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Colonial India and Aryanism topic of geography talk

An ethnographic map of India from Ellen Semple's Influences of Geographic Environment (1911).

An ethnographic map of India from Ellen Semple, Influences of Geographic Environment (1911).

Assistant Professor Ishan Ashutosh from the Department of Geography at Indiana University in Bloomington will give a talk titled “Geography’s Lost History in Colonial India: Environmental Determinism and Aryanism” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, in Felmley Hall, room 209.

Ashutosh’s talk will examine how the discipline of geography contributed to colonial theories of race.

“By looking at the emergence of theories of Aryanism and environmentalism in the context of colonial India, it is argued that human geography developed through its interaction with Orientalism in general and Indology in particular,” said Ashutosh, whose work has appeared in such journals as Citizenship Studies, Geopolitics, and Urban Geography.

In his talk, Ashutosh will look at Aryanism from its origins in Orientalism to its history as a foundational element in racial science. He will also examine the influence of Aryanism in German and American geography from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries.

The talk is sponsored by Illinois State University’s Department of Geography and Geology, and is part of the 2016-17 Geography Speaker Series.

 

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