Spring brought two new Shivdasani Fellows to the centre: visiting scholars who use their time in Oxford to teach, discuss, and open a new window onto Indian culture.
Prof. Mandakranta Bose is taking time away from her work in Canada to undertake research and teaching at OCHS throughout Trinity term. She has brought her interest in the Sanskritic dance tradition, and religion and gender to the life of the Centre.
A former Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research at the University of British Columbia, Prof. Bose is currently a Visiting Professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada. But she is also very familiar with Oxford, and has long been a visitor to the Centre: "Getting to know OCHS from the inside has been a most exhilarating experience for me. Although as a regular visitor to Oxford, I always knew what the Centre was trying to achieve, I didn't know its full range of work. I am deeply impressed by Its solid scholarly aims and the practical steps it has taken in following them. Students affiliated with OCHS are clearly benefiting immensely from the close contact among themselves and with senior scholars. I have particularly enjoyed the warmth of the OCHS community, and I am sure that this is exactly the right climate for encouraging high scholarly achievement. Oxford University's recognition of OCHS is just the first step towards an exciting future."
Prof. Bose's many publications include Movement and Mimesis: The Idea of Dance in the Sanskritic Tradition (1991), Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval and Modern India (2000), and The Ramayana Revisited (2004).
During her time at OCHS this spring she is presenting Shivdasani Seminars on "Images and Ideas of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition", and "Women Poets of Hinduism in India", and collaborating on a "Woman in Hinduism" symposium with Dr Sanjukta Gupta and this term's other Shivdasani Fellow, Prof. Rukmani.
Prof. T. S. Rukmani, also arriving from Canada, is spending Trinity term at OCHS, and will be lending her forty years of experience in teaching Advaita-Vedanta and Samkhya-Yoga thought to the Centre.
Having taught in India and South Africa, Prof. Rukmani has been a member of the Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, as Professor and Chair for Hindu Studies since 1996. Prof. Rukmani has published widely on Yoga philosophy and she will also be giving two Shivdasani Seminars this term, entitled "Value Ethics in the Early Upanishads: A Hermeneutic Exercise", and "How much of Yoga did Shankara accept in his formulation of Advaita Vedanta?"
She too has enjoyed her time here, and is looking forward to seeing the Centre capitalise on its wok to date: "It has been wonderful to be here at the Centre at a time when it has been officially recognised by Oxford University. I am positive that the Centre will prove a great place for both Hindus and non-Hindus alike to do excellent research in areas that can add and supplement what the University has already to offer. I do hope that there is increased appreciation of the 'double bind' that exists between religion and philosophy in Hinduism and the Centre's programmes will build on that perception in its research projects. I have enjoyed the collegiality and friendliness that is present here and wish the Centre the very best."