'India' between 1850 and 1990. We will seek to understand the protagonists who include philosophers, religious leaders, artists, Maharajas, politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, businessmen and social activists and then read their writings and speeches to understand their worldviews. Thereafter, we will examine the ideas and thoughts of these key thinkers on animals and on the boundaries between and within different species including the human. We will endeavor to juxtapose these readings that are specific to the modern Indian social and historical context with frameworks from human animal studies. Some of the prominent personalities we will meet are: Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. J.C. Bose , Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Sri Aurobindo, Jawaharlal Nehru, Swami Vivekananda, Dr. Leslie Coleman, Col. Arthur Olver.


  1. Dieses seminar ist nur in English Bitte.
  2. Each student is required to read one text every week.

Learning Goals:

  • To learn about Indian society and history (1850-1990)
  • To understand modern Indian thought (social, cultural, religious and political) in relation to boundaries between and within species
  • To know and apply key concepts from human animal studies


  • Arthur Olver. 1936. A Brief Survey of Some of the Important Breeds of Cattle in India. Imperial Council of Agricultural Research. New Delhi: Manager of Publications.
  • Avijit Pathak. 1998. Indian Modernity: Contradictions, Paradoxes and Possibilities. New Delhi: Gyan Books.
  • Ashis Nandy. 2001 (1995). Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. 1936. Annihilation of Caste.
  • Divyabhanusinh. 2006. Junagadh State and its Lions: Conservation in Princely India, 1979-1947.
  • Conservation and Society 4 (4): 522-540.Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. 1954. (edited. Bharatan Kumarappa). How to Serve the Cow. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru. 1994 (1946). The Discovery of India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. Ramachandra Guha. 2012. Makers of Modern India. Penguin India.
  • Rosalyn O'Hanlon. 2012. Colonialism and Social Identities in Flux Class, Caste and Religious Community. In Douglas peers and Nandini Gooptu (eds.) India and The British Empire. Oxford University Press.
  • Shefali Rajamannar. 2012. Reading the Animal in the Literature of the British Raj. USA: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Sri Aurobindo. 1949. The Life Divine. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press.
  • Sujit Sivasundaram. 2015. Imperial Transgressions The Animal and Human in the Idea of Race. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 35 (1): 156-172.
  • Surinder S. Jodhka. 2002. Nation and Village: Images of Rural India in Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar, Economic and Political Weekly (August): 3343-3353.
  • Swami Vivekananda. 1946 (1939). Talks with Swami Vivekananda. Almora: Adwaita Ashrama.